The story of Raven Loft started with the idea of living simply and sustainably. Geoff de Ruiter, owner of Raven Loft, bought a half-acre forested plot of land on Pender Island, BC, for $35,000 and built the treehouse for $8,200. Created as a summer and vacation retreat, and a possible full-time residence, the treehouse has a composting toilet, gravity-fed tap from the second-floor water reservoir, a mini-fridge, induction stove, and a brilliant set of stairs that doubles as the main shelving unit. The second floor also has a double bed, along with a secondary loft for guests to sleep or storage.
Being cantilevered off of a side of a western red cedar allowed the treehouse to maximize the livable square footage yet stay below the permitted size restrictions of the local government. Material was reclaimed or purchased secondhand whenever possible, including a free 8-by-6-foot window, cedar shingle siding, leftover engineered hardwood floor, and the countertop that was milled across the street from a felled fir tree. At 8 feet wide by 13 feet long, and 104 square feet on the main floor, the Raven Loft is a livable tree-dwellers dream.
De Ruiter, a PhD candidate at the University of Northern British Columbia, firmly believes that tiny homes such as these are ideal, affordable solutions to high-priced urban living in cities. Since so many people work at a distance now (including de Ruiter himself, who works in bio energy and carbon management), folks can easily build tiny houses on low-cost land in more rural areas for a fraction of the price they’d pay to live in cities like Vancouver or Toronto.
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