What a 2019 RTM Project Timeline Looks Like.

It is not too late to plan for a 2019 delivery of a brand new custom RTM home, however it is time to get started!

Though an RTM build (including a foundation) only takes five months to complete, your relationship with your builder lasts up to a year and a half in total. Be sure to work with someone who you are comfortable with and that will honor any warranty work that may come up during this time.

Below are the different stages of an RTM project timeline for you to consider for your planning:

1. Design, Project Details and Financing

Drafting and finalizing your custom floor plan can take between 1-2 months with estimating. There is often some back and forth to get the estimate where you want it. Some families like to take their time making decisions during this phase to account for custom features so it can take as long as you want it to. During this time you should be sourcing your mortgage in parallel. Do not underestimate the time it will take for your mortgage to be approved in order to release funds to start.

2. Selections Meeting with B&B’s Onsite Designer

Right before you sign the contract, you have an important meeting with our onsite designer to discuss and select the finishes for your home. Katia will guide you through the decision making process to help you create the look and feel you are after, that will suite your preferences for your family’s custom home.

3. Signing the Contract and Reserving a Build Spot

Quoting can take some time as blueprints need to be developed and your selections estimated for exact pricing to be confirmed. During this time you can source any permits you may need as a requirement of your RM (if applicable).  Once you have your financing in place and the estimate where you are comfortable with, you sign the agreement to commence your RTM project and B&B will order the materials for your build.

Once this critical stage is complete, you have a defined project timeline and delivery date assigned.

4. RTM Project Milestones Site Visits

You will be asked to come to the site at the beginning and again at the end of the project for your final approvals. In the first walk-through, B&B completes the framing (floor, walls, roof) and you will confirm the electrical and plumbing rough-in locations before the home is insulated. You will monitor the following details and stages of the project in Co-Construct  remotely until you are asked to come out for your final walk-through prior to the home leaving our yard. You are welcome to come anytime throughout the build to view the progress in person.

5. Moving Day and Warranty Items

On this exciting day you are at the site location to confirm any details that the movers may need. Once the home is settled onto the foundation, you will make a note of any warranty work in Co-Construct that needs to be completed. Once you have your heat and water hooked up, B&B Homes will come to do service work on the home right after the move prior to you officially moving in.

6. One Year Anniversary

At the one year anniversary of your home being delivered, B&B Homes will come to your home to do any service work that may have come up in the first year of you living in the home. All B&B Homes new builds are covered by our own guarantee that we will take care of any potential damages or malfunctions that happen to the home within the first year of being delivered.

If you have any questions or want to get started with your own RTM project, contact us here to get started.

How to Utilize Professionals to Keep Your Project Within Budget.

Little known fact: The start of your custom home project is not when you break ground for the first time. It’s all figured out on paper first.

Be prepared to review, revise, and repeat to get everything within your budget and style. Make sure to allow enough time for planning and building to achieve your desired delivery date.

RTM design budget

So what are the steps you need to take to get your RTM project plan together?

Do Not Fear Disclosing Your Budget

One big, and necessary, step is discussing what you hope your overall project will cost. At B&B, we have compiled an entire list of the expenses associated with building a home – reaching past the costs related to the RTM alone, including site prep, hookups and foundations.

Discussing your budget with our on-site designer and estimator gives them the ability to design and quote your home project using materials and function that will fit within your overall budget while allowing enough room for other expenditures and features.

To ensure that you do not encounter any surprises along the way that can suddenly hinder you from achieving your dream—or will require last minute split decisions—our estimator at B&B Homes is equipped to provide you with detailed quotes based on your budget parameters. From your RTM home costs to your on-site garage, foundation, hookups and deck, as well as any other required on-site elements that may come up.

Be Prepared to Review, Revise, and Repeat

There are a couple steps involved in this process. First, designing your custom home. This involves everything from the style and materials chosen, to the layout and function of the home that fits your family’s lifestyle. All of these parts are taken into consideration and reviewed to make sure they are fitting your overall vision.

The next step is estimating the cost of the design. In this phase you will be given quotes that include everything discussed during the design process. Once the first vision of your home is quoted, and you have a concrete idea of all the costs involved, it can be necessary to go back and revise some of the options chosen, or remove some features.

Do not fear this step. Request changes or revisions to get the project to a stage you are comfortable with.

