Creating a maintenance free beach home

We are often asked how to make a beach house as kid, pet and guest friendly as possible. In fact, one of the first things people usually put on their wish list is: NO maintenance! I can’t blame them – who wants to come to the beach to worry about house repairs. And while I cannot promise that you won’t have to power wash or repaint every now and then, I wanted to use this post to share some photos of a house we finished not long about in Watersound. The owners of this home were very smart in their selections both inside and out and focused on selecting materials that could handle lots of kids, pets and guests without getting worn down.

  1. I love Hardi plank siding. It is very common down here at the beach and it’s one of the most weather tolerant exterior materials you can use. As you can see in these photos, lighter colors wear better than darker colors so go for light tones whenever possible if you want to get the longest lasting paint job possible.
  2. Covered pools. I know swimming in the sun is fun, but a covered pool not only takes less maintenance but also uses fewer chemicals.
  3. Wood walls inside are a great investment. Not only do they look fabulous but they are stronger than drywall and are much easier to fix and repair if damaged without showing the repair seams. Plus, you get the added benefit of easily hanging pictures in a straight line without having to measure.
  4. Silestone countertops. If you are looking for a stain, scratch and pretty much no maintenance countertop choice, than a manmade product such as Silestone is great.
  5. Painted cabinets. Again, a light color is the best when it comes to hiding stains and covering any nicks or damage.
  6. Wire brushed or reclaimed wood floors. Got kids, pets or expect a lot of company at your beach house? Then go for a wood floor that comes with a rustic look – a big favorite down here is wire brushed oak or a reclaimed heart pine. The best part is that the more scratches you add, the better it looks.
  7. Simple, Subway style tiles. When it comes to tile choices, the sky is the limit. I love going tile shopping because the store and options are endless and beautiful. But when it comes to a low maintenance house, go for simple large format tiles on the walls. Subway style tiles are perfect for staying in budget and they work great whether you are going for an historical, traditional or modern look. Stick to an off white, crackle white or cream look at you won’t go wrong. You can dress it up, dress it down or throw it next to just about any color countertop, flooring or accessories and it will look great. Just remember to opt for a smaller tile with a bit more grout for anti-slip on bathroom and shower floors.


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