What Would You Do if you arrived at your new home build ready to move in, and everybody neglected to tell you that you have no toilets or running water???

Wow!  Let me tell you all this…building a cottage, or a home, or whatever, really sucks up a tremendous amount of energy, time, brain power and will to live.  Listen, I’m not complaining about the great blessing that is my life and having the ability and the means to build a lakefront home.  I’m simply stating that I had forgotten how all consuming the process is, especially in its final days of completion.  This is why you haven’t heard from me, my creative brain energy has been going into final decisions and managing people, delicately getting burly men to do what you need them to do without damaging their fragile “I don’t take orders from a woman” mindsets.

So here we are, with a perfect, What Would You Do Wednesday.

Let’s say you’ve been planning, paying for and managing a home build for a year, and you at long last get a move in date, so you rent a moving truck, you co-ordinate extra hands on deck to help you load and unload.  You’re even fortunate enough that all this falls in line with your husband’s first week of vacation from work.  How lucky would you feel?

I can tell you, that you feel DAMN lucky indeed!  I can tell you that because this is how I felt when we got the go ahead to move in Saturday June 30th.  Like the Gods had aligned.  Everything was perfect, until it wasn’t.

It wasn’t perfect when we got word from my best friend, who owns the cottage right next to us that there were no toilets, no sinks, and no running water.  But our truck was loaded, the people were hired and ready, so what would you do?  Would you;

a)  leave the truck packed and loaded and just chill at your city home, until they at least have toilets and sinks installed, with running water of course?

b) fight with your spouse and point the finger of blame back and forth because one of you should have been on top of the build communication?

c)  have a major meltdown, get your contractor and building manager on the phone and try to force them to get the plumbers on site to install at least one toilet prior to your arrival?

d)  know that these things take time, and always have hiccups so keep your cool, head up to the cottage and rough it until the above mentioned items are installed?

Can’t wait to hear What You Would Do in this scenario!




  1. Late to the party here but commenting because I have just gone through the same thing. Long story short, my beautiful mum passed away in March. She lived in the condo next to ours. So we moved into her one bedroom while we had our two bathrooms here in our two bedroom remodeled. They took six weeks and did a beautiful job and we have been moving back in the last week. SO, while in a calm, cool, educated, reasonable frame of mind I would LIKE to say “D” the truth of the matter is: Being completely honest here I would have first done “B” AND then proceeded to do “C”. I suck. #smiley face.

  2. Instant Burn for sure! After a string of several potty words, I would first be in disbelief that someone could be that daft! I would be blowing up several people’s phones!! I love our local news outlets. If I do not get an acceptable solution I never hesitate to call the TV station!!
    I am a nice person, but do not screw me over!

  3. OK, I am dying to know what you did. I would have freaked out and probably cried a little out of frustration. The call to the builder would not have been pleasant – for them. I hope you found a way for all of this to work!

  4. Clearly, “D”
    Let’s be positive! Such a pinkie thing won’t stop us! Long live the environment! In the intact nature, on the shore of a beautiful lake – it will not be for us to cry out for help „I want civilization!” It could be a great adventure, then, let’s go!
    We would take water from the lake so that we could flush the toilet (if it does not exist at all, then forward into the beautiful nature). We’d hang somewhere a bucket like in a sauna, and fill it with the water of the lake to have a shower or a bath. If I did not find the water clean enough, I would boil it. The water of the lake, if boiled, is suitable for washing up, too (of course, by hand in a dish, because there is no dishwasher – the great moments when we hold each bowl and cup, which will be beautifully clean by the work of our own hands – like a work of art.
    For drinking and cooking I would use only bottled mineral water. And we would enjoy nature as long as civilization arrives!
    What a glimpse of our beautiful high tech age would it be, if there was no running water, but mobile Internet did!

  5. Wow! I would definitely do C! I’m Italian and have an Italian temper. My ass would be on the phone with the General Contractor/Manager pronto and I would NOT let them go until they got at least 1 bathroom working, at least! But, realistically, I’d push for the whole kit-n-kaboodle, especially if they want the last payment for the job! If they gave me a move date, which, I don’t know, maybe I’m dense but, that means the job is DONE! Doesn’t it to you? There souldn’t be ANYTHING major wrong with the place. Yeah, there will probably be some minor issues but not NO TOILETS and NO RUNNING WATER! WTF??? What kind of Contractor does that? Don’t the trades have any pride in their work; don’t they have any ethics? I’d be hotter that the surface of Mars!

  6. First off, thank you (both you and Yannick) for letting us all share in this adventure of yours on instagram!

    I know that my nature (hot-blooded Romanian that I am) would dictate that I fly off the handle at any and all comers, all pistons firing. However, as I’ve gotten older (and hopefully, wiser) I’ve learned that there’s a way to make your point and not become a headline. I now do accept that problems occur, that when you have more than one person doing anything there is bound to be a disconnect at some point, and that “these things happen”. However, I do think that I would be on the phone to gently (but firmly) express our desire to have at least one toilet working before my arrival. That request is not unreasonable.

