Nothing conveys iconic coastal living quite like the houseboat. The peaceful serenity of the water,  simplicity of space, and the ability to move your entire home if you wish is a welcome opportunity for many island and coastal dwellers.

Floating homes also offer the benefits of living on top of the water. Unlike houseboats, however, a floating home is designed to stay put, much like a traditional land dwelling home. Both types of unique structures require extra inspection and particular attention traditional homes do not.  When being inspected. they must be investigated top to bottom. This means a diver is required to ensure the hull or floats are in excellent condition. Floating homes must also meet the standard building codes, while houseboats have a bit more slack.

Floating Home     

Floating homes include 30 barrels and 100 floats to keep the home level. These floats are typically made of styrofoam encased in concrete.  Both houseboats and floating homes must take extra precaution with weight distribution and storm conditions at all times. Much like a ship, these owners must tie down patio furniture and batten down hatches to maintain safe conditions during adverse weather. 

Houseboats and floating homes originated in Northwest logging camps in the 1900slogs down the river. These rough-hewn, one story structures are a far cry from our modern floating homes. Read more about the history of floating homes in the Northwest in this link: http://seattlefloatinghomes.org/history/

JJ Greive

JJ & Suzanne are both licensed, highly skilled inspectors and educators. We are the authors of our class curriculum, and truly enjoy sharing this with our students


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