Why adults are building themselves $60K tree houses

“I’ve had eight to 10 people up there—we have glasses of wine, we play music.”

(Credit from left: Mean Girls, Derek Harper)
(Credit from left: Mean Girls, Derek Harper)

The definition of tree-hugger may need to expand to include people like Craig McDean.

McDean is part of a growing number of people building tree houses for themselves, though in his case the $60,000 tree house on his East Hampton property started out as a project for his kids: “Having two sons was a good excuse to do it,” he told the Wall Street Journal, but the result is more for McDean than the boys.

“I’ve had eight to 10 people up there—we have glasses of wine, we play music,” he said to the Journal.

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People from California to New York are getting in on the craze; building alternative high-rise retreats usually on a remote part of a wooded property. Some, like McDean’s, are used for entertaining, while others have sleeping nooks and multiple stories. The biggest danger, aside from getting up and down and maybe the occasional falling debris — “it actually hurts a little bit when you get hit in the face with an acorn” one tree house builder told the Journal–are nosy neighbors.

“Grumpy neighbors equal tree-house kryptonite,” California-based tree house builder Dustin Feider told the Journal. [WSJ]Erin Hudson