This startup will sit atop trees. It will mix camping, childhood frivolity and a touch of glamour.
It also aims to be the world's first "living-building" treehouse, certified through the International Living Building Future Institute.
The Treehouse Project, a cluster of tiny wooden structures at least a dozen feet off the ground, will sit amid a forest at the foot of Lookout Mountain, below Rock City. Founders Andrew Alms and Enoch Elwell started on construction early this year and have been getting help from folks who visit the property to cut, lug and banter. They have come from local areas and farther reaches like Asheville, Boulder and Memphis.
"The idea is come work as much as you want, be a part of the story," says Elwell. "We'll provide the food."
And a place to stay: Some have slept at his house. Alms and Elwell also have taught helpers how to build, but there were things to be done that didn't require advanced building skills.
The duo, who raised $33,000 for the project through Kickstarter, aim to have the first treehouse completed in March. It's expected to have a shower, toilet, small refrigerator and microwave oven, within a couple hundred square feet. Internet service and some temperature control too. All the extras would raise a stay here to the level of "glamping," or glamorous camping. The Treehouse Project doesn't need zoning approvals to get built.
Elwell purchased the planned site, two acres in Flintstone, Ga. The company leases it from him. Four units could fit there now. Eventually, the company would like to acquire another five acres, increasing to at least eight units within three years. Units could sleep up to four and would rent for $275 on weeknights, $325 on weekends.
Alms and Elwell have a thing for treehouses. They also both have carpentry backgrounds. Elwell guides aspiring entrepreneurs through Co.Starters at Co.Lab, and Alms is a former construction administrator. Elwell and his wife spent a recent wedding anniversary in a treehouse in a private yard in Georgia. That's when the idea for the company took hold.
The Treehouse Project is at 576 Chattanooga Valley Road, Flintstone, Ga. For more information check facebook.com/sleepinatree.