What to Expect When Building a Custom Home



The process around any big decision or large investment can be intimidating, especially when it's uncharted territory.  We're here to shed some light on the journey of bringing your vision to life.


You have ideas of how you want your home to look and feel. Finding an architect who fits your vision is key. They’ll consider many things when designing your dream home: from highlighting a great view with an expansive wall of custom windows, or how to compliment the interesting shape of your property.  When you land on a final design that you are happy with, then the consultants get involved.  All of this is now the process of being able to submit for a building permit.  Your builder might get involved at this time to review the structural drawings and note any challenges translating between the architectural and structural drawings.  When all the drawings are aligned, (and while we wait patiently for the permitting process), your builder gets to work.

During the pre-construction phase, your builder will assemble the budget. This is a process that sets the stage for the success of the project, and where due diligence and attention to detail are as important as in the construction stage.  At this point, all of the assumptions are made about anything not yet fully detailed in the drawings.  There could be several renditions of the budget during this stage, as well as possible changes in plans if some items aren’t working within your budget expectations.  After time carefully spent and much deliberation with the involved parties, you'll have an approved budget.  Around this time the permit process should be done and construction begins!


Your builder will handle the entire construction of your home starting with taking the old one down if necessary.  Throughout the entire process there will be an array of trades, suppliers, secondary consultants, neighbours and inspectors to deal with.  So many that it would make your head spin.  But fear not, your builder will handle that coordination too and with detailed cost analysis’ and monthly budget tracking, you’ll feel in the loop the whole time.  

Your involvement in the process is important, but it’s up to your builder to make it an enjoyable and easy experience. Your builder will be in steady contact with your architect and primary consultants making sure your vision is being met every step of the way.  There will be some decisions to make on the fly from time to time, but your builder will usually be a step ahead of things for you.  The other part that stays transparent the whole duration is the schedule.  Your builder will always do their very best to keep the project on schedule, but at times delays outside of their control can affect the schedule.  The good news about that is your builder will always keep you notified of any changes so you can plan accordingly or even alter a decision that will assist with a timely schedule.


The final stages are exciting but can certainly be the most hectic.  That’s no problem for your builder though, they thrive in hectic environments.  Staying one step ahead of all other trades involved, your builder will assemble a deficiency list for the remaining tasks before your move in date.  At the completion walk through, your builder will be the expert of your home.  You’ll learn how to use all your fixtures, appliances and home automation from your builder and you'll receive a completion package with all documentation you’ll need for warranties, maintenance, as well as information on the new home warranty and what it entails.  At last, you’ll then be able to tell the builder to leave so you can enjoy your dream home.  But don’t worry; if you ever need your builder after the house is complete, they're just a call away.

Joe MacMullin