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From regulations to our picks for choosing a design-build firm, here’s your guide to building a home in Ontario.


Building a home in Ontario means that you’re building in an area of endless possibility. As the second-largest landmass province in Canada -- with over a million square kilometres of land to choose from, Ontario is where we call home at Gilbert + Burke. We think that it shows all of the very best that Canada has to offer. When you build an Ontario home or cottage, you’re inviting adventure into your lives at every turn.


Whether you build in the Kawarthas, the Muskokas, Georgian Bay, Simcoe County or the Greater Toronto Area, your home will be within some of Canada’s most beautiful parks, natural areas and waterways. If you’re looking to build a custom home or cottage in Ontario, we’re here to break down everything you need to know.


Building a new home ontario

From local laws and regulations to why you should choose design-build, you need to start in on your new adventure:


What are local laws and restrictions to keep in mind?

Be sure to choose a builder who is well-versed in Ontario’s laws and restrictions and the hyper-local regulations of the area you decide to build. Work with a team that knows their stuff, which helps minimize risk and ensure that you’re not fined for mistakes stemming from a lack of knowledge.


Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to building a home in Ontario:


  • Your build must fit within all required specifications from home size to necessary additions to your home.
  • When working with an Ontario builder, they are required to provide a Tarion seven-year statutory warranty, on non-seasonal new homes. Owner-built homes forfeit this right, which is why we always recommend working with a builder like G+B.
  • Development and subdivision building regulations vary by community, but it’s still great to know the correct specifications.


What are the steps to building a home?

Building a home or cottage is a big (and extremely rewarding!) decision, and we’d recommend it to almost anyone. However, before you get started, here are some key things to remember, big questions to ask and important reminders to consider:


  • Find the right builder: Ask as many questions as you can, and don’t stop looking until you find a builder you feel you truly connect with. Your builder has an immense effect on the outcome of your future home, so choose carefully.
  • Decide on a budget: Be sure to come into all conversations with a budget in mind, and leave some wiggle room. Having an initial understanding of the budget you’d like to stay within is key to ending up happy with your decisions. Budgetary restrictions and allowances are also key to deciding where you’d like to build your home in Ontario.
  • Live where you love: Ontario is full of many cities, communities and towns, all of which have their little quirks and their things to love. From the Kawartha Lakes to the Muskokas, you really can’t go wrong. Do your due diligence on everything from schools to community controls.
  • Get deep into the nitty-gritty: Part of building a home lies in the details, so have fun with it. From the finishes to the grout to the brick, comb over every detail of your home to make sure that you’ll be happy with it for years to come. While renovations are always possible if certain dreams aren’t currently in reach, do your best to choose only the things you adore and see yourself putting to use.


Why choose design-build?

Choosing a design-build firm like Gilbert + Burke is a great choice for your new Ontario build. When you bring in the help of a design-build firm, you’re ensuring a consistent workflow, streamlined communication and a cohesive feel throughout the entire build. Design-build firms manage every single piece of the project, which helps immensely with project timelines, internal structures and financial savings.


With Gilbert + Burke, you’ll be working with trusted designers, contractors and builders who know how to communicate with each other for the best possible projects. Our teams have shown their excellence, and our homes are the proof.


Building a home opens so much possibility for you, and it’s an exciting (if exhausting and sometimes emotional) process. When building your Ontario home, choose a builder like Gilbert + Burke to be your teammate throughout the process. Every detail matters, which is why it’s important to choose a partner for your project who has proven their strengths time and time again.


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