Building in the Kootenays? Some things you should consider.
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
The Kootenays are home to striking mountains, rivers, lakes and endless backcountry to
explore. It’s no wonder it has become a popular destination not only for tourists, but families
looking to relocate and enjoy an active mountain lifestyle. The regions’ unique weather system and remote location can also shape the way a construction site operates, so we’ve outlined our top five strategies for building in the Kootenays.
1. When to start your custom home build?
In the BC Interior, the ideal time of year to begin your build is anywhere between April and
October, when the weather pattern involves little to no snow and the ground is soft. Whichever month you decide to begin, will determine how your project is tackled. For example, if your project begins towards the second half of the year, your builder may install the siding before the snow arrives or wait until the warmer weather returns to install it.
2. Snow, snow, and more snow!
When designing your mountain home, you should think about how much snow typically falls in your region and how easy it will be to remove from proposed decks, patios and driveways. You will also need to consider which roofing material or style best suits your home and whether you’ll need snow stops added to your budget.
Moving inside, a functional layout that compliments the Kootenay lifestyle will earn you big
points if you ever decide to sell. A large mudroom for boots and coat storage and ample garage space for vehicles, snowmobiles, and skis are all important selling features to those that love living in the mountains.
Lastly, in the colder months of the year, it is extremely important to have a well-insulated and
warm home. The insulation and heat sources you choose can all make a big difference to the overall comfort of your home and to your monthly heating bills.
Roofing systems for snow and ice
3. Not only does it get cold, but also extremely hot!
While the Kootenays may be renowned for its record snowfalls, the region can also experience extreme heatwaves over the Summer. House position, insulation, window selection, window coverings and overhangs can all help with keeping your home cool. If you like things extra chilly, plan to budget in extra for an air conditioning system or add on to your furnace.
More info on passive cooling
More information on insulation options in Canada
4. Protecting your home from wildfires
Every year BC’s dry and hot summers provide the perfect conditions for hundreds of
wildfires. The Kootenays are no exception and many towns throughout the region have
implemented Fire Smart best practices to protect their homes. When building or renovating it is important to consider using fire-resistant materials and keeping combustibles away from the property.
Firesmart homeowners manual
5. Other things to consider
If you are looking to import unique pieces for your home build, make sure to add in extra
time for delivery. This includes anything from flooring to bathroom sinks. You should also
factor in travel time for trades if you’re building remotely or hiring contractors from out of