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Custom Home Construction and Remodelling Tips

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A classic cottage country image. Five Muskoka chairs sit on a wooden dock that extends on to a lake on a fall day.When you’re at the cottage, there’s no time of year more enchanting than the autumn. Stepping outside on a crisp morning, a cup of coffee warming your hands as you look out towards trees of brilliant gold, orange, brown, and red: the setting is pure magic. It’s also the time of year you can pursue your cottage dream with a trip to the 14th annual Fall Cottage Life Show, running from October 20-22 at the International Centre in Mississauga. Here are three things to know that will help you get the most out of the event.

 

 

A couple looks on eagerly as a builder points something out on the blueprints of their new home under construction.

1. You’ll find credible designers and builders at the Cottage Life Show.

It costs designers and builders money and resources to attend the show, so you can depend on the companies attending to be dedicated to what they do. If you come to the Cottage Life Show with ideas you want to get down on paper, this is the place to do it. Design-builder firms will be there to work with you at the idea and design stage, helping give structure to the possibilities, and setting you up with the resources you need to take the next steps.

If you’re looking to go with a package home dealer, the Cottage Life Show will showcase a wide variety of styles and designs for you to consider when looking to customize your home. Whatever your ultimate goals are, the exhibitors you’ll find at the show are some of the best in the province for you to gather inspiration from when planning your dream cottage.

 

 

A contractor holds on to housing blueprints as he points something out in a house undergoing a major renovation. A couple looks on.

2. Know what kind of client you are.

Are you the kind of client who’ll want a professional to handle your project from start to finish? Or maybe you’re the kind of client who loves to get directly involved with your home rebuild or reno.

 

If the latter is the case, this will mean getting your permits in order and making sure all the trades are lined up and organized, while you supervise the quality of work. Make sure you keep this in mind with every vendor you meet, so you ask questions about proximity to the worksite, timeline, and their qualifications. You’ll also need a BCIN-licensed set of construction plans, survey, site plan, and multiple types of municipal permits and a budget in mind before they start.  Simply put, there’s a lot of pre-construction work required before starting the work, so if you’re going to be taking a hands-on approach, knowledge is power.

 

On the other hand, finding a professional design-build company will take the guesswork out of building your custom house. From an initial design questionnaire through a project development phase, both design and budget are developed in tandem. A design-builder will even take care of the pre-construction work so you don't have to. The end result will be a beautiful personalized design that has been crafted around your lifestyle and the investment amount you’re comfortable with.

 

Knowing what you’re looking for will help you map out which exhibitors to consult, how long you should expect to talk with each of them, and how to make the most efficient use of your time at the show.

 

 

A contractor holds on to a tablet as he looks up towards the building frame of a new home.

3. Know if you're looking for a unique design or more of a package.

Are you happy to pick up a range of design plans and choose one from the presented options? Maybe you want to live in a subdivision and save a bit of money on your new home.

 

Or do you want to be free to design exactly what you want, where you want? Maybe you have a plot of land you’re looking to develop that offers unique design possibilities. Come prepared with a vision of what you could build on your site, and you’ll get a lot more out of the exhibitors’ expertise and offerings. Detailed questions will yield detailed answers, so come prepared and shape what kind of home you will — and can  —eventually build.

 

If you’re speaking with a small local contractor, you may have a completed stamped design in hand and are wondering if he’d be qualified to do the work. At this point, you’ll want to be figuring out if this small local contractor has the capabilities and formal qualifications to execute this major investment without messing up. Just because someone might do a great bathroom reno job, doesn’t mean they’re able to competently do more than that.

 

 

Visit the Fall Cottage Life Show with these considerations in mind and you’ll leave with much more information, as well as contacts for professionals you'd like to work with. By next autumn, you could be enjoying the colourful scenery in a setting built just for you.

 

Download the Free Complete Guide to Planning, Designing and Building a Custom Home

 

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