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10 Questions To ask Yourself Before Building a Custom Home

If you plan on building a custom home to suit your own personal lifestyle and needs there are several important factors you need to consider. You’ll be designing and building the home from scratch rather than purchasing a house that has already been built and things can get complicated fast if you don’t have every detail planned out. Here in Toronto, many people are turning to custom built homes, not only for the mega-mansions you see out in the suburbs but for smaller custom builds inside the city.

Below is a list of important questions you should ask yourself before the building process gets underway.

1. Am I positive I want to build a custom home?

Before you get too involved with the idea of building a custom home you should decide if it’s the best option for your lifestyle and financial situation. You should weigh the pros and cons of a custom home and determine if it’s actually better than purchasing an existing dwelling. You may find some existing homes which fit your ideal location, budget, lifestyle and family’s housing needs.

2. How much should we spend?

Unfortunately, the sky’s not the limit for most homeowners when building their dream home. You need to be realistic when designing the home and make sure it suits your financial budget. It’s wise to come up with the budget first and then make sure you don’t add extra rooms and amenities that you know you won’t use.

3. Can the soil support a home?

When looking for the ideal location for your home it’s important to have the soil checked out. Since the quality of soil differs from area to area you’ll need to be sure it won’t lead to any foundation problems in the future. It’s never a bad idea to have the lot’s soil examined by a geologist.

4. Who will be living in the home and for how long?

It’s not always easy to predict how long you’ll live in a home, but you may have a good idea if you plan on raising a family in it. If you plan on having children you’ll need to know how many bedrooms are needed along with bathrooms and a family room etc. If you’re raising a family it may also affect your location since you may want to build close to a school and recreational facilities/parks etc. Homeowners who don’t plan on having children may decide on fewer bedrooms and bathrooms and the location of the home may be more dependant on proximity to their place of employment.

5. What are the most important factors for my home?

Each homeowner may be looking for different things in their new home. For instance, it will usually depend on how many people will be residing in it and what the house will be used for. The best way to plan your home is to ask yourself specific questions about it and rank them in order of importance.

For instance, you’ll need to ask yourself how much room is required for entertaining. How many bedrooms and bathrooms are needed and how important the location is. You need to consider if a back yard is important to you and if you’d like the exterior to be built out of low-maintenance materials such as stone or brick. It’s also a good idea to consider the home’s insulation and see if you can use energy-saving features to help save money in the long run.

6. What would you like your home to be constructed of?

There are several types of construction materials that can be incorporated into your dream home and you’ll need to decide which ones you’d like to use. Some homeowners choose specific materials to reflect their personality while others simply want the most durable and functional materials available. The decision often comes down to the appearance and style of the home you’d like to live in.

7. Which home will have the greatest resale value?

If you don’t plan on spending the rest of your life in your new home you’ll likely be interested in its resale value down the road. Most real estate agents believe brick homes have the greatest resale value when compared to other materials. It may cost a bit more to construct, but the long-term value is greater.

8. Who will design and build the home?

Many homeowners will hire an architect to help design the home or translate your unique ideas and plans to paper. Architects and homeowners can utilize computer software when planning the home, but you need a good builder to take those plans and turn them into an actual home. Building a home isn’t as easy as planning one on a computer and you’ll need to find an experienced builder who fits your budget and timeline.

9. How important is the kitchen?

A home’s kitchen is generally seen as the most important and social and room in the house as so much time is spent their either on your own or when entertaining family and friends. Custom kitchens are very popular when it comes to design and functionality. You can be very creative when it comes to kitchen design and you’ll need to know how many work islands are needed and if there are any specific appliances you’d like to add such as a brick pizza oven etc. You’ll need to know how big you’d like the kitchen and how much money you’d like to spend in this area.

10. Should I ask the builder for references?

There’s a good chance the cost of your custom home will be the biggest financial investment you make in your lifetime. Don’t be afraid to ask the builder for references and to view their previous work. A good builder should have no problem with this request. However, you may want to think twice if the request is denied.

About York Construction Company

York Construction is a Design Build company located in Toronto.  We offer custom custom solutions and provide an easy andcost-effectivee way to build the custom home you’ve always wanted.  We offer free consultations.  Contact us here to learn more.

Custom Home Builder in Toronto

Can I Afford To Build a Custom Home?

With a custom-built home, you’ll get everything you’re looking for due to the fact the house has been designed to your specific wishes. This means you’ll be able to have as many bedrooms and bathrooms as you like, an exact-size kitchen and perhaps a few other personal touches such as a sauna, games room, swimming pool and wine cellar etc. It sounds like a dream home and it is, but can you really afford a custom home?

