"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Endless remodels on Lake Chelan cabin

By on July 25, 2020 in Featured Homes with 0 Comments
A dump and a deal that instead of a flip house became a fixture in Phil and Julie Roddy’s lives.

By Phil Roddy

In the early ’80s, I was a builder/contractor and my wife Julie was a banker. We made a great team as her job provided us with all-important medical benefits and I remodeled and flipped houses. 

Three years was the longest we lived in any house before selling. So we’ve lived in more than 30 houses. I’ve always enjoyed moving.

Our Lake Chelan cabin came for sale through one of Julie’s colleagues. It was a dump and also a deal, so we bought it in 1994. 

Our thinking at the time was instead of fixing and flipping for a quick buck, maybe we could hold on for our retirement years.

As a builder, I had the ability to do this kind of work so our first phase of the remodel was to get it livable. 

After the first remodel: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, half a basement… nothing fancy but livable.

We sold our Broadview house in Wenatchee and scaled down so we could afford a second home — the Lake Chelan cabin and a home in Wenatchee. 

I had a proper septic system installed, and a furnace/heat pump. Then over the next 10 years, I replaced the roof, siding, decking and added a basement bath. 

While living in England for six years, Phil returned each summer to continue the remodel, including replacing all of the interior walls and ceiling with pine.

This was then a very basic two-bedroom, two-bath house with a half basement. Nothing fancy but it served us well.

In 2001, Julie’s job took us to Arizona. We came up every summer and I continued to find ways to make the ol’ shack better as we loved being on the lake.

2007 was a very busy year as I got permits to start the phase 2 remodel. I added a 24-foot by 32-foot shop, which gave us valuable garage and boat storage in the winter months. 

In the fall of 2007, Julie was hired by Barclays Bank, so we moved to London and the adventure continued.

During the six years we lived in England, I returned in the summer months always to continue the remodel. 

I lived for these projects, and was always improving the house every year. I added a master bath, cabinets, slate on all floors, and replaced all interior walls and ceilings with pine. 

Now we have the true rustic cabin we’ve always wanted. While living on the lake, I still continued to take on several underwater jobs each summer that I’ve done for over 30 years.

The finished shot of the lake house is really temporary as I am always looking for ways to make it better. 

A finished (for now) shot here of the lake house with all exterior decks and stairs replaced for the second time using the trex decking that holds up well in the winter weather.

I’ve replaced all exterior decks and stairs for the second time using the trex decking that holds up very well in the winter weather here. A fire pit and hot tub were also essential.

Phil, Julie and infamous Wall of Shame.

The most notable addition that we’ve done here — the one that makes us unique — is what we call the happy hour “Wall of Shame.” There might be nothing like it in the world. This is what our visitors always talk about and remember.

We started this 15 years ago, it’s all about recycling and doing our part to protect the environment. Each year we start the “Wall” over and always try to improve. 

I’ve included an early morning and afternoon view that we’ve never tired of in 26 years. 

We will continue to be quarantined here in the summer months and winter in Mesa, AZ. 

And, as the builder in me always looks for changes that will improve homes, the remodel will never end.

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