The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Dream Home in Canada


Have you ever wondered how to build a house in Canada, tailored to your exact specifications? A place where you can create lasting memories and find ultimate comfort? Building your dream home is an exciting and rewarding journey, but it can also be overwhelming if you don’t have the right guidance.

Here, we’ll look into finding the right plot of land, obtaining building plans, securing financing, navigating zoning regulations and permits, selecting materials and finishes, and managing the construction process. New home construction can be intimidating, but this guide aims to provide valuable insights, tips, and practical advice to help you navigate the journey of building your own house.

Building a custom home isn’t easy, fast, or cheap, but it’s one of the most satisfying accomplishments and a solid financial move. Here’s how to do it.

What to know about building a house in Canada

There’s a lot to learn before you begin building your own house, but we can break it down into manageable chunks. Let’s start with an overview of the process – each item will be discussed in greater detail later.

Before you can start building, you’ll need to complete the following tasks:

  • Purchase land. Choosing a suitable plot of land for your house construction requires careful consideration. Be sure to assess factors such as location, zoning regulations, property history, future development in the area, and access to amenities. Be sure the land has a clear title. Don’t be afraid to reach out to professionals like surveyors and real estate agents for expert advice.
  • Acquire architectural plans. Before any construction begins, plans for your home are developed, finalized, and submitted to the municipal building permit office for review. You’ll either purchase detailed house plans or work with an architect to design your dream home. Consider the size, layout, style, functionality, and energy efficiency of the house. The plans should comply with local building codes and regulations.
  • Secure financing for your construction project. This may involve obtaining a mortgage or construction loan from a financial institution. Consult with lenders to understand the specific requirements and options available to you.
  • Hire a general contractor. Unless you’ve asked an architect to manage your construction project or plan to do the work yourself, you’ll need to hire a general contractor. They know how to build a house in Canada and will oversee the entire building process, coordinate subcontractors, manage schedules, and ensure quality workmanship. They handle permits and inspections, as well as address any challenges that arise.
  • Acquire building permits. Permits may be required for all or some of the following work: building, electrical, plumbing, septic system, and sewer connection. You or your general contractor will need to obtain the necessary permits and approvals before commencing construction. This typically includes building permits, development permits, and permits for electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

Builders often plan and obtain approvals during winter to start construction in spring. From there, the construction phase begins and typically takes several months. This time frame encompasses site clearing, foundation installation, framing, roofing, electrical and plumbing rough-ins, insulation, drywall installation, interior finishing, and exterior work. Unforeseen delays such as adverse weather conditions, labour shortages, or supply chain disruptions can impact the construction timeline.

Close up of an architect reviewing the floorplan for a new home build
Getty Images / Perawit Boonchu

How much does it cost to build a house?

The cost of building your own house can vary greatly depending on several factors, including location, size, design, materials, labour costs, and additional expenses. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of these costs to effectively plan and budget for your project.

The average cost of building a house can range from $200 to $400 per square foot, depending on various factors. This estimate covers the construction of a basic, mid-range home and can vary significantly based on regional variations and specific project requirements.

Expenses associated with building a house

Construction costs encompass the expenses associated with the actual building process, including materials, labour, and equipment. Material costs depend on the type and quality of materials chosen for the project. Labour costs cover the wages of contractors, subcontractors, and skilled tradespeople involved in the construction.

Labour costs are a significant component of the overall cost and partly overlap with construction costs, but you’ll need other workers as well. The rates vary based on factors such as location, the complexity of the project, and the availability of skilled labour.

In addition to construction and labour costs, there are various additional expenses to consider. These include permits and fees, architectural and engineering fees, utility connections, landscaping, interior finishes, appliances, and furniture. It’s essential to allocate a portion of your budget to these costs to avoid unexpected financial burdens during the construction process.

Unforeseen circumstances, changes in design or materials, and market fluctuations can impact the final cost. It’s a good idea to create a contingency fund of about 15% of the total project cost to account for unexpected expenses.

