Sims 3: Building on piers, docks, and over water

Livin' the beach life
With the new Island Paradise expansion pack, you can now build a Sims 3 home over water. This is something that many Simmers have been wanting. It used to be something that you could only do via the use of cheats (particularly moveobjects). But now you can build a house on stilts over the water. 
If you are wondering how to build a house on stilts over water in The Sims 3, I had to hunt around a while to figure it out myself.
The key is to lay down a Stilted Foundation. This is found in Build Mode under "Platforms, Decks, and Foundations." You can't just place pillars in the water or draw floor over the water (I tried).
The process is pretty simple. As you draw the Stilted Foundation out into the water, stilts automatically level themselves. They extend out pretty far past the end of the land, but there is a maximum limit beyond which you cannot build. Too bad, because I was starting to wonder about building bridges in between islands.
As you can see, the stilts continue on the landward side. Thus, you will probably want to put a small set of stairs at the other end of your stilted foundation, so that your Sims can get up there. 
Not only does this look cool and allow your Sims to moor boats right in their front yard, so to speak, it also means that you can extend your waterfront property even farther. I experimented with this over the weekend. My Sims were given a private island after one of them bought the new Uncharted Island Map Lifetime Reward. The land property ended at the boundaries of the island, but I was able to extend that out far enough into the water to build a whole entire house on the dock. Pretty sweet!
The ability to build a house on stilts means that life on one of the small private islands in Isla Paradiso is a lot more feasible. I had initially been a little annoyed at how small the islands are. And most of them are heavily landscaped with trees and rocks, which means that the buildable area is very small relative to a normal land-locked lot. But only a small part of your house needs to be touching the land at all, which really frees you up. (You can also build a houseboat and moor it on your private island, of course!)

Screenshot copyright EA Games/The Sims 3

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