Onsite Planning for an RTM Project Part 4: Landscaping

We have reach the final part of this RTM onsite project series. We hope you have a good understanding of some of the items that will come up in a project so you can be prepared and educated.

Part 4 of this series focuses on some landscaping considerations that may or may not apply for your location, they are:

  • Eavestrough
  • Road access/driveway
  • Window wells
  • Deck
  • Parging exterior of exposed basement walls
  • Fencing (if needed)

If you missed part 1, 2 or 3 of this series, you can still read them on the B&B Homes blog.

RTM Home

Final grade

This is a very important step of your landscaping. You need to make sure the ground is sloped away from your home. You need to plan for heavy downpours in the summer and snow runoff in the spring. If you get your foundation work done with B&B Homes we will help you prepare this.

Roadway Access

When planning for a new roadway, access, or when upgrading your existing, make sure you plan ahead and prepare for moving day requirements. Make sure there will be enough room for your home to safely come off the main road and into your yard. Ask us for specific information, we can help you plan for this.

Eavestrough

B&B does not install eavestrough on our homes. This is because there is a chance it will get damaged during the move. It is a good idea to have eavestrough installed as soon as you can once your home is on your foundation. This way any runoff from your roof will be directed away from your basement and prevent damages to your new investment.

Window Wells

If your basement windows will be below final grade, you will need to install window wells as well. Make sure that the local codes are followed when determining the specifics. This is very important as your basement windows serve as a fire escape and have some requirements.

Decks

There are many different finishes you can have when planning for your decks. One thing to make sure is that your deck is sitting on a solid foundation such as screw piles or concrete piles. This will help insure your deck will last for many years to come.

Parging

After your final grade is complete, window wells installed (if needed), and the decks is built, you will need to cover the exposed portion of the  foundation to protect it from the weather. Acrylic parging is one method you can use. This is a stucco like product that gets applied and comes in many different colours. Other options include siding or stone. This is usually one of the final finishing touches you’ll do to the outside of your home.

Fencing

If you live in a town or small hamlet, you may want to budget for a privacy fence for around your property. There are many different materials you can use ranging from maintenance free to materials that you will need to stain or paint every year. Maintenance free materials will cost more but if the cost is figured out over time, you may save money, time and hassle in the future. Make this decision carefully!

Window wells

RTM

Eavestrough

RTM

B&B Homes does onsite decks as part of our comprehensive RTM packages

If you have any questions about foundations or any other aspect of the RTM process or would like to get started planning your own 2019 RTM project, contact us here.

 

Onsite Planning for an RTM Project Part 3: Code Compliant Basement Finishing.

We are nearing the end of the onsite project series. With only part 4 remaining, you will soon have all of the information you need to shop and prepare for your RTM project onsite work, while having a good understanding of what happens before you officially move into your brand new home.

If you missed part 1 and 2 of this series, you can still read them here on the B&B Homes blog.

Part 3 of this series focuses on what you need to do to complete your basement before you move into your RTM while being compliant with local codes.

Rim Joist Installation

  • Rim joists need to be insulated once the house is set on the foundation. At B&B, we recommend using spray foam as you get a better seal but batt insulation and poly can also be used
  • Once the spray foam is applied, it must be covered by a fire resistant insulation such as Rockwool
  • If the rim joists are left uninsulated for a long period of time, this will lead to damage to your new home. Humidity levels will rise as the colder outside air mixes with the warmer inside air

*Please keep in mind, humidity issues of any kind are not covered by B&B Home’s warranty as it falls under proper home care maintenance.

                                                                                 Rim Joist Installation

Installation of Drywall for Basement Foundation Wall

  • The Styrofoam blocks that B&B Homes uses in ICF foundations have plastic fastening strips every 8” and this is indicated on the surface by a diamond pattern. These particular strips have higher pull out strength then a dimensional stud
  • The easiest way to get the drywall into the basement is through a window opening. Keep this in mind when designing your basement and make sure you have at least one window that is big enough to accommodate this
  • ICF walls must be drywalled before you move in as code requires
*Although mudding, taping, and painting aren’t required at this stage, you will want to consider having this done prior to your move in, for a smoother transition with less of a mess to deal with later on when finishing.
                                                                  Drywall of Basement Foundation Walls

Other Miscellaneous Items to Be Code Compliant

  • Temporary or permanent handrails/railing must be constructed on your basement stairs as per code
  • You will need to have exterior doors leading onto a deck or landing with stairs and railing

If you have any questions about foundations or any other aspect of the RTM process, contact us here

                                                                   

Onsite Planning for an RTM Project Part 2: Hookups

Planning an RTM project does not have to be stressful or overwhelming if you educate yourself on the different parts of the process. At B&B, we try to get as much information into the hands of RTM researchers and planners to help them make empowered decisions regarding their projects while evaluating all of the different stages.

