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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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