Top 5 Things to Avoid When Building a Custom Home in Toronto 2019
Are you planning on building a custom home in Toronto or Greater Toronto Area (GTA)?
Do you want your new custom home built on time and within your budget?
This article will discuss the five tips for a successful custom home construction project, which can help avoid common mistakes that save you money and get the best custom home for your budget.
What is a Custom Home?
A custom home is exactly as the name states, a “custom home”. Unlike a spec home, a custom home is a home built to fit your needs which avoids you having to adapt to someone else’s space by buying a home. This is your home to design and style. You decide the room layouts, overall home style, finishings and the quality of home building materials used.
1. Buying Land before Knowing the Site Prep and Servicing Fees
Most of the time, people buy the lot before they plan their custom homes. Most people are more concerned about location, privacy, view, and the distance to local amenities. This is usually what people are most focussed on when they decide to build a home in Toronto. The thing most people overlook is the subsequent fees that go into preparing the lot and connecting to local municipal services. This is where the budget really begins to inflate.
Site preparation that need to be considered include environmental remediation and municipal zoning. Did you also set a budget for removing possible Asbestos in the structure being taken down?
Are there any trees, water or streamside covenants that you will be subject to? All of these factors can change the cost of preparing and servicing the site of your future custom home. Connecting to local municipal services like water, sewer, hydro and gas can really increase your budget, especially in Toronto.
The best way to avoid unexpected site preparation fees is to conduct a property analysis before buying the lot. In doing this you will be aware of the expected fees and possible costs before you make the commitment.
2. Starting a design, before setting a budget
Have you ever told a contractor one thing than been given something else? That happens in home design all the time. Clients will pay a designer to develop a set of plans, but they will get something completely unexpected. Most of the time when you trace the issue back to the start, you’ll find that the main issue was the designer had no budget boundaries. Designing a home is based off your overall budget, finding a realistic budget is the best way to avoid any miscommunication between you and your contractor, and will also keep costs from growing past your set limit during construction.
This is where a great contractor will be of the most value to you. If they offer design and permit assistance, that’s an even better! That is a sign that they have a lot of good experience in residential construction.
3. Choosing a Designer that doesn’t know your chosen style
When choosing a home construction company in Toronto, you should look closely at previous home construction projects and get an idea of the style of home design that they are best at or specialize in. Home designers typically focus on their strengths which could be any or multiple of the following most popular home design styles, (modern, mid-century, contemporary, scandinavian, rustic, victorian, minimalist, industrialist.
One solution to this would be to consult with an experienced builder at the start and ask for recommendation of designers that match your style. An experienced general contractor who has built many custom homes should have a large network of professional home designers who they can recommend or set up meetings with.
4. Not using Green Building Techniques
It’s 2019, chances are you have heard of green building. The most common misconception with green building construction in Toronto is that people don’t know the costs of incorporating it into your design. The truth is that most green building techniques cost little to nothing extra. Window orientation, eco-heating systems, roof overhangs. Most of these techniques are simple changes to architectural plans to increase your home’s energy efficiency. By utilizing these techniques, you can protect your health, enhance comfort, and save money.
5. Not talking to relevant references
One of the biggest mistakes that clients make is not doing a reference check on their general contractor, home designer, or house builder. Most of the time people receive a recommendation from a family member or friend and just start working without doing and sort of background check. Ask your general contractor or builder for a couple references to get a better idea of their experience, qualifications, service and on-site behaviour. You want to know that the company you decide to work with will be professional and actually be working while on-site.
Research the company online for reviews, associations memberships, certifications, and their overall industry reputation. Make sure that the toronto home construction company you decide to work with has experience building the style of home you want – you will save yourself a lot of time in the future.
There are many ways to go about building a custom home in Toronto. The company that you choose to work with can make or break your project. Listen to your contractor – they are the construction experts, some ideas you have may not be practical for your new lot. However, a good contractor will do their best to implement as much of your ideas as they can. If you follow the tips above, you will surely save yourself a lot of headache before, during and after your project begins.
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