To obtain a more accurate estimate of the cost of building your own house, it is recommended to consult with architects, contractors, and suppliers who can provide detailed cost breakdowns based on your specific project requirements and location. Their expertise will help ensure that your budget aligns with your expectations and that you have a realistic understanding of the costs involved in building your dream home.

A young family with a child sits at a desk in a nursery room and goes over the budget for their planned renovation project.
Getty Images / Pekic

Budget, finances, and grants

Because it’s so expensive, it’s important to consider the total financial impact. Your total housing cost should be no more than a third of your household’s gross revenue. About 15% of that should be a margin for unexpected issues, so we should begin by planning to spend about 27% of the total household’s budget on housing costs.

For most of us, that’s not enough to finance new home construction directly. We’ll need loans, usually in the form of a mortgage on the property.

To secure financing approval for your home construction project, you will typically need to provide various documents to the lender. These documents may include the purchase offer or deed of sale, copies of your architectural plans, a detailed estimate of costs, a building permit, and the construction schedule. The purchase offer or deed of sale demonstrates your intent to acquire the property. Architectural plans showcase the design and layout of the home, while the detailed cost estimate outlines the projected expenses. The building permit verifies that your construction plans comply with local regulations, and the construction schedule provides an overview of the timeline.

You might also consider loan protection – insurance on the loan, so that payments are covered if you are unable to pay them. This form of insurance doesn’t make financial sense for most people since life insurance and disability insurance already cover most cases. It may make sense for breadwinners who don’t qualify for more conventional forms of insurance, though, so consider your own situation individually.

Building a custom home is undeniably expensive. Fortunately, Canada wants to encourage new home construction, and a number of grants and other breaks are available. If this is your first home, you qualify for a tax credit of up to $1,500. You can also repurpose money from a retirement fund without a tax hit. You may be eligible for a GST/HST new housing rebate for some of the GST/HST.

Your city or province may offer other help. For instance, Montreal offers assistance for first-time buyers of new homes or those with small children. Ontario charges a land transfer tax, but first-time buyers may qualify for a refund.

How long does it take to build a house?

The entire house-building process in Canada can last from several months to two years. The complexity of the design, site preparation requirements, availability of labour and materials, and weather conditions all influence the timeline.

Considering the financial and planning phase, obtaining permits, clearing land, and the construction period, a reasonable estimate for the entire process of building your own house in Canada is approximately 12 to 24 months. The construction period itself often lasts 10–16 months, and it may have to be paused if winter intervenes. That being the case, it’s important to plan well before ever breaking ground.

A person wearing a white dress shirt counts down the days until their new home build is complete on their digital calendar.
Getty Images / AndreyPopov

Building your own house: Planning and preparation

The process of building your own house in Canada requires thorough planning and diligent preparation. It’s here that you’ll set the foundation for turning your dream home into reality. Let’s go over what you need to do before you start building.

Choosing your plot of land

Choosing the right plot of land for your house is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your lifestyle, your budget, and the overall success of your construction project. After setting a total budget, devote a reasonable portion of it to purchasing the land. A general guideline is to keep the land cost within 25–30% of the total project cost.

Make sure the land has access to essential utility services such as hydroelectric services, water connections, sewers, and telecommunication towers. Additionally, it is important to consider the reliability and quality of these services in the area. Research the service providers and inquire about any potential issues or limitations in service availability. While you’re at it, discover the school and municipal taxes associated with the plot of land you’re considering.

Also consider the distance to key amenities such as your workplace, public transportation, schools, recreational facilities, grocery stores, and other retailers. If you have children or want them, it’s wise to look into the quality of the local schools as well. Consider the time and cost of commuting when evaluating potential land options.

Don’t forget to evaluate the potential risks of flooding, landslides, and other natural disasters in the area. These hazards may have long-term impact on the safety, insurability, and long-term viability of your construction project.

When selecting a plot of land, it’s advisable to work with a real estate agent or land surveyor who specializes in the local market. They can provide valuable insights into the specific considerations for the area and help you navigate the process. If a Surveyor’s Real Property Report is wanted, it must be done by a surveyor.

