Buying versus Building Your Own Home

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Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building A Log Home | Posted on 29-07-2014

buy-vs-build

Guest post by Luke Peters:

Owning a home is a dream that most people have as it is considered the mark of an established life to own your personal dream home. Most people who want to own a home of their own have to first go through the tough choice between buying and building the house. Both have their own fair share of advantages and disadvantages and the choice purely depends on the prospect’s preference. While building a house from scratch can provide the owner with a personal touch, this may not be practical. Buying a house can be a much more affordable option whilst making your dreams of owning a house a reality. To make the situation clearer, we shall discuss the pros and cons of building and buying a house.

Pros and Cons of Building a New Home

 

Building a new log home

Building a new log home, Image Credits @ ecolog-homes.com

  • While building from the ground up can provide you with the desired customization options and adds that sense of personal touch to your home, it often requires a long waiting time while the construction takes place. It adds a sentimental value like no other and can be built according to the individual specifications of your family members.
  • It can be a hassle to deal with quality control and several other negotiations with construction workers and general contractors, and to deal with the government inspectors who can be a major hurdle to the successful construction of your dream home. One can, however, easily take care of this problem by hiring the service of construction management companies. These can take care of all of your house building requirements, from safety inspections to getting the work done on time.
  • A newly built home offers that level of comfort and convenience, which most people seek from their sweet abode. One can add his own artistic touch while designing the house to make it even more personal. When building a house you can go for the look and the architectural style that you want and not the one that is available.
  • Building your own home lets you keep a close check on the quality and the safety measures. It is considered as an advantage of building over buying a house. This is because you can never be sure of the quality of the materials used and the safety measures taken when buying an existing house.

Pros and Cons of Buying a New or an Existing Home

 

Buying a home

Buying a home, Image Credits @ attorneyrobertflavell

  • If your ability to own a house is greatly influenced by your budget, then the best solution is to buy an existing house. With the rise in real estate prices and population, it is sometimes hard to buy an area of ideal land. Buying an existing home not only provides you with an easy way of owning a house, but also takes a shorted amount of time than building a house from scratch.
  • Buying an older house and remodeling it according to your taste and preferences is another option to building a house from scratch. An existing house saves you from the trouble of dealing with the construction workers, contactor or the housing inspectors. Most estate agencies, such as the estate agents in Perivale, make sure that a house has passed all the necessary inspections and safety standards before making it available for sale.
  • However, the major con of buying an existing house lies in its monotony. While building a house or remodeling an older house adds that sense of personal touch to your living space, buying a house built by an estate agency can feature monotonous designs which may not be what you had in mind. Since the house has already been built it may or may not suit your desired specifications.

Buying a house or building it from scratch, each choice comes with its fair share or advantages and disadvantages. Real estate prices, availability of the ideal house or location and the cost of construction services and materials will all play a huge part in your decision. Having said this, we hope that the points mentioned above will make most of the pros and cons of buying or building a house clear, and will help you to make an informed decision.

 

Author Bio:

Luke Peters has written several articles and blogs on architecture, home improvement, real estate, law, finance etc. He likes to explore the various topics in utmost detail and like to keep up to date with the latest happenings and developments in the respective fields.

 

Building a Summer Cottage or All Season Home?

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Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building A Log Home, EcoLog | Posted on 07-05-2013

Are you planning to build a cabin or cottage for quite some time now?

Are you overwhelmed by the huge amounts of products you find during your online search?

Don’t you wish you could just snap a maEZLog Cottage Constructiongic wand, and swoooosh, your new cottage is done – ready to use at your building site?

Ok, you don’t need a magic wand, but Vanisle Ecolog Homes can help, as we now offer you a complete we-do-it-all-for-you service. We start by visiting your property, analyzing your requirements and then talk to your municipality to find out if your plans match with their by-laws and regulations. Then we will suggest one or more possible cabins or cottages which you can build. After “zeroing in” on one, we can then create a custom quote for all the material and services you need. If you want, we can do it all – like the magic wand. But if you want to save some money and help with certain parts, we can leave that for you.

Our package deals for prefabricated cabins and cottages make it easy for you to plan your budget, and give you peace-of-mind. Check out the EZLog Europa model to find some sample packages.

It’s challenging to generalize bigger building projects, as each property is different, municipal requirements are different, and of course each customers has different requirements. That’s why we cannot tell you how much YOUR project will cost without seing your property and talking to you. But the following packages give you an idea about the services we provide, and what typical package costs can be for a given situation.

