Preparing to Build

Though building is always complicated, there are additional considerations when building on the island:

Building Scheme: When the island became a Strata a building scheme was put on the title of each strata lot. This building scheme is in place to preserve the natural state of the island as much as is possible.

Building Code and Restrictions: The island fall under the building code of the Capital Regional District (CRD) and land use of the Islands Trust Area administrated by the Islands Trust.

Transportation: Barges will be required to transport building materials and supplies required for construction. Depending on your build you might need to consider how you will transport service providers or crews during the construction.

Availability of Service Providers: In the Service Providers section of the website you will find builders and other services providers that have experience building on Sidney Island and have been recommended by other owners.

Step One: Review the Site Documents Checklist

SiteDocumentsChecklist2018March

Step Two: Planning your Build

There are a number of resources available to assist you in planning your build. Many builders who are experienced building on Sidney Island will do an initial site visit to discuss the various options. They often have crews and subtrades familiar with building in a remote environment. You can find builders under the Service Provider section of the website.  You can also request a CRD building inspector to visit your site and make suggestions on approaches to the build.

Some other considerations for your build:

Tree Removal – see the service provider section of the website

Clearing the lot – The strata owns an excavator capable of moving material and clearing a lot for building. Please contact the island caretaker for availability and pricing.

Water – Some lots will have a dedicated or shared well and or use catchment of rain water. Depending on the lot they may be able to use a gravity fed approach but in most cases a pump is necessary to move water into their cabin or home.

Septic – see the service provide

Drainage – A limited supply of drain rock is available from the Strata quarry. Please contact the island caretaker for availability and pricing.

Gravel –  A limited supply of drain rock is available from the Strata quarry. Please contact the island caretaker for availability and pricing.

Sand –  A limited supply of drain rock is available from the Strata quarry. Please contact the island caretaker for availability and pricing.

Topsoil – There is no major source of topsoil on the island. Most owners will screen soil on their own lots or bring a dump truck of soil over on a barge.

Propane – Propane is commonly used for heat sources, stoves, dryers, hot water tanks and generators as we are able to barge over propane to the island every few months. Please contact the island caretaker for more information.

Power – A majority of island residents are solar panels to a battery bank to power their homes. The battery bank is charged with  solar panels and supported by a generator (propane or diesel). An inverter is used to convert the energy from the batteries into electricity. Please see the Service Provider section to find a service provider.

Internet – Given our location there are only three options available: fixed wireless, cellular and satellite internet. Fixed wireless is the most powerful though cellular internet has improved dramatically. Both generally out perform satellite internet, though SpaceX will have their Starlink satellite service available in the winter of 2020.

South Island Net Telus Rural Internet Xplornet Starlink (SpaceX) coming winter 2020
Website www.southislandnet.com https://www.telus.com/en/bc/internet/smart-hub https://www.xplornet.com/ https://www.starlink.com/
System Fixed Wireless – line of site Cellular Satellite Satellite
Best Performance 25mbps down/5 up 20 mbps down/3-5 up Unknown
Plans Unknown
10/2 mbps $25 per month for 50 GB Unknown
5/1 mbps $50 per month for Unlimited Data Unknown
10/2 mbps $60 per month for Unlimited Data $100 for 50 GB, $110 for 75 GB, $120 for 100 GB Unknown
25/5 mbps $75 per month for Unlimited Data $60 for 100 GB, $80 for 500 GB, $115 for 1TB Unknown
Equipment Charges $350 $270 Ranges from $100 – $300 depending on install Unknown
Can pause account Yes No Yes Unknown

In addition to these major systems, there is the option of small portable hubs like the Bell Mifi – https://www.bell.ca/Mobility/Products/Novatel-Wireless-MiFi-7000. These are for extremely light internet users as the plans have very low data limits. If you have question about these options, please contact Triana Newton (Lot 28) triana.newton@outlook.com.

TV Antennas – Many owners are finding HD TV Antennas are providing them with 10 or more TV channels. These HD antennas can be purchased at retailers like Best Buy and the Source for about $120 – 160. Ensure the version you are considering is multi directional to get the largest array of channels. The antennas work best on the highest portion of your lot or in a tree to get the best reception. They have a cable end that will plug into conventional cable outlets directly or through a cable box in the home.