We Built a Tree House
If you had the opportunity to make a huge difference in a child’s life, would you take it?
This is the question our team at Superior Construction asked ourselves when we heard the story of Andrew, a 7-year-old boy fighting leukemia.
Andrew was dealing with his diagnosis in the midst of the pandemic, adding another level of complexity to an already heart-wrenching situation. Even the Make a Wish foundation — responsible for granting the wishes of more than 145,000 children with serious illnesses — had limited options for how they could give this young boy and his family a memorable experience during this incredibly hard time.
But Andrew decided he didn’t need a fancy trip to Disney World for his wish. No, all he needed was the perfect treehouse fit for a brave adventurer such as himself.
So, Make a Wish put out the call to action — could anyone build Andrew’s treehouse?
This is where our story begins.
How Superior Construction Got Involved with Make a Wish
It’s not every day that you come across an ad from Make a Wish asking for help, much less an ad searching for someone to build an imaginative fantasy-inspired treehouse.
When we came across the Make a Wish ad, it was a no-brainer that this project was the perfect opportunity to take on. Our immediate thought was not why should we do this, but rather, why wouldn’t we?
After all, we are an award-winning construction company with a core belief in supporting our community and neighbors. As members of the Pro Mid Atlantic Remodeling Association, we also commit ourselves to honoring the importance of community service.
Of course, this would be a pro bono project, as we would be volunteering our time, labor, and supplies for the construction of Andrew’s treehouse — but where exactly would these supplies come from?
Getting Started: Tools, Materials, and Supplies — Oh My!
In the planning stage of this treehouse project, we knew we would need partners willing to supply materials and other resources. And with the pandemic still affecting the construction industry, there would certainly be countless hurdles to plan around as well.
In times of great challenges, such as the pandemic, it is up to us to uphold and uplift our communities — and this was the message we wanted to get across to the companies we reached out to.
Our team at Superior Construction knew the toll the pandemic had taken on us all and the unusual working hours, schedules, and everything in between that made business more stressful than ever. Despite this, we chose to set aside our time and provide our resources for this project, and this is exactly what we would have to ask of others as well.
As a result of our efforts, we teamed up with Barrons Lumber and Sherwin Williams to ensure all the necessary materials were provided for the project. Along with these major companies, several community members and businesspeople also chipped in, providing key tools, materials, and services that made this project a reality.
Barrons Lumber showed true business prowess at this time, managing to source and provide us with high-quality cedar shake siding that was in incredibly short supply at the time of this project.
Tree House Inspiration: The Imaginative Mind of Andrew
What is a treehouse with an incredibly creative design?
Our friend Andrew didn’t want your run-of-the-mill treehouse — no, Andrew had much bigger and better ideas in mind. He wanted sweeping angles, wonky windows, and sides that reminded him of the scales of a dragon. Most importantly, he wanted a secret entrance that only the most worthy adventurers could enter.
In partnership with Michael Beidler at Trout Design Studio, we created the master plan for Andrew’s ultimate adventurer treehouse. The structure would incorporate quirky and abstract shapes to give it an otherworldly feel, while featuring cedar siding that resembled dragon scales on the exterior. The deck of the treehouse would mimic the organic flow and shapes of nature.
Drawing inspiration from Indiana Jones Last Crusade, we would include a magic glass floor featuring a hidden entrance that only those with the code could access.
Last but not least, we would add a zip line, climbing wall, slide, and skylight to make this treehouse a true adventurer’s den worthy of a brave young man like Andrew.
Giving Andrew His Wish
After overcoming many challenges and roughly a year’s worth of careful planning and construction, Andrew’s treehouse was complete.
But the best part wasn’t the final product, or the joy on Andrew and his family’s faces when they saw it — no, the best part was knowing Andrew had gone into remission and would be able to enjoy this treehouse for many years to come.
Our team at Superior Construction does not plan to stop there either. We already have a second treehouse project in the works and hope to continue participating in community service projects that help us give back to children in need.
We would be remiss to not conclude this newsletter with a special thanks to all of our community members who helped support and accomplish this project.
Superior Construction would like to extend our utmost gratitude to:
- Michael Beidler Trout (Trout Design Studio) for providing the treehouse design
- Kathleen Soloway (Design for Change) for providing interior elements and design
- Ann Clodfelter and Brandon Morris (Barron’s Lumber) for donating 100% of the building materials, including Cedar Shake Siding
- Chad Hackman (Alair Homes & NARI member) for donating the Treehouse Hardware Kits
- Don Gibbons (Gibbons Design Build Inc. & NARI member) for assisting with the exterior trim
- Tracy Dhyani (ABW Appliances) for donating materials
- Drilon Loxha (Sherwin Williams Paint) for donating all paints and sundries
And of course, many thanks to Make a Wish for giving us the opportunity to meet Andrew and make his wish come true.
If you would like to contribute to our next community project — or if you have your own renovation or construction project you want to discuss — get in touch with us today to learn more.