The Value of Working with a Professional Designer for an RTM

Anyone can draw up a floor plan, but when it comes to creating a design for your forever home and selecting the features and finishes, you are going to want expert advice that you can trust throughout the planning and building process. Smart design prevents unnecessary renovations down the road.

Like when you book a hotel room, you will have expectations about what kind of experience you want to have for what you are willing to pay.

B&B Homes takes pride in offering unlimited creative options to design a home with the counsel of our onsite designers Katia and Kendra, who will guide your decision making and planning all the way through to your home’s delivery. From letting you know what you can “pull off” in your floor plan within your square footage, to going shopping for lighting fixtures and flooring with you, they are along for the whole ride throughout an RTM project.

We must admit, our design team and process methodologies are part of B&B Home’s secret sauce for delivering a premium RTM building experience. Keeping a strong relationship onsite between the designer and the building crew has lead to a lot of beautiful custom RTM homes over the years.

“We are very pleased with the final product of our customized home with the help of our designer Katia. The entire B&B staff was very professional and easy to work with throughout the entire process.”
-Mike & Shannon Palmier

Hear more about the B&B Home’s RTM building process from past B&B Home’s clients here.

Exciting Announcement for Future RTM Projects.

We are always looking for new ways to bring value to our clients planning their dream home project with us.

After building and moving over 100 RTM projects, we have developed best practices and methodologies to keep our standards high for the quality and service delivery of our homes.

As we like to say one company from start to finish.

With that said, it is our great pleasure to announce that we now move our own RTM homes!

Not only will this help our clients save on this expense, it also gives us the flexibility to move homes on our ideal project completion schedules.

We can now move our homes with the same care that we have for every custom RTM home we build.

If you have any questions about planning a custom RTM project or if you are ready to get started, contact us to begin.

Stick Built vs RTM

When making plans for the future there is often a lag between what you want and the reality of the time it will take to get there. There is no exception to this when it comes to building a brand new custom home.

There are a few different paths you can take to build your custom dream home, the two most popular choices being RTM and on-site construction in Saskatchewan.

Whether you are considering the RTM process or building on site, weighing the pros and cons can help you make an informed decision about which direction to go in.

Project management, length of time to do the project and cost are all considerations that must be made when deciding to go stick or RTM build.

Here are a few other key considerations below:

Do You Want To Be the General Contractor/Project Manager?

It can be challenging to find reliable trades that value quality craftsmanship in some rural communities. When building on-site you have the option to be the general contractor of the build. Knowing your own capabilities and the local expertise will help you determine if you are quipped for the job with the right team that will deliver a home you know you will be satisfied with.

Knowing the availability and delivery of supplies to your location and
security are considerations to factor in when deciding whether or not it is more convenient or practical to do on site.

Timing, Now or Later?

Building onsite is a seasonal endeavour. When exploring the RTM process, know that timing can be a huge factor if you are ready to go. RTM’s can be built during winter months and ready to be set when the frost thaws in spring with a new home up as early as summer. Fluctuations in weather and timelines are more controlled when you start early with an RTM build for tighter project turnaround.

When building an RTM, your foundation work and home build can be completed in parallel making the overall build only a 5-6 month project in most cases.

Cost and Convenience

Comparably it is similar if you already own the land. When researching, look for a builder that has the appropriate qualifications and certifications as these are important indicators for what will be the overall quality of the project. Experienced builders bring the latest in technology and resources that can assist in managing the potential stresses of the project with efficiency. They can also offer additional services that allow you to make environmentally friendly decisions about using solar energy and other renewable resources.

B&B Homes delivers RTM homes to communities throughout Saskatchewan in partnership with a reputable, insured, moving company.

Regardless of the approach you decide to take, checking the builder’s references and getting proper warranty work in place should be an integral part of your decision in which route to go.

Evaluating your options and the pro’s and con’s of each process will help you make a decision with confidence. The team at B&B Homes is here to answer any questions you have about building a custom designed RTM home.

Hear more about the B&B Home’s RTM building process from past B&B Home’s clients here.

When Planning Your RTM Project, Consider More Than Just the Price

One of the most important considerations when planning a custom RTM project is working within your budget while still checking off items on your wish list for your dream home.

However, you don’t want to forget the quality and craftsmanship of the home, the reputation of the builder and the how comfortable you feel with the people you will be working with for a long duration of time, are all also important considerations that must not be overlooked.

