If you’re new to custom home building, you probably have a lot of questions about what to expect. Even if you’ve built lots of homes, you may wonder what is special about us. We’re happy to answer any question you have. So fire away. In the meantime, have a read through some of the common questions we get from our clients.
Absolutely. Often our first contact with a client is through a kitchen, bathroom, or basement renovation. Size is not relevant to us; intention is. We prioritize projects based on the client and designer’s desire for quality, detail, and craftsmanship. In other words, if you’re committed to an exceptional result at a fair price, then we should talk.
We’re flexible. Some clients prefer to get one flat rate budget at the beginning of a project so they know in advance what the end cost will be. Others prefer a cost-plus approach that itemizes every expense and clearly states our markup. For smaller or simpler projects, an hourly rate may be preferable. Regardless of the approach, the most important thing to remember is to plan the project down to the detail so there are no surprises along the way. We’ll help you do that.
Yes, we offer complete home site selection services. Mike was born and raised in Victoria, and knows where to build, and more importantly, where not to. He knows the best kept secrets on the peninsula, the pockets of undeveloped land that offer the best views, and the waterfront properties with the best sun exposures in each season. So whether you’re looking for quick access to your boat, fertile fields for a vineyard, or simply a private retreat close to amenities, we’ll help you find the location ideally suited to your needs.
The best thing to remember with planning is this: take your time. It’s much less expensive to make changes during this phase than during building. So get some drawings done, 3D renderings, or even a scale model if you want to interact with the final result (we had a model for Windward Oaks and it helped the client visualize landscaping and building placement on a challenging site).
Unless you are a design professional, we recommend you hire an architect or a home designer for your project. Architects may have a reputation, style or aesthetic that you are seeking for your home. They understand modern building code and engineering requirements. Home designers range from simply offering concept drawings to helping you choose the interior. One isn’t better than the other. Most important is that you feel you can trust the person you’re talking to, and they are really listening to what you want.
Have a rock solid specification list before you start the building phase and stick to the plan. Occasionally you’ll run across something that you’ll want to change – this hallway needs to be wider, this roof needs a more durable shingle, etc – but in general the best way to stick to a budget is to buy high quality materials and use proper installation techniques. And that’s where we come in.
We support it. Let’s put it this way, when you get price differences between different bidders, it provides an opportunity for us to explain how and why we do things the way we do. Discrepancies between bidders is often the result of an inconsistent set of specifications or a lack of specifications entirely.
We recommend building a durable, energy efficient home. The 2012 BC Building Code update makes many changes in this regard, and we support it. Framing, sheathing, insulation, the building envelope, foundation, roof, the landscape – all are opportunities to lessen your impact on the earth, stay healthy, and save money on energy. We have experience with installing both air-source and ground-based geothermal systems, as well as solar panels, graywater systems, and many other green building techniques.
We explain the whole custom home process in our custom home building process.
If it’s a smaller renovation, sure you can. But things do go easier if you make alternate living arrangements for the duration of building.
Absolutely. Everything we do is in writing. It protects both parties.
We go beyond the standard 2-5-10 Home Owners Warranty that all registered builders are required to have. Mike Knight’s follow-up is legendary. And we are proactive with your maintenance reminders so that your warranty terms remain valid.
Yes. Like all professional builders, we carry full worker’s compensation coverage, liability insurance and are licensed by the Province. We’re also a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau (A+ rating), and the Canadian Home Builders Association.
Yes. One of our recent projects had the homeowner involved from the foundation pouring. He wanted to be involved and showed up on site every day. One thing you’ll notice about our crew is that they are relentlessly positive and courteous. We understand that being able to watch your home be built is an exciting experience.
Anyone that doesn’t provide references in this business doesn’t deserve your time. We have built over 60 homes on the South Island and we’d be happy to put you in touch with any one of our clients.