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VIDEO: Woodworker Went to Treehouse School and Built a Masterpiece

The Baltic is a beautifully handcrafted, 2-story (but still tiny!) treehouse in Ontario, Canada.   The idea to build the treehouse started back when Cam, a woodworker and furniture builder, was a kid and would build forts and treehouses with his friends.  Then as an adult, he took a sustainable treehouse building course at Yestermorrow in Vermont to learn how to build in a way that would protect the trees and allow them to stay alive and healthy while supporting a structure.  Together with his wife, Lauren, they founded Fort Treehouse Co. and built this incredible treehouse.

Using what Cam learned at school, along with advice from an arborist, he built a platform that is supported by two live maple trees (with custom treehouse hardware), as well as three steel posts.  Some treehouse builders prefer to build 100% in the trees, but Cam and Lauren were limited by the trees they had available on their property and so they came up with this hybrid design.

Fort Treehouse Tour - Outdoor 1 - Exploring Alternatives

Image © Exploring Alternatives

The treehouse has a set of stairs that lead you to a spacious balcony that gives you a great view of the forest.  Below the house, you can see a framed-in insulated column, which is where all of the systems to service the treehouse are kept, including the electrical panel, fresh and waste water pipes, and the WiFi router.

Fort Treehouse Tour - Outdoor 2 - Exploring Alternatives

Image © Exploring Alternatives

Once inside, there’s a minimalist but very practical foyer entrance with a bench, hooks, and open storage space for shoes and other essentials.  This is also where you’ll find the heat recovery ventilation units (HRV) that exchange the air in the treehouse to ensure it’s always fresh.

Fort Tree House - Exploring Alternatives - Living Room 1

Image © Exploring Alternatives

The living room and kitchen area are open-concept, with a comfy couch, a propane fireplace, and a functional kitchen.  But the real show stopper is the enormous floor-to-ceiling window that provides a great view of the forest.

Fort Tree House - Exploring Alternatives - Living Room

Image © Exploring Alternatives

A custom ship’s ladder with sturdy handrails leads up to the sleeping loft, which is incredibly bright and has loads of space to stand up, not to mention fit a king-size bed!

To optimize airflow and eliminate the need for air conditioning, there are two operable windows in the loft to create a cross breeze (and a 3-foot overhang makes it so the main window can be open even when it rains).  There’s a big ceiling fan, and the loft is also open to the main floor on two sides to encourage more air circulation in the space.

Fort Tree House - Exploring Alternatives - Loft

Image © Exploring Alternatives

The main floor and loft floors are made with cob, which is a mix of sand, clay, and straw, and they add a lot of warmth to the space.

Fort Tree House - Exploring Alternatives - Bathroom

Image © Exploring Alternatives

On the main floor, there’s a luxurious bathroom with a wall-to-wall shower with a heated floor, a flush toilet, and a sink.  The treehouse is off-grid so it gets water from a well, it is connected to a septic tank, it is powered by solar panels, and it’s heated with propane.

To get a full tour, and to find out more about how this DIY treehouse was built, check out the video by Exploring Alternatives below!

VIDEO: Woodworker Went to Treehouse School and Built a Masterpiece


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Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.
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