When we purchased our vacation home we knew the first project we had to tackle was stabilizing the boathouse. The cabin was build in the mid-1950’s and the boathouse was constructed not long after that. The boathouse was definitely a major bonus on our list of desired cabin features and certainly something we weren’t expecting. The state of Wisconsin no longer allows the construction of over-the-water boathouses. Even renovation of the existing structure was tricky. Super clubs and boat houses….you know you are in Wisconsin.
Sometimes you can DIY, but sometimes professional help and skill is required. Our boathouse renovation definitely required expert help to manage the permitting with the city, county, and Department of Natural Resources. It is nearly impossible to tackle or coordinate these efforts when you work full-time and live in a different state. Money well spent, as our contractor did a fantastic job negotiating to get the permits required for the project to commence. We had no idea of how to tackle this structural project and clearly special skills and tools were going to be required to prevent this delicate structure from ending up at the bottom of the lake.
Freeze-thaw cycles had really done a number on the poor old boathouse. It was so off-level and looked so unstable, we were afraid to let anyone walk on the roof deck. The contractor had to basically detach the back wall, which was anchored on-shore while everything else was in the lake bed. Once this was completed, the sand around the pilings was jetted to sink the boathouse until everything was level. During the process, the boathouse was tied off to trees for support. After leveling, braces were installed to minimize movement and shifting of the structure.