Providing Everything You Need To Know
Is building a custom home more expensive than buying a home?
Not necessarily. It depends on what you want to build and on factors such as quality, size, finishing etc. Many people focus on the upfront price of buying a previously enjoyed home but what they don't factor in is whether the home suits all their needs or whether they'll be at Home Depot every weekend renovating for the next 20 years. Other factors to determine when buying a home instead of building a home is when was it built and who built it. Also, what are the potential problems with that home? All these factors need to be considered.
How much does it cost to build a custom house?
This is one of the favourite questions that our clients love to ask. The easiest way to explain this is by breaking it down into hard costs, soft costs, and builder fee. Soft costs are the permits, plans, engineering, energy consultant, geotechnical engineer (if required) and other miscellaneous expenses. Depending on the size of the house and municipality you are building in these costs vary and are roughly between $30,000-$50,000. Hard costs are the labour and materials needed to build the house. Hard costs include everything from excavation all the way through to landscaping. Again, depending on a multitude of variables this can range from $300-$500 a square foot. As a full-service builder, we charge on a cost-plus basis which means we charge a mark-up based on the cost of your home build. The % depends on the extent of the home build and after an initial complimentary consultation we will provide a proposal outlining this.
When building a custom home, do you have to pay in full up front?
During the initial consultation we take time to discuss your wants and needs and review your building plans to determine a budget to work within. Once we have this determined we can provide an estimated timeline of costs so you can plan accordingly. We can assist with bank draws and making sense of what stages your bank will make payment to you.
How do I start the process of building a custom home?
The first thing to do is find a builder that you can trust. The process of building a home doesn't have to be a difficult process, but the more you trust your builder the easier the process will be. When we meet with clients for a custom home build, we always explain that we are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing us. As a home builder we work very closely with our clients and if the chemistry isn't right then it's in everyone's best interest to find a better fit. Building a home is likely the largest financial transaction you'll make in your lifetime, and when you have good communication and trust we can make it a fun process instead of stressful.
I want to build a house on my land, where do I start?
Find a reputable builder and have them come to your site for a consultation. There are many variables that home builders aren't aware of and it's always good to do a site visit before going too far down the path of building a custom home.
How can I save money / cut costs when building a custom house?
Everybody wants different things out of their home. We are huge advocates for your home being an investment and one of your best assets. It's important in our eyes to ensure that you are building to a quality standard that matches that of the neighbourhood and not overbuilding to ensure that the value you are putting in the home can be utilized at a later date. It's important to stay on budget and ensure you're building the right house with the right finishes for the neighbourhood you're in. When we provide budgets, we encourage home owners to try to work within them.
Is it cheaper to build a 2-storey house?
It can be. You have less excavation, less concrete, and less roof than if you're building the same square footage one-story house. However, depending on the size and layout of the house, you may have higher construction costs in lumber such as joists, beams etc.
Do you need a realtor when building a custom home?
Not necessarily. You may need a realtor to represent you for the purchase of the land, however when building the actual home, you're going to end up working with the builder themselves. It is always wise to have a reputable realtor ensure that the parcel of land you are buying doesn't have any unforeseen issues. After you have the land secured then you would work with the builder.
What is the process for building a custom home?
First and foremost find a builder that you are comfortable with. Even before designing a home we think this is very valuable as you'll understand whether the home you're designing is within your budget.
Once you've determined a home design and a builder, it's time to start pricing out the job. We send the plans to our most trusted and reliable trades, and begin getting bids from them.
Throughout the build process we maintain a construction timeline that we share with our clients, so that you can follow along on your schedule, and we update this weekly to account for any changes. We also have a live budget tracking software that is updated every 2 weeks with invoicing so you can see where your budget falls.
On site, we plan regular site meetings to walk through the home and ensure we capture everything that you want in your home. Communication is different for every home owner, as what works for some people, doesn't work for others. We use different platforms and determine the best option at the start of our working relationship (email, zoom meetings, on site meetings).