Preparing for Moving Day for Your RTM Home.

Congratulations, the process is winding down and your brand new RTM is about to arrive on your property! In preparation for this important day, there are a few steps to take for a smooth day and brand new home delivery. A few things that they require before the home arrives on your lot are:

  • Details on specific road numbers with precise directions (noting any bridges, trees  hanging on the road, soft roads, highwater, train tracks etc) and any other obstacle that may impact the home delivery routing and planning
  • You will need to contact your local RM/town to get permission if you require trimming/cutting any trees on the route (you will also be responsible for clean up afterwards as well)
  • There may be unforeseen variables that can affect costs during the actual move, these include: construction, re-routes from utility companies, rural municipalities or counties denying road usage due to condition, size or weight or obstacles mentioned above.

An important consideration, if you require line lifts, we are unable to accurately predict what the exact utility charges will be. The utility estimates we provide, are based on past moves of similar size in the same area. This cost can get affected by re-routes, weather, road conditions and utility rate changes.

B&B Homes will invoice for the utilities after the move. We can provide an estimate in advance so you can technically have no balance owing at that time this bill arrives. Utility companies reserve the right to bill a customer up to and including two years past the original utility bill date.

In most cases the estimates provided are fairly accurate unless any of the above variables occur. If you have any more questions about the RTM moving process, email info@bbhomes.ca

Features that Add Value to Your Home

Your home is not just your personal sanctuary, it is also an investment! Whether you are planning your own custom home or preparing to sell your existing residence, there are some upgrades that will appreciate the price of your home when you are ready to sell. Below are a few ideas:

  • Upgrading flooring in bedrooms from carpet to laminate
  • Tile showers, as well as tile flooring in bathrooms
  • Upgrading your countertop from laminate to quartz or granite
  • Adding a fireplace (gas or wood burning)
  • Installing LED pot lights throughout the home
  • Using vinyl siding to fiber cement board siding and/or adding stone to your exterior
  • Upgrading from stipple ceiling to either painted or pine

Whether it is your forever home or you know you will sell down the road, it is important to consider how the home will maintain it’s value over the long run.

 

New Building Codes for 2019.

On January 1, 2019, a new Energy Code came into effect in Saskatchewan.

This code has the potential to change the way that today’s homes are designed and built as there is a higher emphasis on building homes that use less energy.

One thing that many people do not realize is that when they take out a building permit for a new home, the responsibility is ultimately theirs to ensure that, in the end, the entire project meets all applicable building codes. The new Energy Code is no exception. Homeowners will have to ensure that not only their RTM (house) meets the new requirements, but also other elements of the project such as the foundation, the concrete floor, and the home’s mechanical equipment. This can be a very overwhelming undertaking.

Here at B&B Homes, our staff is experienced in building not only energy efficient RTMs, but also managing all other elements of the construction project and ensuring that everything is up to code so you don’t have to.

Contact us today for more information on the new Energy Code and how our quality homes meet the new requirements.

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.

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.

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. Whichever flooring you choose, it is important to maintain it correctly so take a look at this site https://www.bissell.com/steam-and-hard-floor-cleaners/steam-cleaners for some great cleaning devices.

 

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

 

 

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 designer Katia, who will guide your decision making and planning all the way through. From letting you know what you can pull off in your floor plan within your square foot, to going shopping for lighting fixtures and flooring with you, she will be along for the whole ride when it comes to your RTM project.

We must admit, Katia is 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.

“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.

Getting Financing & Timelines for an RTM Project

There are a few different phases of an RTM project before the exciting moving day when a brand new RTM arrives at your foundation location. One of the most important aspects that needs to be in place in order to kick-off a project is securing financing from a lender.

When you are pursuing financing for an RTM project some things that they may ask for include:

• 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 need to do this)
• You will need a contract or purchase of sale with terms spelled out by the builder including obligations for each party
• Some lenders will request a copy of your blueprints for the project
• Homeowners will need to purchase insurance for when the home is on the foundation (B&B Homes and the moving company insure you before the RTM arrives)
• RTM homeowners often require a building permit to ensure your project complies with local and national code (this can be done through your local municipality and can also cause delays so reach out to them early in your planning)
• A water test is often a requirement for a mortgage (be prepared for them to ask you for one)
• The home must be anchored to a foundation (not placed on a slab)
• The lender will need to release funds before the home is delivered on-site

B&B Homes requires different payment draws at different stages of the project that will need to be approved by your lender. For example, a deposit is due to commence the project, a schedule of payment draws will follow with a final payment due before the home leaves the yard. Contact Suzanne to learn more about B&B Home’s payment draws or to request an introduction to our preferred mortgage specialist.

Please note: Some lenders (such as FCC and others) may ask you to show proof of insurance from the builder and moving company. We are happy to provide this information at your request.

Once you have your estimate and blueprints prepared and financing in place, the build itself will begin to move very quickly compared to the planning phase of the project.

For more information on the different stages of the project, visit the RTM Project Timeline Roadmap.