Sunday, February 5, 2012

I LOVE treehouses!

There something you probably don't know about me. I LOVE treehouses! And I dream of one day having a low maintainance, environmentally friendly cottage.  

 This is a part of me that hasn't been reflected on my blog so far. Really all I've wrote about is sewing, food, and baby stuff. There is a lot more to me than that! I feel it is high time that I share more of this part of me. After all, I can't be the only person out there that has this dream can I?  

I've loved treehouses since I was little when Philip, Ashleigh and I built a really cool one all by ourselves. My room was the biggest and the floor was a discarded door. How could any 9 year old not think it was the coolest thing in the world?

Well, I'll be thirty this year, and I'm not afraid to admit that I want another treehouse. The one we built as kids is long gone and it is high time there were another in my life.  

The one I want to build is going to be a more adult version with things like a level floor and actual walls around the outside. I'm planning on doing a spiral staircase around the tree trunk and have a pulley system for carrying things up (like groceries and luggage). It will be in the neighbourhood of 550 square feet. We may put two small lofts in it for sleeping spaces. It will house a small kitchenette, a banquette, and some comfortable seating, and maybe a small wood-stove. On the outside I want to have a small screened in porch (4 1/2' x 10') with a few chairs hanging from the roof of the porch like swings.  

I have the tree picked out. Well, almost. . .
I'm having trouble deciding.  

Do I pick the lovely oak tree that is very conveniently located at the end of the driveway that is in a more sheltered area (it doesn't get a breeze in the summer and comes with a very populous mosquito population)? Or, do I go with the tree that you have to cross the river by boat to get to? The second tree is a lovely maple tree beside a very calming creek and has a lovely light breeze in the summer. 

I have to wait a couple of years before the necessary amount of money will be saved, so it isn't a decision I have to make today. But I really feel I need to settle on one or the other to get an action plan in place.  

Decisions, decisions! 

Regardless of how much I want to treehouse, I have to start with something a lot less glamourous. The dreaded outdoor bathroom.  

As I write this there is a broken chemical toilette sitting in a falling down structure the same size as an outhouse. Our current solution is to bush pee and for other business drive to the nearest town (10 minutes out). Clearly not an ideal solution, or a viable longterm one. Especially with a little one that we will need to start potty training at the end of summer! 

Eventually we want to be comfortably able to use the property on weekends during all four seasons. It's on a river, so it would be really cool to go skating there in the winter (as long as the ice is thick enough) and then make s'mores! That means having a winterized bathroom is ideal for us. 

The property is off the grid.  So just plugging in a small space heater isn't an option. I'm actually looking at using passive solar to heat it 90% of the time. It has to be built from scratch, so if we can adjust a few small things when constructing it and not have much in terms ongoing heating and cooling costs, why not? Especially when it only means increasing the cost of construction in the neighbourhood of 10%. That's a heck of a lot cheaper than ongoing fuel costs, especially with the way the cost of fuel just keeps increasing.

I just need to really focus and pick the right composting toilette. So don't be surprised if you hear more about them.

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