Scot-Build Developments – Thornbury, Ontario

March 20, 2024

Scot-Build Developments

Constructing Winning Designs with a Scottish Flare


Bringing the perfect mix of attitude and unique design offerings to the construction table

Winning by design is exactly what Scot-Build Developments Inc. can boast as a leading and trusted home construction provider offering top-tier homes with tailor-made custom solutions. Loved by its clients and highly respected by the design and new home community, Scot Build Developments also brings a little something Scottish to the table that makes its homes stand out from the construction competition.

With deep Scottish roots, but based in a beautiful area of Southwestern Ontario, Canada, Scot-Build Developments offers unique design options, the flexibility to work with their client’s vision, and an unmatched ability to work on the smallest of details in their designs to produce properties that have made the local competition sit up and take notice.

“We are custom home builders and we also do renovation work,” Scott Young, Owner of Scot-Build Developments Inc.

“We build anything, basically from a full turnkey build to start-from-scratch excavations where we start with a drawing, work with the clients until we hand over the keys.”

Building trusted relationships with clients and subcontractors

What Scot-Build Developments offers, regardless of the route it takes with each client, is a truly end-to-end solution from design inception right through to completion of construction while establishing long-lasting client relationships along the way.

It is these relationships that are at the heart of Scot-Build’s operational philosophy. So much so that Young explains that many of its clients that they have worked with in the past are still close friends today.

“In a way, you are married to your client for one to two years; it is a marriage really,” Young describes. “ Depending on the size of the project, you are talking to them nearly every day, you are in constant communication by emails on every aspect from the material-choice process to just about everything else,” he adds.

“All of our clients to date are friends of ours now. We have end-of-the-job parties on a Friday afternoon and everyone brings their beer and food and we invite all the contractors.”

When asked to describe the range of Scot-Build Development’s client base, Young answers that they can “be anybody from any walk of life from millionaires to self-made individuals to a couple taking out a construction mortgage.”

The important piece to keep in mind is that a client-builder match must be just this; the right match like any marriage or business relationship.

Just as the clients have retained close ties to Scot Build Developments, so too have the company’s valued and long-term subcontractors. The company has been using the same group of subcontractors for all the intervening years since Young made the trip to Canada from Scotland and set up his thriving construction business.

“All of these subcontractors; plumbers, heaters, painters, excavators, you name it, have been working with us for 10 to 15 years,” Young highlights.

With the skilled trade labor shortage, a distinct problem for the construction trades in the post-COVID ‘new normal’, builders such as Scot Build Developments are well ahead of the game and were able to weather the pandemic storm.

Although other challenges persist, including the dramatic escalation in the price of construction materials, as well as the ongoing higher-interest rate climate, Young pinpoints other close relationships they have been able to foster along the way, namely with suppliers in the region. Local suppliers such as Home Hardware routinely reserve materials for Young’s projects to ensure the company can keep on top of its construction timelines.

Young also highlights the highly successful relationships the company has built with other valued suppliers including Precision Septic and Earthworks for all of the company’s excavation needs, McNab Construction for all the concrete work including driveways and foundations, and Bumstead Brothers for all the company’s plumbing and heating jobs with each home it builds.


A ‘well-oiled machine’ with leading designs

“Building a house has so many different moving parts. There are so many people you have to deal with on so many different issues that pop up and need to be solved; it becomes a management thing to make sure everything runs smoothly.

This is not an issue for Scot-Build Developments, “It is such a well-oiled machine,” Young describes when asked how his business has navigated through the ups and downs of the construction field over the last few years.

“Everybody knows when they need to come in and the quality of service that we get from our subcontractors, because we have been using them so long is so good,” he continues. “Our subcontractors are good friends of ours and it makes it just so much easier.”

The company is the true definition of a family business and the staff is scaled down to just several key people. By keeping the staff small, clients can achieve a personalized experience that eventually leads to a long-term friendship as Young notes.

“There is just myself and Ben, my son, on the site most days,” he reflects.

On the office side, the staff ensures the client’s needs are taken care of, and all clients have access to Scot-Build Development’s long-time architectural/designer to help navigate the intricacies of the design end of the construction process.

When it comes to the volume of the work that Scot-Build Developments handle, Young makes it clear that the company is not a “fast-track builder.”

“We like to provide full custom work and we love doing the details.” This translates into the company taking on fewer projects per year, and instead turning out highly-detailed and high-quality homes.

It is these construction and design details that have set the company apart from its local competition with the inclusion in its construction portfolio of custom homes offering the traditional Scottish Longhouse design.

“I put the whole introductory to Scottish Longhouse design on my website roughly six years ago to complement the Cape Cod style of home that we were profiling at the time.”

This type of design has caught on and is fast becoming the signature design for Scot-Build Developments. The company is steadily earning a stellar reputation, proving its excellence in this custom-home area.

“This whole trend has taken off. So a lot of our local builders are starting to build this style of house, but I would love for us to be the signature company that everybody would come to first.”

To help cement its leading position in the Scottish Longhouse design, Scot-Build Developments have been putting considerable effort into using social media platforms to promote its designs as well as working on updating its website to reflect its high-quality work in this specialized house design area.

“Usually the clients that we are now getting are coming to us for this style that we are building and saying “we came to you for your Scottish Longhouse style”, so this is what we are going back to,” Young says.

Beyond the appeal of the Scottish designs, Scot-Build Developments is still busy at work with other projects that are equally as impressive.

“In Thornbury town center, we are building four buildings that are attached with glass links. The houses are tied to the glass but independent with a courtyard in the back,” Young describes.



Constructing the path forward in 2024

The details Young describes help to set the builder apart from others. Deviating from some of the more ‘cookie cutter’ houses that some builders have gravitated to keep costs down and achieve a high turnover of homes, Scot-Build Developments have chosen quality and detailed designs over quantity.

“We have one job booked up in Beaver Valley Ski Club and we are also working on two buildings. Recently we just finished up work on a 7,000 square foot home so we are still rolling over well.”

Young is also always cognizant of the demand that is being put on its long-term sub-contractors and is mindful of not overextending them with too many projects as it is more than likely they are already working with three or four other contractors.

“I don’t ever want to outstretch anybody. We only take on a maximum of three builds a year and we stagger them.

Keeping the quality of its projects in mind, the workload of its subcontractors, and the time needed to build highly detailed-oriented homes, Young sums it up well; “You are only as good as your last job.”

“I have come to realize that one of the things that made us the company we are today is that we build different things and we do different things than everybody else; I’m Scott from Scot-Build Developments from Scotland and I am the real deal,” he confidently concludes.


Scot-Build Developments

What: Leading home construction company specializing in traditional Scottish longhouse designs

Where: Thornbury, Ontario



Mad River Electric & Sons –

Mad River Electric & Sons is a second generation, family-owned and operated business servicing Simcoe County, Grey County and Muskoka for Industrial, Commercial, Residential and Solar. With 20+ years in the electrical contracting industry, Mad River Electric & Sons bring a professional, personalized, and innovative approach to every job!

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