Summer Cottage

Let’s assume you have found a nice property on Vancouver Island, and now you want to build a seasonal 2 bedroom cottage mainly as a summer-getaway for your family.

Mari A 100 sqft cottageA so called seasonal structure does not require a heating system, and there are no minimum insulation requirements. Therefore you can use a prefabricated building kit like the 20’x24′ EZLog Europa with 58 mm thick walls. Apart from purchasing a building kit, what else is required to have a ready-to-use cottage?

  • Planning and permits: If your municipality requires a building permit (check out this blog article to learn more about building code and permits), you will need a whole set of building plans, potentially a lot survey, septic field permit etc. We normally guide our customers through this process – or even get the permit for them – as this can be quite challenging for “regular” (non-trades) people, who don’t speak “building code” and “by-law” lingo.
  • Build a proper foundation: The simplest way is a slab-on-ground, but for very little more money you will have more flexibility by building a crawlspace. Both of these options require proper framing and pouring concrete, and most people will hire trades people for these tasks. A typical 30″ high crawlspace with subfloor costs between $8,000 and $10,000 (that’s without excavation and backfilling, and the price depends much on the price of concrete in your area).
  • Once the foundation is in place the cottage can be erected. A prefab building kit like the Europa can be setup in about 200 “people hours” (maybe a bit longer if you do this type of work for the first time). No crane or other machines are needed for this – muscle power, some good ladders and some basic tools like hammer and drill will do.
  • EZLog kits don’t include the roof finish, as people have different tastes and requirements for a roof. The two most common choices for EZLog cottages are asphalt shingles or metal. Both can be installed pretty quick. If you have no experience in roofing, this should be done by professionals, so that all the right flashing is installed and your roof doesn’t leak.
  • Now the cottage needs to be stained or painted, to protect the wood from moisture and insects. We recommend using water based stains, which are very high quality today and last a long time. Stain or paint on the inside is optional. You can leave the natural wood exposes if you don’t mind some discolouration in areas where the wood gets exposed to the sun.

At this stage the cottage is at what we consider “lockup stage” (the windows and doors have been installed during erection of the walls). If you just use an outhouse and water from a well or river, and don’t require electric, then you seasonal cottage is done.

All Season Cottage

A seasonal log cabin on Vancouver Island could occasionally be used in the winter with no problem. Most areas don’t get so cold that a wood stove or small electric stove can’t heat such a cabin. It might not be the most energy efficient thing to do, but it works for the occasional weekend visit.

Europa CottageTo create a vacation or backyard cottage which can be permanently used all year around requires the building to have a proper heating system and to be fully insulated. Depending on the type of structure you build, the BC building code offers various possibilities to prove “proper insulation” and an “energy efficient building envelope”.  More details on that can be found in my earlier blog post on this topic.

To insulate EZLog cottages in compliance with the BC building code, we suggest (and implement) following solutions to customers:

  • The roof gets insulated with 4″ – 6″ of Polyiso foam, attached with Z-bars on top of the T&G roof decking, which is part of the EZLog kit. The foam comes in 2″ or 3″ thick 4’x8′ panels, and most contractors are familiar with its installation. A Tyvek membrane on top of the foam protects the foam and ensures an airtight roof structure. The metal roof can then be easily attached on top of the foam held by the Z bars as well.
  • The outside walls get insulated in following ways: A Tyvek membrane on the inside of the wall wraps from roof to the floor and into the window and door opening. This forms the air barrier of the home. Now the building attaches 2″-6″ XPS foam panels on top of the tyvek. The panels are installed using vertical 1″x2″ strapping, attached with (countersinking) screws into the log wall. Now a layer of 5/8″ T&G boards it attached on top of the strapping. After installing trim around doors and windows, this “second wall” looks exactly the same as the “thick” outside wall and other interior walls.
  • Insulating a concrete slab is optional and should be done before pouring the concrete. The subfloor above a crawlspace also gets insulated with 2″-4″ XPS foam attached to the bottom of the floor joists.

The amount of insulation and type of windows (double or triple pane, type of filling and coatings) needs to be carefully chosen based on the location where the cottage gets built. Going “over board” with too much insulation doesn’t hurt, but increases the building costs unnecessarily. Vanisle Ecolog Homes uses the Hot200 software from Natural Resources Canada to calculate energy models, which help customers decide which insulation options are appropriate and most cost effective.

