Award winning Custom Home Packages including house plans with site specific design.
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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada's national housing agency. CMHC is Canada's premier provider of mortgage loan insurance, mortgage-backed securities, housing policy and programs, and housing research
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The objective for most people who build a new home is to get a valuable return on the investment and a home that fits their lifestyle needs. Value is created when your finished home is worth more to you than the cost of construction.
Keep in mind that there are no shortcuts to achieving a successful result when building your home. It takes expertise, good planning and proper management to build your home right.
Preparing a proper budget before you start your construction project is important. Costs can increase significantly if changes to the design and material specifications are made once the project has been started. Changes can also cause time delays, which can be a problem if they impact on the building season.
Construction resources need to be scheduled on a sequential and timely basis. Proper planning is essential and can only be carried out when you have a clear understanding of what involved in your project. Making changes once work has started can be costly. Structural changes will require outside experts who are harder to find for more complex buildings. Good planning helps you save money and stay in control of your project.
Cowichan Home Builders has timely access to experts and can advise you on the key variables involved in the building process. We help you plan your project and make good decisions before you start construction.
There are many variables that will affect the costs of constructing your home. The amount you need to budget for will be dependent on the size, location and complexity of the project. Cowichan Home Builders helps customers understand the difference between "home construction costs" and "total project costs". Home construction includes the type of design you choose, the quality of finishing products you select and other considerations relating to construction. Total project costs consider site improvement, site preparation and availability of services.
Cowichan Home Builders helps homeowners develop a realistic budget estimate that considers the details of the whole project using the proprietary Custom Builder XPM ™ estimating software. This provides comfort to homeowners that they can rely on a proper budget before construction work begins. This process also helps financial institutions validate the project when evaluating construction loans.
Using quotes based on simplistic per square foot pricing for the whole project in your budget can cause major problems. This approach is usually unrealistic and can result in substantial budget overruns. Homeowners do not want to find themselves in a situation where they cannot complete the project if the cost of materials and work involved has been underestimated.
Taking your project to completion will depend on the size of home, location of property, complexity of construction, time taken to get permits and frequency of inspections. To determine a realistic occupancy date, Cowichan Home Builders uses a comprehensive work schedule detailing key milestones to keep the project on track. Each milestone is carefully planned to bring the project to successful completion and meet your projected occupancy date.
The Cowichan area is fairly temperate but the relatively large amount of rain that falls between November and February can make excavation work difficult. Concrete cannot be poured if foundations have become saturated with water.
The home needs to be designed and built to withstand frequent rainfall and windy conditions. This is why it is important to select the right building materials, particularly roofing materials and windows. The components must be designed and warranted to resist water penetration.
Obtaining permits may require that there is ample drainage, depending on the location of your building lot. Cowichan Home Builders has a thorough understanding of local requirements and can help you build the right kind of home for the area.
Cowichan Home Builders serves the Cowichan and surrounding area. We have years of experience with the challenges of building in coastal regions. We established a preferred relationship with national suppliers and a design team that has the ability to service our area on a timely and cost-effective basis.
Generating a site specific design and selecting the right building components is critical to the success of most custom building projects in the Cowichan region. We consider all the complex variables involved so that the home can be built cost-effectively. Using off the shelf designs will usually not allow you to build your home efficiently on most properties unless it is a level building site with no engineering or geotechnical issues.
Other construction issues largely revolve around weather conditions. Restrictions may apply for truck and heavy equipment access to the building site over rain-saturated roads. Working on the building site can also be a problem in bad conditions. The best time to plan for excavation and foundations is between April and October. Poor timing will cause construction delays and additional costs.
Building a custom home successfully requires attention-to-detail and a working knowledge of the construction process. There are many tasks to be performed and this requires a combination of good management and skilled people.
Homes have become more complex over the years and building code requirements more stringent. As a result, more construction expertise is required. This is why most homeowners agree that it is safer to hire building professionals to complete their projects. In some cases, banks will require a proven general contractor.
Any construction project is a major undertaking in terms of both time and money. The objective is to get a valuable return on your investment and a home that fits your lifestyle needs. Value is created when your finished home is worth more to you than the cost of building it. This is best achieved by good up-front planning and then making the right purchasing and hiring decisions.
Getting ready to build
The building process starts with selecting the right design and combination of materials. Once these key decisions are made, you can start to plan your project in detail. It takes time to get ready for actual construction, as a number of issues need to be addressed before work can start.
There are many design possibilities and thousands of building components with different performance characteristics to choose from. To get the best result, it is important to choose someone early on in the process who is a design and building material specialist. This enables you to develop a site specific design that can actually be built on your property.
Hiring the Right People
Someone needs to act as the general contractor and be in charge of the entire building process. Some homeowners act as their own general contractor and hire builders and trades directly. Others hire a general contractor to look after the project.
You should select a builder who is qualified for your type of project and is available to meet your time frame. Getting someone who can find, manage and schedule the right people is also important. You can only prepare an accurate budget by obtaining construction quotes that are based on rates that apply at the time of construction. Evaluation should also be based on the expertise offered and the ability to finish the project. Selecting a builder based only on the lowest hourly rate is never the best choice.
Contractors who are not properly insured automatically transfer the risk of injury and damage-related lawsuits to the homeowner. A contractor's business liability insurance can protect you if your home is damaged by the contractor or his employees, or if he causes damage or injury to third parties.
Having a meaningful written contract with your builder is essential. The key elements are scope of work, procedures for changes, payment terms and provisions for sign-off at the time of completion. The construction contract should also address responsibility for work-related injuries, damages to third parties and property damage (builder's risk insurance).
Getting building permits
Home building is a highly regulated process. Building permits are required before construction can begin. The time it takes to get permits is dependent on:
Apply for permits as soon as you have your construction blueprints because you can only start foundation work when building permission has been received. You can always delay construction, but you can't move forward without permits.
Preparing the building site
Once the land is cleared, the actual construction of your home can commence. This starts with excavating so that foundations can be formed and concrete poured when the weather conditions are right. It is important to get the foundations in place as soon as blueprints are available and permits have been obtained. Cement cannot be poured below freezing temperatures or other adverse weather conditions without special procedures.
Construction to Lock-up
When the building is at the lock-up stage it means that the home is now weatherproof and secure. The roof is complete with windows and doors installed. An inspection will take place at lock-up. This key milestone inspection will determine the structural soundness of the home and its compliance with building codes.
Finishing to Occupancy
When all of the exterior and interior finishing work is complete you can apply for a final inspection. Any deficiencies identified need to be remedied by you or your general contractor prior to granting an occupancy permit. You may be able to move in prior to receiving an occupancy certificate but you will need one prior to obtaining a mortgage, home warranty protection or selling your house.