Building a driveway

Now that you have purchased your building lot, one of the first steps is to build the driveway and install electricity and telephone lines.

Step one:

Hire an engineer to design the layout of your driveway.  The engineers will consider topography of the land and the proposed position of your house on the property.  They will also consider the setbacks and the township zoning requirements for driveways.

It is possible to skip this step if no one is asking for this type of layout.  In our case Hydro One required a CAD diagram of the lot, where the home was to be placed, and the layout of the land.

Step two:

Apply for an entrance permit from the township.  In our case it was fairly simple: we filled out a form obtained from the town, paid $50, and six weeks later we had our permit.

Step three:

In our case we need to bring electricity and telephone lines in from down the street.  This process is a lot more complicated.

  1. We contacted Hydro One and requested that they design a plan for us. The cost was $ 50 per lot.  We provided them with our CAD diagram of the property and projected house size and a month later we had our draft design.  It is important to know that these plans are only valid for 6 months, after that time you need to pay another fee.
  2. Hydro One requires that both the owner of the lot and the town approve the plan. In Tiny Township, it is the Director of Public Works that approves the plan.  It can take another month for the Town to provide the approval.
  3. Once you have provided the hydro company with the approval, they will cost out the work that they will be doing, which includes providing the transformer and sending you a contract.
  4. The hydro company will do the parts of the work required to install the hydro infrastructure and you will need an independent contractor to do the rest. For the part that the hydro company will do, they prepare a contract.  The contract may be quite confusing.  They cost the work, they then determine the value of getting a new customer.  At that point, if the value of the customer is higher than the cost (which is should be) they actually pay you for putting in a new service.  The catch is that they then require you to pay them $8,000 per lot as a refundable deposit.  You only get this deposit back if you build a house and connect to the transformer within five years.
  5. You also need to hire a contractor to install the conduit and base for the transformer. We hired Hapamp, a local electrical contractor.  Most electrician do not do this type of work.

Step Four:

You need to clear the trees, remove the stumps and install the driveway.  You best bet is to get a contractor that specialize in this type of work.  The cost of removing the trees should not be much more than $ 1,000.  Most contractors sell the wood to offset their cost.

It is important that you stake out where the drive is going to be based on the pin placed by the surveyor.  If you cannot find the pins, then you might want to have a surveyor repost them for you.


The budget will depend on how long your driveway is. In our case, it was 300 feet and will be servicing three lots.

Our ball park costs are expected to be as follows:

  • Engineering        $   2,000
  • Hydro/Bell          $ 17,000
  • Hydro One          $ 24,000 refundable deposit
  • Construction      $ 18,000