Thursday, June 5, 2014

I want to build a home on a no winter maintenance road are there restrictions?


I want to build a custom home; the pieces of property I’ve ended up looking at are on roads that seem in really bad shape. There is a sign on a lot of them that says “no winter maintenance”. How does that affect me if I want to build a new custom home on that road?


The sign that you see that reads “no winter maintenance” means that there is no snowplowing in the winter on that road. The reason usually is because there is nobody living on that road; since there is nobody living on that road it is never maintained throughout the year and as provincial standards for roads changed and become more strict this one was never updated.

A “no winter maintenance” road is usually a gravel road that is mostly used by farmers and hikers for access to fields or trails. The road usually is not nearly wide enough for a snow plow to drive down safely. A lot of no winter maintenance roads are dead ends as well. There are usually no ditches and the road bed is made of poor granular material that washes away in heavy storms. The trees are overgrown on the sides of the road and there isn’t proper signs warning of hazards or driveways.

This road will be an obstacle when you go to get a building permit. The way most townships handle this is they require you to upgrade the road from the existing approved road all the way to where your driveway will be with a large enough space at the end for a snow plow or grader to turn around.

Upgrading a road is a lot of work; it is more work than it sounds. You are basically building a new road to your house for the township. You will have to widen the road, usually doubling the width, building the existing road higher as well, cutting the trees back from the road and digging new ditches on both sides. The process is expensive depending on how far down this road that you want to build your property.

The one good thing about doing this is that once you have had the road upgraded the township will assume responsibility for it. They will maintain it, plow it, grade it, trim the trees in the future and keep the ditches flowing properly.

The cost can vary immensely depending on where you live and what are the going rates for road building in your area. Anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 dollars per 100 meters of road bed is the cost.

If you are planning to build a large custom home and you think that the property on one of these roads is the one you want then talk to your municipality about it before you purchase the land. The road can be upgraded; all you have to do is build it into your budget for the home.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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