In addition to insulation, all season buildings require plumbing, electric and a heating system. Our sample Europa package includes basic plumbing, which in consists of a small hot water tank installed in the crawlspace, and rough in plumbing for a kitchen and bathroom into the subfloor. The electric installation package included in this packages consists of a 100 amp panel with basic light fixtures and plugs and baseboard heaters as a heating system.

For sustainability minded customers we recommend to install LED lights, a hot water tank with built-in heat pump and a “mini-split” heat pump, which provides a very energy efficient and comfortable heating and cooling system for a reasonable price.

 

Building A Log Home – Part 3, Log Walls and Roof

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Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building A Log Home | Posted on 06-01-2012

2 months after we started with the construction, the ICF basement was finished and the subfloor was in place. We were all really excited when the log home kit arrived. A 60′ truck brought all pre-cut timbers for the log walls, posts, beams and roof structure.

The delivery truck had a built-in crane and unloaded the timber packages onto the subfloor.

Now we could start building the outside log walls. Even though the 8″x8″ Hemlock timbers were everything but light, they could be handled by hand. We worked with a 3 man crew, and for the first 7-8 rows we lifted all timbers up manually.

Ecolog homes are built fairly simplistic: The square timbers come with a pre-cut “box joint”. Wooden spacer blocks are use to support the timbers. The space between the spacer blocks is filled with foam sheets. Later on the spacer blocks and foam sheets will be sealed with chinking on the inside and outside. These wide chinking seams make up the actual “Ecolog look”, which people find very attractive.

After a row of timbers has been put on the wall, lots of holes need to be drilled for the hardwood dowels, which hold the timbers together and prevent them from twisting or moving around.

This was the first log home my builders built, and after a couple of days they got into a pretty good routine. Round after round the timbers were put in place.

For the last 2-3 rows of logs we used a hand cranked Genie lift to get the timbers up on the walls. Another really useful tool during construction were the “bakers” – portable scaffolds on wheels, which can be moved around very easily.

It took about 2 weeks to erect the log walls. It was hard manual labor, but the result was very rewarding. Every day after work we walked around the construction site and admired the new house taking shape.

After 10 rows of logs (or timbers), the walls were complete. During construction the door and window openings were only very “rough” openings, and now we could cut the exact opening using a standard chainsaw.

The next step was to assemble the roof trusses. Each truss is made out of 3 pieces of 4″x10″. They were precut to length and had the “birdmouth” connections already cut. But we had to drill holes and bolt them together. This was done inside of the new home, so that we had a nice level surface to assemble the trusses.

Our 24’x40′ home required 13 roof trusses, one every 4 feet.

After all trusses were assembled we ordered a crane to move the trusses onto the log walls. This was another exciting step, and after all trusses were up, the new home really looked like a home for the first time.

The next task was to install the roof sheathing. We used 2″x6″ tonge & grove Douglas Fir boards for sheathing, as the sheathing as well as the roof trusses are exposed on the inside and make up part of the special “look and feel” of the loft rooms.

The roof is made up of multiple layers to provide proper insulation, ventilation, air tightness and protection against rain, snow and ice:

 

 

  • Sheating
  • a black building membrane
  • 6.5″ of insulation (R40)
  • Tyvek
  • horizontal and vertical strapping (rain screen and ventilation)
  • standing seem metal roofing
8′ wide Dormers were built into the roof using standard 2″x6″ framing techniques. Gable walls were also built as 2″x6″ frame walls. For both gables and dormers we installed cedar shingles as siding.
It took about 2 months to construct the roof with 4 dormers and a chimney for the wood stove. This was not only because we were building in winter, but also due to the small building crew (2-3 people) and due to many features of the home:  A very unique covered porch for the main entrance, hidden gudders, extended roof overhangs and more.

Windows and patio doors in the loft were installed in the same way as it’s done for regular frame homes. For the windows and doors on the main level we built square window bucks, which were installed into the walls in a way that the logs could move as they dry out and the house “settles”.

 

Understanding Building Codes in Canada

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Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building A Log Home, Building Code | Posted on 28-10-2011

Eliminate construction problems and save money by knowing how building codes work

Construction of new homes in Canada is governed by province specific building codes. Each province can either create their own building code or adopt the National Building Code of Canada, which is a model code. The BC and Alberta building codes, for example are based on the national model code, with additions such as seismic requirements to suit each province. The main purpose of the building code is to provide detailed requirements resulting in safe buildings. Many recent building code amendments also address reduction of water and energy usage of new homes.

