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Lakeshore Fix – Sandy Beach In A Day

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 –

A body of water surrounded by trees

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.

A house surrounded by water

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.

A boat floating along a river next to a body of water

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.

Sand and Beach

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.

A sand truck

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.

A group of people on a beach near a body of water

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.

A person standing next to a body of water

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.

A dock next to a body of water

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).

A large green lawn in front of a house

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.

A large lawn in front of a building

One more before shot  –

A close up of a fence

and after!

A large lawn in front of a house

Pretty crazy to look back on these before and afters and see how far we have come!

A large gray lake home

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59 Comments

  1. Could you please give an update on how well the sand stayed in place? Is it holding up or are the harsh Michigan winters washing the sand away?

  2. I was wondering if you could share your roof materials?! We are doing new siding and a new roof and I love your shingles and metal combination!

    1. I’m not sure on the brand but the metal roof color is Burnished Slate and I think our roof is driftwood by Certainteed – thanks!

  3. We just purchased a home with a lake in our back yard. My husband has always wanted to live by the beach, unfortunately we can’t. Thank you for sharing the idea of making a beach with sand! I had no idea that it was possible to have sand on a lake. I’ll need to look more where we can get a large supply of sand.

  4. Hello, just wondering how your sandy bottom is holding up ? I am considering having it done on my mucky bottom lake. We’ve been fighting lily pads also, a losing battle it seems.

  5. Wow! I’m in love with you home! We are beginning the process of building…not by a lake (I wish)…but we love the way your walkout is set up! Do you have floor plans of your home available for viewing? Does you home have 4 bedrooms? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Elizabeth I don’t have plans available. Our home was custom drawn so I’m not able to share it online here. We have 3 bedrooms and a workout room that could be considered a 4th bedroom. Thanks!

  6. Love the beach! Who knew they could do this?!
    Love my firepit being away from the house a little ways. I like leaving my windows open and the distance between the house and firepit keeps my house from being/smelling smoky whenever we have a fire.

  7. Hi Kelly,
    What a beautiful home and yard. I have a question for you. The carmen lights you ordered for your dining room and foyer and island…is the thickness of the metal the same on the big light as on the smaller ones? I just ordered the same lights and the thickness of the frame is thinner all the way around on the smaller (foyer) light.
    Thanks in advance.
    Brenda

  8. A stunning home! The beach-in-a-day is amazing! I’m near the ocean and with the tides that wouldn’t work, but I can think of a couple fresh water swimming spots that could sure benefit from it!

  9. Wow, what a stunning home!! Love all you details and choices you made.
    That “beach in a day” is amazing!!
    Enjoy!

  10. You have done an amazing job! What a vision from start to finish.
    I’ve never heard of this process but know many friends on lakes who will be thrilled.
    I’m in Kalamazoo; what lake is this?

  11. Oh my Goodness! ITS GORGEOUS! I love the STYLE and the Color and the Yard and the Beach and the…I had toyed with the idea of panting our house a similar color but it had been so dark before, I just wanted it lighter, its so hot in Texas. Your builder did a fabulous Job and you did an amazing job in Designing it! You Nailed it!
    Congrats!!! Can you show a pic of the street side? Looks great!

  12. I see I’m the only one here who feels this way, but I really like the look of the lily pads and am sad to see them go. They were really cool to canoe through or take an inflatable through as a kid up in Wisconsin. Otherwise I love your aesthetic and will pass this post on to my in laws who live in SC and begrudge their mucky bottomed beach.

    1. Hi Lauren, there are still PLENTY of lily pads on the lake lol :) My kids like to kayak thru them too. One whole side of our lake is government owned property that is sort of like a nature preserve so there are millions of lily pads and and cool stuff to look at over there!

  13. Hi Kelly,
    I just am in love with what you are doing with this house and how it’s taking shape. We have a place near Pentwater (God’s country) on a lake with a mucky bottom. We (and by we I mean my hubs) have spent countless hours grooming the bottom and pulling lily pads. We now have a spot like yours but it still takes work to maintain. We also use a “weed razor” in the non-swimming area which is a remarkable tool that cuts them off at the base. You might want to check for one on Amazon. We can highly recommend. I’ll be watching to see how this holds up for you. Can’t wait to see what you work on next. Happy Summer!

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