Contemplating a Custom Cottage? Having the Right Muskoka Builders Can Save You Time and Money; You Won’t Believe What Some Builders Do!
With the stresses and trials of city life in and around Toronto, one of the ways people like to unwind is by making the trek out to Muskoka. Well known as a vacation hot spot in Ontario, it is a popular area with plenty to see and do in virtually any season.
- Muskoka was named as #1 by National Geographic as one of the 10 Best Trips of Summer in 2011.
- Muskoka was mentioned as one of the Best Trips of the World in 2012.
If you love to visit on a regular basis, you might benefit from building your very own cottage using skilled Muskoka builders. Having a cottage is often an ideal situation for most people, as it gives them a no-fuss way to get away whenever the mood strikes, without having to worry about finding suitable accommodations.
You probably know all there is to know about Muskoka itself – popular destinations, galleries, dining, shopping, and boating. But what about finding the right builder for your cottage? That can be a real challenge if you are not sure where to start. Here, we provide you with everything to look for to select the right Muskoka builders for your project, and with everything you should be careful about as your project gets underway.
1) Collect several referrals from different sources.
The first place to turn for referrals is always to your friends, family, and network of contacts. These are individuals who know you, your preferences, and your likes and dislikes. Working within your inner circle is often the most effective way to find someone compatible and who will build a high quality cottage for you.
If your inquiry only yields a few recommendations, another place to start looking for referrals is with builder associations, like the Ontario Home Builders’ Association. These types of associations can usually recommend a number of good builders in your area, who voluntarily are part of a trade organization dedicated to quality building in the region.
Another good option is simply driving around to other cottages in the area to locate any open houses or models that might be available for viewing. Does one particular style from certain Muskoka builders appeal to you? See if you can find out who the builder is and put them on your “to-call” list.
2) Conduct your research.
After you have some likely candidates, it is time to narrow down the field. Your research should focus on a few different things:
- Is the builder qualified? Look for certifications, training programs, memberships in builder associations, and credentials that suggest your chosen builder has the experience and training necessary to build a high-quality cottage.
- Does your builder have any customer complaints on file? There are a few places to look: public records and court files, business bureaus, and trade associations. See what kinds of problems arose, and determine if they were resolved in a satisfactory way.
- Consider a background check. While this might seem a bit extreme, keep in mind that you will be making a large investment with your Muskoka builders. Financial viability is an important part of having a healthy cottage building business, as it can otherwise become a problem when it comes time to pay contractors and subcontractors.
3) Meet with a few prospective candidates.
If you have narrowed your selection down to a chosen few, then it is time to begin the interview process. Here are some good questions to have ready:
- Are you experienced in building the kind of cottage I want?
- What subcontractors do you use?
- How many of your projects finish on-time, and on-budget?
- Can you provide references?
- Can you provide me the details on any warranties you offer?
Following these careful steps should allow you to find the right Muskoka builders for your project. You can then start enjoying all of the benefits the Muskoka area has to offer.
- Muskoka is a safe area, with fewer than 500 emergency calls in 2009, the last year when data is available.
- Muskoka has a small but thriving population, with just under 6500 residents, most of whom are young families returning to the area to raise their children. This gives it a truly “hometown” feel.
Have you ever wanted to have a vacation cottage in Muskoka? Tell us why in the comments, and share this article with your friends and family to start talking about ideas for your future custom cottage.
Working With Your Builder
Once you have your builder selected, there are a number of factors that go into making sure you end up with a high quality cottage. While a good builder will keep an eye on most of these for you, be on the look out for warning signs.
- Carefully research any site you want to build for conditions like expansive soil and other problems that might make the foundation unsafe.
- Visit the site regularly to ensure that the subcontractors hired by your Muskoka builders are performing high quality work; some contractors may cut corners, which can cost you significant money in repairs after the fact, and you also do not want to live in a home with code violations.
- Analyze your warranties carefully and negotiate them if you feel uncomfortable. Some warranties have very lengthy exclusions, which can make enforcing them impossible unless the home is falling down around you.
- Get a clear idea of the available design packages early in the process in order to avoid surprising costs later when it comes time to pick your trim.
By following these simple tips, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises and instead get to enjoying your custom cottage in Muskoka that much faster.
Woodcastle Homes Ltd. is a high quality custom home builder based out of Toronto. We work with a variety of customers on different building projects, from condominium renovations to custom built homes and cottages. We offer a number of different packages and benefits to customers, and can help you make your dreams of a custom cottage in Muskoka a reality. Contact us today to learn about our different packages and options.