Hope you are all enjoying our last few weeks of summer. The Mr. and I are soaking up all the time we can with my kids, especially since my youngest heads to kindergarten in the fall (yes, I will be the hysterically sobbing mom in the parking lot in full on ugly cry mode). But, I promise once they are in school full time, you will have tons of great posts coming your way.
Today I wanted to share something that has made a huge difference in our lakeshore. If you are local in Michigan and live on a lake that has a mucky or weedy bottom, this post is for you! Remember when I first showed you all the pic of our “new house” and everyone thought we were crazy? No, well here is a reminder of the before pic to jog your memory –
Even we had to second guess what we had gotten ourselves into!
But after just a little paint and elbow grease (kidding, it turned out to be a total teardown and rebuild)…
Tada – this is how it looks now! Pretty crazy that this is the same lot…minus 7 enormous rotting/falling down trees.
Ignore our wacky dowel and string fence along the boardwalk, we are trying to keep the geese (and the ahem, souvenirs they like to leave behind) off the new grass that’s trying to grow. But check out that crystal clear sandy bottom.
When we bought the place, the name Lily Pad Cottage had never been so appropriate as seen in that before pic! I think lily pads are actually so pretty, but maybe not in the water-top carpet format we had. Not to mention the gross, mucky bottom underneath that made enjoying the water pretty much impossible. No one had used the shoreline for many years on this property (you can see in the before pics that there was actually a chain link fence right up to the water) so the lily pads and weeds had pretty much taken over.
We called TT&C Beaches to solve our problem – they specialize in installing these amazing artificial sandy bottoms, and it’s the coolest process to watch! They kindly offered me a discount in exchange for me sharing my experience with you all, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. The company is run by the 3 Trierweiler brothers and the entire process was invented and patented by their father. I’ll explain a bit more, first you need to get a permit from the DEQ. The law in Michigan allows you to do half of your shoreline to essentially create a swimming area without causing damage to the natural lake habitat.
You can see the perfect rectangle of nice sandy bottom we now have. It’s amazing how quick the process is, their tagline is “Beach in a Day” and it’s so true.
They come with a special truck and hoses that pull water from the lake and mix it with sand. My son was enthralled with the truck and watching the sand go up the belt. The beauty of the way they do this is it doesn’t hurt your landscaping at all (although we didn’t actually have landscaping at this point), because there is no heavy equipment to get down to the lake, just some lightweight hoses.
We had the beach put in this spring before we moved in and it was the best decision. You can see in these photos that the truck mixes the sand and water pumped from the lake and shoots the mixture back out through a hose into the lake. They first stake down a thick mat right over top of any muck or weeds and then cover it with several inches of the sand mixture.
They use a heavier sand so it stays put even with boats, etc. going in and out. My dad actually had them do his beach 1o years ago and it’s still in perfect shape.
This is several months later and it’s perfectly sandy and feels great on your feet. It has made it so much easier for us to get in and out on the boat.
If you have any questions you can check out TT&C Beach’s site here and contact them for more information. This page on their site explains the whole process much better than I ever could. I can’t recommend it enough! In fact our neighbor’s just applied for a permit as well so that will take out another huge chunk of lily pads to the right of our dock there. The shoreline will still be a work in progress for a year or two as we work on our boardwalk and also get rid of more of the lily pads (we got a special permit to remove more of them).
I also quick snapped a few pics of the back of our house now that the grass is coming in a bit. I haven’t done much back here besides a few tubs of flowers and all the old outdoor furniture from our last house. Next spring/summer I will definitely be styling and decorating this area more. We also have plans to add an outdoor firepit/fireplace, but we couldn’t decide where we wanted it (I’m thinking down by the lake) so we decided to hold off for now.
One more before shot –
Pretty crazy to look back on these before and afters and see how far we have come!