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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.
Camrose 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.
Cost certainty in a construction project is a major concern for homeowners, builders and financial institutions alike. Camrose Home Builders has access to the proprietary Custom Builder XPM ™ construction estimation software developed specifically for the custom home industry. It produces realistic budget estimates that take into consideration all the details of the project in a short period of time.
The ability to generate a realistic budget in order to get the required level of cost certainty is not only important for the homeowner. It also helps financial institutions validate homeowners and builders for construction loans. You want to make all the necessary changes to your design so you can finalize your blueprints before asking for price quotes. Making changes during construction will alter the scope of work and subsequently affect the budget.
Getting a fixed price on the entire project is generally not feasible due to the complexity of building a custom home. A combination of fixed prices and realistic allowances is the most accurate budgeting method. Simplistic finished price per square foot quotes for the whole project are not realistic in custom home building.
Camrose Home Builders can obtain fixed pricing for the design and materials to get to the lock-up stage. This usually represents about one-third of the construction budget. Also the cost of framing the home can usually be fixed. Allowances for the remainder of the project can be determined once the homeowner has made a final decision on finishing materials and other items.
To determine the realistic time required to complete your project and occupy your home, you need to understand what is involved in the construction process. It usually takes about six months to build a relatively uncomplicated home from concept to completion. It can often take a year or more to build a custom home. The time taken will depend on:
|Activity||From (wks)||Up to (wks)|
|Concept Design, Blueprints and Material Purchasing||8||12|
|Permitting / Approvals||2||20|
|Construction / Inspections||15||38|
|Projected time to occupancy||25||70|
Weather conditions also affect the building window. The Camrose region has a relatively high snowfall, which leaves a limited time period for building a custom home. Foundations cannot be poured until the frost has left the ground.
This means that is best to make sure that permits are in place as early as possible to allow foundations to be poured between April and October. Once foundations are in place, actual construction can happen anytime.
You also need to make sure you choose a design that is appropriate for the area and considers structural issues. For example, roof support structures will have to be engineered to meet requirements for snow loading. Meeting local energy efficiency requirements will also be a key consideration for design and material selection.
Camrose Home Builders can help you deal with weather related issues so that you can begin your project at the optimal time.
Camrose Home Builders primarily works within a one hour drive from Camrose. We also serve the surrounding area and have familiarity with the challenges of the more isolated locations in the area.
The area around Camrose consists of a number of small population centers that are largely rural in nature. The nearest large town is Camrose but even there it is hard to source many of the high quality products needed to build an exceptional custom home.
For this reason Camrose Home Builders has established a preferred relationship with a national supplier to make sure that the right building materials are available on a timely basis. The organization has the ability to economically supply a wide range of high quality materials that cannot be sourced on a local basis. We also have good relationships with local suppliers to give you the best possible pricing on building products.
Due to the complexity of construction, it is essential to select people who can manage and build your new home. Few homeowners are able to take on the whole project without relying on a team of professionals.
Building a custom home successfully requires attention-to-detail and a good understanding of the construction process. There are many tasks to be completed, which require skilled people to manage them. 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 any of these outcomes. It takes expertise, good planning and a proper control mechanism to get the best possible result.
It is important to select a general contractor who is qualified for your type of project and can complete it for the quoted price in an acceptable time frame. You also need someone you can trust to manage and schedule the right builders and trades.
It is equally important to evaluate your general contractor based on the expertise offered and the ability to see the project through. Contractors need to be properly insured so they do not 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 construction contract 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).
Design and Materials
There are many design possibilities and thousands of building components with different performance characteristics to choose from. The first step is to develop a concept design. Typically people start with a look or an interior layout that they like. This is then taken to a preliminary plan, which can be used to develop to generate blueprints and a rough budget.
The next step is to spend adequate time to choose the right materials. Changes are far more costly when they are made during construction. Material purchasing requires a special skill set. It takes a professional looking at finalized blueprints to accurately determine the right quantity of materials needed.
Building permits need to be in place before you can start construction. Some land preparation can take place prior to permits, but you need to be aware of the local guidelines that may restrict this work. Some of the issues involved in getting permits are:
Apply for permits as soon as you have your construction blueprints. The objective is to obtain all approvals so that you can get foundations in place prior to peak season or adverse weather conditions. You can always delay construction, but you can't move it forward without permits
Preparing the building site includes clearing the land and 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.
At this stage the building inspector has approved the work done to complete the exterior structure of the home to lock-up. Based on this milestone approval, a progress or final payment to the contractor must be made. The home is now weatherproof, secure and ready for to take to the completion and occupancy phase. You are now able to finish the home at your own pace and on your own timetable.
Occupancy means that your home is ready for you to live in. You may choose to work with the general contractor or hire trades directly to complete the exterior and interior of the home to occupancy. Working with an interior designer may be helpful in arranging the purchase and installation of flooring, cabinets and millwork.