A Floating House – Everything There is to Know About

Many people find bodies of water to be peaceful and soothing. Looking out onto open water can calm the soul. Some people across the globe have uprooted from the shores and have chosen to live on the water. For homeowners, houseboats are a bit of an enigma and there are so many questions remained unanswered about these alternative homes. If you’ve got some burning questions about living on a floating house, then continue to read this article. We have aimed to answer all of the FAQs for houseboat living.

floating houses at Kröslin port

How do floating houses or houseboats or get water?

Houseboats typically have a tank of water that is already built into the boat. Despite harboring on a body of water, the occupants of a house boat don’t typically come into contact with the water that surrounds them. This is because outside water is often contaminated or dirty, so it’s not suitable for drinking or washing in.

Instead, tanks of water can either be bought whole, or for a more environmentally friendly alternative, many have a tank that is filled by rain and filtered to create washing water. It’s important to note that this is not safe drinking water, instead this is substituted by big bottles of water.

How do houseboats or a floating house get electricity?

Houseboats have a few options for electricity to be generated. For the more environmentally conscious houseboat occupant, it’s common to generate electricity using solar panels. It’s a common misconception that solar panels are only effective in really sunny countries. However, this couldn’t be further from the case. Solar panels collect light, instead of heat, so it doesn’t actually matter if the sun is shining, the solar panels will still work fine.

Other people will use a small 120v AC power generator is really useful and offers up to 7 days of electricity if charged. Depending on where you are docked, there will be a charging port which will allow you to top up your power generator.

What happens to sewer water on floating homes and houseboats?

Sewer water is a contaminant, so there is no free flush on a houseboat. This prevents the external water from becoming contaminated with waste. Instead, houseboat inhabitants will have a build in cesspit. This needs to be disposed of correctly at a waste recycling plant. It’s important to ensure that you have a tank installed before you set off on any houseboat trip, as this could result in you not having bathroom facilities onboard the houseboat.

How much do floating house cost?

Depending on the size and decor of a floating house, the prices typically range from £60K-£400K (76,000-500,000USD). Smaller more traditional houseboats come with a much smaller price tag. Depending on what you intend to use the houseboat for, for example if you are only looking for  a holiday home, then you can get away with spending less. However, if you are looking to live in a houseboat full time, then it’s important to shop around and consider comfort and convenience over a lower price tag.

Do floating homes pay property taxes?

If your floating home is in a residential mooring destination, then you will have to pay council tax, the same as any other home owner. If you continually move around on your houseboat, you may not be subject to the same faws. Similar to motor homes, houseboats all depend on what location you’re living in. If you have a permanent residence in one spot, then you will be subject to the residential laws that apply in that particular area.

Making a floating home comfortable

Houseboats can be quite cramped and uncomfortable, so it’s important to know how to maximise comfort if you want to live on the water. For tall people especially living below deck can be cramped and can lead to neck pain. It’s important to invest in a neck pillow that will allow your spine and neck to heal from crouching down. It’s also important to ensure that you stock up on blankets and quilts, as boats do not retain the same level of heat as a normal boat.