We want to hear from you. If you are wondering if building a custom home is right for you, simply enter your name and email and we will get back to you quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to build a custom home/ cottage?
The starting cost for most new builds is in the $425 per square foot range, this does not include land. However, in our experience, by the time you add in a few upgrades, most custom builds will fall into the $450-$550 per square foot range, with some going up in price from there, depending on how complicated the design is and what type of finishes are being used.
For cottages, the starting point is the same, but the cost does increase with distance from the city. In certain areas of Manitoba cottage country and Lake of the Woods, there can be further cost considerations due to site accessibility and ground conditions for the foundations. For more information on what factors contribute to the cost of a build, check out this blog post: How much does it cost to build a custom home?
How much does it cost to build a timber frame?
Depending on complexity and type of wood, timber frame generally adds between $50 and $75 per square foot on the portion of the build where it’s used.
For example, if you built a 2000 square foot home, but only use timber in the great room, then the added cost per square foot would only be on that portion of the build. As a result, partial timber frames or “Hybrid’s” are very popular and generally more economical.
Where do you build?
We try to keep our builds within a 2 hour drive of Winnipeg. This would include all of Winnipeg and local cottage country, including Lake of the Woods, the Whiteshell, Twin Beaches, Hecla Island, Victoria Beach, and Lac du Bonnet to name a few.
Do I Need a plan?
While we can use a plan that you’ve already had drawn, we also do full design and blueprints. The advantage of having us do your design is that we can make sure your design will fit your budget. Too often we have clients show up with a finished plan that they spent a lot of money on and it can’t be built within their budget.
One more critical thing to keep in mind, is that timber frame plans need to be drawn a very specific way. For clients who are having someone else draw their timber frame plans, we like to review them before the final edits are made, just to make sure the timber portions are designed in a way that will maximize efficiency and quality.
How long does it take to build?
Most custom builds fall between the 9-12 month range. However size, complexity, location and site conditions can play a major role in build timeline. Very large, complex homes can take up to a year and a half. Site accessibility in the winter months, for certain areas in cottage country, may also play a role and impact when it’s possible to start a project.
In Lake of the Woods we often deal with this when building on Islands. For more information on how long a build takes, check out my blog post: Time expectations in the building process.
Other Common Questions
I haven't bought land yet, should I be thinking about design?
Do you have design services?
Yes, we can provide complete plan development and design services starting with your rough sketch or conceptual idea.
Will you act as general contractor for the whole house?
We prefer to coordinate the entire project to minimize any aggravation you as the customer may experience when having to deal with more than one contractor. However, for those who would like to do some work themselves, we can provide the foundation, Timber Frame where applicable, and framing to get it to the lock-up stage.
Are your homes energy efficient?
With the key region we build in, it is essential to ensure that all our projects are energy efficient. We use the latest technology for the building envelope and heating and cooling systems to provide a comfortable home that minimizes operating costs.
What qualifications do you have to work on my project?
We have been building new homes and cottages for 30 years and are members of the Manitoba Home Builders Association and The New Home Warranty Program of Manitoba and are Certified Master Builders.
Do I need special plans to build a Timber Frame?
Most Home plans can be modified to build as a Timber Frame. It is best to determine your needs and basic layout and then use the Timber Frame to enhance that living space.
Can a portion of the home be Timber Frame with the balance being conventional construction?
Building a Hybrid home that combines the beauty of the Timber Frame with the cost-effectiveness of conventional construction is gaining popularity. We use a traditional framing method to enclose the Timber Frame, so the two methods work nicely together and provide greater flexibility in design and pricing.
Does a Timber Frame require a special foundation?
What type of wood do you use for the Timber Frames?
Depending on personal preference and budget considerations, many different species can be used, including pine, fir and reclaimed or recycled fir. We primarily use pine and fir for their natural beauty and availability in our geographical area.
Do the timbers in a Timber Frame crack or shrink?
Because most frames are cut from green lumber, cracking or “checking” is common as the timbers dry and only serves to enhance the character of a Timber Frame home without affecting its structural integrity. Reclaimed or recycled timbers however have been reclaimed out of existing structures and are often 50- 100 years old. As a result, they have already completed the drying process and these frames will not crack or shrink any further.