Courtesy of Will Sutherland and Sabrina Hartley
Will Sutherland owns a treehouse Airbnb on his property. It took him about six months to build.
When he first got the idea, he thought it’d be a pipe dream he’d never be able to do.
Now, he makes $30,000 per year renting it out and gets to watch guests make memories in it.
This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Will Sutherland, who owns a treehouse Airbnb. It has been edited for length and clarity.
Even before I bought my house, I had the idea of building a treehouse on the four-acre property. When I walked around the site for the first time, I saw two trees sitting over a rock ledge and wanted to put a treehouse there. At the time, it was a pipe dream that I never thought I would actually be able to do.
I built the treehouse by myself, and it took me about 6 and a half months
I carried up every piece of wood, every piece of floor, the roof trusses, the floor trusses, and the big quad beam. I also sourced a bunch of cedar logs from a friend who was having a house built. I have a sawmill at my house, so I was able to mill all the cedar for the siding.
When I told my now wife, Sabrina, that I was building a treehouse to rent on Airbnb, she said: “As long as you build another bathroom for guests, I’m all for it.” For years, our guests in our Airbnb skoolie — a converted school bus — had been using the bathroom in our house. It was a necessary inconvenience since the skoolie didn’t have a toilet or shower.
When I built the treehouse, I also built a bathhouse with a shower and a toilet at the same time. Now all of our guests use the bathhouse.
Sabrina helped me with some of the details, like the floor finishing and trimming some boards. She was by my side every day when she got home from working as an arboretum specialist at the Virginia State Arboretum.
The treehouse is small but has a lofted bedroom to add square footage
It’s like a bunk bed and is great for kids. There’s also a main queen bed in the treehouse too. There’s no running water, but I do have a five-gallon water tank for hand washing and …read more
Source:: Business Insider