FAMILY’S TREEHOUSE BUILD FEATURED ON DIY NETWORK
WHITEFISH PILOT: May 30, 2017 at 5:29 pm | By Heidi Desch
Many a child has spent a night camped out inside a treehouse in the backyard. But not too many folks are likely to have spent a night in a luxury treehouse complete with a dishwasher.
Combining childhood fun with adult amenities is exactly the experience Darin Robison and Kati O’Toole are looking to create with their two-story treehouse constructed on their Dillon Road property. The couple for two years has been talking about, planning, designing and finally constructing the treehouse supported by Ponderossa pines.
The couple is still putting the finishing touches on the interior, but when completed it will have a full kitchen, a full bathroom with a shower and two bedrooms on the second-floor loft.
“We wanted to create a little utopia,” O’Toole said. “We wanted people to come and have a real, unique Montana experience.”
The couple had the idea for the treehouse when someone pointed out a listing for a casting call in the newspaper for the DIY network.
The couple applied and were selected to be part of the TV show, “The Treehouse Guys.” The episode featuring their treehouse debuted this month and will air again on June 2 and June 15.
For six weeks in April last year, a film crew documented the process of constructing the shell of the treehouse. Collaborating with the stars of “The Treehouse Guys” Robison and O’Toole wanted to make sure the treehouse was comfortable enough to live in including making the loft space with a ceiling high enough to stand in and allow for a sliding glass doors from the loft out to a deck.
“That upper deck was important,” Robison said. “I wanted a perch where you could sit on and look out while drinking a cup of coffee.”
West Glacier builder John Colliander of Treeworks Log and Timberframe Construction made the 18-foot wooden spiral staircase for the treehouse. The staircase is made of larch treads attached to an 80-plus-year-old Douglas fir Robison salvaged from his grandmother’s woods.
“We really wanted to create a grand entrance,” Robison said.
The couple, along with help from family and friends, have continued to complete the interior of the treehouse. They hope to be open for rent this fall.
View more about the treehouse at: http://www.montanatreehouseretreat.com
Link to original article: http://www.whitefishpilot.com/article/20170530/ARTICLE/170539977
Castle in the Sky
Whitefish couple's new luxury treehouse retreat featured on DIY Network's television show
BY TRISTAN SCOTT // FLATHEAD BEACON//MAY 18, 2017 // PHOTOS: GREG LINDSTROM
Kati O’Toole and her husband, Darin Robison, have transformed their lofty dream into a reality with their new business venture at Montana Treehouse Retreat, a unique backyard escape that spirits guests into the treetops.
Campers looking for an outdoor experience that transcends pitching a tent or renting a cabin in the wilderness will get a thrill out of the latest trend of lodging — a vacation rental in the sky.
Located on the couple’s wooded 7-acre property off Dillon Road near Whitefish, the retreat incorporates the growing popularity of custom luxury treehouse dwellings with the mountain allure of Montana.
Professional treehouse designers have capitalized on the trend by building everything from breweries to recording studios, but a rising number of backyard escapes are cropping up across the nation, advertised as guest rentals on the online hospitality service Airbnb.
The couple’s treehouse made its television debut on May 15 on the DIY Network’s show “The Treehouse Guys,” whose crew visited the Flathead Valley to help frame the structure, which spans four trees — three larches and a ponderosa.
In addition to showing the early construction of the treehouse, the segment also features local activities and amenities of the Flathead Valley, and will re-air next month.
From the moment that O’Toole and Robison purchased their property five years ago, they’ve entertained visions of building a treehouse in their expansively forested lot, but with a growing family, full-time jobs and a basket of home projects, they were short on time.
“We’ve always wanted to build a treehouse,” O’Toole said. “It’s been a dream for a long time. But never in our wildest dreams did we think it would look like this.”
Both fourth-generation Montanans with a passion for the outdoors, their passion project was sidelined as they worked to keep up with their 3-year-old son, Rowan, and newborn baby, Ry.
When a friend pointed them to a casting call for the television show, they navigated a series of lengthy interviews and were selected for an episode.
O’Toole and Robison applied for and received a conditional use permit for their property, with the county Board of Adjustment granting approval for up to three high-end treehouses available for nightly rental.
The build crew with the Treehouse Guys — B’fer Roth and his team of “tree muskateers” — completed the frame of the treehouse in about six weeks and provided their expertise, while Darin and a crew of friends and family helped build a giant log spiral staircase, milled the siding and interior paneling, and anchored the structure to the trees.
Because it’s not connected to the earth, the house moves with the trees during high winds and as the trees grow.
The 18-foot wooden spiral staircase leading up to the entrance of the treehouse wraps around an old Douglas fir that had been struck by lighting on Robison’s grandparents’ property. The top blew off in the wind, leaving a 60-foot stub that Robison thought was perfect for his treehouse.
“It was definitely the right one for the job,” he said.
The maximum size of a treehouse is determined by the number of trees available to serve as its foundation. A single large, healthy tree can support a 350- to 400-square-foot treehouse, according to the builders, while two or more trees can hold a 700- to 800-square-foot structure.
