Forget McMansions, tiny houses are front page these days. The corona plague has a lot to do with it. Folks are moving to the country, and a tiny house fits budgets tightened by outlays for relocation. Or a cottage for relatives and guests. Millennials like mini first homes, and nomads like trailering tiny houses to sight-see the country or chase employment gigs. And our topic this month, that venerable classic of tiny houses, the pond house.
Pond shacks, shanties, saunas, tiny houses, changing rooms, shoreline cottages, boat houses... well, you get the idea. Pond houses have been around forever, and they're more popular than ever.
With winter coming on, ice shanties are the now pond house. When the ice is thick enough, they're skidded or wheeled to a good fishing location. The fishing hole might be pre-drilled or drilled after shanty placement. The shanty might be equipped with a wood stove or fuel heater, some chairs, fishing tackle and bait. Pull in some fish and warm up the fry pan.
Fishing shanties are versatile. When they are not on the ice, they can be moved to shore to double as whatever sort of shelter you might like. Cabin, changing house, garden shed, you name it. You might crank up the wood stove and with the addition of some benches, turn a shanty into a sauna. (Not a bad idea these days since prefab saunas are Out Of Stock at many places on the internet.)
When available there's a variety of modular saunas as do-it yourself kits or pre-mades
ready for trucking. It's a rare ad for a sauna that doesn't show it set up on the shore of a pond or lake.
I've seen pond houses built on floats anchored in the water or set up on pond islands. Pond buildings once made handy ice houses. Winter ice was cut into blocks and stacked in the icehouse, packed in sawdust as insulation. The ice often lasted until cold returned the following winter. Survivalists take note.
Clusters of pond houses are often found at kids' camps, or wherever people gather
for vacations, study, work, retreats, etc. I haven't seen a shipping container set up
on a pond shore yet, but I bet it will not be long (well, 40 feet). Remember, a man's pond house is his castle. And maybe, occasionally, somebody else's getaway Airbnb. I can just see the reviews: Man, what a dive!
Pond Sauna Links and Ice Thickness Caution
Topics vary from month to month and provide great information when researching where you want to build a pond, and how to plan construction;
techniques to repair ponds and maintain good water quality. Other areas of interest include pond uses for everything from swimming to fish stocking, skating, garden irrigation, predator control, beach building, fire protection, wildlife attraction, and much more.