There is nothing like a lake house. Whether it’s in Illinois, Wisconsin or another state, people love to live by the water. For some the water calms the soul, for others, it energizes. Each lake is unique and each property has its own distinct qualities. When it comes to designing your lakeside dream home or renovating an existing house, the choices are individual. What does your dream house look like?
You might already have a site with a boathouse. Has your home been in your family for generations, changing based on the needs of whoever was living there at that time? Perhaps you are like me, remembering my grandmother sitting on her porch swing, sipping ice tea, gazing at the lake and watching the waves.
You might be thinking about renovating, but before you knock down walls you probably should find out if what you plan to do is possible. As professional architects, we want to ensure that you have information upfront so you aren’t up the creek without a paddle.
Here are 4 things to consider when designing your lakeside dream home in Illinois and Wisconsin, or elsewhere.
Choosing your lakeside location
Each family has its own ways to enjoy the lake. Does your family like motorsports with tubing and waterskiing? Or do they prefer fishing? Will you want a place to swim and somewhere to sit on a sandy beach? When you are choosing your lakeside site and building your dream home, these are some of the questions you want to consider.
The shape of the lake makes all the difference and each waterway is special. There are water restrictions and speed limits. You don’t want to find yourself on a canoe with your little children as a motorboat speeds by, creating waves and splashing everyone.
Moving the boathouse
If you plan to expand your lakeside home, you might find out that the boathouse is blocking your view of the water. Are you thinking that you can just take it down and build a new boathouse on the other side of the property?
Don’t get a sledgehammer without checking the state codes. Illinois and Wisconsin have different laws regarding boathouses. In fact, some places might not let you build a boathouse at all.
There are creative ways that you can use your existing boathouse. Perhaps you want to build a roof deck — perfect for hanging out with family and friends, drinking beer, eating pizza and making memories. Professional architects can help you find possible solutions and guide you to making decisions regarding the location of your lakeside dream home as well as your boathouse.
Reflecting on your lakeside memories
Maybe you want to design your lakeside home to recreate the memories you had as a child. You hope to continue the family stories of life by the water with your children. You might remember Grandpa’s warnings, “Don’t get too close to the rocks” — possible hiding spaces for water moccasins. The love you felt knowing that he was protecting you is something that you want to pass on to your children.
You remember docking the boat by the pier carefully avoiding the sharp rocks. How proud you felt with your father watching, smiling knowing he had taught you all about boating. You liked to feed the fish and watch them come out from their hiding spots in the reeds.
You’ve captured these memories and are now ready to create new ones with your children. The design of your lakeside home can reflect your family story.
Adding a basement
You might want extra storage for your lakeside property, a place to store canoes, fishing gear and extra lawn furniture. A basement may sound like a great idea, but you need to keep in mind the water level. How close are you to the lake? The water level fluctuates and if you build too close to the waterline, you could end up with a flooded basement.
It’s up to you to decide if you would rather have your home further away from the lake or closer to the waterline and forgo the basement.
Designing your lakeside dream home
Whether you are a land-lover that just wants to sit and appreciate the water’s stillness or someone who can’t wait to get out in a boat and explore, a lakeside home provides opportunities for enjoyment. Choose a lakeside location where your home can be designed based on your family’s ideas for fun.
Remember your childhood memories and pass them on to future generations. Consider the restrictions that different states have if you plan to move an existing boathouse. And make sure to check the water levels before you add a basement.
Having professional architects who understand all about building by the water, can provide you with options and guide you to make decisions that match your family’s lifestyle. The lakeside home you design today will be part of your family’s story for generations to come.
If you are ready to create memories and design your lakeside dream home in Illinois or Wisconsin, contact us at https://1212architects.com/contact.