Is there a kid out there who hasn’t dreamed of having their very own treehouse? A place high up in the leaves and branches to escape the grownup world below.
For adults who harboured that dream, some ouside-the-vacation-box thinking innkeepers in Sooke are letting grownups spend time reliving those childhood memories, albeit in a far more upscale manner.
Meet Jake and Amanda Petronis, who’ve built an impressive bed and breakfast treehouse on Brule Drive.
“It’s definitely a tiny home, but there’s everything you would need in it,” said Jake, who took a year to build the structure.
“The people who stay with us want to experience nature, and when they can explore time in the tree canopy it’s unique.”
Forget about odd-sized pieces of scrapwood, broken windows and rayed rope ladders. The couple’s treehouse features clean lines, and it takes nearly 50 steps to reach the forest canopy.
It’s also built with a large amount of old-growth fir reclaimed from Oak Bay High and other recycled sources, giving it a rustic feel.
The couple are proud too that along with Jake work’s other local trades were brought in to help with the project, including Clarkston Construction, Alamo Finishing and Foggy Mountain Forge.
The treehouse is nearly nine metres off the ground. It’s attached to three large cedars and a maple, and supported by two large skinned cedar logs.
The magic, though, lies a tree attachment bolt, or TAB, said Jake.
TABs are made of hardened steel, and act as artificial tree limbs on which the main structural support members of the treehouse rest. A limb TAB can support up to 10,000 pounds of force.
The treehouse has 200 square feet of living space, a 100-square-foot loft, and a 180-square-foot deck. It also has a full functioning bathroom (most rental treehouses don’t) with hot and cold running water.
The couple came up with the idea for their treehouse by watching years of the Treehouse Masters television show, and decided one day they wanted to branch out and do something different.
What they created was something far off – and above – the beaten path for vacation goers.
“This made sense to me because we love treehouses, and it worked well for our particular geography,” Jake said.
As far as the Petronis know, this is the only plumbed treehouse on the Island.
The couple began construction of the treehouse in September 2017 and finished it last August. Since opening, Amanda said they have been booked consistently.
“The people who stay with us appreciate nature. They want a trip they can remember,” Amanda said.