    Best of luck as things all come together!

  7. Argh, just not OK!!!!!
    I would probably have a few choice words escape, but would try to keep my cool, and then do ‘D’ (Hoping my friends next door would let me use theirs…), combined with a bit of ‘C’, where the contractor would know in no uncertain terms that when I get e move-in date, that is the date I adhere to, and expect the home to be move-in ready, so they had better hustle….

    Hope you get to really enjoy your new home on the lake, and have some summer to enjoy.

  8. As someone who has gone through a cottage reno but has also had toilets and sinks up north shut off because a water pump is blown or the power goes down for days because of a storm, you grin and bear it and chalk it up as part of the adventure!
    I’d still get on the phone and try to get at least one toilet functioning while I’m there but again, there is no perfect scenario unless you wait for the construction to be completely finished and you do a walk through inspection with a contractor.
    Sure life can be frustrating but think of the stories you can tell your grandchildren!
    And congrats on the build! My family’s cottage was sold 7 years ago and I miss it terribly!

  9. D – out houses / the bush and lake water always available. Rough it while being finished. Miss Ontario lakes here in Alberta – lakes here not as clear and clean!!

  10. Probably a mixture of C and D. As I get older I am trying to teach myself that hicups in life are inevitable and getting over emotional will just make matters worse for myself. With that being said I say a mixture because I would definitely want to know why I wasn’t informed I’d have no toliet or water! Water is kind of important people! Lol. After a year of waiting, all that hard work, and the truck already being loaded nothing would stop me from moving in that day!

  11. Congrats on your New Cottage Shantelle. I wish for you and Yannick and your Girls, Family, Friends many happy amazing wonderful Beautiful Sunsets and Blazing Sunrises for many years to come.
    THIS is what I would if this happened to me⚘ I would chose ” D ” ❤ There is no scene in getting upset and saying things you can’t into. There is always hiccups and having to do things a little different is Ok. I would just make it another great Adventure with my amazing Husband and friends. It’s always nice to have your Best Friend at your side. I think it would be fun to ruff it for a few Days. Have lots of water,candles and a few bubbles before the bonfire in my new yard. By the time the boys have everything unloaded and the bed set up you are ready to take each day has it comes. I would just enjoy my new Beginnings. Things will always always work out.❤ I’m here with my Fanastic Husband and we can make new loving memonies. This is what I would do. ENJOY MY NEW BEGINNING AT MY NEW COTTAGE.
    Love you all 💚⚘💚

  12. Followed your issues on the IG story. I would not just wait at home, no finger pointing since it is the contractors’ fault, You had given them the date, i would definitely make some angry phone calls and demand immediate action to get what is needed I know you finally got this installed but what a pain when you got there. Luckily you have some Fantastic Friends next to you.
    don’t think I could keep cool without running water and all and having given them the date, Hope it all comes together quickly so you have some time left on his vacation to enjoy your beautiful new lake home

  13. I think that I would do D but with a phone call to the contractor to find out what was going on.

  14. Neighbours in rural areas can be very helpful – buckets of water, access to their facilities. One choice if not just keeping the van loaded and waiting for the rest of the work to be done is not possible. Depends on how inconvenient and costly it will be. Or maybe just send the loaded van with Yannick & he sorts out the rest of the work to be done quickly.
    Makes us all realize our free flowing, clean water, toilets, sinks are a luxury we do take for granted daily.

  15. Hmm. Fights and meltdowns are a waste of time. It’s all set so I’d do exactly as you did. You’re never going to have things lined up like that with work schedules and help and truck hired. You didn’t have a choice. There’d be some serious docking of contractor fees, but your husband is handy, so why not make the best of it and go? Just another of life’s adventures.

    My experience with workmen has been, with few exceptions, they will try to take you for a ride. I have developed a list of guys I can trust to do quality work on time, but finding them is a long tedious process and when they retire, I have to start all over again. I resent calling them to remind them of what they promised, I resent subpar workmanship and then the whining if I fire them. But that’s the way the world rumbles and I’m scrappy. When it’s out if your control, make do, otherwise supervise the Hell out of them. No point in getting hysterical, it all works out in the end.

  16. Hi Shantelle,
    It would be a toss up for me between A and D.
    I personally have been there about a home not being ready on time.
    IMO you can only move forward and deal with realistic options.
    Yelling at each other or the contractors only gets people upset and really doesn’t accomplish much. As they say “Life Happens”.
    As a side note I had a dream last night that you had an issue with water in your cottage…either a leak from the new plumbing or a water infiltration from rain….hopefully this does NOT come true. Enjoy the beautiful cottage and scenery.

  17. D. Rough it. Pee out in the wilderness! Haul some drinking water and beer. Enjoy the magnificent outdoors 🇨🇦

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