Will Sutherland thinks putting a treehouse on his four-acre property was just a fantasy. He pulled it off, and his Airbnb treehouse is now earning enough for him to quit his job.
Will said that he always had the idea of building a treehouse even before he bought his house, and when he walked around his four-acre land for the first time, he saw two trees over a rock ledge and thought it was a good spot for a treehouse.
It took Will six and a half months to build the treehouse.
“I carried up every piece of wood, every piece of floor, the roof trusses, the floor trusses, and the big quad beam. I also sourced a bunch of cedar logs from a friend who was having a house built. I have a sawmill at my house so that I could mill all the cedar for the siding,” he said.
When Will told his wife, Sabrina, that he was building an Airbnb treehouse, his wife said: “As long as you build another bathroom for guests, I’m all for it.”
Will has been hosting for years through their Airbnb skoolie, a converted school bus, where he let his guests use their bathroom in their house since the skoolie didn’t have a shower or toilet.
Will built a bathhouse with a shower and toilet for all his guests when he built the treehouse.
“Sabrina helped me with some of the details, like the floor finishing and trimming some boards. She was by my side every day when she got home from working as an arboretum specialist at the Virginia State Arboretum,” Will said.
Will’s Airbnb treehouse is small, but he added a lofted bedroom to accommodate more guests.
The lofted bedroom is like a bunk bed which is great for kids, and below that is a queen bed for adults.
The treehouse has a five-gallon water tank for brushing teeth and handwashing. It also has a hotplate, allowing guests to heat the water.
It also has an electric heater and air conditioning unit.
Since the treehouse is on the rock ledge, its front is around 18 feet from the ground, while the back is roughly 14 feet.
The guests can get inside via the staircase in front, and there is an emergency exit at the back with a ladder.
Will said he earned $30,000 from his Airbnb treehouse in its first year.
His treehouse gets thousands of views monthly on Airbnb, and he’s booked for months out, with rental plays for around $160 and $250 per night, depending on the season.
His treehouse and skoolie started to earn enough money from Airbnb, allowing him to quit his job, according to Business Insider.
“I now have a lot more time to help friends and family with projects and to daydream about new things I want to make. I also get to see them come to fruition sooner than I used to with my full-time job,” he said.
Will said that he must change how he goes about his day since he started his Airbnb business, stating that he can’t be outside working on his sawmill or chainsaw when guests want a quiet place in the treehouse.
“Once I see guests leave, I’ll quickly mow the grass.”
He said that they essentially live in a tiny village there, as they are constantly surrounded by their Airbnb treehouse and skoolie guests.
According to Will, seeing guests create good memories at his Airbnb treehouse makes him feel fulfilled.
He also said that his income from his Airbnb allowed him to work from home, giving him more time to spend with his family and friends.
“It’s an honest, good business—good for the guests, good for the hosts, good for the community,” he concluded.