Whether you’re headed to the lake for relaxation or recreation, where you lay your head at night is the place you call home. So why not make it more than just livable? Convenience and atmosphere are both major considerations, but beyond the indoor amenities lie multiple outdoor opportunities. It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend getaway or year-round living location, use these tips to upgrade your lake house inside and out.

 

Wow Them With Windows

A small detail that can make a huge difference—wide open windows at a lake house are a must. If possible, knock out any walls that obstruct your lakeside views. Replace lake-facing doors with sprawling sliding glass or french doors, and use your decor to mesh the indoor and outdoor spaces. In addition to a few large windows, consider installing awning and hopper windows throughout the major sitting rooms. Great for adding natural light to small spaces, awning windows can offer great ventilation without letting in debris or any other unwanted elements. Plus, nothing beats the view of the water—no matter if you’re in the kitchen preparing a midday snack or in the living room after a long day on the lake, so give yourself plenty of outside-peeking options.

Do-It-Yourself Deck

If sunbathing is more your style, lounging on the deck with a drink in your hand may fit the bill. Especially great for homes that are close to but aren’t quite on the water, a deck can offer stunning views, more square footage and if they’re tall enough, added privacy. To get started, contact South Tahoe’s city planning, land use and zoning department to review any requirements or to obtain a permit. Once you get the go-ahead, evaluate what you’re working with. If you’re resurfacing or adding on to a current deck, consider renting a scissor lift and doing most of the work yourself. If you’re starting from scratch, determine if you’re up for the challenge. According to This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, a 10x16-foot pressure-treated deck will take 4-6 days to complete and could cost between $800-$1000. On the DIY home improvement site, he put the project’s difficulty rating at moderate to hard.

Clever Cookery

Everyone likes to enjoy the spring and summer months with barbecues, picnics and romantic sunset dinners. Create your very own culinary escape in your backyard with an outdoor kitchen. If you already have a deck or patio, or plan to build one, a kitchen addition can give your backyard that pop of flair that it needs.

Begin with your appliances and grilling station. Consider a gas grill equipped with a rotisserie rack and warming drawers. For the ultimate in outdoor entertaining, pair your gas grill with a high-powered charcoal grill, smoker and stainless-steel accessories including a refrigerator and sink. For the pizza lovers out there, consider a wood burning oven. Decorate your kitchen area with furnishings that compliment the natural area as well as your home style. For modern homes, consider sleek industrial looking furniture. Traditional homes can incorporate luxurious additions like Tuscan style dining tables, chairs, granite countertops and accessories. Suited for large scale entertaining, or intimate gatherings over a bottle of wine, the addition of an outdoor kitchen can provide entertainment throughout the spring and summer seasons.