Building a New Cottage - 4 Snags You Can Avoid


Thinking about building a new home or building a new cottage is exciting - Getting the perfect place, exactly to your taste… But there are some things that people often forget to take into consideration that can add extra stress.

According to local Haliburton real estate builders, Derek Beachli of Derek Beachli Construction, and Tom Neville, owner of Snowdon Contracting here are the snags people often run into:

  • Owners realizing the extent of the planning stage before building.  This takes a minimum of 6 months (plans, permits, etc). 
  • Neglecting to lay out the lot properly – where the house should go relative to the waterfront, septic, driveway & well - which can cause delays and complications for the duration of the build.  Involve your builder and/or other experts in these kinds of decisions as they’ve been through this many times before.  You have to comply with set-back rules (from the water), building restrictions, and minimum requirements.
  • Future problem prevention - Tom Neville urges those planning a build to keep in mind that the condensation drain pipe for your furnace should never go into the sanitary drain pipe - the acidic water from the furnace kills the bacteria in the septic system which is needed to eat the waste in the effluent water.  Lack of bacteria can cause a system to fail.  Also, if you have a basement, any tree within 10 feet of your building will grow their roots towards any water source during dry weather.  If a tree's branches can touch or are over your building the roots can reach too.  They grow against your foundation into your weeper pipes and will eventually plug them leaving nowhere for the ground water to go - other than into your basement.

  • People not realizing how frustrating it can be and how long it can take.  Expect delays – and be aware of how much it will hold up your entire project to wait on something like a particular product to come in stock - it delays everything that comes after.

When picking a contractor for building your new home or cottage look for:

Builders advise clients building a new home or building a new cottage to expect ballpark cost to be approximately $200/sq ft for viceroy homes style  - to get hardwood floors and pine ceilings, and more for higher end finishes.  Other expenses that need to be considered include; needing to blast for the foundation, how deep the well needs to be, how far the hydro has to travel, driveway cost, heating system choice and landscaping to complete your project – just to name a few.

We asked Aggie Tose, Executive Officer of the Haliburton County Home Builders Association, to recommend a good resource for people who are thinking of buildling a new cottage or home. This PDF, Projects Done Right: Hiring a Professional Contractor, is an excellent starting point. 

The Haliburton County Home Builder's Association has many other great resources you can access here.

If you’d like to see for yourself what Haliburton’s local builders can do, check out this stunning luxury home featured by House and Home Magazine!

Our agents at Team Haliburton Highlands can not only help you find the perfect piece of land for your project, they can also connect you to trusted local resources to help your build go as seamlessly as possible.  Contact us anytime at 705-457-9999 or

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