Property details 

-four-bedroom, two-bathroom winterized cottage 

-168’ of waterfront on spring-fed lake with southern exposure 

-open-concept main floor 

-spacious finished basement with walkout to the lake 

-12’ xm14’ three-season screened room on the 40’-wide deck


Choosing Cedar Winds 

Steve was a regular visitor to the Haliburton area and bought the property, located in the Harcourt Park cottage community, prior to meeting Kerry back in 2000. The original cottage was built in the 1960s and wasn’t insulated or properly winterized. 

The couple met Cedar Winds’ owner Glenn Evans at the Cottage Life Show a few years ago. They’d initially approached him about an outbuilding they wanted to add to the property. While that project never materialized, the couple liked Glenn’s ideas and stayed in touch. “Glenn listens really well,” says Steve. 

After trying to live with some patchwork winterization measures, the couple decided to start with a clean slate and build the cottage of their dreams. While they did their due diligence and met with other builders before signing a contract, their prior experience and relationship with Glenn and, in Kerry’s words, “the comfort of having someone manage the entire project while we were so far away,” helped convince them to seal the deal and sign with Cedar Winds.


Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder 

Location, location, location is the mantra in real estate, and that goes double in cottage country. The couple’s south-facing view across the lake was an obvious focal point for the design. 

“There’s a very welcoming feel as you approach the cottage. It feels like a big hug,” says Steve. “It’s the perfect design for what could have been a very difficult lot.” 

On the inside, both are equally enthusiastic. “It doesn’t feel real yet. It feels like someone’s beautiful AirBNB,” says Kerry. “Every now and then we turn to each other and say, ‘Wow! This is our place.’”

“Coming down the stairs [to the basement] and looking out at the view of the lake…it still catches my breath,” adds Steve. 

“Working with Lauren the designer was a fantastic experience,” says Kerry. “She really took the time to understand our style and was an immense help in choosing finishes and fixtures that fit our lifestyle.”

The kitchen, which opens onto the great room, includes a large island with a Cambria waterfall countertop. “It’s a natural gathering place and is not only comfortable but extremely functional. No worries about scratches or wine stains!” says Kerry.

A 10’ sliding glass door opens up to the screened room on the deck. “When you are cuddled up in the porch, you feel like you are in the middle of the forest, with windows and the view of the trees surrounding you on all three sides,” says Kerry. 


Basement Bonanza 

“Our cottage is meant for entertaining. Our friends and family are here all of the time,” says Kerry. So, with that in mind, they put a lot of thought and planning into accommodating overnight visitors in the cottage. 

“Our guests will have their own private space,” she says. There are two bedrooms, a studio space, and a three-piece bathroom that includes a soaker tub in the basement. The walkout patio door means that early risers won’t disturb them if they want to go for a morning run or take a dog for a walk.


Covid’s Shadow 

Some logistical issues, exacerbated by Covid-induced delays, meant that project wasn’t completed as early as the couple wanted. “Things took a lot longer than we expected. Deadlines just kept getting pushed back,” says Kerry. Originally hoping to move in as early as May or June 2021, they didn’t get the keys until early October. “To lose the whole summer was the biggest disappointment,” says Kerry.

“If we knew there would be such a thing as Covid pricing, and Covid timelines…we probably wouldn’t have built when we did,” says Steve. 

Additionally, with various restrictions in place, the couple was not able to visit the site as often as they would have liked. Cedar Winds recently started using a communications platform called Co-Construct, which also includes a file-sharing feature where the crew can post images as the project progresses. “We so appreciated the photo updates,” says Kerry. “Those were our lifelines to the project.” 

That said, there were some ruffled feathers as the team worked on integrating the new platform. “To find out you’re going to be delayed another month by an app instead of a phone call, that was disappointing,” says Steve. 

Steve and Kerry would both encourage would-be clients to “ask for lots of photos and updates,” particularly if you’re building a cottage that’s far from home.

 Despite some hiccups along the way, Kerry and Steve couldn’t be happier with the finished result. “We are thrilled with it,” says Kerry.