•1,250-sq.ft., four-season cottage
•Situated on a point facing east with 100’ frontage
•Three, three-piece bathrooms
•Walkout basement to the lake
When Gord and Kathryn bought their Haliburton cottage in 2011, the existing 1950s-era building was only 700-sq.ft. With three married daughters and five grandchildren, “It just wasn’t enough space for us to all get together,” says Kathryn. The couple debated putting an addition on their aging structure, or even moving, “But we really liked our lot on an east-facing point and the view we have,” says Kathryn. “We like watching the sunrise.” In the end, they decided to tear down the old cottage and build completely new.
The Cedar Winds Experience
“I really liked the way they listened to us,” says Kathryn. “During the planning meetings they kept asking, ‘What do you really want from this cottage?’” When the couple saw the initial plans, Kathryn says, “I knew right away that they really did listen to us.”
As for working with the Cedar Winds team, “They are all so friendly in the office,” says Gord. “And the crews working on the building are also very friendly and courteous.” Kathryn adds, “They really are a team. Everyone was involved in the project.”
Coping with Covid
The old cottage was taken down in September 2019, and Gord and Kathryn were able to move into their new cottage the following June. Of course, that timeline coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe. That meant that for the latter stages of construction the couple were prevented from making site visits. “They were really concerned about the safety of their workers,” says Kathryn. Still Gord says, “I spoke with the foreman [Glenn and Teresa Evans’ son, Nelson] once a week” so they were always kept up-to-date on the project’s progress. “They also regularly sent pictures so that we could get a visual on how the build was advancing.”
Lots of Living Space
This new cottage has three bedrooms, an “all purpose room” that serves as a yoga and workout space or an office if their kids need to work from the cottage, and three three-piece bathrooms, two on the main floor and one on the lower level.
“My favourite thing is all the windows and all the brightness that they bring indoors,” says Kathryn. The raw pine tongue-in-groove pine cathedral ceiling in the great room helps accentuate the brightness. Gord points out that they intentionally chose to not extend their expansive, 425-sq.ft. deck in front of the master bedroom window so that they could enjoy the morning sunrise. But then, he jokingly adds that the retired couple can, “Close the blackout blinds and go back to sleep.”
The lower level serves as a self-contained area where their children can stay with their own young families.
As seniors, the couple says that Ageing-in-Place features were also a consideration in the design. With the master bedroom, two bathrooms, laundry room, kitchen, and main living space all on one floor, the couple can be totally self-sufficient on the main level and won’t have to worry about navigating stairs if either faces mobility issues down the road.
Gord and Kathryn's Advice
Whether you’re looking to build a cottage or a home, Kathryn has some key advice to share: “Determine what is most important to you – the budget, the look, the size – and how the house will fit your lifestyle now, and in the future,” she says. With Cedar Winds guiding the way, Gord and Kathryn were able to determine their main criteria and, as Kathryn says, they now have, “A well-built, well-finished home that fits our needs. I’d say it’s a 9 or 9.5 out of 10.”