Treehouse Designers Guide: Peacemaker Treehouses

John Carberry works closely with each of his clients to build the treehouse of their dreams.
Treehouse Designs

Walk the Plank!

This 100-square-foot pirate ship has everything from masts and rigging to gun ports and a retractable rope ladder to keep the pirates in and the enemies out. 

Photo by: Image courtesy of John Carberry

Image courtesy of John Carberry

This 100-square-foot pirate ship has everything from masts and rigging to gun ports and a retractable rope ladder to keep the pirates in and the enemies out. 

Owner John Carberry went to a bookstore in search of books about children's playhouse and playground design when he came across Treehouses: The Art and Craft of Living Out on a Limb by Pete Nelson. "I was instantly in love," Carberry says. "Not only was I stunned by what was possible, but inspired by the idea that it's possible to do this for a living. I bought the book—and every other book on treehouses I could find—and started planning my business that night." Carberry offers complete design and construction services, as well as email, telephone and on-site consultation.

Based in:

Ithaca, New York

In the business since:

Professionally since 2007


$15,000 to $35,000

Most requested design:

"I work with a living tree as a foundation, and [clients with] several heads full of visions for how they want it to look and feel," Carberry says. "My job is to find the spaces the tree wants to give, and then translate those dreams into that reality. With different sites, different trees and different people exploring their dreams, there's really no excuse not to be fresh every time."

Wow factor:

Carberry is very nuanced and romantic about the special features in his treehouses."I've custom designed a sit-out to fit the writers who were to occupy the treehouse, complete with small side windows just above shoulder height to let light shine over the reader's shoulder," he says.

Project locations:

New York's Southern Tier, Finger Lakes and Adirondack regions

Contact info:


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