O’Toole and Robison plan to begin renting their treehouse in November once they’ve completed the finishing touches, and construct two additional custom treehouses on their property in the coming years.
The two-story treehouse features all of the amenities including septic and sewer, a small kitchen on the lower level, as well as a living area and full bath. It rents for $500 a night, with a minimum of three nights and discounts available for weekly rentals.
O’Toole said she has already begun receiving inquiries, and predicts an uptick in interest following the airing of the show.
“It is a luxury experience. There’s nothing primitive about it,” O’Toole said. “It’s nicer than the home we live in and I think people are really going to enjoy staying here.”
For more information and to book a getaway, visit http://www.montanatreehouseretreat.com/ and to learn more about The Treehouse Guys check out http://www.diynetwork.com/shows/the-treehouse-guys.
LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE IN FLATHEAD BEACON: http://flatheadbeacon.com/2017/05/18/castle-in-the-sky/
WHITEFISH COUPLE’S TREEHOUSE FEATURED ON DIY NETWORK
May 14, 2017 at 5:00 am | By LYNNETTE HINTZE Daily Inter Lake
Kati O’Toole, Darin Robison and their children Ry, 5 months, and Rowan, 3, outside their treehouse on Thursday near Whitefish. The treehouse retreat will be featured Tuesday, May 16, on the DIY Network. (Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake
Not so anymore.These days treehouses are trendy. They’re unique abodes for folks who want a slightly different lodging experience, and they range from rustic to upscale.
Treehouses also have their own television show now. The DIY Network’s “The Treehouse Guys” follows a team of builders and designers around the country as they create and build custom treehouses. Last year about this time, they spent six weeks near Whitefish framing a treehouse for Darin Robison and Kati O’Toole, who own Montana Treehouse Retreat off Dillon Road.
The show featuring the local treehouse airs at 9 p.m. Monday on the DIY Network. In addition to showing the construction of the treehouse, the segment will feature local activities and amenities of the Flathead Valley.
“We dreamed about building a treehouse,” O’Toole said.
The young couple thought it was an attainable goal that might take a while to achieve. Robison owns Ace Landscaping and O’Toole is a music producer for an online record studio based in Los Angeles. They have two sons, Rowan, 3, and Ry, 5 months, so life already was extremely busy when someone suggested they check out an advertisement in the Daily Inter Lake about the DIY Network looking for locals interested in being part of The Treehouse Guys show.
After a lengthy interview process, they made the cut and the project was set in motion.
The first order of business was to get a conditional-use permit to allow the treehouse on their property southeast of Whitefish. The county Board of Adjustment granted approval to develop their seven wooded acres with up to three high-end treehouses open to the public for nightly rental.
Once the treehouse build crew — B’fer Roth and his band of “tree muskateers” — had completed the frame, there was still much to be done. It’s been a collaborative project and a very positive experience, Robison said.
John Colliander of Treeworks Log and Timberframe Construction of West Glacier built the spiral log staircase that winds around a gigantic tree Robison harvested from his grandmother’s yard near Echo Lake. The root of that special tree will be turned into a countertop for the treehouse.
The couple’s fathers — Mike O’Toole of Polson and Ryan Robison of Columbia Falls — have helped out, as have Sean Donovan of Whitefish and Robison’s brother Dave. Bigfork architect John Robinson drew up the final plans for the unique, two-story treehouse.
Finish work will proceed over the summer, with a targeted opening date of Nov. 1.
Four living trees have been incorporated into the treehouse — two on the deck and two in the interior. The dwelling features a master bedroom loft on the upper level with half-bath and sliding glass door to a deck.
The lower level will have a small kitchen, living area and full bath.
It’s a one-of-a-kind dwelling that will rent for $500 a night.
“We’re thinking honeymoons,” special getaways for guests, O’Toole said.
Within the next five years or so the couple hope to build two more custom treehouses on their property.
Offering something out of the norm was always the plan.
“There are so many regular cabins for the rental market,” Robison said. “We wanted something unique.”
For more information about Montana Treehouse Retreat go to www.montanatreehouseretreat.com.
Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or email@example.com.
Link to original article: http://www.dailyinterlake.com/article/20170514/ARTICLE/170519928
NOW THAT’S A TREEHOUSE
May 11, 2017 at 7:04 am | By Chris Peterson Hungry Horse News
A West Glacier man played a part in a treehouse project that will soon be featured on the DIY network show, “The Treehouse Guys.”
Builder John Colliander of Treeworks Log and Timberframe Construction, made the 18-foot wooden spiral staircase for a treehouse the show staffers built with homeowners Darin Robison and Kati O’Toole on their Dillon Road property.
Colliander began work on the staircase about a year ago, which is made of larch treads attached to an 80-plus-year-old Douglas fir Robison salvaged from his grandmother’s woods.
Colliander, 37, is a fourth-generation builder. He grew up in Polson and worked trail crew in Glacier National Park for several years before striking out on his own. Trail crews make do with what’s around them, and Colliander brings that style to his own work.
“In trail crew, we use nature to accomplish our building needs,” he said.
