My first experience with houseboats was 25 years ago when my parents bought a framed shell of a house with windows and a metal roof on a concrete float.  Since helping them with their build-out, we have done numerous houseboat renovations and repairs from window replacement to standing seam roof installation to renovations of kitchens and bathroom to swim float resurfacing.  Last year, we even demolished a houseboat by hand (right down to the stringers) transporting it one board at a time to a drop box in the parking lot.  Yours probably isn’t that bad!

Are you being penny-wise and pound foolish? Houseboat owners are a frugal bunch and ver, but have you thought of everything to to spend your pennies wisely.

These are a few tricks to reducing remodeling costs on floating homes:

  1. Do you have a safe area to store tools and materials?
  2. Do you have access to a work platform or will your neighbors accommodate ladders?
  3. Do you require daily clean-up?
  4. Is your moorage open to construction work on Saturdays?
  5. Do you or your moorage have a cart to move tools and materials from the parking lot to your floating home?
  6. Is there a way to reduce the weight to avoid the need for extra buoyancy?

We are excited! Our next houseboat job (already scheduled) is to replace some vertical cedar siding on the South side of a two-story houseboat and frame and install three glass/aluminum garage doors in what once was a floating plane hanger!
One of the products that I think are most useful for houseboat owners is LockDry.  It is an extruded aluminum deck board with a built-in gutter.  It is the only product of its kind and results in a walkable, waterproof deck.  Our first installation was roughly 9 years ago with a few more since then.  No leaks with minimal maintenance is a match made in heaven!  The company literature says that their product is very forgiving during the installation process.  It is not unfortunately.  It is a great product that requires attention to detail and the supporting framing to be built or adjusted to tight tolerances.  What you have after that is many years of peace of mind!