The Roanoker - July/August 2020 - 58

homes

CAROL J. ALEXANDER writes on home remodeling and lifestyle topics for
clients like This Old House, Family Handyman, PODS and RedFin. She lives in the
Shenandoah Valley.

Kim and Bob Wells enjoy
the lake breeze while
dining on their newlycovered deck.

OUTDOOR LIVING AT ITS FINEST
THE TRANSFORMATION OF AN OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE ON SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE.
written by carol j. alexander / photographed by bob sowder

F

rom the curb, passersby would consider Bob
and Kim Wells' Smith Mountain Lake home
a typical chalet-style structure, a wing on each
side with a two-bay garage. But from the lake,
it commands a reverence befitting its stately
appearance.
The chalet wall stands so high, painters used a 45-foot
ladder and still couldn't reach its peak. " I have a picture
of a painter laying on his stomach over the peak to paint
underneath, " says Kim.
The stone walls and columns speak the strength you'd
expect from such a majestic place.
Smith Mountain Lake isn't the location of the Wells' first
lake home. For 13 years they owned a vacation home on
Chautauqua Lake in New York.

58

JULY/AUGUST 2020

" But the lake season was a minute long, " says Bob. " So,
facing retirement, we wanted to move south. "
No other type of vacation home would do for this Ohiobased family.
" We love lakes, " Bob says. " Our kids were active water
sports kids growing up. "
Consequently, their lake-front shopping list included a
longer season, a deep lake with a sandy bottom that didn't
freeze over, a permanent dock, and mountains. Smith
Mountain Lake, the second largest body of freshwater
in Virginia, has it all and is an easy commute from their
permanent home in Ohio.
The Wells bought their place on Smith Mountain Lake
in 2014 and it was so perfect, they've done little to it since.
However, the afternoon sun made the deck unbearable.

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The Roanoker - July/August 2020

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