Monthly Archives

September 2020

The Building Process

Foundation Progress!

September 28, 2020
treehouse foundation
Bailey, Colorado
Posts and beams progress as of 9/28/20 at Zen Treehouse

Finally we have some vertical construction progress to report! Approximately 50% of the posts and beams for the project have been installed. The posts are 6 x 6 HSS (hollow structural sections) tubing and are welded to base plates, which in turn are bolted to the caissons. There are a total of 25 posts that will hold up the structure.

You’ll see the I-beams that are about 8′ from the top of the posts. These I-beams will be covered with an extruded steel material that will serve as a floor under the house to make maintenance of the systems of the house easier.

Other I-beams will be installed around the top of the beams as well to form the foundation of the house that the sill plates will be attached to once framing begins. There will also be I-beams that will extend out from the back of the house to support the three decks. We didn’t want to have vertical supports for the decks that would, in our opinion, be displeasing to the overall design. This will result in a very dramatic side-view of the house with three 12′ cantilevered decks hanging off the side of the house.

We hope you enjoyed this construction update! More to come in a week or two.

treehouse foundation
Bailey, Colorado
Zen Treehouse Foundation

Uncategorized

Cool Treehouse in Quebec, Canada

September 24, 2020

I saw this video of a cool treehouse in Quebec Canada and wanted to share. This is a different, and more traditional approach, to treehouse design/build. Logs, reclaimed materials, etc. I think the builders did an amazing job! Let me know what you think in the comments.

There is a lot I love about this house and some things that wouldn’t quite work for me. This is 420 square feet of heated living space, so a bit cramped for me. But the views and location are amazing – we love Quebec (especially Montreal and Quebec City)! This is just outside Ottawa – only 2 1/2 hours from Montreal.

For those who want a great rustic treehouse experience, I’d highly recommend this one! Here is the Airbnb link in case you want to book it: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/32808110?source_impression_id=p3_1601001037_rr2mpowxiBoeqTqr

We’re looking forward to offering another treehouse option to the short-term rental market, which has a lot more space (nearly 1,600 square feet) and a lot more luxury. We know it’s not for everyone, and totally respect what other tree house builders/owners are doing, but we think ours is going to raise the bar for what a treehouse home really means!

The Building Process Uncategorized

ZenTreehouse is Live Streaming Construction, Sunrises and Sunsets

September 13, 2020

Check our our new NestCam livestream to catch the progress each day and check out the scenery, sunrises and sunsets. The construction at this point is of the steel foundation. It’s a bit of a slow go at this point, but will be accelerating starting in October 2020!

I was up at the building site today and had the Neteo high speed internet installed today so I could install my Outdoor Nest Cam. Since construction (the out of the ground stuff) is starting soon, I thought it would be great to see what’s going on live, make some cool time lapse videos of the progress, check the weather, and see the sunrises and sunsets.

We have electrical at the site, so they were able to install the receiver (like a mini satellite dish) and the router. While the Neteo installer was doing his work, I installed the Nest Cam on a tree to give the best view possible off the building site and the view. Of course, until the steel starts going up, you won’t see much – but when it does, you’ll see the unique foundation we have with 6×6 American made steel beams and large 12″ I-beams. Should be interesting!

I added a pic of where we will be putting the outdoor relaxation area with hot tub, barrel sauna, and fire pit conversation area. Awesome view of Deer Creek Valley!

Let me know what you think once you check out the live stream. Enjoy!

Hot tub barrel sauna fire pit location
This is where the hot tub, barrel sauna and fire pit will go
The Building Process

The Crane Has Arrived!

September 7, 2020
Treehouse construction crane with view
The arrival and set up of the crane to set the steel beams – check out the view!

We finally got our crane onsite today! This means we will now see, over the next five weeks, the house come out of the ground. The crew anticipates they will start on Thursday Sept 10th. I was told that initially it will be slow going, getting everything right with the base plates and initial beams.

They are going to install an extruded steel floor about 10′ under the treehouse structure itself. This is to make maintenance and access underneath to vents, pipes, etc. easier. Once they get this floor installed, they said the rest will be a piece of cake.

So, five weeks puts us into mid-October before they can start framing. The other thing that’s going to happen in October is the installation of the natural gas line. Yes, you read that right – we have natural gas (no propane!) for the treehouse! We will use this gas for the boiler for the radiant heated floors (also serves as our hot water heater for sinks and showers), the two fireplaces inside the house, and a new outdoor relaxation area we are adding somewhere up the hill from the house. This area will feature a barrel sauna, a covered hot tub, and a fire pit with Adirondack chairs for watching sunsets and relaxing after a nice soak or steam. I’ll cover more about what this area will look like in a future post.

I’m excited to get this blog moving – finally – with some frequent updates. Let me know what you think in the comments and please share!

Treehouse construction crane
Testing to be sure they positioned the crane to get the steel to each of the 25 caissons.
The Building Process The Design Process

Progress on the Foundation!

September 4, 2020
Just some of the steel columns that will hold up the Zen Treehouse.

The work on fabricating the columns (25 of them!), base plates, and beams has (finally) begun. We are working with an amazing fabricator, Martin Enterprises in Bailey, Colorado. They have 50+ years of experience in a wide variety of metal fabrication projects.

They sent over a few pictures of the column and base plates that will support the tree house. These will sit on the caissons there were completed earlier this year.

I should address the reasons for the delay in getting the construction restarted. The primary reason is that our builder, Cary Dunn from BackCountry Builders, has been on another project that, due to COVID, has had a lot of delays. He has to finish that house before he can really focus on getting things done for our treehouse.

He expects that the steel will go up this month (September) and that he’ll be able to start framing in early October. So…finally…PROGRESS!

I hope from now on, we will have a lot more regular posts of the progress, the ups and downs of constructing something so unique, and perhaps a bit more about our furnished rental portfolio. While the Zen Treehouse is the most unique property in our portfolio, we have five others that we will talk about when there are some lulls in posting. My goal is to have a post nearly every other week from here on out, so I’ll fill in some with how we think about these types of properties and what our nearly 10 years of experience with furnished rentals, Airbnb, and VRBO has been.

Thanks for reading! Would love to hear what you think. Post a comment and let me know what you’d like to know more about!

Peter and Delinda

Columns on the trailer ready for transport to the building site
Columns on the trailer ready for transport to the building site.
Base plates on the pallet. These will be bolted to the caissons and the columns will be welded to these plates.
A side profile of the main cabin to illustrate how these columns will be placed. Also note the beams – we intentionally cantilevered the decks (all three of them) for aesthetic reasons. Imagine a 12′ cantilevered deck more than 40′ above the ground. Sweet!