A major part of the process that is often overlooked in budgeting and preliminary research is the onsite hookups. Though B&B Homes offers this service as part of our full offering, you may want to explore some local options or perhaps know someone that works in the trades that can assist you with part II of the onsite preparation you may want to explore.

If you missed part I of this series on foundations, you can read it here on the B&B Homes blog.

Items to consider when gathering quotes for your Heating, Plumbing, & HVAC onsite hookups

  • Furnace type (Eg: high efficiency)
  • Garage heating
  • Water heater type (Tank or tankless)
  • Central air conditioning
  • Dryer venting
  • Fireplace hook up
  • Basement in-floor heating
  • Plumbing rough ins for future basement development
  • Water hook up
  • Water system (Reverse Osmosis and water softener)
  • Septic system
  • Exterior water faucets
  • Garage floor drains

Some Other Items to Consider When Gathering Quotes for Electrical

  • Service amperage
  • Extent of rough in wiring that will be done (Interior walls framed? Is the basement also included?)
  • Electrician needs to know the type of furnace and hot water heater i.e. natural gas, propane, or electric
  • Will there be an air conditioner to hook up?
  • Cost for permits
  • Trenching the wire from the main power box into your mechanical room
  • Wiring of your perimeter walls must be complete prior to drywall being hung

At B&B, we design your basement layout at the same time as your main floor layout so when the electrician wires the walls, the plugs and switches are in the exact spots for future development.

If you have any questions about hookups or any other aspect of the RTM process, contact us here.

 

Onsite Planning for an RTM Project Part 1: Foundation Preparation.

Planning an RTM project can be a little daunting if you are not familiar with the different parts of the process. We decided to develop this short series to walk you through the different onsite stages that occur. Being armed with the knowledge of the process allows you to make informed decisions with your planning and puts you in the driver seat. Below is some information on the process that will allow you to compare quotes from different contractors with accuracy.

Part 1: Foundations covers the different stages from what to compare in an estimate, things to consider when deciding what route to go and what the process looks like once you start excavating.

Items that should be included in your foundation quote:

  • Excavation and backfill
  • Basement walls
  • Crushed rock for weeping tile and floor
  • Weeping tile and installation
  • Basement floor
  • Waterproofing for exterior of foundation walls
  • Beam and the required teleposts
  • Stairs
  • Windows

Foundation construction begins with excavating.

The construction of walls, beams, teleposts and waterproofing are completed next.

Weeping tile is installed next before the backfill.

The basement floor is typically poured after the home has been set on the foundation.

Be sure that the windows and stairs are included in your preliminary quote when reviewing foundation estimates.

Some Other Items to Consider That May Come Up:

What if I have shifting soil on my land?

What is the soil like where the home will be placed? Do you need to be concerned about shifting soil? If so, screw piles or concrete piles may need to be added to keep the foundation from moving over time. In some cases, a study of the soil needs to be done in order to determine what type of foundation is needed, this is called a Geotech study.

What will happen with the dirt that is removed from the basement?

Some of it will be used for backfill. The rest can be used in your landscape otherwise you may have to pay to have it removed. In some cases, the dirt that is removed is not suitable for backfill material. Other dirt or fill must then be hauled in and used in this scenario if it comes up.

Backfill is generally left to settle on its own. If you are wanting to pour sidewalks etc up against the house in the same year, you will have to address compacting the backfill somehow. Although this isn’t recommend as it puts extra pressure on your foundation walls.

We have a high water table on our land, can we still have a basement?

Yes, but it will determine the depth of your basement.

ICF, wood, or concrete foundation?

B&B Homes builds 9 ft ICF foundations as a standard but also will do crawl space, concrete and wood foundations as well.

If you have any questions about the RTM process, want to book a site visit to tour some of our current projects or wish to start the process of drafting your own custom design plan, contact us here.

Introducing The Chesapeake and The Hudson Floor Plans

If 2019 is the year you want to be living in your brand new RTM home, it is time to start planning! One of the first steps of the process is to determine the size of the home and the layout that will work best for your family and budget. It is never too early to start, but it can easily be too late when you start putting the various pieces of the process together. Start design early and check out these new inspirations from recent B&B Home’s projects!

