Another Lake House Spring

Just like in previous years, an important part of my spring is opening up the lake house, getting the boat lift in the water and the boat on the lift, restocking the bar, and getting the lake house yard in gear for summer. The first thing I did was work on clearing the yard of weeds, and clearing bramble from the path down to the water.

I then shoveled sand and dirt that accumulated over the winter down around the dock deck and stairs, and made sure the dock was good to go for summer.

After that, I did some painting touch ups on the outside of the house, most notably the window frame from the window that was broken when the new roof was put on last fall.

After that, I restocked bar and tidied up the interior of the house.

Once the house was all set, I got the boat in the water and onto the boat lift, and with some help from my friend Bret got the lift awning in place.

After that, it was time to hit the tiki bar and party cove, and enjoy the summer on the water!

Lake House Open for Another Spring

As the weather has warmed up and the pandemic is starting to be firmly in the rear view mirror, it was time to open the lake house for the spring.

While this year won’t involve any major construction projects at the lake house (there was more than enough of those last summer, including painting the entire interior of the house and replacing all of the flooring), I’m planning on doing a lot of landscaping, and I also replaced some of the aging furniture in the basement with furniture that had been displaced by all of the remodeling and design work at the Verona house.

I also did some minor electrical work, including adding a switch box for the water heater so that it can be turned off with a switched as opposed to using the switch in the fuse box.

The last thing that needed to be done to truly be open for spring was to get the boat in the water and setup the awning on the boat lift. I picked up the freshly detailed boat from Skipper Bud’s, and with the help of my friend Bret got the awning installed.

This weekend, my wife and I took the boat out for the first time on a beautiful 80+ degree day. It’s time for summer!

Deep Snow

Although it’s thankfully been a mild winter, we had some pretty impressive amounts of snow in February. Thankfully, the Range Rover and the Super Duty were able to plow their way through the snow and the rest of the cars stayed safely in the garage.

Now that the calendar has turned to March, the weather is starting to feel a lot more like spring, which can’t come soon enough!

December at the Lake House

I had to drive up to the lake house this morning to check on things and drop off some decor items from Black Friday shopping, and the weather was beautiful! It’s always cool to get a different view of the water with no leaves on the trees.

In addition to the view, it was fun to review all of the work that I put in this summer after not having been there in awhile. It still looks as good as I remembered it!

Truck Weather

As winter descends on Wisconsin, it was fun to take the new truck out in the first snow of the season! We’ll all be sick of the snow soon enough, but at least for a day it was nice. As anticipated, the truck handled everything really well and actually performed better than the old truck since it has more traditional tires currently as opposed to the old truck’s mud tires.

End of Boat Season

Mid October is a beautiful time of year in Wisconsin, but unfortunately it brings with it the end of boat season. This past weekend, I had to take the awning off of the boat lift, trailer the boat, and take it to Skipper Buds for winter storage.

Always a sad day every year, but with the pandemic this year my wife and I really maximized the use of the boat, and had it in the water 30+ times which is a personal record. We’re already looking forward to bringing it back out of storage next May!

Dock Deck Staining

This is somewhat of a belated post, but earlier in the summer I had written about my project to build a deck by the dock to make it easier to enjoy the water and the beach at the lake house. When I last left off, I had finished building the deck but hadn’t stained it yet or setup furniture. I did that several weekends ago, and it’s been an awesome place to sit on fall afternoons looking over the water.

As mentioned above, the views from the deck are pretty incredible!

In addition to the dock deck, I upgrade the regular deck at the lake house with an outdoor TV, which has been clutch this fall since the pandemic prevents me from being able to go to live sporting events. Sundays with the Premier League and NFL RedZone (and plenty of beer) have been wonderful.

Lawn Regrading and Planting

After the Hardin Access Pipeline and underground electrical excavation projects from the past couple of years, portions of the yard were in rough shape, especially from the main house to the well, and from the well running behind the guest house to the wall. Planting grass is no big deal, but there was a bigger problem: all the digging had dredged up a ton of rocks and sandy soil, making it hard to get grass to grow, and making the ground unpleasant to walk on while barefoot. To solve this, I called in the pros to professionally regrade the land, bring in new top soil, and plant grass.

After the grass was planted, I diligently watered it and it started to come in nicely.

Now that fall is here and the weather is starting to get colder, the grass is thriving and should survive winter and look awesome next spring.

Lake House Dock Deck

In addition to interior design improvements, painting, and flooring, my other summer project at the lake house has been constructing a fixed deck platform down by the dock. The motivation for the project was to have a place to sit down by the water, with easy access to the beach, that is less volatile and prone to issues than the dock. The new deck platform is made of wood with concrete anchors, and is on level with the last stair landing area before the final stairs down to the dock. This means that it’s above the highest water levels ever seen in Lake Wisconsin after the lake was dammed in the 1930’s, so it should be safe from Mother Nature.

The first step was to set the main posts for the deck, anchoring two of them to the old platform and two of them to concrete feet on the rock next to the cliff and the beach.







After that, I poured additional concrete and added the rest of the load bearing structure, built from treated 2×6 boards.










The following weekend, I installed all of the deck planks and started building the railing.







It was hard, hot work in the middle of summer heat and humidity carrying all of the concrete and wood down the stairs, but having a new lightweight pistol grip circular saw that could chew through the 2×4’s using battery power made life a lot easier.



This past week, I finished the major construction work by completing the railing and building a ladder down to the beach.






All that’s left after this is to do some repair work on the stairs, and to stain the new deck. The view looking out over the water from the new deck is already incredible!


Lake House Open For Summer

Over Memorial Day Weekend, my wife and I spent the long weekend at the lake house and I got everything ready to go for summer. First, I did some minor repair and repainting work on the stairs and railing going down to the water.

Next, I repainted the shed and did other paint touchups around the exterior of the house.

After that, I installed a new outdoor table on the deck, and anchored it to the wood so that it wouldn’t be easily blown out of position by the wind.



Next, I used my chainsaw to chop up some of the downed trees from last spring that I had left where they fell. This opened up the paths to the left side of our land and made the view from the deck nicer.







Deano Dock and Lift came by and reset the dock, which had been knocked out of position over the winter, and I repainted the stairs that connect directly to the dock. This will likely be the last summer that this dock is in place, it’s showing its age and I am looking to switch to a dock that will have fewer problems with the current coming off of the river.

The last major task was to install the canopy and awning at the boat lift, which is always a somewhat miserable task since the heavy canvas has to be pulled over the the lip of the awning and dragged across the top while standing in the boat.



Once that was done, it was time to restock the fridge and the bar at the lake house, and then get out on the water.


It’s been a beautiful couple of weekends of boating so far this year, hopefully the good weather continues!