Cost To Build A Boathouse

Building a boathouse is a great way to enjoy the water without having to buy a boat. It can also be used as a place to store your boat, or even just as an outdoor living space.

Boathouses are made with different materials, but the most common ones are wood and metal. Wood boathouses tend to be more expensive than metal ones, but they have many advantages. For example, they’re much more durable and easier to repair if something happens. On the other hand, metal boathouses tend to be cheaper because they’re made from recycled materials.

If you decide to build a wooden boathouse, you’ll need to consider how much money you want to spend on it and how long you expect it will last before needing repairs again. Then consider how often you’ll use it—you may want one that’s large enough so multiple people can fit inside at once. Also, think about where your boathouse will be located—if it’s close enough but not too close then that might mean less maintenance costs later since fewer people will walk across it regularly (but also less privacy).

Building a boathouse is a big project, but it’s also an exciting one. A boathouse can be used for many different purposes: to store your boat, to use as a clubhouse for your club members, or even as a place to live. Whatever your goal is, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right materials and tools so that your boathouse will stand up to any weather.


You’ll need to have some wood on hand before you start building. It’s best if you get treated lumber because it can withstand moisture better than regular wood. You’ll also want to purchase some nails or screws in addition to your planks of wood so that they will stay together when they’re being put together. Make sure that you measure everything before you start cutting so that it fits perfectly.


You’re going to need some tools to help with this project. Some of the most important ones include hammers, saws (both circular and jig), screwdrivers, drills (electric and manual), and paint brushes or rollers for painting once the project is complete.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a boathouse, you’re in luck. The cost to build one depends on what you want it to look like and how much space you’ll need for all your gear. But don’t worry—this guide will tell you everything about building a boathouse from start to finish.

How Much Does a Boathouse Cost?

The cost of your boathouse will depend on the size, style, and materials you choose. If you want to build an attached boathouse with multiple rooms and a few windows then expect the price tag to be higher than if you wanted a simple detached garage for one boat. Also keep in mind that some states may require permits for building your own structure and this can add on several hundred dollars more. The average cost for building an attached boathouse is around $10,000 while detached garages tend to come in at around $15,000-$20,000 depending on their size and amenities such as electricity or water supply.

Structure Style

  • Freestanding: These are the types of boathouses that you typically see in a backyard setting. They’re designed to be freestanding and are usually located far enough away from the property line so they don’t interfere with privacy or intrude on other elements on your property.
  • Attached to House: This is another common choice for boathouses, as it allows for easy access for those who need to get into their vessels. It does require some extra planning and design considerations (such as keeping the door height low enough so it doesn’t impede vehicular traffic), but can still be accomplished at a reasonable cost if done properly.
  • Attached to Dock: Like attaching your boathouse directly onto where your watercraft will sit, this style of construction provides easy access when coming or going from your dock area without requiring any special planning or additional work beyond what is already required by building near water, such as preventing erosion due to soil movement caused by tides and waves hitting against structures like docks/piers/wharves etcetera).

Foundation Type

The foundation type you choose will depend on your budget, site conditions, and personal preferences. The most common foundations for boathouses are:

  • Poured concrete. This is the easiest option as you can simply pour a slab onto the ground and build your structure on top of it. However, if you want to make sure that the water doesn’t seep into the basement area where your boat will sit then another type may be better suited to your needs.

Boathouse Material

The material you choose for your boathouse will affect the cost. Options include masonry, wood, steel, and aluminum.

  • Mortar is the most expensive option because it requires a foundation of concrete blocks or piers sunk into the lake bed. The mortar between bricks or stones helps support your boathouse’s structure and create an attractive look for your home on the water.
  • Timber is generally considered the least expensive because it doesn’t require specialized materials to build with but does require regular maintenance to keep up against termites, rot, and decay over time as well as mildew from being exposed to water all year round (if not covered). It can be treated with preservatives to prevent these issues from happening but may increase costs slightly depending on what type of treatment is required (this may vary depending on where you live). Timber also has its drawbacks in that it can absorb moisture so making sure drainage around your building is adequate will help prevent this issue if not corrected beforehand when building with wood planks or beams yourself instead of buying prefabricated kits made specifically designed just like those used by professionals who specialize in it.

