Famous Canadian Cottagers: Bryan Baeumler

By Jenna Wootton »Jenna Wootton

June 1st, 2012

Bryan Beaumler


For more than 6 years, the Gemini award-winning Bryan Baeumler has been educating and entertaining viewers about DIY and home improvement on shows such as Disaster DIY, House of Bryan, and House of Bryan on the Rocks, the latest documenting one of his toughest construction challenges yet: building a custom cottage from scratch on an island. Check out our interview with Baeumler to find out how he made decisions about building his dream cottage on Georgian Bay and what he plans to do there now that it’s done.

Cottage Life: Once the cottage was built, what was the first thing you wanted to do there?

Bryan Baeumler: By the time we finished building, I was so exhausted and overwhelmed that I was looking forward to just kicking back on the dock in a Muskoka chair and having a nap, but we plan on building a very thick book of great family memories.

CL: There’s lots of work that goes into maintaining a cottage. What’s been your least favourite job so far? What about your favourite?

BB: It’s the post-weekend dragging of the garbage and recyclables to the transfer station that I enjoy the least. My favorite part is definitely cleaning up the land and forest surrounding the cottage—I can pick up sticks forever!

CL: In building your dream cottage, what was the number one thing on your must-have list?

BB: There were a lot of must haves, like amazing views and a large deck to relax on, but the big one was heated slate floors. The slate is rough and resilient so you don’t have to pull off your shoes every time you come in or worry about damaging it. Every single tile in the cottage sits on a nuheat mat, which means that in the winter, your feet and the entire cottage are nice and warm.

CL: Picking an island location for your cottage led to some of the challenges you faced in construction. Why did you choose a water-access place and now that you have it, was it worth it?

BB: Definitely worth it! Arriving by boat to the cottage makes it feel a little more isolated, and as far as I’m concerned the destination is always more enjoyable when the journey has a few challenges built into it. Would I do it again? That’s a more complex question. It was without a doubt the most challenging project I’ve ever taken on, but also the most rewarding.

CL: Any tales of woe or warning you’d like to share with first-time cottage builders?

BB: Like any build, no matter how well you plan ahead it will take longer and cost more than you anticipate. Be ready for that, and remember that you’re not just building a cottage, you’re building a place to make memories for your family. When the bills pile up, the days march on, and you run into the inevitable stumbling blocks, don’t forget to take some time to actually enjoy the journey.

CL: Lots of families have traditions at the cottage—are there any you had growing up that you’ll bring to your cottage, now that you have a family of your own?

BB: There are a few great board games that were always reserved for the dining table at the cottage; I’m looking forward to those games with my own family, and many dinners with family and friends around the table at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. We’re also excited for lots of campfires under the stars, roasting marshmallows, and long naps in the afternoon sun. You know, the kind of stuff we all brave the 400 traffic for!

Our Famous Canadian Cottager series doesn’t end here!  Read more about some of these well-known Canadians:


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Aug. 26, 2012

3:13 pm

Sure hope Sarah can stop being so sneaky and manipulative, learn to communicate with people in an honest straightforward manner. Meanwhile, YAY to Rebecca for quitting! She made a good honest effort to work in a difficult situation but constantly undermined.


Aug. 2, 2012

9:11 pm

The decking that was used was Perennial Wood, It usually only comes in 4 colours, but they are nice ones. I have added the link for the company below for you. Hope this helps. http://www.perennialwood.com/Products/Decking/Pages/Home.aspx

Info Hunter

Jul. 21, 2012

7:40 pm

Hey Bryan, love the cottage build program.... Could you please tell me what your deck was made from?? We are replacing a 22 yr. cedar deck & need ideas..Your finished deck and stairs had the appearance of furniture wood and think it would work well in our cottage location..Thanks..

gussy's garage

Jun. 11, 2012

8:14 am

Morning Brian Not sure if you ever get to see these messages but being a frequent bay visitor for the last 25 years things have sure changed. My wife and I get quite a charge out of watching you and your wife kabitz, as a retired custom home builder(working on the waterfront most my time} I felt for you numerous time during the project. We always grin and bare things and they get done. Life on the moon is a wounderful thing !!! Hope you get to enjoy the joint.I call the area THE ROCK GARDEN, next project is where!. (opening a outdrive prop shop ha ha )You can't stop now. Hopefully we can get my cousin to fly over and get some pic's from above for you. For someone that doesn't watch the tube much I make time to check your show out. Keep the smiles coming and oh ya "take your time, but hurry up,get back to work ,Cheers Christopher

Cottage Life

Cottage Life

Jun. 7, 2012

10:03 am

Hi Steve, Glad you enjoyed our interview with Bryan, and that's a great question! You can find out tons more about Bryan's cottage and the show on HGTV's site at http://www.hgtv.ca/houseofbryan/default.aspx


Jun. 7, 2012

10:01 am

LOVE your new show and appreciate the challenges of a cottage build. I hope you will find the time to enjoy it with your friends and families. Sarah is lovely and a great addition to the show. She really brings reality to the process as she represents the other half of the building process that is just as important! Wishing you much sucess and wonderful memories. Linda


Jun. 6, 2012

6:14 pm

Hi Brian Really enjoy your show and love the inter-action with you and the wife with the funny looks and faces on camera behind her back. Just curious how are you going to get to the cottage when the lake starts to freeze but is not frozen enough for skidoos. thanks steve

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