39 Exterior Boathouse Design Photos And Ideas

The large windows let in fresh breezes and provide an opportunity for the owners to jump out of the house and into the water.
A Haiku L Series ceiling fan and Stuv 30 Rotating Fireplace are ready for warm or cold weather.
The boathouse has a green roof and corrugated metal siding.
The 1,020-square-foot home features decks off the living room and both bedrooms.
Currently moored in the heart of Lake Union, the Pied-A-Mer is conveniently located near downtown Seattle.
While the Andante has a nautical-inspired exterior, the interior is another story.
The 212-square-foot Orca houseboat is delightfully trimmed in pink. It was originally built in 1982 and received a thoughtful renovation in 2017.
Orca is docked at the north side of Lake Union, conveniently located near Seattle's downtown.
The Dusky Parakeet is outfitted with a 500-liter water storage tank and solar panels, so it can run 100% off the grid if needed.
Named the Tatami House, the houseboat resembles the size and layout of traditional Japanese tatami rooms. "We used the tatami as a grid for the house," explains Julius Taminiau, referring to how tatami—a rectangular straw mat typically measuring 35 by 70 inches—dictates the size and proportion of traditional Japanese spaces.
The curved roof, a play off the hull of a ship, was inspired by a previous Atelier SAD home project in the Czech town of Liberec. Jerry Koza, along with engineer Tomas Kalhous and architect Adam Jirkal, spent years finding the right location and obtaining permissions. After the rigid approval process, they’re finally able to showcase the flexibility of the concept, which can range from a one-person dwelling to a family-sized float with a 1,076-square-foot floor plan and a 538-square-foot terrace.
A DublDom house rests on a barge.
Amid the motley of architectural styles, from nautically inspired to shingled country cabin, Herbie Schlaepfer and Barbara Haeusermann's newly built, 2,894-square-foot home is like a palate cleanser for the eyes. One zinc cube cantilevers off the other, with great walls of glass that slide open and disappear.
The dwelling is raised on three marine-grade, aluminum-alloy flotation tubes, each with five sealed compartments for extra safety.
Made of black anodized aluminum with stainless steel hinges, the home’s warehouse-style windows are designed to withstand corrosion. No wood was used on the exterior except for the dock, called a finger pier, which allows access to the front door and the couple’s boat. The home looks out onto downtown San Francisco, with AT&T Park visible from the main deck.
The relatively simple construction incorporates clever sustainable design: a two-level wood roof structure keeps the sun’s heat away from the interior, and small windows at either end facilitate powerful cross-ventilation. It’s natural air-conditioning, and it works beautifully.
The ship-like floating home comprises a two-story cuboid sitting atop a V-shaped platform that resembles the hull of a boat. Its gangway-style external staircases add to the nautical look, as does the chimney of the wood-burning stove, which pops out of the roof terrace to recall the funnel of a ship.
Exterior with cedar slat screen wall and additional storage
Wrap around ipe deck with doors to every room and storage
Wrap around ipe deck
Architect Guillermo Acuña’s sprawling getaway lines the coast of Isla Lebe in the Chiloé Archipelago in Chile. He developed it in stages, first building a boathouse with a modest living space, then adding two cabins and later remodeling the boathouse. An avid sailor, he often sets out to explore the nearby fjords. The archipelago is midway between Santiago and Tierra del Fuego and comprises more than 30 islands and islets.
This full-fledged floating house was designed with features that are meant to live comfortably year-round.
“Water Villa” features a sunken floor below the water and an atrium at the centre of the house that connects the children's rooms in the basement with the ground floor living and dining room.
Created as a prototype for a serial production, Port X was designed by architects Jerry Koza and Adam Jirkal, along with engineer Tomáš Kalhaus from Atelier SAD.
A team from the University of Coimbra in Portugal designed 'Floatwing'
In Hamberg, Germany, Houseboat on the Eilbekkanal is enveloped in sliding timber slats, creating a constant connection between the interior and the exterior.
A Norwegian boathouse. Photo Courtesy of Pasi Aalto / TASCHEN #cabin #boathouse
Blackened timber clads the boathouse.
Cedar slats help this Ontario lake house float soundly atop still waters. Photo by: Raimund Koch
Ducks swim close to the windows.
On the edge of the lake is a boathouse with a kitchenette and roof terrace.
The couple plan to add a kitchen garden to the platform just below the terrace that connects to the kitchen.
“By creating high ceilings with large windows, the feeling is all about space and light,” says architect Robert Nebolon, principal of Berkeley firm Robert Nebolon Architects. The 2,100-square-foot floating house was built on land in six months before settling into its final location in Mission Creek.
“The house’s narrow footprint works for us in terms of maximum exposure to the lake,” says Gibbs (shown here with son Blake and dog Max on the shore of Lake Iosco). Glass walls and doors by Andersen also mean that Gibbs can keep a close eye on Blake when he’s playing in the yard. A plinth of reused bedrock found on the property has become an unintended place for active play.
A bothouse in Georgian Bay, Ontario, by Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Ltd. is clad in black-stained resawn cedar.

Zoom out for a look at the modern exterior. From your dream house, to cozy cabins, to loft-like apartments, to repurposed shipping containers, these stellar projects promise something for everyone. Explore a variety of building types with metal roofs, wood siding, gables, and everything in between.