In conclusion, choosing a plot of land involves careful consideration of various factors. By conducting thorough research and seeking professional advice, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs, preferences, and long-term goals for your new house.

An architect shows their client prospective house plans on the plot of land they purchased.
Getty Images / Vladimir Vladimirov

Hiring licensed professionals

Some home builders save time and money with pre-existing house plans, but for a custom home design, you’ll want to work with an architect or architectural technologist. These licensed professionals know how to build a house in Canada.

Which do you need? An architect’s services will likely cost 8–10% of the construction value of your project, while an architectural technologist will probably cost only 1–2%. On the other hand, architects can design larger buildings that fit their environments well.

Our Renovation Advisors can connect you with experienced architects and architectural technologists.

You may also want to hire an interior designer. Designers do more than just decorate; they design spaces that are both beautiful and functional. Your designer will work closely with your architect or technologist.

Once your land is acquired and your plan is in place, it’s time to hire a general contractor. This is the person who is primarily responsible for physically building the house, so it’s important to choose the best one for you.

There are also subcontractors, usually skilled tradespeople providing their services – plumbers, electricians, etc. Subcontractors are usually hired by the general contractor, but the owner may have preferences as well.

Acquiring plans and specifications

Different areas have different construction standards. Ontario has a unified building code, for example, while Quebec no longer has a single building code but several different standards. You may also be subject to municipal regulations.

Be sure to have enough copies of your plans for subcontractors, city permit applications, your financial advisor (if using financing solutions such as a construction mortgage), and at least one extra copy for yourself (just in case).

Applying for construction permits

You (or your general contractor) will need to apply for several permits when building a custom home. Make sure that you have copies of all plans and specifications, the Surveyor’s Real Property Report, soil quality tests and studies (if needed), and drinking water tests (if needed) so that you can submit them with your applications.

A Black woman works on her client’s house plans in a bright contemporary office.
Getty Images / Moyo Studio

Building your own house: Designing your dream home

Once you’ve found your plot of land and your professionals, it’s time for the fun part – creating a space that is uniquely yours. With the help of professionals such as architects and builders, you can bring your vision to life. Here are some basic steps in the design process.

Choosing a layout

One of the wonderful things about building your own house is that it can be exactly what you want. If bright and airy spaces filled with plants make your heart sing, then an open concept floor plan may work well for you. On the other hand, closed layouts offer many rooms that serve distinct purposes. Folks that enjoy some degree of separation, whether it’s being able to close the door to a home office or providing a sanctuary to their pets when hosting, may want a mix.

Beyond the layout itself, what are your family’s wants and needs? You’ll want enough bedrooms for the entire family, certainly, but would you also like a guest suite, an in-law suite, or even both? Would you like a small efficient kitchen, or a large one with a trendy walk-in pantry? Offices, dens, and studios can ease working from home. If you might live with an older generation or simply hope to live in this home forever, it may be wise to consider accessibility.

You might even consider an entire basement apartment, which could be rented out. Basements fell out of fashion due to the cost and time needed for excavation, but they’re returning as we grapple with the need for more housing density. If you’re digging a basement, it can be much more than a storage hole.

Space planning plays a crucial role in optimizing the use of each room. Carefully consider the layout and flow to ensure functionality and easy navigation throughout the home. Determine the purpose of each space and plan accordingly.

Close up of floorplans and models for a client building their own house in Canada.
Getty Images / Rawf8

Choosing an architectural home style

With a custom home design, the exterior is usually under your complete control as well. Check local regulations for any requirements, but otherwise, it’s your choice. Many home builders are happy with simple exteriors, but if you’ve always wanted a Mediterranean villa or Tudor bungalow, now’s your chance. Even when the desired look is fairly simple, there are still different architectural styles, such as modern, traditional, or farmhouse.

With a basic look selected, you can choose materials and colours that complement the design. Pay attention to elements like siding, roofing, windows, doors, and landscaping. Balance proportions and symmetry to create a visually pleasing façade. Incorporate unique features like porches, balconies, or decorative accents to add character. Consider the surrounding environment and neighbourhood aesthetics to ensure harmony. The exterior design sets the first impression and reflects your personal style, making it an important aspect of creating a welcoming and visually appealing home.

