This project updated a 1960's boathouse with living space to a charming shingle style guesthouse, without losing the function of the boat house. It is the guesthouse for a much larger, luxurious project on the shores of beautiful Squam Lake, New Hampshire.
This project was a special challenge for the builder and for the architect. Permits for boathouses on Squam Lake are very difficult to obtain and are no longer issued with living spaces. However, because this boathouse was already in existence prior to the change in laws, it could be renovated. Proving that the boathouse and living space, along with the functions of that space, did in fact exist prior to the change in laws was a long and arduous process.
A major hurdle to the renovation was a badly deteriorated foundation. It needed to remain in place to satisfy the constraints of the permit. The solution was to build a cofferdam to hold back the lake, then repair the foundation. Because the foundation was in too poor a condition, however, we ended up pouring a new foundation on the inside, and then on the outside, to sandwich the existing foundation.
The construction of the cofferdam required the cooperation of the neighbors, as the dam would extend across their beach. To maintain good community relations, work started just after Labor Day, the end of the neighbors' summer season. The dam was composed of metal frames with a vinyl liner on top. Scuba divers unfolded the liner and pulled it out into the lake and over the metal frames. The water was then pumped out from the boathouse side and the water pressure pushed the tarp into the sand to make a waterproof seal. Then the foundation work could begin.
The guesthouse quarters are made up of 3 rooms. There is the main living space, which is one large room with a good size seating area, a gas stove, and a dining table for four. A three-quarter bath and one bedroom complete the suite.
The resulting project is a charming, somewhat funky, self-sufficient getaway with a gorgeous view of the lake.
Location: Squam Lake, Holderness, NH
Architect: Abigail Campbell-King
Square Footage: 750 living space; 1,500 total
Photo by Alex Beatty