What do you do after a long New Year’s Eve of too many glasses of wine? You build your soon-to-be wife a tree house, of course! At least that’s what Dave Herrle of Herrle Custom Carpentry did. The gorgeous home is located on the couple’s property in the woods of Westbrook, Connecticut. There is another house on the property, but at the time of the conception of this tree house, Dave and his brother lived in the main house and had the other rooms rented out to friends. Not too conducive to newlywed bliss, right? Dave promised his fiancée a home of her own that night and six weeks later, the tree house was complete. Pretty amazing!
So how did they do it for only $4,000? First, Dave is a very talented carpenter so the couple was able to do the majority of the work themselves. Second, many of the materials were recycled and the lumber was all sourced and milled locally. The windows and doors all came from salvage yards, drastically reducing the costs of the build.
The cabin is 11 x 14 feet with a sleeping loft, for a total of 248 square feet. It doesn’t have running water, but has a gravity-fed system to feed hauled in water to the kitchen sink. It has a composting toilet, electricity run from the main house, and a kerosene heater to keep it warm on the coldest nights. I love the beautiful, rustic interior and that the front deck wraps around two of the trees in front of the cabin.
Dave says two of the best features of this home are beautiful views and peaceful sleep. I can imagine! Building this cabin is part of what fueled Dave to take the leap into starting his own carpentry business.
For the longest time I had a hard time not being “normal.” I graduated from a small liberal arts college, got a desk job, and hated every minute of it. In 2007 my life changed dramatically after hiking the entirety of the Appalachian Trail. It was a gut check in life and I’m lucky it happened when I was 27 and not 67. My time in the woods gave me a perspective on the benefits of simplicity. It was in the woods that I promised myself that I wouldn’t spend a lifetime doing a job I didn’t enjoy.
Dave’s wife is also an artist, and he says that their little cabin is the ultimate getaway that fuels their creativity. Be sure to check out their Facebook page and visit their website to see more of Dave’s beautiful carpentry work.