The Top Design~Build Trends in the Haliburton Highlands

Although we know that trends come and go faster than you can say the word itself, we thought we would share a list of the top trends in recent Cedar Winds builds that we feel will endure for some time. These include:

1. Hydronic floor heating

Hydronic floor heat — hot water piping laid out in the floor with a layer of concrete poured over top — is most commonly used in finished basements but can be used on all levels to provide year-round comfort. It also keeps floors less damp, which is especially ideal if there are bedrooms in the basement.

 2. ICF foundations

Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) foundations are very popular and Cedar Winds has been using them exclusively for the past ten years. ICF foundations are much more efficient than poured concrete or concrete block foundations.

For more information on ICF foundations, check out our Better Way to Build Tip of the Week.

 3. Lots of windows and larger doors

Lately, clients are asking for cottages and/or homes designed with a multitude of windows, sometimes wall-to-wall, to achieve a lake view from every room.

A similar trend is doors that help create larger open spaces like exterior bi-fold doors or lift and slide doors. These are essentially removable walls that allow screened porches and decks to extend the interior space.

Not only do more windows and larger doors provide excellent views and provide a sense of more space, they also allow plenty of natural light to get in.

 4. Screened Porch

Everyone wants a screened porch and there has been one designed and built in each of our recent projects. Screened porches are multi-purpose, bug-free zones and are great for people who don’t particularly like being outdoors (hard to believe, but they exist!).

For tips on the design-build for your screened porch, read our blog on Superior Screened Porch Construction.

 5. Large kitchens/multi-purpose rooms

With multiple cooks in most families, large kitchens are a necessity. We’re seeing kitchens that have room to maneuver and space to pass family members.

The kitchen island is as popular as ever, and now we’re seeing prep sinks built in to really get all hands on-board during dinner hour.

Another trend is to have rooms with multiple purposes. Take the kitchen: families are adding televisions and using them for gathering spaces, as offices with laptops set up on their islands, and as arts and crafts/activity areas at the island for their children. Another example of multipurpose rooms is a guest room/office/den combo. This allows families to get the elements they need without adding rooms that could increase the cost of their build.

6. Propane

In most of our builds recently, propane is being selected over oil or electric heat. Propane can be used for cooking stoves, fireplaces, and dryers, which can reduce electricity costs. Since the propane storage tank is outside, whereas the oil tank is inside, it also frees up much-needed living space or storage.

 7. Standby generators

Generators can be designed to run the essentials such as water, heat, and refrigerator during a power outage or for complete power of your cottage or home, including lights, televisions, etc. We’ve seen many clients opt for generators as emergency back-up.

8. Remote systems

As remote systems are becoming more affordable, we expect them to be in demand in Haliburton County builds soon. These systems allow you to have access to the door entry locks, thermostats, security, and communication and monitoring systems in your home or cottage via your smartphone, giving you peace of mind.

These eight trends are the elements that we are seeing most commonly in our latest builds. Cedar Winds provides product and materials education and assistance with selection to ensure you get what you need and stay within the budget that you have set for your design-build journey.

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