How to Build a Houseboat Foundation

Lead Image
  • 3-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100
What You'll Need
2x10 wood
Paint or stain
Deck sealant

Some people consider a houseboat to be a permanent residence, while others consider it just a boat. Houseboats are gaining popularity across the United States. There are lakes and docks that approve the docking and setup of houseboats. Many houseboats are made to be stationary. If you are looking to keep your houseboat setup in one place along a bay or a lakeshore, then you may want to consider building the proper houseboat foundation that will provide a fully steady and secure location for your houseboat. Here is a list of instructions to aid you in the construction of your houseboat foundation.

Step 1 - Familiarize Yourself

A houseboat is a floating home. The construction of the foundation of a houseboat is similar to that of a regular house. However, rather than just having a stick-framed houseboat foundation, you will put together a foundation called a barge. The barge is reinforced concrete. The reinforced concrete provides full stability for your home

Step 2 - Check Local Municipality Rules

Call your local municipality. You will want to make sure you speak with the department that is responsible for handing out the building permits. In some local municipalities, a building permit is required. You may also need to follow specific rules and regulations pertaining to the building of your houseboat foundation.

Step 3 - Hire an Engineer

Especially if you are required to submit an application for a permit to build your foundation, you will need to seek out an engineer that specializes in designing a foundation that uses a concrete barge or concrete pieces between your wood decking. You will need to submit these plans to your local municipality and wait for approvals before you begin your foundation construction.

Step 4 - Create the Deck Framing

From 2x10 pieces of wood, assemble your deck framing for the houseboat. Attach your wood frame to the exterior of your houseboat using non-rust screws. In between each of the posts, add additional pieces of wood decking, to create the surface of your deck foundation.

Step 5 - Secure the Deck Framing to the Barge

The barge will generally come manufactured for the specifics of your own houseboat. You will attach the barge to the foundation you have created out of wood. The barge is either formed to the specific length and width and design of your houseboat, or the barge is developed as part of the foundation or deck framing. The concrete barge becomes an integral part of your houseboat foundation.

Step 6 - Paint Decking and Seal

Paint your deck foundation and seal it with a deck sealer. The decking will need to be resealed every couple of years to maintain it properly. You will also need to make sure you frequently wash the deck with an anti-fungicide, especially if the decking material is being covered by shade part of the time.