The building code is enforced by local governments and in most cases by a building inspection department of a municipality or regional district. It is important to know that the current enforcement system is discretionary: a municipality or district may choose not to have an inspection process but in the majority of cases, local governments regulate the building process and enforce compliance with the building code and other local by-laws. Most urban regions have thorough processes in place to ensure high building standards and compliance with all codes and regulations. But some rural communities often lack the resources for building inspections and are unable to enforce building code compliance. Some people look intentionally for such communities when they plan to build recreational cottages. Building a seasonal cottage without the need to fully comply with all building code requirements can make a big difference on costs.

One example of a “building permit free region” is the Powell River Regional District in BC, which includes Savary Island. As a result of the lack of building permits, Savary Island hosts a variety of fantasy structures, from rustic shacks over fort with palisades to multi million dollar mansions. Denman and Hornby Islands are also permit free regions.

The building code doesn’t distinguish between cottages, regular residences or seasonal buildings. If a building department enforces the building code for cottages in their area, even a seasonal cottage must meet the same standards as a permanent residence. The only exception is for very small structures: Some municipalities allow buildings of up to 100 sq. ft. to be built without a building permit, but may need a siting permit. In some areas, seasonal-use-only cottages may be exempt from some code requirements, but may require the owner to enter into a covenant with the local building department specifying that it will only be used seasonally. Converting from a seasonal residence to a legal full-time residence can be very costly.

The majority of residential construction in Canada is done as wood frame construction, where walls are built with 2” x 6” wood studs, and the cavities are filled with insulation. The requirements for this type of construction are described in very much detail in Part 9 of the building code, and therefore wood frame buildings are sometimes called “Part 9 buildings.”

Most experienced builders have memorized all key requirements of the building code, and know what the height and width of stairs must be, how much steel to put into foundations and how to frame and insulate walls and ceilings. At different stages of the construction process a building inspector will visit the building site to ensure all building code requirements are met. He or she can request changes from the builders if they didn’t build according to the code. Depending on the type of change, this can result in extensive costs for the homeowner. If the homeowner or builder refuses to comply with the requirements of the building inspector, the inspector can refuse to provide an occupancy permit at the end of construction, or add a note about potential construction deficits to the title of the property. It is important to note that building codes are a minimum standard and not necessarily the best.

When selecting a builder for a new home, make sure the outfit has a good knowledge of the building code to minimize the chance of change requests from your building inspections.

Log homes are a popular choice for cottages and cabins. While log homes also need to comply with the building code, there are no detailed descriptions how to achieve this compliance. That’s why engineers need to be involved in the design of log homes, and—depending on the building inspector—sometimes also into the inspection process.

Many people who want to build their own home or cottage know a few key requirements from the building code. As a log home supplier, I often hear the question: “What is the insulation value of your log walls, it must be R20 according to the building code, or?” It is true, that Part 9 of most building codes contains detailed tables prescribing insulation requirements for frame walls, basements, different types of ceilings etc. But these tables cannot be applied to non-frame construction techniques like log homes.

Some building codes have recently been changed to better accommodate non-frame construction: The BC building code has a new Part 10, which offers an alternative way to comply with energy efficiency requirements. The builder or homeowner needs to participate in an EnerGuide Rating System® (ERS) process and achieve a certain rating, which proves the overall energy efficiency of the home. The Ontario building code offers the same alternative, and starting in 2012 the ERS process is mandatory for every new home in Ontario.

Homeowners normally don’t need to know much about the building code. The BC Building Code, for example, is more then 800 pages and is at least as difficult to read as legal documents for non-lawyers. Most building codes are also quite expensive: A paper copy of the BC Building Code costs $320, and online access costs $200 per year.

If you plan to build a new home or cottage, you should be aware of upcoming changes in the building code. The national model code is updated every 5 years, most recently in 2010. The provincial codes normally follow with their respective update 1 or 2 years later. The next version of the BC Building Code, for example, will be published in spring 2012 and become effective in fall 2012. New homes of any type (frame or non-frame construction) will need to be more airtight, better insulated and conform to new ventilation requirements, which should result in a 30 percent or more reduction in energy use. If somebody plans to build a new home or cottage, it can have a big impact on construction costs if the home is built before or after these changes are in effect.

