When you buy a lot, the dreams of how to use your land come free of charge. You may envision a cottage here, a boathouse there, and a bunkie for guests tucked to the side.
While it’s easy to envision what will fill the space, the first step (and often the most overlooked one) is to clear the area and prepare the site for what will be built on it.
While most families buy a lot with the help of a realtor, then focus on finding the right architect or builder to construct their dream cottage, Matt Rouleau and Jason Caron, owners of Muskoka Excavation and Septic, and Muskoka Rock Blasting say there’s a much better method to consider.
Consult before you buyWhile many cottagers hire Muskoka Excavation and Septic after they purchase a lot, Jason says there are benefits to calling their team while you’re still shopping for the perfect property.
“The reality is that Muskoka has been so popular for so long that most of the vacant lots on the market today are challenging to build on,” says Jason.
Once you’ve found a lot that you want to purchase, bring along an excavating expert to help you visualize your project and help you create a realistic budget for how much site preparation will cost.
Hire the multitaskersIf you’ve already purchased a lot, it’s not too late. Matt and Jason say this is the perfect time to bring in an excavation company, especially one that can handle the excavation, blasting, and septic work for you.
By connecting your excavation experts with your custom builder or contractor, Matt notes that you’ll be improving your chances of having your project move along with speed and efficiency.
“There are a lot of moving parts involved in the pre-building process,” says Matt. “These parts depend on one another to push your project forward.”
Matt and Jason have teams skilled in septic design and installation, demolition, excavation, and rock blasting, and a range of machinery that can be brought in quickly to address issues as they arise.
“If we hit bedrock unexpectedly during excavation, we can have it blasted quickly, keeping your timeline on track,” says Jason.
In addition to keeping your project rolling along at the right pace, Matt adds, you’ll feel less stress, and have greater cost savings than if you had to bring in outside contractors to complete the job.
Assess your septicIf you’re building on a property with an existing cottage, you’ll want your septic system to be assessed to make sure it is compatible with your family’s needs. Not all septic companies can do this, says Matt, who is a certified septic designer and installer.
“We can calculate and design your septic system precisely to fit your lot and your family’s use,” says Matt. “We do our own designs, making it quicker and easier to give you the right septic system with a consistent vision from start to finish.”
The team offers conventional septic and tertiary treatment units, such as Bionest, Waterloo Biofilter, Eljen, and many others. “These tertiary treatment units are often a requirement for building on bedrock, allowing your system to further filter effluent before it reaches the native soil.”
Consider your neighboursIn addition to removing trees, blasting bedrock, and designing the septic system, Muskoka Excavation and Septic can also clear entryways and remove structures and debris to give your builder the blank canvas they need to get started.
While this process can be dusty and loud, Matt and Jason say they are conscious of their role in ensuring their lot owners have a good relationship with their neighbours long after construction is complete.
“By hiring a company like ours for all of your excavation, septic, and blasting needs, you only need to worry about one company interacting with your neighbours,” says Jason.
With 25 years of experience, Jason notes that their team is skilled in both surface blasting and sensitive blasting, which minimizes the sound and vibrations that can frustrate neighbouring property owners.
“We want to make sure we leave a good relationship between you and your neighbours,” says Jason. “We’ll do everything we can while we’re onsite to be accommodating and personable.”
This considerate approach extends to the surrounding landscape, says Matt, who says their team is always aware of the beauty that surrounds them, and looks for ways to preserve it as much as possible.
“We want your cottage to highlight the beauty of Muskoka,” says Matt. “We also want to make sure the rock surrounding your cottage is secure and safe for you and your family to enjoy.”
TEXT SHELANNE AUGUSTINE | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN