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  • Butterwick Building Co.

So You Want to Start a Project: What's First?

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

When first starting a building project it's vital to consider what will be important to you during, and after, the project on your home or cottage in Muskoka.

Our dear friend David Gillet published it first, but we couldn't help but share David's coined Law of Three when taking on a building project:

"The Law of Three explains a key idea in construction, and it applies just as much in Cottage Country as it does in Toronto or Berlin.  (Okay, maybe it’s not a law… but it probably should be!)

This Law can be employed whenever someone, standing on a dock looking back at a potential building site, asks this question about an imminent project: “How can I get this built in the shortest time, for the least cost, and with the best quality?”

The honest answer is:  “Sorry. You can’t.” (In my mind I’m also saying: "Dream On!") Because while everyone wants all three of these things, you can only ever achieve two of them…never all three at once.

If your boathouse is built with the best quality and in a record breaking time, you can be sure it wasn’t inexpensive. If it was built very quickly and for the lowest cost, the quality will most certainly be compromised.  If it is the highest quality, and built for the lowest cost, it likely took far longer to complete than anyone had ever predicted.  And so it goes.

So, in order to learn something useful from the Law of Three, ask yourself this question  when you embark on a project: “Which two of these factors mean the most to me?” And then sit back, have a cool drink…and accept that the third factor is not going to be in your favour.

You’ll have a much better project and a more relaxing summer. Maybe that should also be a Law."

- David Gillett B.Arch MRAIC

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. So there you have it, the most vital first step on your road to building in Muskoka.

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