The Chesapeake utilizes 1640 sq ft of functional living space that includes three bedrooms. With an open concept design and a high vaulted ceiling in the front entry, this home leaves a grand, open feeling for families to relax and prepare meals in. A double sided central fireplace is a statement piece for the entrance, dining and living room areas. The side entrance is kept tidy with the mudroom lockers and laundry room only steps away. The Chesapeake includes a walk-through pantry that adjoins the mudroom to kitchen for organization and extra storage. This home offers a comfortable living space while utilizing each square foot of space.

The Hudson boasts over 2100 sq ft of functional space for a growing family. With four bedrooms and a study, everyone has a space to call their own. Whether preparing meals for the family or hosting a dinner party, this spacious kitchen is a culinary haven. With custom cabinetry built into the design, there is plenty of room for storage to stay organized. Cozy up by the fireplace during the cold winter months and enjoy ceiling details created to fit any style. If you are looking for a beautiful custom RTM home with carefully planned features and generous square footage, The Hudson is the one for you.

Want to Get Started Planning Your Own RTM Project?

If you have any questions about the RTM process, want to book a site visit to tour some of our current projects or wish to start the process of drafting your own custom design plan, contact us here.

Delivering The Redburn to a Family in the Duck Lake Area.

The Hunter’s began researching the possibility of a brand new home when they moved out to their farm in the Duck Lake area. It took about five years of researching and consideration before making the decision to build with B&B. They wanted to make sure that they found the plan they liked, and a builder they felt comfortable and confident with to build their forever home.

An RTM seemed to be the most practical way to get the home of their dreams. With their location, getting a builder and trades to come out and build it from top to bottom onsite would have been extremely difficult and would have cost a fortune with mileage charges. They decided on an RTM because it would be complete and they would be able to move right in within a reasonable timeline.

What Do You Like Best About Your New Home?

“It is such a hard question to answer….because honestly the answer would be everything. We have loved it all from the moment we moved in, to this very day.  And I know we will still love our home 25 years from now!  I guess though if we had to pick one thing, it would be the space that we have.  We have enough room to not be on top of each other anymore!”  -Natalie Hunter

Finding the Right Design and Working With the Right Builder

The Hunters were living in a mobile home on their farm and with their boys getting bigger and a large extended family, they really wanted to have more room. They wanted a home to their host friends and family and not feel like they were trapping them in a tiny box.

The Hunters wanted to have a big entry area conducive to their farm life. The lockers, laundry and half bath have been the best value functional areas to have in their new farmhouse.  They also wanted to have a large kitchen so that everyone can come and sit down to have harvest meals in. As well as lots of room for cooking and storage for all of their kitchen accessories.

Why They Picked B&B Homes for the Project

“We really wanted to deal with a builder that cared. That didn’t just see us as a number. That went above and beyond building a product that would last us forever. A home is such a massive investment and you want to make sure that the builder understood that from a personal point of view, not just a monetary point of view.  We wanted a builder that would hear us….because not everyone’s tastes are the same and we knew what we liked and didn’t like.  We wanted someone to stand behind the product that they were building.  Be upfront with everything so that there were no surprises.”   -Natalie Hunter

What’s One Piece of Advice Would You Share With Anyone Planning a Custom RTM Home?

“Research your builders!  Make sure you’re not settling and that you find exactly what you are looking for.

What Did You Like About Working with B&B Homes?

Where do you start…..from the very beginning we knew right away that we would choose B&B.  Darwin was the only one in all of the companies that we went to that took the time out of his busy schedule to take us and show us their homes. He showed us homes right from starting out construction to the finished product. He explained the differences in construction and what we should be looking for in a home. Not once did he ever make us feel pressured that we had to choose them. He just gave us all the information that no one else took the time to care to show us. By the end of the tour we knew that we wanted to deal with B&B. 

We loved the fact that they only took on so many homes in a year and that they put all of their effort into making those homes the best that they could.  They truly cared about the product that they put out there.  When we met Katia she made such an overwhelming project seem so effortless. She made sure that we were happy with everything and went above and beyond to make sure we had exactly what we wanted! She is a true gem to work with. We can’t believe how beautiful our home is….we are a little biased but we think its the best designed home ever!