From right to left, a sketch of a house transitions into a real contemporary house.
Getty Images / Franck-Boston

Selecting materials and finishes

Most homes are redecorated from time to time, so in a sense this is an ongoing process. Your first choices when building a custom home are still special, though. It’s an important process that contributes to the overall aesthetic and livability of the space.

Most home builders prefer materials that can withstand the demands of daily use and require minimal maintenance. This is particularly important in high-traffic areas, such as kitchens.

In the kitchen, prioritize functional and durable materials. For countertops, options like granite, quartz, or solid surface materials provide both beauty and durability. Backsplashes need not be so solid but should still resist moisture. Choose kitchen cabinetry made of sturdy materials like hardwood or high-quality laminates. Flooring should be resistant to spills and heavy foot traffic, such as ceramic tiles, vinyl, or hardwood.

Opt for materials that are resistant to moisture, stains, and wear and tear. Bathrooms, in particular, require materials that can handle moisture and humidity. Porcelain or ceramic tiles are popular choices for bathroom floors and walls due to their water resistance and ease of maintenance. Bathroom vanities have many of the same concerns as kitchen counters.

It’s not just about practicality, though. This is your home, and it should reflect your personal style. Select materials and finishes that align with your vision and create a cohesive look throughout the home. Pay attention to colour schemes, textures, and patterns to create a visually appealing and harmonious environment.

Remember to obtain samples of materials and finishes to see how they look and feel in your space before making final decisions. Taking the time to carefully choose materials and finishes will contribute to a well-designed and functional home that meets your needs and enhances your daily living experience.

An Asian interior designer reviews samples for a client building a house.
Getty Images / mapo

Incorporating energy efficient features

Building your own house may be expensive, but by taking steps to make your new home energy-efficient, you can save money on future energy costs while also saving the Earth. Siding is one of many choices – some kinds can be maintained, while others must be replaced. Many eco-friendly choices even come with government or utility grants to make them more affordable during building.

Consider eco-friendly materials that minimize the environmental impact of your construction. Look for options like sustainable woods, recycled or reclaimed materialslow-VOC paints, and energy-efficient appliances. This not only benefits the Earth but also contributes to creating a healthy indoor living environment.

Ensuring accessibility and functionality

If you plan a multigenerational home, or even if you simply plan to live there forever yourself, accessibility for the aged and infirm can be an issue. The design process is a great chance to build accessibility into the house, sparing expensive renovations later. Speaking of costs, there are multiple grants for accessible design available to ease the process.

There’s a lot to consider, starting with how to enter the home. A ramp or no-step entry will accommodate people who use mobility devices or can’t use stairs. Pathways should be wide, well-lit, and free of obstacles for easy navigation.

Bathrooms with accessibility features – grab bars, roll-in showers with bench seating, adjustable-height showerheads, and non-slip flooring – are becoming more popular. Consider comfort-height toilets and sinks with knee clearance for wheelchair users. With a little thought, a bathroom can look highly stylish and still be usable by all.

Slightly wider doorways and hallways will accommodate wheelchairs or mobility devices. The recommended width for doorways is a minimum of 36 inches, while hallways should be at least 42 inches wide for easy manoeuvrability.

Moreover, it helps when lighting is adequate and well-distributed throughout the house, with easy-to-reach switches and controls. Consider incorporating smart home technology for voice-activated controls and automated lighting systems. Choose flooring materials that are slip-resistant and provide smooth transitions between different areas. Avoid carpets or rugs that could pose tripping hazards.

Consider an accessible kitchen with lowered countertops, adjustable-height cabinets, and easily reachable appliances. Incorporating pull-out shelves and drawers can make access a little easier for everyone.

By incorporating these accessibility considerations, especially in bathrooms, along with other modifications throughout the home, you can create a welcoming and inclusive environment that enables people of all abilities to navigate and enjoy the space with independence and dignity.

