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Building a cottage

640 426 Nisha Muire

Toronto homeowners have looked to escape the city in larger numbers than ever during the pandemic. The increased interest in cottage country has brought with it an increase in the number of people buying land and building their own country get-away. 

Rising costs

With cottage country house prices expected to rise 17% in 2021, it is easy to understand why building could be an attractive alternative. However, before building you must take into account all of the peripheral costs that could make building just as costly as buying. Add to that the rising costs of lumber and materials in the province, and the only incentive left in building is the customization that you will get versus buying already built.

What to budget for

Among the more obvious costs of building your own cottage are the cost of land and the physical structure itself. What many people forget to include in their calculations are the costs of:

  • Architect to design your house
  • Preparing the land
  • Excavation
  • Pouring a foundation
  • Creating a path or driveway up to your property
  • Installing a septic tank (if not being hooked up to the city)
  • Drilling a well
  • Electricity/plumbing hook-ups
  • Electrical systems (if off-grid)
  • City permits
  • Gutters/installation
  • Paint
  • Flooring
  • Project manager (unless you plan on doing this yourself)
  • Furniture/appliances
  • Window coverings
  • Landscaping¬†
  • Closing costs

Kit houses

Prefabricated houses are a very good option for country homes. They are built in a factory and assembled on site. The interesting part of a kit home is that you can choose what state of completion you want for your project. You can order just the kit and find your own contractor to put it together. Or, if you are handy you can put it together yourself, which would save a lot of money. You could also have them install it but get your own supplier for the excavation and finishes. You could also choose the turnkey option where everything is done for you.

Online calculators

If you choose to do the work yourself, there are online calculators that will help you cost out the total expenditure to budget for your project. Although you will have to pay for the full version of these calculators, they will list every element of your project down to how many screws you will need, giving you a very clear idea of how much you need to budget.

Building your own cottage can be exciting. Planning carefully and having a contingency fund are crucial to a successful project.


Nisha Muire

All stories by: Nisha Muire