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Cost to Build a Cottage in Ontario: Everything You Need to Know 1

Cost to Build a Cottage in Ontario: Everything You Need to Know

Building and designing a cozy home away from home is the dream of many people in the Ontario area. You’re able to imbue the home’s design with your own individual aesthetic, making it the perfect place to escape for a quiet weekend.

If you’re trying to figure out the cost to build a cottage in Ontario, there are many factors you need to take into consideration. There’s no standard number that applies to all custom cottages. There are things that can cause the number to skyrocket, so knowing that in advance can help you when nailing down your cottage building budget.

For those living in Ontario who want to have a cottage custom-built, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about the common construction costs.

What is Ontario’s Cottage Country?

Cottage Country is located north of the urban centres of Southern Ontario. It stretches in the west to Georgian Bay, northward to Lake Nipissing, and eastern to the Ottawa area. The landscape is dotted with beautiful lakes and is home to many vacation homes and cottages.

The term “Cottage Country” applies to the Muskoka, Simcoe, Kawarthas, Parry Sound, and Southern Georgian Bay areas. These locales have abundant access to freshwater rivers and lakes, making it the perfect vacation destination.

The Cost to Build a Cottage in Ontario

Many people seek out Cottage Country to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities. However, you need to be realistic about the cost of having a cottage custom-built. Building a cottage is a major investment that can bring your family joy for years to come, but it is not an inexpensive one.


Lakefront property in the Cottage Country area is increasing in price this upcoming year. The closer your lot is to a lake, the more money it will cost. The average price of a cottage in Canada’s recreational regions is expected to increase by 15% in 2021.

More people are migrating to Cottage Country for permanent residences as they spend their time working at home. This is predicted to cause a spike in home and lot prices. When pricing out the cost of your custom cottage, over budget for the cost of the lot itself.

Also, the more in-demand a neighbourhood is, the more pricey it will be. The cost of building a cottage in the Muskoka or Kawarthas area may run you a bit more than in some of the other regions.

How Your Lot Affects the Overall Cost

When estimating the cost to build a cottage, most people consider the cost of the building itself. However, your lot has the potential to drastically alter your budget. Your lot and the building site will need to be prepared before cottage construction can begin.

A land survey usually kicks off the process to determine easements and boundaries. You have to be mindful of underground utilities when you start digging. This will also determine how much grading and clearing your lot requires before the cottage can be built.

The cost of the land survey depends on the landscape and size of the building site. They can start at $1,500 depending on topography and location.

After the land survey comes the rock and vegetation clearing. If your lot has more obstacles to clear, the longer it will take and the more money it will cost.

Grading follows after everything is cleared out of the building area. With a steep lot, it’ll require more grading to get it level enough to build on. That will also increase the cost.

Consider how close your building site is to the nearby road. The farther away it is, the longer your driveway will be. The longer it is, the more it will cost.

The type of material you use for your driveway will also affect the cost. Concrete, asphalt, gravel, or stone all come with different price tags. Price out the various costs to add those to your overall budget.

Accessing the Property

If you’re building a home on an island, you have to take into consideration how materials will get to that location. They will need to travel by vehicle to the closest access point and then by boat. Those extra steps will add money to your budget.

Square Footage and Design

If you have a larger home, you will also need more of your lot graded to accommodate the larger size. One way to mitigate that is by building a two-story cottage instead of one-story. A two-story house takes up less space on your lot.

The interior design and finishes of your home will also influence the cost. Choosing high-end lumber, countertops, and flooring results in the cost of the cottage going up. Bathrooms tend to be one of the most pricey rooms in a home, so the more bathrooms you have, the more your cottage will cost.

Using high-end kitchen design will also be expensive. They do provide an excellent return on investment, so keep that in mind as you design your cottage.

There may be some market factors that are completely out of your control. The price of lumber has risen due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that will affect the overall price of your cottage.

Connect With an Experienced Builder

There are so many variables when figuring out the cost to build a cottage in Ontario. Being realistic and selecting a functional lot that won’t eat your entire budget before you get to the building is essential. When hiring cottage builders, select an experienced one right away will ensure you’re on the right track.

To connect with one of our experienced staff members, contact us today.

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Ken Jaquith Director Of Client Experience
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