A homeowner stands in a contemporary white kitchen and controls home appliances using an app on their phone.
Getty Images / SolStock

Building your own house: Construction process

So, you’ve finalized your floor plans, picked your colour palettes, and are now ready to learn how to build a house in Canada. From laying the foundation to the final finishing touches, there are numerous steps that need to be taken to create a safe and comfortable home. Whether you’re planning to build your house yourself or simply curious about the process, these steps will help you navigate the process.

Site preparation

Site preparation is the process of preparing the land or site for impending construction work. It can involve site surveying, levelling, clearing land, drainage, landscaping, and even demolition if the remains of an old building are already on the site. It’s generally begun only after all permits have been granted.

Excavation and foundation

Once the site has been prepared, the builders will begin excavating. The excavation phase involves precise digging based on architectural plans and engineering specifications. It sets the stage for the subsequent steps of construction, ensuring a solid and level base for the structure. Protection against groundwater is also arranged during this phase, and cement is poured to create a strong foundation for the rest of the structure.

Framing and roofing

Next comes framing, when the “shell” or “skeleton” of the house is erected. The rough floors, walls, and roof are all built in place, and a protective sheathing and wrap will be applied to outer walls.

Once the shell is finished, sidingbrick, and roofing can be installed. As with every other stage of the process, there are choices to be made. A green roof or even a blue roof can extend the life of your entire home, and of course there are other roof considerations as well. Openings for windows and doors will also be placed during this period, so now’s the time to make your final choices.

Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC installation

As the siding and roofing are being finished, the electrical and plumbing contractors start running pipes and wires through the interior walls, ceilings, and floors. They install sewer lines and vents, as well as water supply lines for each of the fixtures. Heating and cooling systems are placed. Bathtubs and shower/tub combinations are put in place as well, since there’s room to manoeuvre large, heavy objects.

Drywall and insulation

The contractor places a coating of drywall on most walls and ceilings. Because there’s so much of it, this stage alone can be about 9% of the total cost.

This is also the time to install the new home’s insulation. The most common types of insulation used in new homes are fibreglass, cellulose, and foam. In some regions, depending on the climate, your builder may use mineral wool, concrete blocks, foam, or structural insulated panels.

Painting and finishing

Now it’s time to apply those finishing materials you chose earlier. Small fixtures are installed, and everything from cupboards and countertops to crown moulding and windowsills is prepared for the inhabitants. This is a lengthy and expensive part of the proceedings, often taking about 30% of the construction budget.

A contractor applies grey paint to an interior wall as part of building a house.
Getty Images / andreygonchar

Building your own house: Landscaping and outdoor living

There’s more to a home than the indoors! The land around your house may be part of your home design and construction. Landscaping, including outdoor living spaces, can have a tremendous impact on your family’s quality of life.

Designing outdoor spaces

Designing outdoor spaces for a new home involves creating functional and inviting areas that seamlessly blend with the natural surroundings. Consider the purpose of the space, whether it’s for entertaining, relaxation, or recreation. Integrated lighting adds both ambience and safety. With careful planning, you can create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living, maximizing the enjoyment of your new home.

A modern patio with sofas and a coffee table can be the perfect entertaining space after building your own house.
Getty Images / onurdongel

Decks, patios, and porches

There are many different kinds of outdoor living spaces to suit any lifestyle. Even an urban home can include a rooftop patio for a small patch of nature and outdoors, while homes with more land can have anything from a simple deck to elaborate balcony and deck designs with fire pits and multiple levels.

 A new home construction with two seating areas on a stone patio.
Getty Images / TimAbramowitz

Landscaping and gardening

The major earthmoving was done while preparing the site for construction, but there are still a few details. Exterior finish grading will assure proper drainage away from the home. This is also the time for landscaping in the everyday sense, planting trees and laying flowerbeds. You can even add an herb or vegetable garden.

A modern custom home built using grey siding, wood tiles, and large PVC windows.
Getty Images / jhorrocks

Outdoor amenities

What do you like to do? Whatever it is, would you like to start doing it outdoors?

If you like to cook out, think outside the grill. An outdoor kitchen can handle almost anything a standard kitchen can, saving endless trips in and out of the house.

