The houseboat renovation has begun! And what a mess!
You know how you live in a house for many years, and when you get ready to sell, you ask yourself, "Where did all this stuff come from?" That happens in a houseboat too. Even though you have limited space, somehow it just seems to pile up. The hard part is we want to live in the houseboat while we are renovating it.
Our RV (Dixie) and Truck (Leroy) are in storage on site and we could boondock in it, but we are paying for storage, not living quarters and it isn't in an ideal place for that. We are very happy that our marina is letting us do that. So, we have to work around things in the houseboat and make the best of it.
Taking on a Major Renovation...Why?
You may have seen our video called "Exit Plan".
If not click on the picture>>>
This video describes some of the choices we are considering for when the time comes and we no longer want to be full-timers.
After much discussion, we can't make up our minds. At least not right now. So, we have decided the best thing to do is fix up the boat the way we want it and then it will be ready for sale years from now.
Dave has renovated many homes totally by himself that we have purchased on the cheap at auctions or otherwise and now rent for income. Some were in horrible condition. Dave's old Master Builder license and previous kitchen & bath remodeling business has given him the skills needed. I think he can fix anything. And YouTube helps him a lot.
We know we enjoy our 30 year old houseboat and Lake Lanier in Georgia, so we decided (for now and several years to come), why not finish off the remodeling we started many years ago, and make it what we want it to be. Forget buying any property in FL or elsewhere and save that money for "when the time comes". We had considered selling the houseboat and getting a bigger more modern used one, but they are as expensive as a new home and the slip fees are very expensive for bigger boats. So we decided to stick with our current houseboat, update it ourselves for a lot less money and when the time comes, it will be updated to sell. We aren't getting any younger and Dave said "I think I have one more renovation in me". This will be it.
We are jumping all in on this one and not just making it pretty with new curtains, flooring and paint. We are removing walls and making the living area bigger. Behind the wall with the Miller Lite sign is a bedroom turned junk room with a built-in bed platform. Underneathe it is a cuddy bedroom. There are narrow steps to go down below where you have to crawl into the bed because the ceiling is about 3 feet tall. In the 14 years we have had this boat, we have had one person stay over night one time. So these areas just became a room for junk and clutter.
So our houseboat will turn into a one bedroom boat, which we know is not good for resale, but we are renovating it for us, not for someone else. Houseboats are always in demand and we will take our chances. Hey, guests can sleep on the sofa or get out a blow up mattress. :) And, by the way, it's about time we get all this junk out of here.
What are the Renovation Plans? Whew...Really?
1. Remove the two walls and open up the living room/kitchen area. This will include removing the old bed platform in the room behind the Miller Lite wall, removing the steps to the cuddy and putting a new floor in where the cuddy was underneathe.
2. Move, add or eliminate electric, HVAC and plumbing.
3. Add walk-in pantry, coffee station/wet bar and kitchen island.
4. Put in new flooring and ceiling. Add hatch in floor to get to old cuddy area for storage.
5. Cover existing bead board walls with ship lap.
6. Reuse as much cabinetry as we can and add others as needed plus replace doors with new Shaker door style.
7. Get new furniture and window coverings.
This process will take several months. However, depending on what other surprises show up along the way, timing is questionable. Dave has a spot on his lower back that likes to give him hell every now and then. Nothing in particular seems to trigger it, but when it goes out, off to the Chiropractor he goes, takes some muscle relaxers and OTC pain relievers and give it a few days. This happend 2 days in to our renovation and was down for 4 days. :( Gotta wonder what else will happen or we will find go wrong.
Tanks But No Tanks!
As Dave was working below, he noticed the floor was wet in the hull. The hull holds the fresh water tanks, black water tank for the toilets, HVAC runs, hot water tanks, and anything else you can fit/store in there. You can get to the hull through any of the several hatches and crawl areas. Dave discovered the 3, yes 3, fresh water tanks were leaking. So in he crawls to get them out. He will replace them with 1 big plastic tank.
What's it Going to Look Like?
New color scheme and decorations will be revealed as time goes by. Videos of the renovation will be forthcoming in the future. Wish us Luck! Thanks for visiting our blog.