It was so nice as a homeowner to hear that it was whatever we wanted our house to be! They had constant communication with us about everything and encouraged us to come out anytime to see the progress of our new home. It was like watching the best Christmas present ever being built from start to finish! It was very much like a family environment where we felt welcome by everyone!   
We will always continue to recommend B&B. As far as we are concerned they are the best in the industry by far. Anyone who has a B&B home will be as lucky and grateful as we are that they had the very best home builder building their forever dream home. Thank you so much to the entire B&B family for making our RTM building process the most amazing time! We couldn’t have asked for more….because you gave it all to us!” -Natalie Hunter

Working with our on-site designer can help you bring a vision to life that you didn’t know was possible for a new RTM home. Contact B&B Homes today to coordinate a complimentary consultation with our designer here.

 

Delivering the Ironstone to Central Butte for a Young Family.

The Peterson’s spent about a year thinking about what they wanted for their future RTM home and met with various builders before they came across the layout of the Ironstone and decided to work with B&B. The deciding factor for them was having the kitchen and dining room off the back of the home, a layout that was very difficult to find when they were looking at floor plans.

Everything else in the Ironstone design seemed to fit with what they were looking for, from the fireplace to the tray ceilings; they felt it was truly beautiful home, and one they wanted for themselves. Rachel and Brennan knew immediately that the Ironstone was exactly what they wanted for their future home.

What do you love about living in your new RTM home?

Seeing the way everything came together blew us away. We always say to each other, can you believe this is our home? It’s such a great feeling to see all of our choices come to life to create the home we had always dreamt of. 

 

There were so many things that drew us to B&B Homes as our builder. Great service, great people, great craftsmanship. Every detail of our home was well thought out and nothing was missed with B&B. – Rachel Peterson
sliding barn doors

What advice would you give to someone planning an RTM project now that yours is completed?

Our advice to anyone looking to build a new home would be to enjoy the process! It can be stressful and seem overwhelming, but it is worth it. Take your time and have fun with all of the choices along the way. We have such a sense of pride seeing everything we picked turn into a beautiful home.”Brennan Peterson

The Ironstone

What did you like about working with B&B Homes?

B&B Homes was great to deal with from start to finish. They were so accommodating meeting with us when it worked with our schedule and making any changes we decided on. Everything was built and finished with great quality which was such a weight off our shoulders knowing we could trust B&B to do the job right. They made what could have been a stressful time in our lives easy and fun. We can’t thank them enough! -Rachel Peterson

Want to get started planning your own RTM project?

Working with our on-site designer can help you bring a vision to life that you didn’t know was possible for a new RTM home. Contact B&B Homes today to get started on designing your own custom floor plan here.

Building a Functional Layout with Vaulted Ceilings for a Mantario Family.

The Massey’s had recently moved from a mid-sized Saskatchewan city back into a 1939 farmhouse in the yard of their family farm. They were planning to renovate the home, but after only a few weeks of living in it, they decided to build. They just had a newborn son and their daughter was only three, so they wanted to make plans with the long term in mind. They would have had to move to renovate and the costs in their heads were adding up very quickly. Even with a very costly renovation, the house still wouldn’t have met their needs as a young family so it made the decision easy to start planning a custom RTM home that would.

Choosing the Right Builder for Their RTM Project

Delia spent about a month checking out different builders, styles, financing, moving costs, etc. Since she was at home with her kids at the time, she had quite a bit of time to commit to the process. The Massey’s were looking for quality and start to finish contracting. They were surprised how many RTM builders there were in the Saskatoon area alone and that could deliver to their remote farm. A company that did start to finish was very helpful especially with attaining financing for the entire project.

“Having this super functional, gorgeous place to call home and my kids having their own spaces is what I like the most living in our new home”. – Delia Massey
What advice would you give to someone planning an RTM project now that yours is over?

“I have a few major pieces of advice. First, get your financing in order long before you plan to start building. That was a very long three months in our case and held things up on our end. Especially when we were so anxious to start!

Trust me when I say that I researched pricing. I must have got 6-8 basement quotes and not a single one covered everything B&B did OR was less than their price. We also thought we could do our garage cheaper locally. Though we have a fantastic local contractor, it’s definitely cost us more. B&B is very competitive and if I could go back and sign that contract for everything at the beginning, I would. Costs fluctuate on material and that would have saved us a lot of money.

It’s a big commitment so always plan to spend more as there are a lot of things that with keep coming up for years (parging, deck, basement finishing, etc.) But no matter where and how you live, you have to pay to live and paying to live in the house of our dreams is worth it!”

– Delia Massey

What Did You Like About Working with B&B Homes?