Other homeowners have begun to integrate home trends like pavilions, indoor/outdoor gardens, and even outdoor showers. It’s all about you and what you like to do.

Large contemporary patio with outdoor kitchen, dining area, and large sofa.
Getty Images / piovesempre

Driveways and walkways

Planning driveways and walkways for new home construction involves considering functionality, aesthetics, and safety. Design driveways to accommodate vehicle access and parking needs. Walkways should provide convenient pathways for pedestrians, connecting various areas of the property. Choose durable materials, ensure proper drainage, and incorporate lighting for enhanced visibility and curb appeal.

Large contemporary custom home with interlocking brick driveway, stone siding, charcoal shingles, and black accents.
Getty Images / jnnault

Building your own house: Furnishing and decorating your dream home

Choosing furniture and décor for a new home involves considering your personal style, functionality, and the overall aesthetic you want to create. If you worked with an interior designer during the design process, this is likely mostly done. Otherwise, it’s time to choose the items which will turn your new house into a home.

Choosing furniture and décor

Furniture and décor selection are vital in creating a comfortable and functional space. Start by assessing the size and layout of each room, then choose items that not only suit the scale of the room but also align with your needs. Think about lighting and storage. Look for pieces that are versatile and durable. Consider a mix of comfort, functionality, and visual appeal. Finally, arrange it all in a way to promote comfortable conversation areas and easy circulation.

In addition, take your personal style and preferences into account when choosing décor. Consider the colour scheme and overall aesthetic you want to achieve and select pieces that complement that vision. Consider factors such as natural light, room size, and the desired atmosphere. Use a combination of colours to create visual interest and harmony.

To complete the look, play with materials and textures to add depth and interest to the space. Choose materials that not only look visually appealing but also provide tactile satisfaction. Incorporate a mix of textures such as wood, fabrics, metals, and stone to create visual and sensory appeal.

A contemporary living room with white L-shaped couch, built-in wood bench seating, grey area rug, and coffee tables.
Unsplash / @rarchitecture_melbourne

Personalizing your space

Personal touches make a house feel like a home. So, infuse your personality and interests into the design through artwork, accessories, and décor. Pick pieces with history like your grandmother’s hutch, store your musical instrument(s) up on the wall, and create gallery walls featuring your adventures abroad. Put that DIY terrarium on the coffee table front and centre. Grab a paintbrush and turn that curbside dresser into a Pollock piece. In short, display fun and meaningful items that tell your story and create a sense of connection.

Bold living room with teal walls, wood accents, yellow chairs, and brown couch in new home build.
Getty Images / AsiaVision

Creating a cohesive design

Creating a cohesive design for home décor involves selecting elements that harmonize and complement each other. Consider factors like colour schemes, textures, patterns, and styles that flow seamlessly throughout the space. To create a unified overall look, try repeating motifs, using consistent materials, and maintaining a balanced visual composition.

A modern organic living room with wood accents and neutral can brighten up a space when building your own house.
Getty Images / izusek

Incorporating smart home or vintage features

Incorporating smart home features brings modern convenience and automation to your home, allowing you to control various systems with ease. This can include smart lighting, thermostats, security systems, and voice-activated assistants.

On the other hand, incorporating vintage features adds character and charm to your space. This can mean antique furniture, vintage-inspired décor, or nostalgic items like vintage-look appliances. Combining both smart home features and vintage touches can create a unique blend of modern technology and classic aesthetics, offering the best of both worlds in terms of functionality and timeless appeal.

Bright modern living room with grey couches, wood coffee table, and an antique sewing machine table.
Adobe / he68

Building your own house: Maintenance and upkeep

Maintaining a house is essential for preserving its condition, functionality, and value over time. Regular upkeep helps prevent costly repairs and ensures a comfortable living environment. Here are some important points to consider when it comes to maintaining a house.


Regularly inspect the roof for damage, loose or missing shingles, and leaks. Check the siding, brick, and foundation for cracks, moisture intrusion, or signs of wear. Clean and maintain gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage and prevent water damage.


