A couple of years ago, when we decided to build a cottage, one of the important things for me was finding a way to make it look great — and unique — while using materials that didn’t require a lot of maintenance.The whole idea of a summer home is to escape from work. Although I love my job, I also love spending time with my family, and the occasional nap or two.
To avoid as much recreational work (if you can call it that) as possible, I chose a lot of low-maintenance materials that are still unique and great looking. At Baeumler Construction (www.baeumler.ca), we also source the best, most durable materials to ensure the least amount of maintenance and the longest life. Cottage owners should think about the same issues and communicate with their contractor before the build begins.
For the floors, we installed a rough slate that can take a beating, hides a lot of dirt, and gives us the option of wearing shoes or sandals indoors without marking up the floors.It’s also nice and warm in the winter wit hNuHeat (nuheat.com) mats under every square foot . . . but that also serves the practical purpose of melting and drying snow from boots and socks!
For decking, we went with Perennial Wood (perennialwood.com), which is a new modified wood product that looks great, is environmentally responsible, lasts as long as composite, and is actually real wood — you can’t beat that.
For the outside, I decided to go with James Hardie fiber cement siding(jameshardie.com). The great thing about Hardie board products is that you get the look of real wood without the heavy annual maintenance — bugs (and there’s a lot of those up north) won’t eat it and there’s no rotting, splitting or cracking. As always, there were a few “discussions” about the exact design and look of the building, but the end result is spectacular and basically maintenance free. All of these things are important when you’re building — but even more important when you’re building in the middle of nowhere. We wanted the cottage to look great, be unique, and worry free… and it is! If you are not doing the work on your own, it’s also important to find a trustworthy and reputable contractor, especially if you won’t be around for some of the process.
I am trying to help address this issue with Baeumler Approved (www.baeumlerap-proved.com). We can help you get in touch with a contractor who is covered by insurance and WSIB as well as vetted for a record of great service. Your cottage is the place you wish for and dream about. The thought of summer days by the lake gets many of us through those tough winter months and work-day doldrums. You want to be sure that your cottage is a place that evokes serenity and allows for family time. By minimizing your construction and maintenance work, you can capitalize on the time that really matters and makes your life better. Think ahead and you’ll thank your-self down the road.
BRYAN BAEUMLER is host of HGTV’s “House of Bryan”, ”Disaster DIY” and “Leave it to Bryan”. He continues to do construction work in Burlington and area with Baeumler Construction, acustom home builder. Bryan has also recently launched Baeumler Approved, an association of pre-screened quality contractors, trades and services for homeowners.Join Bryan, his wife Sarah and many other television, sports and radio personalities at the launch of the Baeumler Family Foundation for Kids on Thursday, May 23rd in Toronto.