Pete Nelson tree house builder

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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 12-04-2015 03:58 PM 1666 views 0 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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115614 posts in 3152 days

12-04-2015 03:58 PM

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As a licenced contractor in Oregon every now and then I get notices about unlicensed contractors getting fined.
This notice goes to show that even builders on TV shows don’t play by the rules.


The Construction Contractors Board (CCB) recently fined a Washington-based business $5,000 for working without a license while building a single-family tree house in a Sitka spruce in Neskowin.

“These tree houses are intended as residences and require a contractor’s license, as do most all home building or home improvement projects,” CCB Enforcement Manager Stan Jessup said.

The business, Nelson’s Treehouse and Supply, is based in Fall City, Wash., and is run by Pete Nelson, host of the Animal Planet television series Treehouse Masters.

Not only was the business operating illegally, but Nelson featured the Neskowin project on his television show. A news story about the upcoming broadcast caught the attention of a CCB investigator who was already familiar with Nelson’s Treehouse.

That’s because the business was fined $1,000 in 2014 for working without a license when constructing a tree house in Central Point, Oregon.

The Neskowin tree house on the Oregon Coast was built this past summer, 46 feet off the ground. As a repeat offender, the second violation resulted in the $5,000 fine.

Nelson’s Treehouse travels the country building elaborate treehouses with electricity and plumbing.

“Contractors need to know how to operate legally in whatever state they are doing business in,” Jessup said. “Licensing in Oregon carries important protections for the consumer. It means the contractor is bonded and insured, and the CCB can help mediate any disputes between the homeowner and contractor.”

Any subcontractors who might work for this business or any other unlicensed contractor can be fined for knowingly assisting an unlicensed contractor.

Nelson’s Treehouse and Supply has yet to obtain a CCB licence.

-- Custom furniture

45 replies so far

View builtinbkyn's profile


856 posts in 515 days

#1 posted 12-04-2015 04:03 PM

I always wondered about the permits, fees and licenses and if any existed for the projects on those shows. This Old House did an episode near me, I wonder if they complied? The owner will find out once they try to sell and the work was done without approvals from the NYC DoB :O

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn :)

View bearkatwood's profile


1312 posts in 586 days

#2 posted 12-04-2015 04:04 PM

I think they are out of Washington and have their license up there, but do a lot of work down here. The house was build using architects plans and it was engineered right, they are just lazy about getting a licence for Oregon. So I don’t think the house is in danger of falling down, but as a contractor you should represent yourself as a professional and be licensed in the state in which you are doing the work. Thanks for the post Jim, hope all is going well over there. Have a good weekend.

-- Brian Noel

View a1Jim's profile


115614 posts in 3152 days

#3 posted 12-04-2015 04:10 PM

I always wondered about that myself Bill

In Washington you basically get a bond and sign up to pay taxes and you can be a contractor.
All is well here Brian thanks for asking and I hope all is well in Bandon too.

-- Custom furniture

View DocSavage45's profile


7962 posts in 2417 days

#4 posted 12-04-2015 07:40 PM

Interesting! Gave up my license when I was making less than it was costing in insurance. Also driving 44 miles to do an estimate and not getting the project.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View JoeinGa's profile


7652 posts in 1582 days

#5 posted 12-04-2015 08:40 PM

SO I’m guessing the license would have cost LESS than the 6 grand the fines cost?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View a1Jim's profile


115614 posts in 3152 days

#6 posted 12-04-2015 08:44 PM

Joe it’s probably around $1000-$1200 with bond,insurance,and class requirements.

-- Custom furniture

View jmartel's profile


6905 posts in 1725 days

#7 posted 12-04-2015 08:45 PM

They are doing it on TV. I’m sure they are making way more than $5k per episode, so they likely won’t get a license until it starts costing them real money.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Tennessee's profile


2481 posts in 2089 days

#8 posted 12-04-2015 08:45 PM

All I can say is this…the deeper you go into the South, the looser it gets.
You should see some of the stuff people put up down here. Make you shiver.

When I lived in PA, want to put up a deck? Need a permit, plans, approvals, on and on.
Here in SE Tennessee, you need tools and wood.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View AlaskaGuy's profile


2469 posts in 1884 days

#9 posted 12-04-2015 08:49 PM

America…. the land of the free…..NOT.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View grizzman's profile


7835 posts in 2878 days

#10 posted 12-04-2015 09:28 PM

well i can understand the needs of all of those things for a contractor, but i dont like being regulated when i want to do something myself…and i did, i built my whole house with no permits, and luckily i knew what i was doing, and over built…but i know its a different day and time then when this country was established, but as an american i dont believe in overdoing it, but if your a contractor, then i do believe in license and bonding and insurance, its a must…thanks jim for posting this… i hope your well…PS. i an an alaskan , lived there for 15 years, and i know what it feels like to be able to do what you want on your own land… so ALASKAGUY i know what you mean….i love and miss my home, both of my sons live there….one in anchorage and one in chugiak….i lived in eagle river….I LOVE ALASKA.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View a1Jim's profile


115614 posts in 3152 days

#11 posted 12-04-2015 10:16 PM

If I were building for myself I understand how you guys feel but even though there’s government over seeing what’s being done and we don’t like it,there are benefits that help protect customers. As this post proves there are those who don’t do good work or cheat customers so with the building departments and the builders Board the customers have a route to take rather than trying to find the so-called contractor that disappeared into the sunset or that claims their work is done the right way, but their work is far from done right .

-- Custom furniture

View teejk02's profile


440 posts in 700 days

#12 posted 12-04-2015 10:50 PM

Were there any complaints filed by the owners of said tree-houses? Seems to me that a tree house would come with an automatic consent of “best efforts/no guarantees” (not so sure about Oregon but around here trees tend to move a lot in the wind). Sounds like a money grab to me.

View a1Jim's profile


115614 posts in 3152 days

#13 posted 12-04-2015 11:00 PM

No complaint is necessary in Oregon even if the owner loves the work a non-licenced person can be fined.

-- Custom furniture

View MrUnix's profile


4896 posts in 1774 days

#14 posted 12-04-2015 11:07 PM

All I can say is this…the deeper you go into the South, the looser it gets.

I don’t know… down in Miami, you need to pull a permit and get the holes inspected when putting up fence posts! When I did a brief stint up in Iowa, I asked about getting a permit to build an out-building and was told, more or less “Permit? Heck, it’s your land, do whatever you want on it!”.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View AlaskaGuy's profile


2469 posts in 1884 days

#15 posted 12-05-2015 12:42 AM

No complaint is necessary in Oregon even if the owner loves the work a non-licenced person can be fined.

- a1Jim

That’s not surprising in Oregon .

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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