Today I am continuing my series on My Lake House Renovation – All About The View. One of the first things we realized when purchasing the lake house was the value of the water. We are on one of the wider parts of the lake, giving us a great view of boating activity and sunsets.
My Lake House Renovation- All About The View
But First, A Little History Of Smith Lake
Smith Lake is located about an hour north of Birmingham and an hour south of Huntsville. This makes it an ideal location for a weekend getaway. Lewis Smith Lake is located on the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River in Cullman, Winston, and Walker counties. Covering nearly 22,000 acres, Smith Lake is the Southeast’s most beautiful lake. It’s also the third cleanest lake in the United States.
Created in 1957 by Alabama Power to regulate water to the Black Warrior River via Lewis Smith Lake Dam. Basically, they just flooded the valley. Even today divers can see homes and forests deep beneath the waters. This makes it an excellent lake for fishing, especially stripe and bass.
Today the lake is a recreational lake but still creates hydroelectric power. The lake is a very deep lake (over 300 feet in some spots) but lake levels change drastically from spring to late fall when electricity demands increase. Because of this, all docks are floating and must be approved by Alabama Power.
Value Is All About How Close You Are To The Water And Your View
When we purchased the house, the view was obstructed by trees. The first thing we did was cut down the overgrown shrubbery and remove over 30 trees to reveal the view.
Creating Outdoor Living Spaces
The next part of our outdoor renovations was to remove the rotten screened in porch and replace it with a much larger porch. We also decided to reposition the stairs and create an outdoor deck area. Painting the brick updated the outside of the house immediately.
Budget Busting Decision We Will Never Regret
After the first year of using the extra-large screened in porch, my husband decided he was tired of cleaning the porch and wanted to glass it in to create an “all-season room”. A truly budget busting decision but it has changed how we use the space. Once only outdoor space to use during the spring/summer, now we can use the space all year round.
With the extra large windows, we now have an incredible view of the lake. Which brought us to the next budget busting decision, landscape. We reinforced the existing brick wall with gorgeous local stone and added easily maintainable grass areas and shrubs. Dan’s father complained about the hours he spent up at the lake trying to get control of the “natural” yard. We hired a landscape crew who comes in twice a month.
It Is All About Outdoor Living
Now that we have control over the yard, it was time to create entertaining spaces. Outdoor entertaining is huge deal at the lake.
The stone patio was already in place, so I created a fire pit /sitting area. On a late summer evening or a fall/winter day, nothing is as inviting as a fire in the fire pit. I ordered a Fire Pit Kit from Home Depot. After delivery, it took about an hour and we were ready for our first fire. The furniture in the fire pit area is wrought iron and is easy to maintain. Each year I spruce it up with some black Rustoleum spray paint. We have the best sunset views!
Enjoying The Deck
When we added the small deck I wasn’t sure how much use we would get. Wow, I was wrong. This is the area I have my morning coffee, read a book in the shade, and watch the sunset. We have a small table for outdoor eating and a grill.
How About A Little Splurge For A Romantic Evening?
I talked my husband into adding a hot tub to our outdoor entertaining spaces. With the vision of romantic evenings by moonlight, enjoying a glass of wine, and relaxing in the hot tub, I purchased a Hot Springs Spa from their Tiger Rivers Line. I don’t even think they make it anymore. The spa has been a joy with very little problems.
But, my romantic vision is more realistic with group of kids hanging out chatting it up. When we do get our turn, I love to enjoy it on a cool, crisp late fall/winter night with the stars out.
Drone Shot Of The Entire Outdoor Entertaining Plan In Place
Oh But Wait…
When my husband gets the renovation bug on, he gets these FABULOUS ideas (don’t forget the screened porch now sunroom). He is feeling overwhelmed by how much we have changed the house (put a loving on it) only regret is he wished his mom could have seen the changes. Dan’s dad was able to see the transformation, but Pappa Tom still loved sitting outside on the front porch area. So…
So… Dan decided to build this covered front porch area to create shade for his dad to sit and allow us to have a hanging swing for outdoor enjoyment. He thought it would give the “grandma house” some architectural character. I didn’t think we would use it that much, boy, was I wrong again. This area has become another favorite.
In the process of building the new front porch, my husband decided to change the paint color of the house from a beige to a greige. (Kingsport Gray body, Sailcloth is the trim) We also changed out the shutters on the house to more of a cottage style. The flooring on the front porch is stamped concrete and the ceiling faux painted. Partial stone columns texture and a natural element.
Next, taming the landscape in the front with an added grass area and some shrubs. The dogs love this area, and in the fall, boys throw the football while others gather on the front porch in the rocking chairs and swings. The best is a rainy day, you can sit under the large porch, swinging, listening to the storm. LOVE IT!
Something Fishy- Let’s Go Inside
In my next post, I will take you inside the house and show you how have I decorated around some very weird elements (think the house was built by Bubba and Billy Bob-no… seriously)
This is a series, so make sure you see the Before & After pics – My Lake House Renovation- Renovating On A Budget