When making this critical decision about where to invest and who to work with, consider the following:

Project Management & Communication with Co-Construct

Once you give a deposit for an RTM home the process is only beginning. Knowing where the project stands throughout the duration of the build allows you to sleep more comfortably at night. It also ensures you can make accurate plans with realistic timelines for when your family will be able to move.

B&B Homes uses co-construct software on all of our projects to keep the lines of communication open and clear so that there are no hidden fees or surprises. Clients login and check the status of the various stages of the build and make decisions on their own time for features and upgrades. Co-construct removes the guessing out of an RTM project and helps alleviate any stress that could arise due to the transparency of the tool.

After Sales Support, Warranty & Insurance

After an RTM is delivered, the relationship shouldn’t end there. Is it in your contract that the builder will provide a personal guarantee or warranty on their work? How far will they have to travel to do any minor repairs in the first year? Know what will happen after the home is delivered too. Promises made during and after the project is complete are critical components of making sure you get a good deal you end up happy with.

Every B&B Home is insured by a new home warranty program. However our own best in-class warranty guarantee has worked best of all over the years. B&B’s warranty period covers both when the home arrives and also at the one year anniversary, we offer service work for anything that may come up within the first year of living in your home. We want you to happy with our work long after the project ends, our business model depends on it.

Experience and Track Record of the RTM Building Company

Can you talk to any of their past customers? Are their comments validated with testimonials and endorsements on social media? When planning a custom home to suit your lifestyle, the quality of the trades, materials, and service delivery both before and after the home is delivered are paramount in managing both stress and the quality of the final product, your home. At the end of the day building a new home is an investment of a lifetime. Know who you are working with before you sign the contract.

Checking References

We have worked with home owners that have had bad experiences with other builders that decided to come to us after being referred to B&B by their Mortgage Specialist. B&B Homes has a long list of customers that will give you information on what it is like to build with us and how happy they are with the quality of their home. The relationship with your builder lasts on average a year and a half, make sure you like who you are working with! The sentiments will remain long after the project is over.

See if B&B Homes has delivered any homes in your area here.

Find a Lender that Specializes in RTM Mortgages

Find a lender that is considerate and caring of your needs throughout the mortgage loan process and is an expert in RTM financing. Mortgages for RTM’s are different than traditional mortgages, work with someone who knows the differences for a smoother process. We have experience working with Affinity Credit Unions and FCC.

Custom Features, Upgrades & Design Consulting

The definition of “basic’ features is relative. If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is when receiving quotes based on costs per square foot from builders. We all know that cutting corners can backfire, especially when building a home!

At B&B Homes we have an on-site designer that can help draft custom home plans and assist in making decisions in everything from lighting to backsplash to make sure your dream concept becomes reality within your budget. B&B Homes also works to include everything needed in the original quote by collaborating with the homeowner to make sure their needs and selections are made before the contract is signed, preventing any surprises down the road. B&B will source any styles and finishes you want in your home.

If you have any questions about the RTM building process or would like to get start planning with a consultation from our team, just contact us!

Energy Code Compliance Shortlist for Most RM’s.

When you are in the planning stages for a custom RTM home project, you don’t want to have any roadblocks that can get in the way that will affect your ideal timeline to kick-off the project.

From our experience, we’re seeing that more RM’s require an Energy Code Analysis before they issue a build permit in compliance with the new energy efficiency requirements issued in 2019.

Some RM’s may not even tell you that you’ll need this until your ready to start your project. If you aren’t prepared to meet this request it can cause delays.

Below is the information that will be needed prior to the analysis being completed.

• A full copy of the blueprints (these are developed AFTER you have approved your initial floorplan, which you don’t want to rush in the early design stages)
• Construction specifications
• Window and door schedules
• Mechanical equipment details

B&B works with a company and your building inspector to take care of all this for you. But it is best to start this process as early as possible.

Strategies for Building an Energy Efficient Home

Having an energy efficient home is simply the smart way to build these days, especially given the fluctuations in weather during the prairie seasons.

Below are a few different ways you can make your home energy efficient and how we build energy efficient homes with our minimum standards.

1. All-weather windows and doors

We use triple-pane windows since it provides optimal energy efficiency over other alternatives. 3-pane glass reduces condensation on glass and is also more soundproof than double pane.

2. Insulate doors and windows with spray foam

Spray foam provides an airtight seal between windows and door frames providing an airtight and water resistant seal to prevent any drafts.