Roof of Boathouse

The next consideration is the roof style and type of roofing material. The roof is the single most expensive component of a boathouse. There are three basic styles of roofs that we commonly install on boathouses. Check with your homeowner’s association for any restrictions that might apply.

• Hip Roof: First is the hip roof. This is a very common type of roof system installed on homes and consists of wooden rafters that rise on 4 sides together to form a peak. This is the most common type of roof we install as it most directly matches the residence the boathouse is built behind. Hip roofs can range from $12-$18/sqft depending on variation of roof design and decking choices. This is a great roof and meets most codes for wind resistance. If the final roof material will be metal, then there are two choices you can make on how this metal is installed on the rafters.

• The cheapest way to install the metal is to nail down wood stripping across the rafters that the metal is screwed down to.

• The next option is to deck the rafters with either oriented strand board plywood (OSB) or tongue and groove 2×6 lumber. Decking the roof before the final material is installed makes for a stronger roof system that is one solid unit. This system will exceed most building codes for wind resistance. Tongue and groove 2×6 decking is 1.5” thick and is installed when the customer wants a more appealing look to their boathouse. If you plan to entertain guests or sit on the deck at your boathouse and watch the sunset, this might be a great option for you. It is also incredibly strong and exceeds the 140mph rating.

• At Lamulle Construction we prefer to deck the roof prior to metal installation. This will meet or exceed the 140mph wind load rating required for our service area.

• Gable Roof: Second roof type is the gable roof, which consists of wooden rafters forming two sides which meet to form a peak in the middle. This roof abruptly terminates on each end of the boathouse and can be either left open or closed in with siding. Again, with this style of roof, the rafters can either be decked or stripped if metal R-panel will be applied. If the end is left open, this is a weaker type of roof installed in areas less prone to high winds. In high wind areas, the cable is most often closed with siding to prevent the wind from generating uplift on the roofing materials, stripping it away. If shingles are to be installed, the rafters must be decked so the shingles can be nailed to the decked surface. Lamulle Construction does not recommend an open gable design if the boathouse will be in the open coastal areas where trees cannot break up the wind to some degree. The cost of gable roofs is like that of hip roofs, ranging from $18-$28/sqft. 

• Flat Roof: The third roof system is the flat roof which had no peak and only has a slight slope to the roof allowing the rain to shed. The flat roof is always made from metal roofing material called R-panel, never shingles. The metal R-panel is screwed down into wood purlins which are nailed down to joist which span across the boat slip. This is a weak roof system which cannot achieve the wind rating of hip roofs. But the low cost of the roof and easy construction of the flat roof, makes replacement of the roof easy should it be damage by storms. These roofs are typically only installed at fishing camp areas and not allowed in most subdivisions. Check your homeowner’s association to see if flat roofs are allowed in your area. Flat roofs typically range from $9-$11/sqft. depending on the size of roof (the larger the roof, the lower the cost).

Additional Features

The additional features that you might want to add to your boathouse will also affect the cost. They include:

  • Storage Space
  • Pier
  • Boat Lift
  • Boat House (or Boat Ramp)

Cost Range $10,000-$100,000

The cost to build a boathouse will vary greatly depending on the size and location of your project. The overall building expenses can be estimated by following this formula:

The cost of building a boathouse varies greatly, so it’s important to consider all aspects of your project before beginning construction. The total price tag will include materials, labor, and permits.

The average screen house is 6 x 8 feet and costs approximately $5,000 to install; however, this figure could be higher or lower depending on factors such as the size and complexity of your design.


The cost of a boathouse is dependent on many factors, including the style, size, and location of the structure. A typical boathouse can cost anywhere from $10,000-$100,000 to build. The most common materials used for boathouses include cedar shingles or shakes which are both durable and affordable options for homeowners. Other options include vinyl siding if you’re looking for something more affordable than wood but still want it look like it belongs on your property.

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