This article was first published in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Cottage Magazine by Hermann Thoene and Niels Anthonsen.


About the Authors:
Hermann Thoene, Certified Energy Advisor and owner of Vanisle Ecolog Homes (ecolog-homes.ca). He also designs and supplies square log homes and cottages.

Niels Anthonsen, P.Eng., owner of Building Energy Engineering, is a Professional Engineer, Certified Energy Advisor and LEED A.P. and specializes in Thermal & Vapour management and Energy Modeling for Single Family and Multi Unit Residential Buildings. (niels@BEengineering.ca)

Building A Log Home – Part 2, Foundation / Basement

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Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building A Log Home | Posted on 01-08-2010

Log homes can be built on top of any common foundation. The most common types of foundation in North America are these:

Slab-on-grade Foundation

A concrete slab is poured into a mold directly into the ground. This slab serves directly as the floor for the main level of the home. This type of foundation is cheap to build, but should not be used in extremely cold climates, where the ground freezes for long periods of time. Slab-on-grade foundations can provide a good economical solution for relatively flat building lots in mild or moderate climates. If used in combination with radiant in floor heating the slab can be a beautiful and comfortable finished floor.

One problem with slab-on-grade and log homes is plumbing and electric: The subfloor of the main level of a house provides easy accessible space to run vents, plumbing pipes and electric cables. When using a slab-on-grade the plumbing and electric installation requires more planning, as everything needs to be laid out in advance, so that the pipes can be placed inside the concrete.

Crawl space

This is a non-insulated basement type where one cannot stand, mostly somewhere around 40 inches high. It keeps the house off the ground to protect it from moisture and insects, and offers convenient access to plumbing and electric installation. The bottom surface of the crawl space can either be soil or poured concrete. It can be used for some storage, but it’s not considered living space. A crawl space can be used to create a level building area on a sloped lot, and it keeps the house higher off the ground to provide better protection from weather and insects.

Full height basement
A basement provides a lot of additional living space, that can be used for storage, a garage, extra bedrooms, a recreation area, or to build a secondary suite. Basements can be partially under ground or above ground. On sloped properties basements can be fully above ground on one side, and mostly under ground on the other side. Basements provide a lot of benefits, but the building costs are significantly higher as the other options described above.

ICF Basement

Depending on your choice and size of basement or foundation, the construction time will vary from a few weeks to several months.

For our show home in Saanich I chose to build a full hight basement with ICF blocks. The Styrofoam blocks look like huge Lego for adults. The walls are built with these blocks, and window and door openings are framed into the walls. The blocks have plastic clips to hold rebar. At the end, concrete is poured into the space between the 2 styrofoam walls.

This method has many advantages:

  • Saves time and labor cost, as no traditional wall framing is required
  • Provides and excellent insulation. The ICF blocks I used resulted in a R28 insulated wall
  • Saves time and labor for finishing the inside walls: Drywall can be drilled directly into the styrofoam, no additional framing required
  • Reduced amount of garbage during basement construction

The material cost of an ICF basement is higher then building a “regular” concrete basement. But the time savings and better insulation will offset that.

Our building team took about 3 weeks with 2 people from building the footings until pouring the concrete for all ICF walls.

Building A Log Home – Part 1, Lot Search

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Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building A Log Home | Posted on 12-12-2009

Tags: , , , , , ,

When I decided to build up an EcoLog business on the West Coast, it was clear that I had to have a “show home”. Ideally this home would be at a location not too far away from where I live now, and easy to reach by interested customers.

I started my lot search around Feb. 2009 in the Greater Victoria area. My realtor setup an automatic MLS search using my search criteria, and I got listings offered every week. I looked at some lots, but mainly to get an idea what I really wanted. And thankfully I didn’t come across my “dream property” at this time: I didn’t have financing approved yet, and wouldn’t have been able to buy at that time.

Getting Financing in 2009

I thought it couldn’t be too difficult to get financing for an interesting building project, with quite a bit of equity available for security. But I guess I was wrong with that. It turned out that no bank wanted to take any risk – no matter how small it was. I went from one institution to another and told my story: I’m starting a new business, have some good equity in my nearly mortgage free home, and want to build another home. Equite sounded good for the banks – but as soon as they heard that I had no regular income, but was building a new business, they shut their doors. I couldn’t even get 50% of the building lot as a mortgage. So much for the effect of the US housing crisis in Canada !