3. Install R-24 fibreglass batts in 2×6 exterior walls

B&B prefers to go above and beyond minimum standards by installing R-24 fibreglass insulation in our homes. This dense insulation helps to keep homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

4. Insulate attics with R-60, regardless of climate zone
B&B’s trusses are designed with a “high heel”. This design feature allows additional space for insulation in our attics in the spaces above the exterior walls. These areas are traditionally cold spots where significant heat loss occurs. By allowing additional insulation in those areas, we minimize this loss, contributing to lower heating costs and a more comfortable living environment.

See a few examples below.

                                                                   R24 walls installed in a recent project.
                                      R20 and R40 batts installed together to achieve R60 in a vaulted ceiling.
If you have any questions about the RTM process or want to get a consultation to help get started with your planning, contact us to begin.

Update on Operating and Engaging with B&B Homes

After the Government of Saskatchewan released the list of allowable businesses March 25th, we at B&B Homes, are very thankful that we can keep working on our custom projects. Here are things we have implemented so we stay in compliance with what our Government is asking.

• Our office is closed to the public. Staff that can work from home are doing so. Client meetings will now be handled over the phone. If there are any meetings that we must have in person, we will practice social distancing and limit handling of samples etc. Extra daily cleaning procedures have also been implemented.

• We ask that our clients whose homes are being built visit them over the weekend when no one is working in them.

• We have made provisions for our trades to limit their use of the office.

• When receiving materials, we are unloading them using protective wear and letting them sit a recommended time before being used on our projects. This will eliminate any spread of the virus throughout our worksite, keeping our employees and trades safe.

• All trades will now contact our site supervisor via phone call or text when on site.

As new recommendations and procedures become available from our Chief Medical Health Officer, we will move quickly to adapt these into our daily routine.

Comparing Quotes from Different Builders

When kicking off your RTM research, determining what your family wants for design and features within your budget sets the framework for a project. Doing your due diligence, shopping and getting quotes from a few different builders is a part of the process. Though everyone may offer the same services fundamentally, there may be a lot of differences outside of the price that needs to be considered when you are at this critical consideration stage. This can be a deciding factor on whether you decide custom homes is something you’re definitely invested in, as life can be made easier by viewing pre-built houses on the market; you can start here in viewing homes. Below are some considerations when comparing estimates from different builders.

Make Sure You Are Not Comparing Apples with Oranges

The specifications and materials used when building a home will determine the life of it. Price isn’t everything and you will want to ensure that the home will have the durability to last a lifetime or longer. Also consider what all is included in the preliminary estimate. For example, when comparing a basement foundation quote, does it include the stairs and windows in the prelim estimate or will those fees be added in later on? No one likes surprises and it is critical to know if everything is included at the onset so no additional charges will come up into the project that were not previously discussed. It might seem obvious but are you comparing companies that have newly built homes, for example these Charleston homes for sale against the building of a new home? You could get very varied prices, but also at the same time similar ones as well, so make sure to take care. Make sure to see if taxes are included or not so they don’t sneak up later in the process.

Checking References From Past Customers

Are there a lot of past clients endorsing the builder? B&B Homes has a long list of clients throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta that have helped us grow our company over the years. Both good and bad news travels fast, and you should ask a past client what their overall experience was like to help set your expectations for the project.

Work With Who You Feel Comfortable With

Are you going to be connected to the same people throughout the process or change hands and be passed around to different people? This can determine whether the project runs smoothly; if the team working on your project is informed of all the details. The project can otherwise end up being more stressful with too many outside trades needing to be organized and information passed on throughout the process. Another thing to mention, you should make sure the builder you’re working with is covered by builders pl insurance.

Service Work and Warranty

It is important that there is a contingency if something happens after the project is finished. Does the builder guarantee their work? What happens after the project is over is also an important consideration.

Most builders should have relatively comparable quotes. If one stands out as substantially lower and seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is. When comparing, ensure that you are taking the full picture into consideration so you end up with a dream home that you are more than satisfied with.

A Custom Rustic Farmhouse Moved to Dodsland

In our last customer feature for 2019, we wanted to share the story of Dyan and Patrick from the Dodsland area. Their RTM planning goals were simple. To make their dream home unique to them and to start and finish the project quickly within a set timeline.

Learn more about their RTM home experience and see inside below.

What do you like the most about your new home?

We love that the attention to detail was paramount and that our selections all came together flawlessly. Our home felt like “home” the second we walked into it (minus the light switch learning curve)! Our great new living space is perfect for entertaining larger groups of friends with the dreamiest kitchen. We were also very pleased we were able to fit a long farmhouse table into the dining room, which has always been the goal.

How long did you research your home for?

