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 need to be considered when you are at this critical consideration stage. 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.

Do You Know the Onsite Stages for an RTM Project?

There is a lot to take in when planning an RTM project.

If you have been reading our content for some time, you already know that we do our best to educate you on the different aspects of a project, so you can make educated decisions.

That’s why we put together the Onsite Planning for an RTM Project Guide to walk you through the four different stages of onsite work that will come up in a typical RTM project.

Learn about foundation preparation, hookups, basement finishing and landscaping and how to apply it to your own planning. What are you waiting for? Download a copy now.

Onsite Planning for an RTM Project Guide

A Designer’s Input on Furnishing Your New Home.

It’s no secret that B&B Homes’ on-site designer, Katia, is here to guide you through your entire custom home project. From the designing stage through to selecting interior finishes to fit your style and budget, she knows your home’s space, style and your family’s lifestyle inside and out.

At B&B Homes we are all about making your entire home building experience stress free. Once your custom home project commences, you may start thinking about what furniture or decor you would like in your space, or even how to arrange what you currently have. A big question you might be having is ‘What is going to fit or look good?’

If this question is keeping you up at night, you will be happy to know that Katia is available to help you through this section of your project too. She has scoped out places in Saskatoon that are guaranteed to have furniture and decor to fit your budget and style. With her expert input, she will help you fit and arrange unique pieces for your home.

If you are wishing to use what you already own, but would like some advice on arranging it, B&B Homes also offers the option to schedule Katia to come to your home once it’s moved and give her advice.

Below are some of the homes that Katia has furnished and decorated, tailored for each unique style:

RTM Homes Saskatchewan RTM Homes Saskatchewan

RTM electric fireplace

Typical Requirements for an RTM Mortgage

One of the steps in the process of getting a brand new RTM home project underway is sourcing a mortgage. Getting financing for an RTM home follows a slightly different process than other types of mortgages. Some local lenders, such as Affinity Credit Unions, are more RTM project friendly than some others.

Below are some typical requirements that will come up in the process so you know what to prepare for!

Typical Mortgage Requirements for an RTM Include:

  • The lender will need to release funds before the home is delivered on-site.
  • You often must own the land you plan to build on or need to coordinate the mortgage around this purchase. Changing land titles can delay a project so start asap if you know this will be required.
  • The home must be anchored to a foundation.
  • You will need a contract or purchase of sale with terms spelled out by the builder including obligations for each party
  • Home owners will need to purchase insurance.
  • RTM homeowners will require a building permit to ensure your project complies with local and national code.
  • A water test is often a requirement.

Check with your local bank, some Credit Unions offer a specific percentage of building funds that are advanced based on approved inspections. B&B Homes finds that mortgage brokers may offer more flexible options with favorable rates, but rarely meet the requirements made by us. However, if they cannot meet the terms required for RTMs, Credit Unions’ may be good alternatives. If you would like an introduction to an institution or bank we have successfully worked with, please contact us with your request for an introduction.

Making the Most of Your Space: Planning for Storage Through Design

Get the most out of your space through smart design for storage and function. Custom cabinets and shelving units not only help you stay organized, but they will also help you get the most out of your storage capacities that are available within the square footage of your brand new RTM home.

B&B Homes works with a number of suppliers that can help you plan and customize this important consideration for your home that makes smart sense over the long run. All cabinetry is made to order for each B&B Home with custom measurements based on your floorplan.

Storage through design

Mudroom lockers are a trend and a popular feature in most of B&B Home’s projects. Lockers help everyone stay organized each season while having a little personal space to store your stuff. The laundry area is often in the mudroom as well and conceals products for a tidy and clean look.

mudroom RTM storage

Take into account all of the different areas of a home that you can organize with shelving, cabinets, and storage combined with what you already know about your lifestyle and make special accommodations for it when planning with our on-site designer Katia. She will help you navigate this part of your design plan while keeping your budget considerations in mind.

wine fridge RTM

custom cabinets RTM

planning for storage

For more information on planning a custom RTM project or to book a site visit, contact Darwin directly at darwin@bbhomes.ca or via phone at 306-856-0073. Want to view current projects? Book a site visit here.

4 Things to Know Before You Start Design

Designing a custom home floor plan doesn’t have to be as intimidating as you may think. Working with professionals to help guide you along the way of the process will help you make decisions you can feel confident about.

Here are a few recommendations from our in-house designer that will make the process a bit smoother from the onset. Consider having an idea in mind regarding a few of these points below.

Number of Bedrooms

Do you know how many bedrooms you want? There is a science of square footage and the allowance that make the number possible. For example, you will need at least a minimum of 1450 sq ft if you want to have 3 bedrooms. This may also come at the expense of some of the square footage you want to include in other areas of the home. Most homes B&B builds are usually between 1500-1600 sq ft depending on budgets.  Generally, finishing a basement down the road with extra rooms in the basement is usually cheaper than adding extra square footage upstairs.

