How to Choose the Best Prefab Cottage Design For You - Royal Homes How to Choose the Best Prefab Cottage Design For You - Royal Homes
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How to Choose the Best Prefab Cottage Design For You

Planning Your Lot & Home


Thinking about buying a prefabricated cottage? With so many prefab cottage designs to choose from, it’s not always easy deciding which one is right for you. There’s no right or wrong way to go about choosing a design, but these tips will help you get started!

1. Consider Your Building Lot

First thing’s first: is your land narrow, sloping, or near a waterway? Which direction offers the best view? Are there any special features, like a forest, lake or cliffside, that you want to draw attention to?

Choose your cottage design in accordance with the features of your building lot. For example, a wide cottage design like the Bala LE might not work on a narrow building lot, but models like the Portland or Lynden would be perfect!

If your cottage will sit by the lake, a design like the Lakeview or Bluewater will take full advantage of the picturesque view and natural light.

Speaking of natural light, it’s important to think about where the sun’s rays will fall on your lot at different times of the day.  Then, you will be able to place your windows to make the most of the morning and evening light. You can usually have windows moved or resized later on if you need to, but it pays to get it right the first time!

A walk-out basement can be a great choice if your land slopes, especially towards the waterfront. This style of cottage is very popular in Muskoka and northern Ontario. In fact, the Algonquin cottage was designed with just this in mind!

2. Bungalow, or Bigger?

It is no wonder that so many people go with bungalow cottage designs. They’re stylish, affordable, and so simple to maintain!

Plus, if you have family members with mobility issues or expect to entertain older guests at the cottage, a bungalow is perfect. Having everyone on one level also makes it easier to keep a watchful eye on little kids.

On the other hand, if you do have kids, you might consider a cottage design with a second floor. That way, the little ones can sleep in the bedrooms upstairs while the grown-ups stay up and socialize on the main floor.

Adding a second story to a cottage will allow you to increase its square footage without encroaching too much on the landscape. Just keep in mind that zoning and local regulations may limit your cottage’s height, or the minimum and maximum size of the cottage relative to the lot size.

3. Make Room to Grow

The question of square footage really comes down to your cottage’s purpose. Sure, a smaller cottage will be cheaper to heat and have a smaller tax bill, but there’s a lot more to it than that!

Are you mainly thinking of the cottage as a romantic get-away, or do you plan to host large family reunions? Have the kids left the nest, or do you plan on sharing your cottage with them? The answers to these questions will help you settle on the square footage you need

One thing to remember: a cottage that’s just the right size for you now may not be so forever. It’s not a bad idea to include an extra bedroom or two in your cottage design as ‘flexible’ space. A spare bedroom can serve as an office or den for a few years, then become an additional bedroom when another child or grandchild is born.

4. Be a Good Neighbour

Sure, nobody wants to live in a home exactly like the one next door. That’s part of the reason to have your prefab cottage custom-designed by a builder like Royal Homes! That said, the prefab cottage design you choose should be compatible with its future neighborhood.

This holds true whether you’re building in a new area or in a neighbourhood with long-established cottages. Either way, the exterior of your cottage will form part of the neighbourhood’s character.

Consider the design and colour schemes of nearby homes and cottages, as well as the surrounding landscape. Which colours stand out? Which would be complementary, and which colours might clash?

You don’t have to be a copycat. Just don’t pick something that sticks out like a sore thumb! You and your neighbours will all be happier for it.

5. Choose Your Architecture

On the topic of neighbourhood fit, these considerations should apply to your cottage’s architectural style as well.

Does the neighbourhood have a contemporary or classic feel? Would an ultra-modern cottage look out of place?

It’s possible to combine different architectural styles to get something that fits the neighborhood and still speaks to you. That’s the best part of our model home catalogue: if you like the gables of one house and the porch of another, you can combine them!

Unlike most prefab home builders in Ontario, our designers and architects will work with you to custom-design the perfect cottage for your needs. Learn more about our one-of-a-kind building process.

6. What Are Your Must-Haves?

A custom-built prefab cottage gives you the opportunity to include all the things you’ve always wanted in a home.

Want to relax on a wrap-around porch with your book? You can do that. What about a massive dining room with a lake view? It’s yours. Is a gourmet kitchen a must? Go ahead and add it to the list!

While you may not find a cottage model that suits your every need right off the bat, our team can help you customize any of our designs to your heart’s content. The sky’s the limit!

The passion and attention to detail that the Royal Homes team has is incredible. Their pre-fab homes and cottages and have never been anything short of stunning and top quality. I would recommend this company in an instant, without a shadow of a doubt.Jessica
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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 $350 sq-ft to over $450 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.