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The Beauty of Boathouses

May 18, 2022

As the weather continues to warm, school starts to wind-down and Spring quickly turns to Summer, we can’t help but find ourselves daydreaming about days out on the lake. April was all about planning and preparation, and now May has welcomed in many firsts such as the first fish caught, the first boat ride, the first bonfire, the first grill-out. With the excitement of a full Summer ahead, we want to highlight something we believe to be so intriguing and monumental to lake life, it deserves special attention. 

According to Merriam-Webster, the word “boathouse” was first used in the 1600s and means “A building to house and protect boats.” Sprinkled all over the world, boathouses first started as functional structures, but are now seen as desirable pieces of history since new laws have been implemented to prevent further construction of these beautiful buildings. These laws were implemented to preserve lakeshore and to withhold further deterioration of vital wetlands in the areas where these boathouses are commonly found. Since strict laws prevent new boathouses from being built, the only way to have one of your own is to purchase a property that already has a boathouse, or to restore a boathouse structure that is already built onto your shoreline.

From the dense woods of the Adirondacks in upstate New York, to our very own bustling shores of Lake Minnetonka, boathouses can be found all over the country. Their uniqueness never fails to grab the attention of boaters passing by, and it’s no wonder boathouses are so popular amongst a variety of people such as lake-goers, architects, historians, and builders like ourselves.  

These structures boast with nostalgia and special meaning to their owners. Headquartered in the beautiful Brainerd Lakes Area, Nor-Son Custom Builders has had the opportunity to remodel many existing and offshore boathouses, and with an office on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, we understand and appreciate the importance of keeping a piece of history on our Minnesota lakes.

We currently have the special opportunity to take down an old boathouse and build it back new using the original foundation. Below you are able to see the boathouse that is currently on the property next to the rendering of what the boathouse will be once we are done with the renovation. This client wanted to take this special place and update it to be more family and activity friendly. 

If you have a boathouse on your property that needs some attention, and you aren’t sure what to do with it, we are here to help. A boathouse can be much more than a parking spot for your boats. Depending on its size, it can be a gathering spot for the family, or a place to watch the sunrise in the morning. A boathouse can be a holding spot for new memories, like it was in the past. As we enter these fun-filled summer months, look out for these beautiful boathouses scattered along the lakeshore throughout Minnesota. For those of you on Lake Minnetonka, check out the book, Boathouses of Lake Minnetonka, a stunning highlight of historic boathouses on the lake that gives a great understanding of the history, preservation, and enjoyment that comes with these unique houses. Do you want to purchase the book? You can check it out here