A couple of days ago, I stumbled across this fantastic photo on Pinterest, and I just had to find the source and understand it. It took me nearly a week, but I was eventually successful!
This is called a float house. Not a boat, not a houseboat, it’s an entirely different species. During my research, I discovered that float houses are actually pretty common in parts of the country. (Okay, they all seem to have a preponderance of recliners, and beige furniture, but I could make a lot of sacrifices to have a boat garage!) I can’t imagine how I’ve lived on the water all this time and had no idea this was a thing.
“I can’t really afford my own taste.” -Erik Musson
Erik, I feel your pain.
During my research to find the magical floating house, I also came across something that I thought was pretty world-changing. Behold the flood-proof house. Originally designed in 1993, it’s actually intended to be built as a land-locked house in an area that can be subjected to flooding, but I think it would work along the water as well. Oh, by the way, Paul Winston and Priscilla Talley have updated the plans so that the houses are now also earthquake resistant. California should erect statues to these folks.
After Hurricane Sandy, we talked about a similar concept a number of times, but we never realized they already existed. In our version, the house rode up and down on I-beams build into channels at the corners of the house, which was pretty cool, but we couldn’t figure out how to keep the pluming and sewerage connected. This modular home design company solved those issues with a freshwater tank and a septic holding tank. There’s a generator, too, and it even include a leveling feature, which we hadn’t thought about. Wizard! I actually think this might be one of my top five beautiful things of all time. If we find ourselves needing to rebuild again in the future (and I sincerely hope we don’t), I’d go with to this idea for sure.
I am considering discussing with them a way to turn existing (smallish) structures into a version of their flood-proof homes. All they’d have to do is make the conversion kit cheaper than (or at least no more expense than) raising houses has become (which cost, by the way, went from $20K pre hurricane to $100K+ post hurricane). If they could accomplish that, it seems likely that they would have people banging down their doors. I know I’d rather do that than raise our house. For one thing, we could ride out way more water than Hurricane Sandy threw at us. For another, when there isn’t a flood, our house wouldn’t be 11+ feet in the air looking ridiculous. And who wants to climb all those stairs every day? Look out Winston and Talley, I’m coming for you!
(Yes, I know, the video took kind of an unexpected turn at the end, but everyone is entitled to their opinion, and the idea really is wonderful.)