A horseshoe lake cottage on piers is transformed into a four-season, future retirement retreat

Ruth and Chris Golding were reluctant to teardown their beloved family cottage but agree it was the best decision they could have possibly made


  • A 1950s pier cottage is rebuilt into a remarkable custom lake home on foundations and a 25 percent bigger footprint
  • Pine timber frame and traditional stick frame construction seamlessly blended
  • High efficiency wood burning fireplace featuring Haliburton granite, five-point, face-cut stone fireplace
  • Insulated easy-access crawlspace (for utilities and some storage) designed to keep the cottage low


Bedrooms: Three
Bathrooms: Two
Area: 1,560 sq ft (main); 600 sq. ft. (upper)
Levels: Two 
Location: Horseshoe Lake, Minden
Completed: August 2010

From the home owners:

“We’d been dreaming of renovating from between 2005 and 2008. We’d met Glenn and Teresa during this time at the Cottage Life Show, and when were finally in a position to move forward, we contacted them. After some initial discussions we realized, based on the way the building was structured, renovation was not feasible. Plus, we also wanted it to be a four-season building, and have the option to retire there. A renovation just wasn’t going to be worth the sacrifice on our wish-list, and not when weighed against the taxes and maintenance involved with a cottage property. Glenn counseled us on the pros and cons of renovating versus a new structure, and didn’t pressure us either way.”

Chris Golding knew that renovation would eventually be necessary when he and his wife Ruth bought the cottage he grew up in from his grandmother. The dark, 1950s home floated on piers and required an exhausting opening and closing every spring and fall. The floors were slanted, it wasn’t properly winterized and Ruth, who spent most of her summers at the cottage with their two daughters, pined for a bedroom at the front of the cottage to enjoy a breeze off the lake. However, because of the history of the building, they were resolved not to teardown right away. This is their story.

Glowing References
“When we finally committed to the project, Glenn and Teresa took us around and showed us a number of properties Cedar Winds had built. They even showed us their place, which was a gorgeous timber frame, and that really put us over the top. Builders say how good their work is but you don’t know the quality until you actually see it. Today, we have friends come over and marvel at the craftsmanship of our cottage.”

Supportive Design
“We ended up needing to downscale our design. Glenn made very reasonable suggestions such as reducing the number of bedrooms on the second level to two from four, pointing out that we wouldn’t need them often enough to justify the expense. We also switched out angled windows in the front of the cottage for traditional style windows. There were additional suggestions Glenn made that helped us get within our budget range without compromising design.”

Memorable Build Experience
“We were invited to witness our timber raising, and we’re so glad we did. A mountain of snow was still on the ground, as was the frame, looking like a bunch of pick-up sticks. Watching the men assemble and raise the structure was a phenomenal experience. At the end, there was a traditional timber raising ceremony. Chris climbed up the ladder and tacked a balsam branch on the peak. It was a phenomenal experience.”

Reliable trade
“Glenn picks good trades. And in most cases, we were able to meet them. We had so much confidence in them, even today we’ll recommend them to other cottagers in our community who run into issues.”

Insightful interior design
“Teresa helped us immensely. She gets to know you quickly, and reads you well. She would present different scenarios and we liked every one of them. She also gently steered us away from bad long-term decisions. For example, originally we wanted an all-wood interior, and we’re glad that we opted for a balance of drywall and wood.”

Excellent Project Management
“Glenn sent us regular emails every second week or so, updating us on the progress. He also prepared us for when he would need decisions on certain items, giving us time to make confident choices. We appreciated the support.” 

Take a Look Around

“Both Glenn and Teresa are very personable people and easy to talk to. More importantly, they are good listeners. They don’t rush you to reevaluate anything right away. They carefully consider all your requests, because ultimately, they want you to be happy with their work.”

~ Ruth and Chris Golding