Not long, maybe 1 month. We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted, classic style with unique elements. We had friends that were happy with their B&B RTM’s so we knew right away that’s the route and builder we would use. We essentially contacted B&B in Nov/Dec 2018 and moved into our new home in Aug 2019. We were thoroughly impressed with the turnaround time of the planning and building stages of the project.

What were you looking for in a builder?

Meticulous attention to every detail was important to us, as well as accommodating odd custom requests. We wanted the unique ability to create our home from the drawing board, with interesting features, not commonly seen around these parts. Something we could live in forever and not have to renovate or upgrade down the road.

What was important to you in the layout of the home?

A mudroom to capture the mud of the farm prior to entering the main living space was critical for us to help keep our place tidy and somewhat organized from the farm life chaos. We enjoy hosting dinner parties for our friends, so a nice open space with plenty of room for cocktail making, sitting/standing, and for the kids to run around acting crazy was ultimately at the top of the list. We also wanted a bit of separation of the master suite from the secondary bedrooms so we created a layout that put them on the opposite side of the house, which so far, has been fantastic!

Why did you build an RTM?

We live in a rural area where it can take years to build a home on-site. We knew since we didn’t want a mansion that this was the next best thing for our timeline of when we wanted a new home done by!

If you had one piece of advice for someone getting into an RTM what would it be?
It’s astonishing how much things add up when building a home! For friends that have already asked, we always are sure to explain all the costs that they don’t think about such as utility hookups, sewer, etc. And, to make sure you include a 30% buffer into your budget to allowance for any custom features you will want to include. We are always a proponent for compromising on size for better quality finishings, so we also recommend that.

What did you like about working with B&B?

We really enjoyed working with Katia to design and choose finishings for our dream home. Katia and Darwin were both fantastic at taking our wild ideas and finding solutions. In the end, we got the home we wanted, a layout that works for us, and quality that we know will last a lifetime. We also quite enjoyed the online experience of Co-Construct and tracking progress of our build.

B&B has also been great after delivery of our home, ensuring fixes and problems were addressed in a timely fashion. We were able to move into our home 29 days after delivery, which might be a record, and are proud to recommend B&B to anyone that will listen.

 

“B&B Homes created our dream home from start to finish in less than a year. They took all our crazy ideas and generated the perfect one-of-a-kind floorplan for our family and filled it with beautiful custom creations that truly make this house our forever home. No request was too big or small, they were able to make it happen and it turned out better than we could have ever expected. It was a pleasure dealing with everyone that was a part of the B&B Homes experience and we will recommend you as a builder to our friends and family searching for their own dream RTM forever.”  -Dyan McGrath

Q&A of Commonly Asked RTM Planning Questions.

Whether you have been researching for awhile or you are new to the process of shopping for an RTM, there are some general questions that come up in the planning process that are popular that we wanted to cover for you here.

It’s our hope that you can learn something you may not have picked up yet in your research.

Below are popular questions we receive via our website, live chat, call-ins and site visits.

What is your price per square foot?

We generally do not price in these terms since our homes are all customized for each project and quoted for the materials used. If you are curious about the price of a standard home off our website, just ask! That will help give an idea of a starting point based on your ideal square footage and layout.

How do you calculate moving costs?

Moving costs are calculated based on a formula that is mixed on distance and based on the size and width of the home.

Beware of discounts or deals on the moving costs, as they will likely get deferred back into the overall project cost one way or another since most RTM companies use a third party moving company.

Do you have a price sheet or catalogue of your homes I can review?

We do not currently have a catalogue. We can give you baseline pricing for standard homes off of our website though we rarely build them that way since all B&B Homes customers end up customizing some features to make the home their own. Why wouldn’t you if you have the chance?

What all is included in the estimate for a home?

At B&B Homes we are sometimes a little longer to quote because we try to be as precise as possible so no surprises come up down the road. We ask our vendors for detailed estimates for every piece of the project so we both have a solid understanding of what the project will cost down to the cent.

Do your prices include tax?

Yes they do. Make sure that other estimates you are reviewing do as well.

Do I need a foundation?

Yes. Our custom homes need to sit on a foundation. Our homes have uninsulated floors and need a heated space to sit on. This can be either a crawl space, piles or a basement foundation.

What can we expect for service work for our RTM?

Before you move into the home, we will come and do any repairs that may have come up during the move. We will also come back at the one year anniversary of the move to do any warranty work that may have come up during the first year of you living in your home. Though we have third party warranties included in our homes, our own has always been sufficient over the years to keep our clients happy.

Did we miss anything that you want to know?

Contact us and we’ll get back to you with a response within a day or two.