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Renovating your Cottage? Be Sure to Keep These Key Considerations in Mind

July 18, 2023

Does your cottage need some sprucing? Renovating a cottage is an exciting endeavour that allows owners to breathe new life into their beloved retreat. But, before anyone begins diving into the renovation process, it's essential that they consider several key factors to ensure a successful and enjoyable transformation, especially one that will stand the test of time. 

At Generation Construction, we've worked with many cottage owners to elevate and improve their "home away from home," which is why we understand the significance of thorough planning. Without careful consideration, you could be left with something that doesn't fit your needs or wants or, even worse, is structurally unsound. 

Our experience in working closely with cottage owners has taught us the importance of considering specific aspects before embarking on a renovation project. In this blog post, we will guide you through the essential considerations that will help you make informed decisions and prepare appropriately for your cottage reno so that you can enjoy an upgrade that surpasses your expectations. 

1. Embrace 4-Season Functionality:

Traditionally, cottages were associated with summer getaways. However, over the past few years, we've noticed an emerging trend to transform them into year-round havens. Consider upgrading your cottage to be functional during all four seasons. 

This enables you to maximize your investment by using the property throughout the year, whether enjoying cozy winters by the fireplace or witnessing the breathtaking beauty of nature during autumn. By designing your getaway for year-round functionality, you can enjoy a versatile and enduring space you and your family can cherish all year. Plus, it also takes away from having to "open" or "close" your cottage periodically for half the year.

2. Evaluate Structural Integrity:

Before embarking on any renovation project, assessing the cottage's structural integrity is crucial. We recommend you conduct a thorough inspection with a professional contractor to identify any underlying issues such as rot, water damage, or compromised foundations. 

Addressing these concerns during the renovation process ensures a solid and safe structure for years to come, preventing costly repairs in the future. This step will also help outline any areas that need immediate attention so that you can include these projects during your renovation.

3. Define Your Renovation Goals:

Are you seeking to expand the living space, modernize the kitchen, or create a more open concept? Defining your objectives allows you or your contractor to propose design solutions that align with your vision while also considering the structural limitations and the existing layout of the cottage. 

If you have a more elaborate plan or idea for your renovation, this will also help you determine whether or not you should work with a contractor or an interior designer. While this will add to the cost of your renovation, it will help ensure that your vision comes to reality and that you are provided with a great build project that will last for the future.

4. Budget Realistically:

As mentioned, renovations can quickly become expensive if not approached with a well-defined budget. While preparing for your renovation and outlining your needs and wants, it is essential that you take the time to develop an accurate budget for your project.

We also recommend including a contingency fund to accommodate any unexpected costs that may arise during the renovation process. Though this step may be tedious and timely, it will allow you to prioritize renovation aspects and make informed decisions that align with your financial capabilities.

5. Environmental Considerations:

Cottage renovations provide an opportunity to adopt sustainable practices. Consider implementing eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient appliances, and renewable energy sources like solar panels. 

By doing so, you contribute to environmental conservation and potentially save on long-term operating costs. Embracing sustainability in your renovation can significantly enhance the value and appeal of your cottage.

6. Local Building Codes and Permits:

Before commencing any renovation, familiarize yourself with the local building codes and permits required for the project. These regulations ensure your cottage meets safety standards and adheres to zoning restrictions. 

Engaging a contractor experienced in dealing with local authorities will help streamline the permitting process, avoiding delays and potential legal issues.

Renovating your cottage is an exciting opportunity to transform it into a year-round sanctuary that suits your needs and desires. Considering the key factors mentioned above, you can confidently embark on your renovation project, knowing that you are making informed decisions and creating a welcoming retreat you can enjoy and share for many years.

If you have questions about your renovation project or are ready to get started in creating your dream cottage, we can help. Visit our website to contact us for a no-obligation consultation to see how we can help you achieve your cottage goals.

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