Popular Features to Add to Your Custom Muskoka Cottage
Ballantyne Builds wants your home-away-from-home to meet your every need and we are well-equipped to help you explore the top features that clients request when building a custom cottage in Muskoka. This comprehensive guide will help you create the Muskoka cottage of your dreams, from radiant heat flooring to off-grid options and everything in between.
Ballantyne Builds' Most Popular Features for Muskoka Cottages
Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) Foundation
The foundation of your cottage is one of the most critical components, as it provides structural support for the entire building. An insulated concrete form (ICF) foundation is a popular choice among cottage builders because it offers superior insulation, durability, and strength. ICF walls are made of insulating foam forms filled with concrete, creating a solid and stable foundation that can withstand even the harshest Muskoka weather. This type of foundation will cost more than a poured foundation, but the price is well worth it.
In-floor heating is a popular feature in cottage country because it provides an efficient, cozy and comfortable living space all year round (and feels great on the feet!). Radiant heat can be installed throughout the cottage or in the basement only. If you are on a tighter budget, electric heat can be installed in the bathroom floors only, which gives you an added bit of luxury at a much lower cost.
Zoned heating allows you to control the temperature in different areas of the cottage independently. This feature is handy in larger cottages, where heating and cooling needs vary from room to room, or when some bedrooms or parts of the cottage aren’t used regularly. With zoned heating, you can save energy and reduce your utility bills by setting varying temperatures around the cottage.
A backup generator is an essential feature for any cottage in Muskoka, since there is a higher possibility of power outages due to storms and other natural disasters. Having a backup generator ensures that you have electricity no matter what happens.
Smart Home Options
Smart home options are becoming increasingly popular as they offer convenience, security, and energy savings. With apps, you can easily control your cottage's lighting, heating and cooling, and security cameras from anywhere in the world, which means you can arrive at a cottage that is ready for you. Additionally, built-in speakers throughout the cottage allow for entertainment options that can be customized for different zones inside and outside.
Power blinds offer a modern and convenient alternative to traditional window treatments. With the touch of a button, you can open or close your blinds, controlling the amount of light and privacy in your cottage.
Custom millwork, including vanities, open shelving, mudroom cubbies, bar, bookshelves, living room cabinets, and more, adds a unique and personal touch to your cottage. Custom millwork is designed specifically for your needs and can be made from a variety of high-quality materials that will give you a luxe and bespoke look.
Custom Ceiling Details
Custom ceiling details, such as coffered ceilings, painted or stained tongue and groove ceilings, or bulkheads with recessed lighting add architectural interest and visual appeal to your cottage.
Custom Wall Details
Custom wall details, such as shiplap, trim accent walls, and accent tile walls, are another way to add visual interest and texture to your living space. These details create a focal point in a room.
How you install your tile can make a big difference in the overall effect. Herringbone floor tile is a popular flooring option and its classic design adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. This pattern can be created with hardwood throughout the house, or in specific rooms only, such as the office, and installing tile in a herringbone pattern is a great way to elevate the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or mudroom.
Custom Vent Covers
Custom vent covers are another way to create a more timeless look. While they may seem like a small detail, custom vent covers can create a high-end streamline look when designed to fit seamlessly into the overall aesthetic of the room. They can also add a touch of personalization to your rooms if you choose something more decorative. These covers can be made from various materials, including metal, wood, or tile, and can match the floors or walls, or make a statement.
Kitchen Cabinet Upgrades
Personalized kitchen cabinets are always a popular request. Some frequent upgrades include corner cabinet pull-outs, spice racks, tray dividers, custom under-cabinet lighting, waste organizers, roll-out and pull-out shelves, and other custom storage for knives and large utensils.
Kitchen Appliance Upgrades
Kitchen appliance luxuries are also frequently featured in luxury cottages. These can include a custom hood vent, wine rack or bar fridge, pop-out appliances, integrated appliances, or a conductive stove top built into the countertop.
Custom Plugs and Outlets
Custom plugs and outlets are another small but important detail that we suggest you not overlook. These can include smart home switches, custom colours, recessed installation, touchscreen operation, and hidden placement.
Interior Trim and Door Upgrades
Interior trim and door upgrades are also popular among our clients. Extra-tall doors and generous baseboards can make a space feel more grand and elegant. Slab doors in different woods can add warmth and texture to a room, elevating the overall aesthetic of a space.
Shower upgrades are often requested by clients. These can include a curbless shower, steam shower, multiple shower heads, niches, custom lighting, and smart features to provide ultimate luxury while you wash away a day of outdoor play.
A dog wash in the laundry room or mudroom is a favourite among our dog-owning clients. A dog wash makes bath time easier and more convenient (and works for filthy kids, too!).
Sauna and/or Hot Tub
Saunas and hot tubs are also highly sought-after features in custom Muskoka cottages. After a day spent outdoors enjoying all that Muskoka offers, there's nothing like relaxing in a hot tub under the stars, or sweating it out in a sauna. Not only do these features provide a luxurious and spa-like experience, but they also offer health benefits like stress relief and improved circulation.
Epoxy Garage Floor
Epoxy garage floors are a great way to add a touch of personality and functionality to your garage. This type of flooring is durable, stain-resistant, and easy to maintain. It can also be customized with various colours and patterns, making it a great way to add a touch of style to an often-overlooked space.
Polished Concrete Patio
This type of patio is beautiful and incredibly durable, making it an excellent choice for the Muskoka climate. With its clean, modern look, a polished concrete patio can provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor entertaining, dining, and relaxation. Whether you're looking to create an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, or a seating area, a polished concrete patio can be customized to fit your needs and preferences. And with its low maintenance requirements, you can spend more time enjoying your beautiful outdoor space and less time worrying about upkeep.
Features for folks interested in living off the beaten path, such as solar panels and geothermal heat, are increasingly popular. These options can reduce energy costs and minimize the home's carbon footprint. With a well-designed off-grid system, a cottage can function entirely without relying on public utilities.
Finally, a screened-in porch is a staple among our clients in Muskoka. This feature allows you to enjoy the outdoors while being protected from bugs and the elements. A screened-in porch can be a versatile space, perfect for entertaining guests or enjoying quiet time with a good book. With the beautiful Muskoka scenery around you, a screened-in porch is the ideal way to take it all in while still being comfortable and protected.
Premier Cottage Builder in Muskoka
At Ballantyne Builds, we understand that building a custom cottage in Muskoka is a financial and emotional investment. That's why we take great care to ensure that every aspect of the building process is tailored to our clients' unique needs and preferences. From the foundation to the finishing touches, we work closely with our clients to ensure their dream cottage becomes a reality.
If you're looking to build a luxury custom cottage in Muskoka, we invite you to contact us today. Our team of experienced professionals will be happy to answer any questions and help you get started on the journey to building your dream cottage. With our commitment to quality and attention to detail, we're confident that we’re the right Muskoka builders to bring your vision to life and create a space that you and your family will cherish for years to come.
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