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Chapter 7: $10,000 in Free Materials


Even with my new team-mate and life partner in the wings, the finishing of the treehouse remained daunting, due to financial constraints. Then, one evening I made a key discovery. It was early February and Heidi was traveling in Brazil. I needed a new couch for our suite so I checked out the free section in Craigslist. Nothing came up in my area, so I looked under Vancouver – a 45 minute drive from where I was. To my astonishment, there were valuable items popping up every few minutes. Within five minutes, I discovered a lovely solid-core wooden door. Then, up came 200 square feet luxurious hardwood – enough to cover the HemLoft floor … and free! This was incredible … I could finish my entire treehouse off the finest junk Vancouver had to offer!


A new obsession was born. Every evening, for the next two months, I trolled craigslist, compulsively refreshing every few seconds. It was a game of speed. Most of the good items would get claimed within moments of coming online. Fortunately, I was more motivated than my competitors.


By the time Heidi got back from Brazil, every unclaimed nook of our suite was tightly packed with building supplies. Our bed was enveloped in piles of wood, there was hardwood flooring under our couch, there were glass sheets leaning against the walls, and there was a towering pile of lumber outside our patio door.


My landlord, Mark, couldn’t help but notice what was going on. Looking genuinely concerned, but also slightly amused, he told me he had suffered from the same ‘illness’ many years ago, as he salvaged materials for his first home. Mark was sympathetic to my plight, but warned me about the dangers of heading too far down that path. At that point, I was wondering myself whether I was on to something brilliant, or caught in a bad dream. Either way, it was time to stop collecting materials and start drafting designs for the next season.


Chapter 8: The Final Push


  • Joe my first single love-struck dwelling was also a tree house. I built it at Morphey Lake in Mackenzie while working as a young carpenter buiding the (then) boom town. We had a bear problem so I ran pointed branches around the perimeter to deter the beasts from ransacking me while unoccupied. Unfortunately, I received the brunt of this device on more than one occassion after late nights around the campfire.


  • We suffer from the same disease… Ours, however is on the ground. Check out our build diary at

    You have become an incredible carpenter!

  • keller daniel says:


  • Eldridge Mcelhattan says:

    Buying cheap and affordable materials for your construction should be one among the top priorities of a person who is planning to have a construction. Being extra careful in finding cheap building supplies is one way to save money. When you are careful, you will surely get the right materials and this will not make you feel sorry for what you have done. When we talk about cheap building materials, reading this article can be a helpful tool for you. Here, you will learn the best information about this particular subject. ”

    Please do read our new web site

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