“Having an in house designer helped a lot. All the selections are very overwhelming and Katia was very helpful in helping to make decisions.
Also, this is a family owned and operated company. The first person we met face to face was Travis as he accommodated us visiting on a weekend. Coming from an entrepreneurial family, I can appreciate the level of commitment that usually comes from family owned businesses.  He cares about the company and the quality of homes it produces and that was evident right from the beginning.
Having said that, all the staff we have encountered have been fantastic.  Darwin, Kim, Adam, Suzanne, the aussies. All highly professional and down to earth people.”

-Delia Massey

Want to Get Started Planning Your Own RTM Project?

Working with our on-site designer can help you bring a vision to life that you didn’t know was possible for a new RTM home. Contact B&B Homes today to coordinate a complimentary consultation with our designer here.

Building an RTM With Ranch Style Finishes for a Family Outside of Maple Creek.

The Beierbach’s engaged with B&B Homes after seeing a floor plan call out their name that was shared on Facebook. With some modifications to The Redburn to make it truly their own, the rest is now history and they are living in their custom RTM today. When it came to looking for an RTM builder, they were looking for flexibility to suit their ranch style, good quality construction and of course affordability. They also needed to look into RTM options due to their remoteness in the Maple Creek area and for the convenience of outsourced project management around their busy lifestyles.

Having the Space for Entertaining and Hosting Guests

With an open concept and more living space than their previous small farmhouse, they are now more comfortable hosting guests and entertaining at their home and seem to do a lot more of it these days.

“We love our new home and look forward to enjoying for many more years! B&B met or beat every deadline which was so nice as we were super anxious to get into the house once we got the design phase done.”

-Donna Beierbach

Bringing Together Ideas Through Research

Donna spent around three months researching different features and finishes online that would capture their style and preferences. B&B was impressed with all of their unique ideas that were able to be executed. Their home like all custom RTMs was quoted based on the custom specs that were put together specifically from Donna and Williams’ researching and planning. During this time they also talked to friends, neighbours, relatives anyone they knew that had either built or moved in a new home.

What One Piece of Advice Would You Share With Anyone Planning a Custom RTM Home?

“The expenses of site prep/ dirt work basement, plumbing/heating, electrical etc for hooking the house up really adds up. Get quotes for all of the above and allow for a bit extra!”

What Did You Like About Working with B&B Homes?

“The staff!! So helpful! We were way out of our element with this project ….we deal with livestock, not paint swatches and tile samples so we leaned heavily on designer Katia for advice and input. She did such a good job of capturing the feel we were looking for in our home! Darwin was always eager to answer any questions we had and Travis was great about warranty issues and customer service in general!”

-Donna Beierbach

Want to Get Started Planning Your Own RTM Project?

Working with our on-site designer can help you bring a vision to life that you didn’t know was possible for a new RTM home. Contact B&B Homes today to coordinate a complimentary consultation with our designer here.

Which Is Better: Fir Plywood vs. OSB Flooring?

wood RTM
Fir Plywood

B&B Homes has been making custom RTM homes for over 10 years, we are building our 94th house as we speak! We have worked with a variety of different materials and processes and continued to innovate until we found what works the best for our customers while maintaining our own high standards to quality craftsmanship. When it comes to sub flooring, at B&B Homes we prefer using Fir Plywood over OSB. Though we realize that we may be becoming the minority by sticking with this material, it is still our number one choice for our customers, here’s why:

 

Fir Plywood Holds Up Stronger to Moisture

Fir Plywood is manufactured with the grain still intact which gives plywood strength. Fir Plywood is also lighter and holds up stronger against moisture. This product is the distinct winner and the preferred choice under ceramic tiles because of its stiffness and resistance to the elements. Plywood also works better with adhesives. If on the other hand, OSB is exposed to a significant amount of water or even moisture, it can expand by up to 15% on the edges. This swelling can weaken your tiles or other materials that you want to have longevity in your home.

 

Fir Plywood Has More Longevity for the Home

Though OSB can help you save on short term costs, Fir Plywood is more durable over time. At B&B Homes we strongly feel that this is a corner that should not be cut, when building a home that is meant to last a lifetime. As a sub floor, OSB tends to make a poor base and sags between joists and can have tendencies to chip in some cases. OSB also has a higher risk of floor squeaks due to the many layers it’s comprised of and only has an average life expectancy of 20 years.Most of our clients pass their homes down in their families and need a home that will stand the test of time!

 

Putting a Strong Structure in Place

Fir Plywood has been known for providing great structural strength for buildings and homes for decades and is tried and true. Though B&B Homes will continue to experiment with different materials new to market, we also plan to stick with what we know works and want to help our customers make the best decisions possible for their big investment.

 

For more information on planning a custom RTM project or to book a site visit, contact us.