Perform seasonal maintenance tasks to keep your house in optimal condition. This includes winterizing the home by insulating pipes and sealing drafts, as well as checking for leaks and repairing any damaged areas. In spring, prepare the landscaping, clean outdoor spaces, and inspect for any winter-related damage.

Appliances and systems

Clean and maintain your appliances and home systems regularly to ensure their proper functioning. This includes cleaning or replacing HVAC filters, scheduling professional maintenance for your HVAC system, and flushing your water heater to remove sediment. Regularly clean refrigerator coils, dryer vents, and other appliances to improve efficiency and prevent malfunctions.

Structural components

Promptly address any damaged components or areas in your house. This may involve repairing plumbing leaks; fixing or replacing damaged windows, doors, or flooring; and addressing any electrical issues. Timely repairs help prevent further damage and maintain the safety and integrity of your home.

Contractor installing a faucet for the bathtub in a new home build.
Getty Images / Portra

Insurance and warranty

You will almost certainly want homeowner’s insurance to protect yourself financially from unexpected repairs or damages. Canadians aren’t legally required to get insurance if they fully own their homes (no mortgages), but it’s wise for everyone. These policies can provide coverage for major systems, appliances, and structural components, providing peace of mind and potential cost savings. They can also help you with financial recovery in the event of disaster.

home warranty is a little different. A home warranty focuses on the day-to-day issues that can arise in any home and will cover the costs associated with covered appliances and systems breaking down. In Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, builders must provide home buyers with a third-party warranty. Everywhere else in Canada, the decision is up to the home buyer. Some believe warranties are worthwhile, while others find that they can locate similar deals themselves and don’t find the warranty useful.


Regularly maintain your outdoor areas to prevent damage and boost curb appeal. This includes mowing the lawn, trimming shrubs and trees, removing weeds, and addressing any drainage issues. Regularly clean and maintain outdoor features such as decks, patios, and fences.

Keep records

Keep detailed records of all maintenance tasks and expenses related to your house. This includes receipts, warranties, and any documentation related to repairs, upgrades, or professional services. These records can be useful for warranty claims, future inspections, and when selling the property.


Along with regular maintenance, occasional updates and upgrades will help your home maintain its value and functionality. This may include renovating outdated areas, upgrading appliances or fixtures for improved energy efficiency, or enhancing the home’s technology with smart home features.

Close up of smart home system that controls lights, temperature, alarms, and more in a new home construction.
Getty Images / ismagilov


Can you legally own land in Canada?

The short answer is yes. Even if you’re not a citizen, you can buy Canadian land. You’ll need to follow Canadian laws and procedures, of course, but it is certainly legal to own land.

Do you need a license or permit to build a house in Canada?

Yes, you do. Some areas allow the construction of small outbuildings without a permit, but any building as large as a house will require a building permit from your municipal government.

What is the cheapest way to build a house in Canada?

Building your own house is made costly by using expensive materials, hiring workers, and shipping materials from far-off locations. For those wondering how to build a house in Canada on a budget, cheaper options are available. They include using financially accessible building materials like wood, hiring only the required number of construction specialists, and purchasing local building materials. You can also defray the cost of labour by doing it yourself – site preparation is one major task which can be mostly done by unskilled workers.

What do I need to build my own house in Canada?

You need land, money, construction plans, government permission, and a whole lot of labour.

Build a custom home in Canada

Building your own house is an opportunity to create a sanctuary that reflects your personality, accommodates your lifestyle, and provides a haven for you and your family. While the process may have its challenges, the end result is a place you can proudly call your own.

By undertaking this endeavour, you are investing not only in bricks and mortar but also in the realization of a lifelong dream. The experience of building your own home is a testament to your vision, determination, and creativity. Embrace the journey, seek expert guidance when needed, and enjoy the process of watching your dream home come to life.

Melissa Hollingsworth is a freelance writer/editor who has been writing since she was eight years old. She has been interested in home construction and renovation since the 20th century. She now combines these two interests into writing about construction and design. She lives in Hillsboro, Oregon, with her son and her cat.