When is a treehouse a real treehouse?
This is the topic our friend and “real” treehouse builder Hans Maassen has been working on. Together with his wife, he runs the beautiful Treehouse Hostel Bockhop. After he had taken all the trouble of building a real tree house and opened the hotel, he had to notice again and again that other providers call themselves “tree house hotel”, although some of them only offer stilt houses, some of which are not even 1 m (3 ft) above the ground.
Hans is right to be annoyed, we think!
Here is a “real treehouse” from the treehouse hostel Bockhop, which is only supported by the tree. This means higher demands on location, more planning effort and a more demanding assembly!
Here is the guest article by Hans Maassen:
Court decision treehouse:
“Legally, the issue has now been clarified in Germany. The Regional Court of Stade has determined in its ruling that a house that is not supported by at least one tree may not be advertised as a treehouse.
The OLG Celle has confirmed the ruling by dismissing the appeal. It is now clear that ‘treehouse hotels’ that only offer stilt houses but advertise with the term treehouse are acting unfairly!”
Treehouse vs. House on Stilts:
“So far so good!
Basically, I have no objections at all to stilt houses. Whenever there are no trees or trees that are too small, a house on stilts is a great alternative. I also know of stilt houses that are absolutely top-notch in terms of both construction and equipment.
However, the distinction between treehouses and stilt houses is very important in a commercial context. As the operator of a treehouse hotel, you are at a considerable competitive disadvantage compared to suppliers of treehouses on stilts!
Try to find a building plot with 120-year-old oak trees. Storm insurance for a treehouse? No way! Lightning conductor, nope! No one dares to calculate the statics! The choice of building contractors who build treehouses is very limited! Costs, service life, maintenance effort, size, …”
Real treehouses are the supreme discipline and a guaranteed crowd puller. For the operators of treehouse hotels, however, a “real treehouse” also means: higher demands on the building site, more complex planning, more risk and higher costs overall.
Hurray for real treehouses!
“Enough whining! We build real treehouses! Not because it’s easy, but because we love it!
Every real treehouse is unique and usually built with a lot of sweat, blood and love. Putting 6,500 kg in two oak trees fills me with pride, but when a stilt house hotel advertises with the slogan: “The light swinging of the construction lulls you to sleep.” All I can say is: call a structural engineer, there’s something wrong with your foundations!
(Text by Hans Maassen – Treehouse Hostel Bockhop, 5. July 2023)
Links to the Hans: