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Watch your dream cottage come to life with a driven team

From dreamy inlaw suites to party-ready boathouses and state-of-the-art cottage designs, TimberNorth Home & Design’s projects run the gamut, keeping owners Darren Huck and Ray McFalls on their toes.

The diversity of their building projects has always been one of the most exciting aspects of owning a design-build company in Muskoka, and Darren and Ray love the opportunity to build something new and innovative.

“There’s nothing we can’t build,” says Ray. “The beauty of a custom home is that you can make it truly your own.”

In addition to their creative outlook on building, Darren and Ray also use the latest technology and innovations to improve the building experience for their clients.

“We know that our clients are getting ideas from around the world and are looking for a builder that will take on any project,” says Darren. Their hunger for challenges and determination to learn from others has made them a force in the Muskoka.

“We have a drive for success, an eye on the latest building innovations and strong relationships with other builders, designers and trades.”

Custom designs
While each project is unique, Darren notes there’s one common string between them: every design is tailored to their clients’ lifestyles and aesthetic leanings.

Last year, they completed a 2,500-square-foot boathouse, designed for entertainment and leisure. The sleek black boathouse included an entertainment area, bathrooms, a workout area and yoga room, a common area finished with Ipe wood, and a big upper deck with room for a tiki bar. The boathouse also included two boat slips, including a 42-foot slip that can hold the family’s cigarette boat.

This summer, they will break ground on a custom Scandi-inspired wellness cottage in Huntsville. The single-level 2,000-square-foot retreat will include living quarters in one structure, and the family’s cold plunge pool, sauna, and other wellness facilities in another. The serene abode will be joined by a single metal roof and finished with wood siding.

“The property will be centred in the woods, perfect for our clients who wanted a quiet cottage to focus on rest and wellness.”

The design steps
Regardless of the project, TimberNorth’s process begins with the same first essential step: an introductory meeting. There, Darren and Ray can get to know their clients, what they want to build, and how they envision using that space in the future.

“Even something as standard as a boathouse can be very different for each client,” says Ray. “A client who wants their boathouse to be used strictly for boat and recreational gear storage is different from one who wants on-the-water entertaining areas.”

“By understanding your root idea, the feeling and look you’re trying to achieve, we can design and build a space that will make your cottage lifestyle more enjoyable.”

From there, they gather their in-house team of architectural designers and interior designers to help bring their clients’ vision to life.

“If you want a specific colour, atmosphere, or feeling, we can help you achieve exactly what you want within the build.”

If the client has their own preferred design or designer, that’s fine too.

“If you want to work with a specific architect who focuses on a particular style, we’re happy to work with them,” says Darren. “We’re here to help you achieve exactly what you want within the build.”

Tech advantage
In an industry that has historically relied on emails and spreadsheets to keep clients abreast of the building process, TimberNorth uses the latest technology to give their clients real-time updates on any progress.

While the team still communicates with their clients by phone and email, they use a new app called BuilderTrend to share photos, daily progress, and timelines for when tradespeople are set to be onsite.

“We want to make it seamless for our clients, so they’re never left in the dark,” says Ray. “Whether you’re planning a site visit, are stuck in the city, or on vacation somewhere else in the world, you’ll never have to wonder what’s happening with your build.”

While there are many great builders in Muskoka, the pair hope their use of tech will set an example for others, building a higher level of professionalism and trust across the industry.

“There are some less-than-amazing stories of trades, but we want to set the bar higher for our industry,” says Darren. “It’s important to keep our clients involved. This technology is a new approach but so necessary.”

Using the right communications technology lets clients keep a pulse on their building projects, but it also cuts down on the time builders spend on the phone.

“We want to keep your project on track and budget. Your cottage is an investment. We want you to be confident in the building process, every step of the way.”



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