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Southwest Harbor man builds treehouses to add useful space to his property

Bowen Swersey built unique treehouses with railings made out of branches and one was even constructed entirely out of salvaged materials.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine — Whether you need extra space to house guests or you need more room to create an office, you may have never thought of Bowen Swersey's creative way to build additional space while getting a front-seat view of Maine's natural beauty.

The Southwest Harbor resident has built unique treehouses on his property with railings made out of branches and one was even built entirely out of salvaged materials.

"Treehouses have always been part of my life, ever since I was a kid," Swersey said.

Those memories inspired him to build one entirely out of salvaged materials in 2004 and recently build a new treehouse to use as office space or as a guest house.

"I spent a lot of time in that treehouse. I wanted to have another one I could work in, in the winter," he said. "There's a real romantic aspect to not just building the treehouse but being up here and living in it."

Swersey spent last winter working inside his second treehouse, writing novels and recording audiobooks. Unlike his first, the newer treehouse is winterized and has insulation, insulated glass windows, and a heater.

"I just feel like I'm part of the natural world up here," he said.

In the past, Swersey has built two other treehouses using salvaged materials for clients to serve as sleeping spaces for family members or visitors.

He said he got his hands on siding or shingles out of bins at job sites or even searched the local dump to find any usable construction materials.

"There's this lovely romanticism about being in the room and sort of feeling surrounded by nature and the trees," Swersey said.

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