RTM Homes Saskatchewan

Your Budget

We realize that without knowing what things cost it is hard to decide on what features to add into your home. Having an idea of what you want to spend or having a mortgage pre-approval will help our designer keep you in line with your floor plan in relation to what you want to spend. It’s easier to have an idea to work around versus having to detract from what you planned later on. Make a realistic plan by knowing what you want, so you can  have a candid conversation around materials and features based on your budget amount, and some allowance to incorporate some (or all!) of your custom wishlist features accordingly.

RTM Homes Saskatchewan

Number of Bathrooms

The number of bathrooms you want will also be a factor in determining the square footage of your home. On the same note, knowing whether  you want a separate bath and shower in your ensuite or if just a shower is sufficient for your lifestyle, will help determine layout, and the overall square foot of your home. Or, perhaps adding a half (or full) bath in the mudroom would be a convenient feature to keep your home tidy after coming in from the yard.

The Churchbridge RTM

Basement or Crawl Space

When you get your floor plan drafted by B&B’s onsite designer, a basement plan could also be included. Knowing if you plan to have a basement or crawl space will help you make decisions for the areas mentioned above. Future plumbing and electrical locations for the time when you are ready to develop your basement will also be taken into consideration.

If you don’t have all your details completely hashed out before talking to our designer, don’t worry. She will guide you through this decision making process and ask key questions that gets you thinking more about how your future home should function for your lifestyle, while possibly bringing up a few more options and ideas to consider!

For more information on the custom design process visit here.

 

Using Social Media to Plan an RTM Project.

An easy way to get inspiration and education for planning a custom RTM home project can be done by leveraging social media passively.

Here’s how B&B Homes shares content on different social channels, to assist in your own RTM project planning journey.

Instagram

With a mixture of finished and project progress shots, you will see firsthand the different stages that an RTM home project goes through to completion. Everything from onsite foundation work, to really cool custom features highlighted in our current projects, we share what we are working on, as it is happening.

Facebook

Whenever a new blog post is published, it gets shared to Facebook first. B&B Homes regularly cycles through our top educational content to help you make informed major decisions. We also share what’s trending on Houzz. Also, any images you miss on Instagram you can still catch on Facebook. Watch for our customers commenting on their homes being built, as they are usually pretty pumped up!

Pinterest

Though we are new here, our clients are already actively looking on our page for inspiration for their own personal home features. When it comes time to share your inspiration images with our onsite professional designer, you can share your personal collection of idea boards to guide the planning process. See our galleries of finished projects categorized by popular rooms in the home. Follow them to see the updates as new content is added regularly of finished projects.

YouTube

Reviewing the finished product is an important step in qualifying a builder to build your home. Quality is imperative in this once in a lifetime decision. Take a tour of some past projects and see how different methodologies are applied in our fun replays of installations in our past projects.

Now that you know where to find what you need, join any of these channels to get started planning your own project.

Keep Cozy in the Winters: Explore these Popular RTM Fireplace Options

There is no doubt about it that the prairies have some of the harshest winters out there. But there is a silver lining, and that is keeping cozy by the fire in the bitter cold months in the comfort of your own home.

There is no shortage of different options to customize a fireplace with lots of options available for aesthetic and function. Three popular options for B&B Homes clients are traditional wood burning, gas and electric fireplaces.

RTM fireplace

Wood burning fireplaces are a traditional option that have been heating homes naturally for decades. This tried and true style of fireplace requires a little more upkeep than more modern gas and electric options and is not as efficient at producing heat. But if the scent and ambiance of the burning logs is what you are after, the additional maintenance can be considered a labour of love when maintaining your wood supply and cleaning your chimney seasonally. Want to try something entirely different? Why not consider using Fireglass pebbles.

RTM gas fireplace

Gas fireplaces are a stylish, modern option that provide flexible heat and aesthetic options by efficiently burning natural gas or propane instead of wood. There are a number of options for gas logs that create the ambiance of your flame. Gas fireplaces are also enclosed, providing safety from embers without requiring any chimney maintenance. Gas fireplaces also provide an alternate heat source for the home. If you opt for ethanol, it is imperative that you take ethanol fireplace safety seriously. They are very safe when used correctly.

RTM electric fireplace

Electric fireplaces allow you to have the visual of a fire without having to produce any actual heat allowing for use all year round to create a relaxing ambiance at your leisure. You could even get a tv stand with electric fire place built right into it. This gives an extra level of aesthetic appeal. Most electric models B&B sources do give you the option for both flame and heat or just the flame. An environmentally conscious option, electric fireplaces do not use any gas or produce any emissions.

Do you want to warm up by your own brand new fireplace next winter? Are you ready to start planning your own custom RTM dream home with B&B’s Dream It, Build It, Move It process? Contact Darwin directly at darwin@bbhomes.ca to get started.