Imagine creating an extra income stream that ends up being so fruitful you can quit your day job. That’s precisely what happened to Will Sutherland who built a treehouse on his property in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. During his first year of rentals, he earned a whopping $30,000.
From start to finish, the process took about six and a half months. Sutherland says that the first time he walked around the site, he noticed two trees sitting over a rock ledge and felt inspired to build a treehouse there. He built the Cozy West Virginia Treehouse, which is available to rent on Airbnb, by hand.
With a sawmill at his main house Sutherland was able to mill the cedar siding. He also carried each piece of wood up to the treehouse himself. His wife, Sabrina, who works as an arboretum specialist at Virginia State Arboretum, helped create some of the home’s details, like trimming boards to size and finishing the floor.
The treehouse rests 20 feet above the ground on the four-acre property and comes equipped with heat, AC and everything guests might need for a short stay. It has two beds, a small kitchen with a sink, mini fridge, toaster oven, kitchenware and a 12-by 5-foot front porch for sunset viewing. Guests also receive complimentary wood for the fire pit.
The location is a 4-minute drive to the main town and only 15 minutes to Harpers Ferry. The nightly price ranges from $160 to $250, depending on the season.
All guests share a bathhouse, which was built onto the backside of Will and Sabrina’s home, and contains a conventional toilet and shower. There’s also an additional outhouse for guests to use.
In addition to the treehouse, Sutherland also rents a converted a 1-bedroom school bus for guests to sleep in, and he built a bathhouse that both rentals share.
“With the school bus and the treehouse, I started making enough money from Airbnb that I was able to quit my job,” he told Insider. “I now have a lot more time to help friends and family with projects, and 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.”