This is a natural progression point in all major projects. More often than not, there is another material available, or another timeline to consider – like saving the decks or garage for a project the following year – that will make achieving your exact vision a reality (without depleting the quality of your home).

So What Now?

The biggest feeling may be to give up. We get it, we’ve all been there. At B&B, we want to be there for you helping you through this stage. We understand this last step is full of very personal decisions, and requires thoughtful deliberation of answering the questions like “What do you most want to get out of your home?” and “What are the top 5 priorities?”. Once you feel you have those questions and thoughts answered, approach the drawing board again with our team of professionals.

Be Involved

Ask all your questions, state your ideas, and display any concerns or fears you may have. B&B Homes wants to build you a home that we ourselves would live in. That requires perseverance, flexibility, and honesty from both sides. Believe us when we say all the hard work at this stage, makes the reward at the end even better.

B&B Homes has earned the reputation for providing excellent quality RTM homes and prides itself on delivering superior customer service throughout the process. If you are ready to start planning a 2019 RTM project, reach out to us here for more information.

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.

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.

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. 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 Suzanne directly at suzanne@bbhomes.ca to get started.

What’s Trending at B&B Homes

Here at B&B we have been seeing a big demand for cozy, rustic style homes.

The Redburn RTM

Warm brown tones, paired with distressed wood features and dark metal accents create this well sought after look.

The Redburn RTM

Adding in a stone clad fireplace and pine ceiling is another way to develop the rustic style.

Pine Ceiling

Features

And finally complete the look with the little details.

Ensuite features

Features

Features

Whatever your style may be, the B&B team has the knowledge and expertise to pull it off. Visit our Facebook page, Instagram, and website to see more inspiring pictures. Contact B&B Homes to get started on your own custom home build.

 

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.

 

RTM Maintenance: Protecting Your Home From Humidity and Moisture

Fall and winter are the seasons to be cautious with humidity levels in a new home. Moisture and humidity problems are classified as regular maintenance issues and are not covered by B&B’s warranty. It is very important that you are aware of the dangers so that you can take preventative measures against any future damages and avoid incurring any costly repairs.

The early warning signs of high humidity are:
•Exterior door handles & deadbolts no longer work properly
•High amount of moisture on windows
•Exterior door handle & deadbolts have visible moisture or frost on them
•Exterior doors are freezing shut
•Water pooling on window sills
•Exterior door handles & deadbolts begin to rust on the inside

If things get really bad, the worse case scenarios of high humidity (which we have seen) includes:
•Cabinet doors swell to the point that they won’t close
•Paint is peeling on cabinets, railing, etc.
•Laminate flooring buckles
•Mold will grow on doors, windows and other areas of the home

Fact: A new home typically expels 500-600 gallons in the first year and a half.
Fact: A new home typically expels 500-600 gallons in the first year and a half.

 

Before any of these warning signs occur, there are some measures you can take. They are:

•Testing the humidity with a reliable tester (contact us and we will send you one to keep free of charge) It can cost a fair amount of energy though so getting a cheaper electricity quote will help mitigate the costs. A quote from Usave should help.
•Increase ventilation by keeping air circulating with a small fan or by opening windows
•Make sure an air exchanger is set and running properly (make sure your installer explained all the settings and how to operate it)
•Run a de-humidifier. If levels remain high you may need one on both the main floor and in the basement
•If your basement floor is not cemented, it needs to be sealed with poly
•During the summer months, running your air conditioner will help reduce moisture
Make sure that the silicone around the tubs, showers and between the kitchen counter top and walls is still fully intact. If it isn’t, you need to replace it. If moisture gets around the tile or counter tops you will develop swelling and moisture issues over time.

table 1

Re: Table 1. Wind chill temperature – this is the method used to relate wind and temperature. Usually traditional temperature readings do not include a wind chill factor. For example, with an indoor temperature of 20C and an outside air temperature of -12C this table recommends a relative humidity of 30%. However, with an outside air temperature of -12C and a 20km per hour wind, the outdoor wind chill temperature is -26C and so the level of relative humidity should be reduced to 20%. Moisture and humidity damage is classified as regular maintenance and is not covered by your warranty.

To manage the humidity levels in your home, monitor the levels mentioned in the chart above and use your HRV system or a dehumidifier to regulate moisture and protect your investment.

Monitoring moisture and humidity levels help you protect the value and health of your home. Feel free to contact us if you need more information or have any questions about humidity in your RTM Home.

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.