Keeping Your Project on Budget Designing a Custom Home

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.

Being candid with the stakeholders for your project will help you stick within your budget while planning the home of your dreams.

It is easy to get carried away when planning a custom home, however we want you to keep these key areas in mind so you develop a realistic project plan.

 

RTM design budget

Below are the key recommendations to help the pre-planning stage to run smoothly so you get the home you dream up while still being able to afford it.

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.

Know your must haves and what you can live without when planning.

To ensure that you do not encounter any surprises along the way that can suddenly hinder you from achieving your dreamor will require last minute split decisionsour 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 may 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 Any Questions You Have Along the Way

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 2021 RTM project, reach out to us here for more information.

RTM project timelines, is now the time to start?

Building a custom RTM home usually takes five months once the agreement is signed, however the planning needs to start way before then.

If you plan to create a custom floor plan or secure a mortgage from a lender, you will want to allow extra time in pre-planning since each of these pieces can delay a start by months.

Working backwards from your ideal move in timeline, you will want to start planning at a minimum of 3-4 months before the actual build will start. At B&B, we encourage anyone to start planning with us anytime they are a year or less out from their desired timeline.

Do not underestimate the time it can take to secure a mortgage or how long it will take for your design and blueprints to completely come together.

Here are a few stages of the RTM planning process broken down to help guide your ideal timeline.

Design Plan & Project Planning

At this stage, clients collaborate their ideas with our designer and get a plan in place so we can get a budget figure for you to start planning your features. Also during this time, clients can source quotes for the foundation from B&B Homes, or their local contractor.  This is also the time to get pre-approved for your mortgage, if you haven’t already done that.

Making Your Home Selections

Once the design is finalized, you will have a meeting with our designer to select all the features that will go into your home. There may be some personalized features that get added at this time, which we will source for you.  Once all selections have been approved, the contract will be signed. Materials are then ordered and the project officially starts.

The Build

Since we plan your entire home before we start building, there is not a whole lot for you to do during the build other then watch the progress and all of your decisions in the planning stages come to life!  You can view the progress of the different stages inside CoConstruct, our virtual project management tool, or come out and view it in person at any time.

Moving Day and Onsite Work

The move of your home is usually completed in one day depending on where you live. B&B Homes is excited to now be moving all of our custom RTM homes around our project schedules. Once your home is set on the foundation, the onsite work begins. Depending on trade availability in your area and the extent of work your doing (example: garage, decks, basement finish), an average move in date can range anywhere between 3-7 weeks after the home arrives.

Now that you have a sense of what is required for this process, is it time to get started?

Book a site visit to tour our current projects or contact us to begin planning your design.

Creating a Consistent Theme With Custom Features

Building a custom RTM means you have infinite possibilities when it comes to planning features that will make a home truly unique and tailored specifically for your family.

With endless possibilities, it’s helpful to work with an onsite designer throughout your new home planning to help unlock your personal style while making sure that the home’s overall “look and feel” come together cohesively.

See how these custom features came together to harmonize a consistent theme throughout the home from a recent B&B project.

Vaulted ceilings decorated with beams created a grand feeling when on the upper level of the home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beams were used as a dramatic feature to enhance doorways throughout the home. Shiplap was used to add texture to accent walls in the home.

The kitchen had a tiled backsplash, with a featured statement piece above the stove.

Hutch cabinetry in the laundry room provided ultimate storage and function.

What ambiance and colour tones would you like in your dream home? Let’s get started making your vision a reality by heading into a consultation with our design team.

For more information on the process or to get started planning your own custom floor plan, reach out to B&B at any time.

Protecting an RTM Home From the Start

When planning a custom home project, we always make sure that every single RTM we build is safe and structurally durable for a long life.

Many of our homes will be set on family farms that will be passed down to their children. After building over 100 RTM homes, we’ve learned some best practices we use to protect our homes from harsh prairie weather that will also stand the test of time.

Here are a few examples below that set our quality apart, they include:

Setting each project up for success with high project management standards

It is not typically a builders’ standard practice to put as much thought and planning into every detail throughout the RTM process, but here at B&B Homes, we carefully construct every part of your forever home with careful attention. Every project detail is documented in CoConstruct,(our project management tool) and they are made available to every stakeholder involved in the project (client, B&B Team, suppliers and subtrades) so that nothing gets missed, is forgotten and is well documented.

Key benefits include:

  • Double rim joists, they help keep your home safer during the move by providing more structural support which in turn creates less service work once the home is on the foundation
  • Installing backing for all your bath hardware. Never have a towel bar come loose from the wall again because it isn’t fastened securely
  • R value in wall & attic insulation that is higher rated than industry standard
  • CoConstruct project management tool to manage the project virtually and manage the build progress at different stages remotely

Working with an in-house design team

Smart design based on your family’s lifestyle prevents unnecessary renovations down the road. Working with a professionally educated designer creates endless opportunities and possibilities for your home with the advice of an expert. You are not limited to standard plans; we can either revise a plan you bring us or we can create your family a custom plan.

Since everything is happening in-house, the communication between the designer and builder is stronger, and your timeline throughout the design phase is shorter.

It does not stop at custom plans. Our designer will help alleviate the overwhelming amount of all the selections out there, while being able to help you achieve the “look” that you are after.

Key benefits include:

  • NO LIMITS; get the exact home you want
  • Strong connection between the designer and builder
  • Alleviates stress throughout the entire process with a consultative approach

Service and warranty after the home is delivered

B&B Homes has one of the best service and warranty procedures in the RTM industry and we are proud of it. We make sure all our service work is taken care of before you move in no matter where you live in Saskatchewan. In a typical scenario, this work happens within 4-6 weeks after the move or whenever your hookups are completed, whichever comes first. Then again at your one year anniversary we do another thorough walk through of your home and repair any issues that came up within the last year.

Key benefits include:

  • Commitment to providing a world-class experience even after the home is moved
  • Prevents having to use third party warranties for minor fixes and enhancements
  • Working with a builder that stands by their quality after the project is over

What B&B Homes Customers Have to Say:

“B & B Homes was able to move up our delivery date and hired an amazing crew that immediately eased my worries regarding the placement of our home on the foundation! Thank you B & B Homes for walking us through the building process, answering all our questions and concerns, and providing us with our beautiful home we love.       
    – Mandi Odynski & Jesse Corcoran

“After a bad first experience with a previous builder, our banker advised us we should switch builders and suggested B&B Homes. Finding them was easy on the computer and after looking at house plans I phoned to talk to someone. Patricia was on the phone with me for an hour answering all my questions and that sealed the deal. The rest is history.

Katia helped customize our house we picked out and was so good at helping us pick out everything. She knew our budget and didn’t push for upgrades. She has a knack for knowing what we want in our home and make it a dream.

The work crews were professional, precise, quick and friendly. They were always willing to answer any of our questions. Co-construct is the best thing that helped us to keep in contact with everyone and we got to see updates of our house as it was being built.

We loved everything about this house and many people after that have seen our house have commented on the workmanship, how fast it was completed and how well done the whole project went for us. I would recommend B&B Homes to anyone looking to build.

     – Jennifer and Mike Kernahan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

With that being said, if you do decide that you want solar panels incorporated into your home plans, then looking for an installation company in your area, similar to Rooftop Solar, (https://rooftopsolar.us/phoenix-solar-installation/) should be done as soon as possible. In the meantime, simply knowing that solar energy can help you to save some cash, as well as doing your bit for the environment will also help you to feel better about your decision.

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.