Friday, July 15, 2011
Couple monitors building of dock from home in Ohio.
Photos by LAURIE EDWARDS | Laker Weekly
Mark and Linda Wilhemi's dock in The Boardwalk is just under 1,500 square feet with two and a half boat slips to hold their pontoon boat, wakeboard boat and two personal watercraft.
Ohio residents Mark and Linda Wilhemi said they will be visiting the lake as often as possible until they can retire and make their part-time home a permanent one.
The Wilhemis' dock was constructed using maintenance-free materials including HardiBoard siding on the cabana and Azek decking.
The dock features a finished ceiling constructed using painted plywood with timbers placed along the seams between the boards.
The Wilhemis' dock features a small entertaining area. Linda Wilhemi said they sacrificed sitting space to allow for two and a half slips to accommodate their watercraft.
When custom-built houses are under construction, the eventual homeowners usually are on site as often as possible to check the progress, talk to the builder and make sure everything is up to snuff. At the lake, that often spills over to docks.
Ohio residents Mark and Linda Wilhemi's dock-building experience was altogether different -- it was almost exclusively over the Internet.
The Wilhemis met with the company, Turner's Building, only once. Linda said their initial meeting to describe what they wanted was the only face-to-face time they had. There were a few phone calls and the Wilhemis dropped by twice during construction, but that was it.
Mark said not being able to be on site had a few drawbacks. When the dock builder recommended the couple extend the dock 40 feet from the shoreline, the Wilhemis said they thought that was too far away.
"When you're looking at measurements on a piece of paper, 40 feet is a long way," said Mark.
Being on site after they nixed the 40-foot distance, Mark said they realized that wouldn't have been as far away as they had envisioned. While Linda agreed 40 feet would have been nice, she said at least they won't have far to walk from their back door.
The dock is situated next to a large pile of dirt while the Wilhemis' house is under construction. The lack of a finished product almost caused a hiccup in the dock-building process when the couple sought design approval from The Boardwalk's architectural review committee.
"They were somewhat hesitant, I remember, because they don't like you building a dock when you don't have a house," said Linda.
The plans were approved, however, and since June 2010, the Wilhemis have had a place from which to watch their home's construction. While the Wilhemis are visiting the lake, they stay at Mariners Landing, where they own a condominium.
The dock was constructed using maintenance-free materials including HardiBoard siding on the cabana and Azek decking. The couple said they were sold on the Azek because, unlike some other composites, it doesn't contain wood. Mark said that will extend the life of the decking because they won't have to worry about the boards becoming warped.
The Wilhemis also opted for a finished ceiling, which was constructed using painted plywood. Timbers placed along the seams between the boards create a classically styled look.
There's a small seating area in front of the cabana, but other than a floater, there's not much entertaining space.
"We wanted slips for all the watercraft, so we gave up deck space," said Linda. "If we really have a lot of people, you could always put them on the pontoon boat."
In addition to the pontoon, the couple owns a wakeboard boat and two personal watercraft. When the Wilhemis visit the lake, they take all of them out every day -- a morning jaunt on the PWCs, a trip by pontoon to a waterfront restaurant for lunch and cruising in the wakeboard boat for any excursions in between.
"We don't live here, so when we're down here, we're out on the boats," said Mark.
The dock has two and a half slips to accommodate the couple's flotilla. Linda said, according to Appalachian Power employees, the half slip is not counted as a slip in the current Shoreline Management Plan, which only allows two slips on a 1,500-square-foot dock, because it is not full size.
In the near future, the Wilhemis plan to install remote-control lifts. Linda said they've heard and read too many horror stories about regular boat lifts malfunctioning and causing the watercraft to rise and crash into the dock's ceiling.
Also on the to-do list are finishing the cabana walls and installing a stereo system, said Mark.
Despite their nontraditional approach to the dock-building process, Mark said they're pleased with the finished product and that, in retrospect, it was a "fairly easy process."
"It's always difficult to be far away, but I think they did a really nice job," he said.