He designed the staircase using a freeware program from Google. The four-foot treads are hewn from his own small sawmill and attached to the Doug fir with 1-inch, 6 1/2-foot bolts.
He used a four-foot long drill bit to make the holes and crafted the mortise and tenon joints with a chainsaw.
The end result is a staircase that looks like something out of Lord of the Rings.
Colliander also milled the siding for the treehouse as well. It will be featured on the DIY network on May 15th at 9pm PST. and then as a re-run after that.
O’Toole said eventually the couple would like to have three treehouses on their property as vacation rentals.
“The treehouse has all the amenities of a luxury rental up the trees in your own private area,” O’Toole said.
The couple is still completing some of the interior and finish work and is in the process of getting the necessary county approvals for a water supply system for the structure. They hope to open by this fall, she said.
The house is supported by several Ponderosa pine trees as well as other timber beam supports.
Colliander, meanwhile, is onto his next project. He said he plans on spending the summer living in a tepee with his wife, Michele, and their sons Mason, 9, and Miles, 7, while he works on a home up the North Fork on a plot of land they recently purchased.
View more about the treehouse at: http://www.montanatreehouseretreat.com
It's not everyday that we invite a film crew and reality show to our property here in Columbia Falls, MT. When we had the opportunity pop up to be a part of the Treehouse Guys from the DIY Network we jumped at it!
We had been dreaming of building a treehouse ourselves for years, but time always seemed to get in the way. Having the Treehouse Guys team fly in and build the treehouse of our dreams has been a surreal experience to say the least. We still can't believe we are treehouse owners.
Here are some pics of the filming adventure from last spring and some behind the scenes snaps. Looking forward to having you stay in the trees with us come next FALL!
Our episode of The Treehouse Guys airs May 16th, 4pm on the DIY Network. Check it out!
I have opened reservations for Fall 2017 starting Nov. 1st. We have a 3 night minimum stay and discounts for weekly rentals.
We finally got an official airdate for our episode of The Treehouse Guys featuring our build of the Montana Treehouse Retreat! Tune in May 16th at 4pm!
Season 3, Episode 2, The Treehouse Guys, DIY Network
The only thing better than living in a forest is living on top of the forest, and Columbia Falls, Montana, family Darin, Kati and their son are doing exactly that with the help of The Treehouse Guys. Nestled high in the ponderosa pines of their heavily forested property, B'fer and his team are building an impressive two-story home in the treetops. This creative family is also getting in on the build action by focusing on a large spiral staircase made from a giant tree trunk Darin use to climb in as a kid.
Holy Snowpocalypse! The snow has hit us pretty hard at the Montana Treehouse Retreat, but we're not complaining. I took an evening stroll last night after a days work on the computer to get some fresh air. This venture even called for my REAL camera as this winter's scene was almost too good to be true.
Of the 4 + years I've lived here, I have never seen this much snow on our property. I felt like I was in a dream. Moonlight, piles of fresh white snow leading to the TREEHOUSE and sweet serenity. I can't explain. Needless to say, I had a huge smile on my face.
Thought I'd share some pics of my walk in hopes that I could transport you to snowtopia for just a moment. Hope your winter is treating you well.
Winter is in full force at the Montana Treehouse Retreat! We are loving the fresh piles of snow and all that beauty comes with it. The treehouse looks it's best dressed in white.
Just yesterday, we had our second snowboard lesson with our 3 year old Rowan on the property. I have also been doing some xc skiing on our groomed trail to catch a little bit of vitamin D here and there to beat my cabin fever. Needless to say, there will be many winter activities to enjoy on site for our guests in their own private woods, as well as surrounding areas...Whitefish Mountain Resort anyone?
I've been asked several times when the treehouse will officially be available for rent. I wish I had a definitive answer! At this point, we are looking more towards end of summer or next fall.
In the meantime, I thought I'd show you some updated pictures of the progress of the project. We have the spray foam insulation complete thanks to Taylor Insulation, stage one plumbing finished thanks to Mildren Pluming and electric wired and ready to hook up thanks to Ambient Electric.
Darin has also custom created and welded some additional beefy steel supports for under the treehouse to make sure that it is 100% safe, solid and sturdy.
Click Through updated construction pics below:
We have plumbed not one, but TWO bathrooms for our guests to enjoy as well as a full kitchen space which will even include a dishwasher! The treehouse will have all of the luxury amenities that you enjoy in the comforts of your own home...UP IN THE TREES.
Darin is currently busy planing, sanding and staining boards to complete the interior finishing wall touches. Ceilings are done. We are chipping away as fast as we can! Stay tuned for more updates as we progress.
Would you like to take a walk with me on site?
Click the video below:
Looking forward to seeing you in the trees sooner than later and HAPPY NEW YEAR friends!
We love collaborating with local businesses and so when we had the opportunity to team up with our good friend and photographer, Lindsey Jane, we were all for it!
The Montana Treehouse Retreat was the beautiful setting for these family photos captured by Lindsey Jane. Such a great feature of our property and the happy campers that visit. The laughs are contagious when you are exploring the woods and there is a treehouse on site!
To check out more images from the shoot: