A man from Arkansas spent 2 years building a treehouse as a retirement project. It lists it for $1.25 million, and it comes with a heated pool and a swing bridge – check it out.

A view of the entire property, with the tree house (left), gazebo (foreground), and main house (background).Justin Farris

  • Mike Fitzgerald spent over two years and at least $600,000 building a treehouse.

  • The tree house is supported by four trees and is connected to a patio on another tree via a swing bridge.

  • Now he’s selling the property — which can be rented out on Airbnb — for $1.25 million.

Mike Fitzgerald grew up outdoors, climbing trees and building forts. He’s always dreamed of having his own treehouse, and now that he’s approaching his sixties, he’s decided it’s time to make it happen.

The exterior of the treehouse.

The exterior of the treehouse, which is supported by four trees.Justin Farris

“We didn’t have the cool little games on TV that kids are playing today,” Fitzgerald told Insider. “We spent time outdoors and it was always a dream of mine to be out there and build something.”

For Fitzgerald, who worked in the tile industry, it was also a retirement project to keep busy.

A local treehouse expert he consulted, Josh Hart of Treehouses in their natural state, said the trees on his property weren’t strong enough. As they looked at the nearby trees, they found themselves on his neighbour’s property, which happened to be for sale.

“I didn’t even think about this property at the time, but just said, ‘How about those four trees? ‘” Fitzgerald said.

The trees – which are oak and walnut – turned out to be the perfect type for the design Fitzgerald had in mind, and he decided to purchase the land. He paid $30,000 for the lot, property records To display.

Fitzgerald wanted the treehouse to be raised entirely by the trees, with no other support. Before he could build anything, he needed an arborist to examine the health of the trees.

The treehouse is connected to a gazebo via a swing bridge.

The treehouse is connected to a gazebo via a swing bridge.Justin Farris

Every branch, root and trunk had to be carefully inspected, Fitzgerald said.

“You rely on this tree to last so that your treehouse has the support it needs,” he said.

Fitzgerald also contacted the Nelson Treehouse and Supply team – stars of Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters” reality show – for advice.

“I had to tell them how high I was going to build it from the ground. I had to measure the trees at the base and where the treehouse was going to be, and then send them all those measurements,” Fitzgerald added.

The treehouse is supported by four trees and is connected to a viewing patio on another tree via a swing bridge. The bridge, which is nearly 30 feet long, was a challenge to complete, Fitzgerald said.

The bridge to the gazebo patio.

The bridge leading to the gazebo patio is nearly 30 feet in diameter.Justin Farris

The final bridge design was inspired by a bridge in a “Treehouse Masters” video, but modified with additional supports, Fitzgerald said.

“If you cross the bridge, there’s a big hammock that hangs above the ground at the other end. You can lay on this big net that hangs just 15 feet in the air,” he said. added.

Fitzgerald did most of the interior work himself, building the cabinets and bathrooms.

The interiors of the treehouse.

The interiors of the treehouse.Justin Farris

The treehouse has a loft-style design. The main living area is downstairs and a movable ladder is used to access the sleeping quarters upstairs.

Most of the wood used in the construction was sourced locally and most of the tiles were handmade, Fitzgerald said.

The floor of the tree house was one of the most laborious parts of the construction, he added: “I had to cut literally thousands of pieces of salvaged wood and lay them on the floor.”

Construction took two years and four months. Fitzgerald began in December 2019 and completed construction of the property in April 2022.

The treehouse loft.

The treehouse loft.Justin Farris

“We did the tree house first because you have to be very careful with the trees when you bring your gear,” Fitzgerald said. “You don’t want to run the gear on the root system.”

It took more than a year to build the treehouse and another year to complete the main house, Fitzgerald said.

“I remembered how hard it was to put the roof of the treehouse up. It’s about 30 feet off the ground and everyone was scared to get up there, so it took a few extra months to install the roof of the treehouse,” he added.

One of the main house’s most striking features is the outdoor kitchen and dining area, Fitzgerald said.

The outdoor kitchen and dining room of the poolhouse.

The outdoor kitchen and dining room of the main house.Justin Farris

“We got a big piece of wood with live edges and made it a really cool outdoor table – people love to sit there. There’s also a grill and an outdoor fireplace,” Fitzgerald said. .

Like the tree house, the main house has two floors. A spiral staircase connects the main living area to the upstairs loft bedroom.

The living area of ​​the main house.

The living area of ​​the main house.Justin Farris

Some cabinets in the main house were made from salvaged truck beds. Fitzgerald also repurposed wood from an old wagon, turning it into a coffee table.

Looking back, Fitzgerald says the process of building the treehouse was much more difficult and time-consuming than he had anticipated.

The kitchen of the main house.

The treehouse and main house are a combined 866 square feet, and they each have their own kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.Justin Farris

“I thought we would be done in six to eight months, and it took two years,” Fitzgerald said. “Doing everything so you could preserve the trees was probably what really slowed everything down.”

The scale of his treehouse was also new, not only to him but also to local builders and the treehouse expert he consulted, Fitzgerald added: “I think anyone who worked on the project, it was the first time they did something like this.”

Fitzgerald said the treehouse has been attracting attention for years.

One of the bathrooms of the property.

One of the bathrooms of the property.Justin Farris

“From that day on, we started putting the beams up in the trees, driving people past and stopping to take pictures,” Fitzgerald said.

Although the property is near a local bike path, it’s still a quiet neighborhood, he said.

“We had a grand opening and invited most people from the neighborhood to come, and they were all really excited to see it. It made me really proud,” Fitzgerald added.

The stones in the driveway and around the pool were from Oklahoma, and transporting them was difficult due to their weight, Fitzgerald said.

The driveway of the property.

The driveway of the property.Justin Farris

“We had to go out there and pile all these rocks on a pallet, put them on truck beds and bring them back,” Fitzgerald said.

It took about three to four hours by road and it took several trips to transport them, he said.

“I think there are around 80,000 tonnes of stone there,” he added.

Fitzgerald has some advice for anyone looking to build their own treehouse or house: remember to track all costs, as things can get expensive fast. However, it is worth investing in good materials.

The swimming pool.

The swimming pool.Justin Farris

“When we started, we had no idea how much it would cost,” Fitzgerald said.

The project turned out to be expensive because of the process of building the house out of living trees without damaging them, he said. He also didn’t cut corners on materials and said that while initial expenses were high, he expects to save on repairs in the future.

“I made sure we were building with materials that would last. The exterior of the treehouse is redwood, the deck is redwood, and it’s wood that doesn’t rot very easily and isn’t affected by insects,” Fitzgerald said.

He estimates he spent between $600,000 and $700,000 to build the property.

Fitzgerald is putting the entire property on the market for $1.25 million. But until he finds a new owner, he’ll be renting the place out on Airbnb.

Alternate view of gazebo and pool.

Another view of the gazebo patio and pool area, with the main house on the right.Justin Farris

First Real Estate’s Kim Wilichowski and Darlene Floyd hold the SEO.

Homes in Bentonville, Arkansas, have a median price of $485,000, according to data from the real estate platform real estate agent.com. There are currently 615 single-family homes for sale in the neighborhood, with prices between $180,000 and $11.6 million. The $1.25 million treehouse property is in the middle price range.

“I always planned to sell it a few years after owning it,” Fitzgerald said. “As a tiler, I don’t have any money that I could put in a 401K or put back, so I took the savings we had and put them into the project.”

In the meantime, he recently listed the treehouse on Airbnb, where it can be rented for $486 a night.

“I’m there every day if it’s not rented, cleaning up and relaxing around it. I love being at the treehouse, that’s for sure,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s going to be very hard to see him go.”

Read the original article at Initiated

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