Wish to Live from the Water? Everything You Need to Know
The romantic allure of waterside living is undeniable, but again in America’s colonial times, nobody desired to live on or close to the coast who could afford to live inland. The coast was fraught with risk — storms, flood, disease and end are more severe in the water than just inland.
Those perils still exist but are managed today, and living by an ocean, river or lake has gone from chilling to desirable.
Frank Shirley Architects
Situated at the end of a peninsula on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, overlooking a tidal pond and harbor, this home originally turned its back to the water. Within the restrictions imposed on waterfront properties, the house was remodeled to better match its site. The inclusion is capped with a dramatic double-gabled roof, giving the house an expressive facade which covers the water.
Managing the Risks of Life by the Water
in which you construct still has a huge influence on which you build — no more so than when the forces of nature can endanger your house. Managing risk by the water means better construction practices and adhering to strict code requirements for new construction and major renovations of existing homes. These codes mandate structural design criteria, setbacks from water and site design limits, all intended to decrease the effect of flood on any coastal site and end in an oceanfront.
Most regulations put maximums: just how tall your home may be, how large your footprint can be, how many bedrooms you can have. But regulations which make it safer to live by the water demand minimums — most classically a minimal height of a home’s lowest floor above in which a large tide, flood level or tidal surge may get to.
Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects, Inc..
A safe distance to the border of the water is prescribed, and even the essence of the completed grading is reviewed and verified, so you do not steer water dangerously toward your neighbours. From foundations to the design requirements to withstand high winds, water-focused house design plays by an entirely different rule book from the landed compatriots.
In high-wind-velocity locations, the actual kind of glass can be prescribed. And at many dangerously exposed regions (as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency), protections for all of the doors and windows –such as shutters or plywood panels — could be set up when storms struck.
Even when you’re living lightly by a marsh, way away from any windswept sea or flood river, the water on your site modulates things ike where your septic system can be, how it is possible to add on your house and the degree of your basement.
This new home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, takes advantage of its water place with a long and narrow form, mostly 1 room deep, which allows all the significant rooms to be open equally to the northern water views along with the southern sun. The spectacular view is framed with windows which react to their coastal place: Both the glass windows along with the structural supports between them are more durable than they’d be in a landed place.
Since all regulations concentrate on where the water is as a line on a site strategy, and what degree your land is, a questionnaire is needed to nail down exactly what limitations are present on the site. An experienced local attorney may be necessary also.
Shaping the Solutions
Water contours the joys of neighboring homes in many essential ways. Dimensional and structural demands often need licensed engineers to determine what criteria apply and then designing to those criteria. And architects can help in lofting a house to the required elevation.
The brutality of the weather sites means painted surfaces are not a good idea; sunlight, wind and rain tend to overpower any coating. So masonry, vinyl, natural wood shingles — and more PVC — are often the default settings for exterior cladding.
Doors and doors which open and close by sliding simply don’t seal as well as doors and windows that swing on hinges. Simple roof contours that prevent valleys (folds in the roof between gables and dormers) resist water. Roof overhangs and porches shed the extreme sun and drenching, wind-driven rain which often accompany waterside sites.
This cottage is located on a wooded 3-acre site featuring the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior, a lake which occasionally behaves like the sea. The 2,000-square-foot cottage cantilevers out toward the water, using a 40-foot-long glass wall facing the spectacular beauty of the lake.
The exterior is clad in corrugated metal siding for maximum durability, with generous glass regions to offer natural lighting and ventilation, large overhangs for sun and snow protection, birch paneling and low-VOC paints.
The beauty of water is undeniable, but its dangers prevented our ancestors out of valuing it until technology made its hazards less daunting. And those technologies impact the designs of those homes that benefit from the appeal of waterside living.
Can you live by the water? How have you adapted your home’s design?
More: 4 Things a Hurricane Teaches You About Superior Design