I finally found a very engaged lady at Bank of Montreal, who listened to my plans and believed that my ideas could work. She put a lot of effort into preparing my case, and presenting it to the bank’s risk managers. After several weeks she succeeded not only in getting a stepped mortgage plan approved, but even offering some really good rates. As part of the deal I moved all my financial business (daily banking, financing, mortgage for existing house) to BMO.

Getting Serious

On June 15th my financing was approved, and that’s when I started to look more seriously for building lots. I looked at many lots, from Sooke over Metchosin to Saanich, even around the Malahat and Shawnigan area. On July 2nd I found a “good fit” at a reasonable price through the http://propertyguys.com website. The lot was a subdivision of a bigger property, and was located in a good location in Central Saanich. It was a private sale, and my “house realtor” was on vacation. I got in touch with the seller on a Friday, and they told me they were expecting to get 2-3 offers over the weekend. Was that a bluff to get me to act?  I don’t know, but the seller sounded trustful, so I started to prepare an offer.

Building lot at Stelley's Cross Road

Building lot at Stelley's Cross Road

I bought and sold several homes before, but I always had my realtor help me. I contacted the delegated colleague, but I quickly got the feeling that he wasn’t very interested in helping me with a private deal.

Just a few weeks earlier I had gone to various Twitter meetings in Victoria, where I met lots of nice people – among them Scott Garman, from http://www.garmanandassociates.com. I was desperate to get some help and contacted Scott. He agreed to help me, even though he knew there was no commission for him. He even refused to take any money, and didn’t ask for anything in return for his help. He provided me with advice on the lot, and created a detailed report to help me compare the lot to other recently sold properties and homes in that area. Scott made me feel more comfortable with the deal, and on Saturday I sent an offer to the seller.

My offer wasn’t the highest, but the sellers were local people, and they liked my idea of building a log home and building a new local business. That’s why they accepted my offer over others, even though I had lots of conditions attached to the offer.

Over the next weeks I worked on removing those conditions: Get an estimate done for the bank, clear financing, make sure no old oil tanks or other obstacles are burried there, and most importantly have lots of talks with the municipality to make sure that I could build the home I was planning to build.

The seller also had some open issues, as they had not fully completed the subdivision process yet, and they had to get the title officially registered. After several weeks all issues were resolved, and I was proud owner of a piece of land in Saanich.

Lot Search Learnings

Here is a summary of things I find important when looking for a building lot:

  • Get financing pre-approved before you start you lot search. Otherwise you may end up loosing your “dream lot” to other bidders. If you want to get a “good deal” on any property, you need to be well prepared and act quickly !
  • Sewer service: For lots without connection to public sewer systems, make you know where and how you can put in a septic field. Costs can vary drastically depending you your lot, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 (and higher)
  • Hydro/Power: Where is the connection located? Find out what the costs will be to get power to your house. My lot had “all services at the lot line” – but I only found out later, that I still had to get a power pole on my property to connect Hydro. With connection permit costs I payed >$3,000 to get power. If you need multiple poles, a “rule of thumb” would be to calculate around $2,000 per power pole.
  • Check development plans for surrounding area: This is probably the most important point. Go to the municipality responsible for your desired lot, and ask them about short and long term plans for anything going on around your desired area. I once looked at a lot with a beautiful ocean view, directly beside a park. Not cheap, but gorgeous. When I talked to the Municipality, they showed me approved plans for the neighbour property to build a 7 story condo complex! No ocean views once that goes up….
    Other important aspects to check with your municipality are design and building rules: My lot had a covenant attached with lots of design rules, and I had various discussions to make sure that I could build an EcoLog home.
  • Water: Another point for non-serviced lots: You can get water nearly anywhere – but it can be really expensive. I looked at some lots which offered pre-drilled wells.  Not bad, I thought – but some research showed, that getting water out of a well can be really expensive, depending on the depth! Get expert advice on the flow capacity, water quality, and costs to get to your water !
  • Get expert advice: Review your plans of buying a specific lot with some experts: Get a realtor to help you evaluating the place, and work with your lawyer in reviewing the title and other legal matters around you property !

The overall experience I had was positive. It’s fun to go “property shopping”. In the process you will see many interesting areas, and meet a lot of interesting people.

After completing this part of my new “project”, I  now had to focus on creating detailed plans for my new home!

To be continued…