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Insulating Remote Cottages

May 19, 2022

insulating remote and water-access cottages

One of the questions we’re asked most often is if we can insulate cottages, bunkies and boathouses that are either remote or can only be accessed by boat. So, we talked to Chris Harris, of GNI’s Gravenhurst location, to find out more.

Can you insulate our water-access or remote cottage?

The short answer to that question is YES – we have a few ways to get to harder-to-access spots. Basically, if GNI can get our equipment there, we can do the work.

How do you get to islands with your truck?

If you need a boat to get to your cottage, that’s how we get there, too. Every job starts with us coming to you to do measurements and determine needs. Most of the larger lakes have barge services that can easily accommodate our 5-ton trucks. You simply contact your local barge service to make the arrangement. (Barges are the responsibility of the client – you book it and pay them directly. That way, you don’t have to deal with markups or middle men.)

The barge will run our truck out to the island. If the property can accommodate it, we drive right off the boat onto the island, and then proceed just like any regular job. If we can’t drive off, we back up to the dock, and the truck stays on the barge while we do the work.

Can you access islands year-round?

No. Being able to cross the water depends on the season – and the weather. For safety reasons, we don’t drive our trucks across the ice in the winter. At other times of the year, storms can make transporting a truck across the water a little too dicey. But if you’ve got a cottage on an island, you’re probably used to weather-related delays…they come with the territory.

What if we’re on a smaller lake that doesn’t have barge service?

There are a lot of small lakes in cottage country, so not having access to a barge isn’t a deal-breaker: we’re set up to serve water-access cottages in those locations, too. GNI has a portable unit that can go on the back of a pickup truck, then be transported by boat. It takes a while longer to do the insulation than it would with our 5-ton truck, but the work still gets done.

What about really remote cottages?

For cottages located on tight back roads and small fire routes, our crews have a Mercedes sprinter van that can better navigate those small roads. We did a job last year where we had to cross a tiny, low-capacity bridge to get to the client. The big truck wouldn’t have been able to get across safely, but our van got there no problem.

Set up your consultation

If you can get to your cottage by car or boat, so can we. Our 9 locations offer Ontario-wide coverage for all of cottage country, including Muskoka, Haliburton, Parry Sound, Kawarthas, Lake Erie, Eastern Ontario and beyond. Want to get your vacation home more comfortable and energy-efficient for the coming season?  Get in touch today.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Muskoka, Haliburton, Northern Ontario

1027 Elwell Park Road
Gravenhurst, Ontario
Canada P1P 1R1

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Central Ontario

29 Ferndale Industrial Drive
Barrie, Ontario
Canada L4N 9V5

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Greater Toronto Area

2 Guided Court
Etobicoke, ON
M9V 4K6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA East

103 North Port Road
Port Perry, Ontario
Canada L9L 1B2

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

South Central Ontario

450 Industrial Dr,
Toronto (Milton), Ontario
Canada L9T 5A6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Eastern Ontario

1035 Moodie Dr #1,
Nepean, ON
K2R 1H4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Niagara Region

25 Lincoln Ave
St. Catharines, ON
L2P 2C7

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


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Homestars Best of 2021 Award

Best of 2021

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2021.

Homestars Best of 2022 Award

Best of 2022

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2022.


GNI is the Authorized & Trusted Insulation and Air Sealing Installer for Lowe’s

Trusted for Over 40 Years

Over 40 Years in Business

At GNI, we service your project with the most experienced staff in the industry. Ongoing professional development is an obsession at GNI and we will not compromise at any level to bring to our customers the very best Installers, Sales Representatives, Customer Care Personnel, Field Superintendents, Estimating and Technical Support to your project.

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Great Northern Insulation is recognized as Canada's largest full-service insulation contractor. GNI is 100% Canadian owned, proudly serving Ontario customers since 1980.

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Heatlok® Soya HFOTM leverages Honeywell’s latest Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent technology. This new hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agent is the most environmentally conscious blowing agent produced to date, with a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP) of 1, which is more than two orders of magnitude (99.9%) lower than HFCs used in this industry.


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Mike Holmes and his son Mike Jr. (MJ) convert MJ’s bachelor bungalow into a two-storey home for MJ and his girlfriend Lisa. Choosing the newest materials and build techniques, the father and son team follow Mike’s famous motto – “Make it right.” The show can be watched on HGTV and DIY Network.


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CLIMATIZER PLUS cellulose insulation is manufactured from a minimum of 85% locally-sourced post-consumer recycled newsprint. Non-toxic additives are applied to the uniquely fiberized paper generating a building material with superior thermal and acoustic properties, as well as exceptional resistance to fire, moisture, mould and pests.

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