The answer to that question will no doubt vary from person to person depending on their financial situation as well as the size and complexity of the home. However, there are a few ways you can help keep the costs down when it comes to constructing a custom home.

Finding Your Homesite

This all starts with finding an affordable lot or site for the home. If you already own a home or lot then you have a good head start since your dream home can be constructed on the existing land. Here in Toronto where available land is scarce, the cost of the land can be a large part of your overall budget.   If you don’t own any land it’s recommended that you take the time to shop around for an affordable site in a good location. It’s typically more affordable to build on a piece of land that already has an existing home on it since it will be graded and the utility and sewer connections have already been taken care of. You will need to spend some money to knock down the existing home though and some people actually shop around for a condemned home to find a great deal on the land.

Save Time & Money Planning

Since most homes consist of a kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, and a living room etc, the majority of custom homes will simply mean these rooms may be designed in a specific shape and size. In some cases this allows you to work with a finished floor plan while making several modifications to it. When doing so, you’ll be able to save on architect fees and the time of designing the house from square one. When planning a custom home it’s a good idea to make a list of the features and rooms you’d like to see in it. Once you’ve completed this task you should ask yourself if there’s anything you can’t realistically afford or don’t actually need. If you prioritize the list you may be able to save money on unrealistic items unless your budget is unlimited .

You can also cut down on the costs by working hand in hand with an established builder of custom homes. Contractors that specialize in custom home builds usually have excellent working relationships with different trades, labourers and material suppliers and often order supplies in bulk at a better price. Experienced builders are typically well versed in minimizing the overhead, managing the costs and getting the most out of contractors and labourers. Once you’ve found the right builder you’ll be able to go through your plans and likely cut down on costs here and there. For example, be sure to install energy-efficient appliances and fixtures in the home to enjoy lower energy bills once you move in.  A Design Build company can also save time and money as they offer every stage of the building process, from the design and planning to the actual buildout, all in one place.

A Custom Home Can Be An Affordable Option

A custom home isn’t always costlier than an existing or newly-built house as you can often custom-design a smaller home at a lower price. It all depends on the size and quality of home you’d like. There are other costs to consider such as financing/loan fees as well as adequate insurance. You may or may not need an architect as well as a builder and in many cases you can find companies which can take care of the entire job from start to finish since they handle both the designing and building duties. If you already own the lot for your home, be sure the land can accommodate your custom plans.

About York Construction Company

York Construction is a Design Build company located in Toronto.  We offer custom build solutions and provide an easy and cost effective way to build the custom home you’ve always wanted.  We offer free consultations.  Contact us here to learn more.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Custom Home?

If you’re wondering how long it takes to construct a custom home you probably won’t be surprised to hear that it all depends on several factors. Every custom home should be considered unique and the length of time it takes to build them will vary. However, on average, a custom-designed home will typically take from eight to 14 months to complete. This is the building process only though as the actual designing and pre-planning stages can take anywhere up to a year.  Working with a Design Build company can help cut the time and some costs as you only have to work with a single point of contact for every stage of the process.

Preparing is Key

Once you have all the necessary building permits, documents and financing in hand the building process will depend on the size and design of the house as well as things such as labour and material supplies and the weather. Since the weather in the Greater Toronto Area can be quite unpredictable, especially during the winter months, it’s recommended to start construction anywhere from May until October with the warmer months being a better choice.

Ideally, the foundation should be poured and the home framed before the snow and temperature start to fall. The excavation and foundation pouring can be completed in the cold weather, but it’s typically more expensive and risky, with less than optimal results. But even with summer construction, there’s no guarantee things will go smoothly since heavy rainstorms may slow things down if the building site is flooded or becomes caked in mud. Like I said, the weather here in Toronto can be unpredictable.  Since nobody can control the weather it may ultimately affect the timeline of your custom home.

Labor and Material Delays

As far as labour and materials go, if there is a hold up somewhere along the line it can also slow things down. Several different subcontractors and suppliers need to be depended upon for everything to run as planned. A good general contractor overseeing the custom build can help speed things along and ensure delays are kept to a minimum.  However, sometimes there are work backups and delivery delays which may also be due to bad weather conditions or simply because it’s the busy season. If the plumbers, electricians, framers and other specialists are all on site working together when scheduled it can definitely help speed things up.

