exterior of the renovated houseboat on Seattle's Lake Union
Photo: Alex Hayden

Remodeled Houseboat

In 2001, after deciding to start a family, my wife, Krissy, and I realized that our 1,390-square-foot one-bedroom houseboat on Seattle's Lake Union wouldn't be big enough for us for long. We decided to add on and reconfigure the inefficient layout, which required us to walk through four rooms to get from the main entrance to the home's only bathroom. Seattle laws limit the height of floating homes to 18 feet off the water, but I didn't want some boxy structure with low ceilings just to get extra square footage. I fought to maintain the look and feel of the original gabled structure. I decided to keep the south half of the house, with the living room, dining room, and one of the home's two upstairs sleeping lofts, largely intact. At the north end of the house, I planned to raise the roof and add a gabled dormer to fit a full-fledged master suite upstairs and a bedroom downstairs. The two rebuilt bedrooms and a new bath added only 30 square feet of space but helped preserve the houseboat's gabled charm.
Ask TOH users about Befores and Afters

Contribute to This Story Below