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May 20th, 2010
By Vivian Martin

The May long weekend is upon us and the promise of spring is all around. The long weekend can be relaxing, productive or both! Just in case you are wondering what to do with your first long weekend, we have compiled our “top 10″ list of activities:

1. Open the cottage.We have recently blogged on this topic. It is time to bring your recreation property out of hibernation to allow for maximum enjoyment for the rest of the summer.

2. Plant a veggie garden. The May long weekend is traditionally a safe time to plant all of your vegetables. The risk of frost is virtually past. If you are a novice to the art of planting veggies, fear not! Growing veggies, is fun and the product is rewarding. If you don’t have a family member or neighbour with a green thumb, the Internet is a great place to become an armchair market gardener. Great reference sites include:

3. Garden Centre Tours – Once you know what you are planting (or even if you do not!) a trip to your local garden centres is in order. Just remember that potted plants are fragile and need to be pampered until you get them in the ground. Allowing them to dry out, even once, will affect the health of the plants. Because of this, resist the urge to over-purchase. You can always do a trip back to pick up more.

4. Road trip! – This is a great time to be a local tourist. Pay a visit to your local tourism centre and get a local attractions guide. You can do several day trips or a weekend excursion which ties into the next item…

5.  Camping – The May long-weekend is often the first major camping weekend. Campsites are normally at a premium so you are best to book a site before leaving to avoid disappointment. Critical grocery items? Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. Camping is just not the same without S’Mores!

6. Build a deck – Summer living often involves a lot of outdoor living and great decks help with staycations –  vacations in your own back yard! If you are very visual, try an online tool  like the one at TimberTech to help you get a better idea of what your deck will look like. And don’t forget your building permit!

7. Time for a new BBQ? If your old BBQ just doesn’t cut it anymore, it may be time to look for a new one. What better way to kick off the vacation season than grilling something special! If you are not sure which BBQ is best for you, this article may be helpful.

8.  Build a shed. Many home improvement stores include shed kits which can be quickly and easily assembled. If you are looking for something a bit more substantial, check out the DrummondHousePlans shed and storage collection. As always, make sure you have a building permit if one is required.

9.   Shakeout cruise! The May long weekend is often the first outing in the family pleasure craft. It is important to note that all Canadian boaters operating a powered watercraft for recreational reasons in Canada need a Pleasure Craft Operator Card or they risk a $250 fine. If you haven’t already written your exam, you can actually do so online.

10. Property hunting. On the May long weekend, realtors notice a marked spike in the number of clients who search for “that perfect place” for either their next home or vacation getaway. Most places look attractive at this time of year. Remember the property selection mantra… “location, location, location.” And when you have the perfect location, let the friendly staff of DrummondHousePlans help in the selection or customization for your perfect space.

Enjoy your weekend everyone, and be sure to play safe and stay safe!

March 12th, 2010
By Doreen Gallagher

Just like these manor-style cottages with garage being built in a lot of residential areas in Quebec, this one is notable for its medieval style exterior ands its 36 feet wide facade. This handsome home allows for easy site planning on a narrow lot.

Find out more….

December 19th, 2007
By Timbermart

When you’re thinking about building a new home it’s pretty easy to get caught up in thinking only about the sticks and bricks of the structure.  Many people overlook the fact that the lot you choose to build on can be just as important a factor in determining your future happiness as the home itself. Before you get too involved in the details of you house plan, it can pay to invest some time I finding the perfect lot.  There are a number of key questions that you can ask yourself to help determine what lot is right for you.

DO YOU ALREADY HAVE A HOMEPLAN?

If you already have your dream home planned, and you know the style and size, then it makes sense to look for a lot that will complement and maximize you design. If you don’t have a house plan yet, then you may want to search for the perfect lot and then design a home to fit.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?

Knowing in advance where you want to live will help you stay focused and avoid throwing lots that don’t meet your need into the mix.  If you are new to an area, find a knowledgeable real estate agent to help in your search.  You must also consider proximity to shopping, schools, churches, playgrounds, and work.  All of these factors influence property and resale value. Finally you should carefully research the value of other homes in the area. As a rule of thumb, you will want the value of your home and the lot to be approximately the same as others in the area.  Having too high or too low a value for the neighbourhood can make it more difficult to sell your home in the future. You should also take the time to check for area zoning restrictions or restrictive covenants that might limit your freedom to build the house you want.

IS THE LOT LARGE ENOUGH?

More than likely there will be some setbacks that will leave only a portion of the lot for the actual house.  How much back and front yard space do you want? Will there be a driveway? Will you be building a garage? These are all things that you must consider. Even if the garage might be a future addition, it’s smart to think about it now.  You will also want to check for any easements on the lot.  An easement is an area on the lot that is restricted from building.  Most easements are for utility line access.

WHAT IS THE TOPOGRAPHY LIKE?

A flat lot is much less expensive to prepare and build on, but a sloping lot can be much more scenic. You should also be wary of lots in low spots that may be prone to flooding. No matter what lot you are considering, take the time to visit it after a heavy rainfall to evaluate the drainage. Take the time to look for the sun direction as well. Many homeowners will orient their house to maximize natural light exposure. Don’t stop at what’s above ground either. The type of soil or rock under the ground can affect how easily you will be able to dig a foundation and how well it will support you home.  Bedrock is very expensive to dig through, while clay soils expand and contract which could cause cracks and leaky basements.

WHAT WILL YOU WANT IN THE FUTURE?

We will go through changes in our lives, and having a lot that gives you the flexibility to accommodate these changes is a big plus.  Whether it’s an addition to the family that requires an addition to the house, or maybe a new garage or swimming pool, you don’t want to find yourself somewhere down the road without sufficient space.

FINAL THOUGHT

It’s very difficult to find a lot that meets all of your criteria.  In many cases there are trade-offs to be made, so list your criteria in order of important. If you find yourself overwhelmed, you can seek the services of a landscape architect, surveyor or professional contractor to help you make the right decision.

 



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