Colin Hunter’s love for building and repair started early in life. At the age of 20 he began working with his friend’s family building custom homes and he is now a licenced contractor based in Muskoka. Also working as the contractor for HGTV’s hit series Summer Home, Colin has previously appeared on shows such as Save us From Our House, Candice Tells All, and Income Property.
Colin will be appearing at the Fall Cottage Life Show, hosting the seminar 10 Tips for Renovating Your Cottage, Chalet or Summer Home, and answering your cottage renovation questions. We spoke with him about the best part of working in cottage country and what jobs he thinks cottagers should leave to the pros.
Cottage Life: How long have you been a contractor in cottage country?
Colin Hunter: On and off for most of my life. Growing up I spent every summer in cottage country working on various projects for family friends until I was able to purchase my first cottage.
CL: What do you enjoy most about working in cottage country?
CH: The outdoors, being in nature, and the watersports are a definite plus!
CL: At the Fall Show you’ll be discussing tips for renovating the cottage. Without spoiling the presentation, can you tell us a bit about how and why these tips are different than renovating your home?
CH: Working on a cottage versus a home in the city definitely allows more room for creativity and renovation options. This being said, it certainly comes with a whole other set of obstacles.
CL: Do you think there is more to consider with renovating your cottage?
CH: Absolutely! First off, you have to take the access to the property into consideration, then there’s also a decreased selection of materials and fixtures, and the sheer distance you are from the hardware store!
CL: What are the top 5 tools no cottager should be without?
CH: A circular saw, impact driver, reciprocating saw, jigsaw, and table saw.
CL: What are some of the most common problems cottagers run into when renovating?
CH: Rotten wood, creature infestation, poor electrical wiring and the last thing you would ever think of! And I’ll be addressing many of these things and providing solutions in my presentation at the Fall Cottage Life Show.
CL: What’s the craziest building or renovation request you’ve had from a client in cottage country?
CH: I have often been asked to make bungalow cottage ceilings into cathedral-style ceilings. More often than not, this is structurally unsound unless significantly reinforced. It can be done properly, but make sure you speak to a professional before moving ahead on this type of renovation.
CL: Here at Cottage Life, both online and in the magazine, we do a lot of DIY articles. Are there certain projects that cottagers should just leave to the professionals?
CH: Take the time to talk to someone who is experienced in the project you have in mind. Ensure you are confident and know exactly what is involved. Otherwise, leave it to the pros!