Building a Cottage to be Off the Grid in Canada - Royal Homes
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Building a Cottage to be Off the Grid in Canada

Planning Your Lot & Home


More Canadians are embracing renewable energy sources to lower energy expenses and reduce their impact on the environment. Some are taking it a step further, going 100% renewable and removing their homes from the electrical grid. For families who aren’t quite ready to disconnect at home, building a cottage to be off the grid is a way to live more sustainably.

Self sustaining cottage

Thanks to technological improvements, building a cottage to be off the grid doesn’t have to mean roughing it in the woods. It’s now possible to live on renewable energy sources almost anywhere, even on a budget.

What is an Off-Grid Cottage?

An off-grid cottage is one that is not connected to large-scale electrical utilities. In some cases, the cottage is built on land without electrical infrastructure. Other times, the infrastructure is in place, but the homeowner has chosen not to connect the cottage or has disconnected after the fact.

Living off the grid doesn’t necessarily mean living completely without electricity. Many families with off-grid cottages generate their own electricity through renewable energy sources, like solar and wind. Renewable energy allows cottage owners to enjoy the comfort and convenience of modern amenities without relying on a utility company.

Off-grid cottages can be simple and rustic or sleek and contemporary; it all depends on what the homeowner wants to build. Building an off-grid cottage allows families to truly unwind and disconnect from urban life however they choose.

Building an Off-Grid Cottage on Renewable Energy

Today, most off-grid cottages are highly energy efficiency to take full advantage of renewable energy. Many homeowners opt for pre-fab homes designed to retain the most heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Off-grid cottages often utilize energy-efficient windows, roofing and siding.

Different parts of Canada are suited to various renewable energy sources. Cottagers here in Southwestern Ontario have ideal conditions for photovoltaic solar panels, while East Coasters can reap the benefits of wind. Some resourceful homeowners on the West Coast harness rainfall and steep terrain to generate small-scale hydroelectricity.

Relying on renewable sources requires a way to store back-up electricity on days with unfavourable weather. Fortunately, rechargeable Lithium ion batteries have become increasingly affordable for cottage owners. Many off-grid cottages also utilize a home energy management system to monitor and conserve energy resources.

Cost of Building a Cottage to be Off the Grid

The cost of building an off-grid cottage depends on the location of the property, the size and style of the cottage, amenities, and amount of electricity the homeowner wants to use.

Properties without an existing electrical infrastructure cost significantly less than land connected to local utilities. However, some people choose to build their off-grid cottage on land that does have connections so the cottage will appeal to more buyers should the homeowner decide to sell it.

Although the cost of wind and solar technology is decreasing, installing renewable energy infrastructure can be expensive. However, the amount saved on monthly electricity costs will gradually offset the investment.

From start to finish, very satisfactory.Debbie & Rich
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  • FAQ

    Where can I get a price list or How come your website doesn’t show pricing?

    Prices vary geographically, depending on where you are building. With the amount of options available, price lists run into thousands of options. Prices change with the options you choose. The best way to get an idea on pricing would be to contact our Design Centre nearest to where you are building.

    What is your average square foot selling price?

    Prices for a complete home, including foundation vary from $200 sq-ft to over $300 because our homes are all custom built, we can design a home to fit your budget.

    Why should I buy from you over a conventional or "Stick-Builder"?

    The advantages of prefab include building in a climate controlled environment, using environmentally friendly products which reduces waste and a CSA monitored quality controlled program. There is less time start to finish, with less disruption to neighborhood. We also sell at a firm price.

    Do your homes include a foundation?

    Yes our homes include full foundation and basement.

    How long does it take to build a Royal Home?

    It takes less than two weeks to build a home in our factory, but the process from start to finish is very dependent on the timing of obtaining a building permit. For most of our clients the process from start to delivery is twelve to sixteen weeks with move in eight to twelve weeks thereafter.

    What size homes do you build?

    As a custom builder we can build any size home but generally the average size range is between 1300 and 3500 sq feet.

    Do you build garages?

    Yes. Garages are built on site after the home is delivered.

    Are the homes energy efficient?

    Building a prefab home in a factory assures the highest attention to sealing the building envelope and ensures that the cold stays out.

    Since your homes are so energy efficient and air tight, how do you get fresh air?

    All our homes have HRV heat recovery ventilator air exchanger to remove stale air, and introduce fresh air.

    Where can I put a prefab home?

    Anywhere in Ontario you like.

    Can I really customize my prefab home?

    Yes, we use state of the art custom design software, today no two homes are built alike.

    Do you finish the basement?

    Yes. We can customize your basement to the finishes you desire.

    Are Royal Homes built to code?

    All Royal Homes are individually designed to meet all provincial and municipal building codes for your specific lot location.

    Do you build stick-built or conventional homes as well?

    We are a custom home builder first and use prefabricated components wherever we can, because it is a better way to build. If you have a remote site or custom home design with large open spaces we would look at what makes most sense for that design and location. This could include prebuilt panels or partially site built specific rooms.

    What makes the building process environmentally friendly?

    Waste in the factory is separated and recycled, reducing the impact on landfills. This has less disruption in terms of noise and time at job site. Building prefab allows for higher energy efficient homes and reduced heating costs.

    How is your home delivered?

    Our home is delivered by way of custom designed hydraulic flatbed trailers and precisely craned onto the foundation.

    Can you make changes or custom design?

    Yes, clients are given preliminary plans to review and changes are welcome and easily accommodated.