'Treehouse Masters'
Source: Animal Planet

'Treehouse Masters' Was Fined Multiple Times for Building Without Permission

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Mar. 9 2021, Updated 5:09 p.m. ET

Reality TV shows require a lot of pre-production. In many instances, it's even as much as scripted TV. From coordinating interviews and getting shooting locations to applying for permits, there's a lot of hoops to jump through. And not jumping through said hoops can sometimes halt production entirely on the day of shooting or carry some significant financial implications after the fact. Just look at some of the complaints the team behind Treehouse Masters have had to deal with.

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The 'Treehouse Masters' host, Pete Nelson, had complaints about reality TV before signing onto the program.

The show follows the contracting adventures of Pete Nelson, who builds tree houses for folks who want to live out more grown-up versions of their childhood fantasies.

House Beautiful reported that Nelson was approached by a production company back in 2011 and he was appalled at the idea of making a reality series. People seemed to be enamored with the idea of tiny houses / living at the time and Nelson, who has a degree in economics and loved building the small tree houses, seemed like their perfect host for the gig.

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treehouse masters
Source: Animal Planet

He wasn't really about that TV show life, however.

"I've seen these reality shows, and you all fight, and it's fake, and I hate it," he said. However, he ultimately warmed up to the idea of being on the series if the production company agreed to not foment any fake drama between him and customers just to capture viewers' attention.

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Pete did admit, however, that it would be next to impossible to make a show that's about building tree houses highly dramatic: "We're building forts, for crying out loud. It's hard to fight."

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'Treehouse Masters' has also been the subject of legal complaints in the past.

Pete Nelson builds gorgeous tree houses and he's very, very good at it. However, there have been some instances where the proper licenses and permits weren't acquired prior to building said tree houses.

In 2015, the Oregon Construction Contractors board slapped Pete and his company with a $5,000 fine for a place they constructed in Neskowin, Oregon.

"While working in Oregon, our company purchased supplemental workers' compensation coverage which comprehensively insured the talented team who worked on the project," stated a spokesperson on behalf of Nelson Treehouse and Supply. However, the host's company didn't have a CCB license which is why they were fined.

In 2014, the Oregon CCB issued a $1,000 fine to Nelson's company for a similar offense when the team reportedly built a tree house in Central Point, again, without a license.

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But then, there was the time that a house was built illegally for client Ronald Rae. As per The Seattle Times, the house that Nelson built for Rae doesn't even have an address and the best way to access the property is by boat. Known as the "Levitating Lighthouse," the home was constructed by Nelson on the side of Magnolia Bluff... purportedly without Nelson and his team getting the proper permits to do so. Whoops.

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The city fined Rae $10,000 for commissioning the building of the property and it's still not considered exactly a home, meaning that if someone wants to purchase the property, they'll have to fork over cash to do so. And Rae was trying to sell the home in 2017 for $475,000.

You can catch Treehouse Masters on Animal Planet and you can also stream it on Discovery+.

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