Homeowner Delays

The homeowner also has to be on the ball during the construction process since you may have to make timely decisions on things such as windows, flooring, trim, cabinets, and plumbing fixtures etc. When it comes to making a decision, the quicker the better and everything should be on the building site when its needed. The same goes for staying with your original design plans as you don’t want to change your mind about something once it’s been completed. Changing plans during the building process will always delay things.

Other Potential Delays

The builder will also be affected by environmental conditions such as topography and soil type on the building site. For instance, if the home is being built on a level lot it will be quicker than constructing on a hilly site. Unfortunately, construction delays are just a fact of life in some cases, but you may be able to insert a penalty in the building contract if the completion date is missed. However, you may hire the best builder in the world and the project could still be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, with the majority of these being weather related. .

About York Construction Company

If you’re considering building a new home or custom home we can help you decide on the best option by evaluating your specific ideas.  York Construction is a Design Build company located in Toronto.  We offer custom build solutions and provide an easy and cost effective way to build the custom home you’ve always wanted.  We offer free consultations.  Contact us here to learn more.

Custom Homes Built in Toronto

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Custom Home?

Building a custom home is the dream of many people here in Toronto, but they often end up purchasing a pre-built home because of the scarcity of buildable lots and the perceived cost of having one built to their personal specifications. There’s nothing like designing your own home as you can include anything you like such as inlaid hardwood floors, granite countertops, a sunroom, custom cabinetry, swimming pool, games room, rec room, wet bar, three-car garage and so on. There’s no question it will cost a considerable amount of money, but a custom home could be less expensive than many people think.

Custom Home Costs

Like most other things, the cost of building your own home will depend on several factors, with location being one of the major ones. In general, a custom home will cost approximately 75 to 100 percent more than pre-built units do in the same residential area. In addition, you’ll also need to consider the cost of the land. In most areas, the average custom-built dwelling will cost between $200 and $400 per square foot if it’s built with Grade A materials. Therefore, a 3,000 square-foot home could come in between $600,000 and $1.2 million.

But on the other hand, if you’re interested in building a more modest home in a lower-cost location you may be able to do it for as low as approximately $100 per square foot, which would be half the price. This would enable you to construct a 3,000 square-foot house for about $300,000 plus the cost of the land and furnishings for the home. You’re probably wondering what exactly is included in these costs. Well, this price generally covers the standard preparation of the site such as the foundation, materials, labour and utilities, but doesn’t include loan fees and design plans if any are needed.

Along with the size of the building, the overall cost will also depend on how complex the plans are as well as the quality of materials you plan on using. You can always cut down the cost by using lower grade materials if you choose and of course you can add to the price if you want everything to be top of the line. In addition, if you plan on hiring an architect to help design the home you’ll find they typically charge anywhere between two and 15 percent of the total building cost. However, most architects will also be on hand during the construction to make sure everything is going to plan.

Get a Professional Estimate

It’s generally recommended to have an architect look over any plans you have to make sure they adhere to the local building codes, all make sense, and can be built on the lot you have. You also need to inquire about building permits and add those to your cost. It wouldn’t be fair to suggest that building a custom home is an easy process because it can actually be quite an involved ordeal. It includes choosing the land, as well as designing the home, research, pre-construction tasks, interior and exterior fixtures and finishes along with landscaping. And don’t forget you also need to finance the project and for many people that will mean taking out a loan and having to pay fees and interest.  Engaging with a Design-Build contracting company can help cut out much of the red tape as they become a single source for all of your needs, from design to permits to construction.

If you’re interested in designing and building your own home it’s a good idea to talk with any friends, family or colleagues who have already built their homes. They will be able to relate their experiences with you and let you know what you should be aware of concerning difficulties and hidden costs etc. If you’re looking for a contractor you may want to check with your regional home building association. When dealing with an architect and/or contractor be sure you know exactly what is and isn’t covered in each quote and don’t be afraid to ask to see their previous work. It’s important to know if the contractor will take care of all subcontracting work as well as the cleanup etc.

Other things that should be included in the contractor’s price are excavation, foundation, insulation, trim work, fixtures, cabinets and countertops, flooring, doors, heating and cooling systems, lighting, painting, plumbing, roofing, wiring and windows etc. In addition, before hiring anybody to help build your custom home be sure they are properly licensed, bonded and insured.

York Construction Company

If you have questions about your upcoming custom home build project, you can contact us here.  York Construction is a Toronto based design-build company that offers an all in one solution for your home renovation project. We offer free in-home estimates and consults.