REDDING--Their job is only limited by how big of an imagination they have.
James and Ryan McCarthy are the Tree House Brothers--a pair of fourth-generation woodworkers from Clinton who went from being framers and custom cabinet specialists to finding their roots in trees. The carpenters have been building decks and additions since 1999, and now live in Branford and Higganum.
The brothers design custom, elaborate tree houses, built 8 to 20 feet off the ground and customized with spiral staircases, bridges, trapdoors and other unique designs.
"We're just two guys trying to have fun at work."
The McCarthy's have four types of structures:
- The Tree Fort, which is about 10 feet off the ground and is more of a gazebo the tree house, with no solid walls
- The Tree House, which resembles a more typical tree house with walls, a roof and windows.
- The Kid's Playscape, which is for families who don't necessarily have the right tree to build a house in, but want a unique play structure for their kids.
- The Luxury Tree House, which are more like homes, with electrical service, a sing and other amenities like outdoor lighting or even plumbing.
One recent Tree House that the brothers built in Redding was 100 square feet, and sat in the backyard of a 4,000-square-foot home.
"I love to pull a cue from the house if we can, and the existing house does have the cedar shakes and does have the white azeks."
The $21,000 tree house--yes, you read that right--was finished in less than three weeks. It was trimmed, insulated and weatherproofed, and a pair of subcontractors even wired it for electricity!
The best part, they say, is the excitement that the kids get. "You're boss could be an 8-year-old."
And no kid has ever been disappointed.
One kid, they said, was "sitting there, hands on his knees, just bobbing, looking around, like, 'can I go yet, can I go yet, please?'"