Want to get away from it all? A tiny home that moves with the earth's force—swaying gently in the trees, or floating on the water—is the perfect escape from life's frantic pace, or say the lucky people who live in them.
Ask Pete Nelson, the creative force behind Animal Planet's hit TV show "Treehouse Masters." For the past 25 years, Nelson has been building treehouses for people who need to get away from the world for awhile. He said the demand for treehouses has never been greater.
"It's out of control, how many people want them," he said. "Unquestionably, there's a trend now for grown-up treehouses. People need innocence in their lives. They need a place that will take them away from their busy lives."
Nelson currently has a backlog of 1,700 requests for treehouses, with more coming every day. Stress, he said, is what usually drives his clients to seek an alternative to traditional living spaces.
According to Nelson, there's a wide range of costs with treehouses. "A simple platform in a tree with a deck costs $120-150 a square foot, but fitting kitchens and baths into a small space can throw your budget out. I'd be lucky to hit $120 a square foot [if a kitchen or a bath is installed.]"
"A fully appointed treehouse with kitchen, bathroom, heat and air conditioning costs about $350-500 a square foot," he added. "We're building those around $200,000."
Nelson continued: "Trees are healing. They're a meditative retreat from the stress zone. It takes about 10 minutes of breathing in the rich oxygen of the forest before your cares melt away."
While living in a treehouse may seem far-fetched, psychologists say home design that prioritizes contentment and tranquility is actually quite a sensible idea.The American Psychological Association's 2013 Stress in America survey concluded that stress, especially work-related stress, is a key factor in contributing to long-term health problems. "Money (71 percent), work (69 percent) and the economy (59 percent) continue to be the most commonly reported sources of stress," stated the report.
James "B-fer" Roth, 56, of Warren, Vermont, spent five years of his adult life residing in a treehouse. Now the founder of The Treehouse Guys, (specializing in building treehouses for children with disabilities) Roth calls the experience "the most romantic, greatest escape from the real world."