Skip to main content

Multi Generational Lakehouse

Sometime around 1940 someone carved out a small slice of the American dream and built a small home on the edge of a lake in central Massachusetts. We can’t be sure if it was a full time home or a vacation home, but they could not have found a better site. The home had a great view right down the center of the long narrow body of water while the dock jetted out just inside a small lagoon like area. Flanking trees provided just the right mount of privacy. Fast forward seventy years when my clients found this dream site. With two small children in tow they decided to make this their permanent home along with the husband’s parents. Lake homes always draw families together, and they’ve just got a head start. Of course, building near any water is much more difficult these days than it was way back then. There were plenty of zoning and conservation hurdles to contend with now, but thanks to the site engineers, the process was bearable. The big challenge was shoring up the existing structure to take on a new second floor addition. With an inadequate foundation and a very short distance to the lake, the only solution was going to be a new helical pier foundation. Approximately thirty aluminum shafts were drilled into the ground around the perimeter of the existing home until they reached the necessary resistance to bear the weight of the existing house plus the new second floor. The shafts were then bolted to side of the existing building. Helical piers have long been a great solution for sensitive building sites near wetlands or when building on unstable soils. Like all good lake homes the interior rooms are designed around views of the lake. An open first floor plan allows for the basic function of any home, but with sweeping views of the lake just outside. The master bedroom views the lake through a grouping of tradition type windows. A combination home office and workout room also faces the lakefront. Generous outdoor spaces include a covered porch, an open deck and a second floor deck. Each provides the privacy and functionality of a typical interior room type. No matter your position in the house, it is easy to find yourself within a few steps of the outdoors. Aside from all of the great living spaces incorporated here, there are also great private spaces. As you would expect in housing three generations, private needs are paramount. Sleeping rooms, bathrooms, and small nooks to hide away in are tucked into less lake friendly areas of the home. Solitude has a place in any home. The resulting home is poetic. Just as the family was putting down its roots, so did the engineers for the house itself. As with any good tree, roots support the weight of its thick trunk and spreading branches above while providing the necessary bracing when the winds and turbulent times kick up. But mostly we get to enjoy the shade of the tree, and enjoy the sight of the sunny skies that abound.

Multi Generational Lakehouse

Multi Generational Lakehouse

Michael Hally