Comparing Quotes from Different Builders

When kicking off your RTM research, determining what your family wants for design and features within your budget sets the framework for a project. Doing your due diligence, shopping and getting quotes from a few different builders is a part of the process. Though everyone may offer the same services fundamentally, there may be a lot of differences outside of the price that need to be considered when you are at this critical consideration stage. Below are some considerations when comparing estimates from different builders.

Make Sure You Are Not Comparing Apples with Oranges

The specifications and materials used when building a home will determine the life of it. Price isn’t everything and you will want to ensure that the home will have the durability to last a lifetime or longer. Also consider what all is included in the preliminary estimate. For example, when comparing a basement foundation quote, does it include the stairs and windows in the prelim estimate or will those fees be added in later on? No one likes surprises and it is critical to know if everything is included at the onset so no additional charges will come up into the project that were not previously discussed. It might seem obvious but are you comparing companies that have newly built homes, for example these Charleston homes for sale against the building of a new home? You could get very varied prices, but also at the same time similar ones as well, so make sure to take care. Make sure to see if taxes are included or not so they don’t sneak up later in the process.

Checking References From Past Customers

Are there a lot of past clients endorsing the builder? B&B Homes has a long list of clients throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta that have helped us grow our company over the years. Both good and bad news travels fast, and you should ask a past client what their overall experience was like to help set your expectations for the project.

Work With Who You Feel Comfortable With

Are you going to be connected to the same people throughout the process or change hands and be passed around to different people? This can determine whether the project runs smoothly; if the team working on your project is informed of all the details. The project can otherwise end up being more stressful with too many outside trades needing to be organized and information passed on throughout the process. Another thing to mention, you should make sure the builder you’re working with is covered by builders pl insurance.

Service Work and Warranty

It is important that there is a contingency if something happens after the project is finished. Does the builder guarantee their work? What happens after the project is over is also an important consideration.

Most builders should have relatively comparable quotes. If one stands out as substantially lower and seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is. When comparing, ensure that you are taking the full picture into consideration so you end up with a dream home that you are more than satisfied with.

Typical Requirements for an RTM Mortgage

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

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

Typical Mortgage Requirements for an RTM Include:

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

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

4 Things to Know Before You Start Design

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

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

Number of Bedrooms

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

RTM Homes Saskatchewan

Your Budget

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

RTM Homes Saskatchewan

Number of Bathrooms

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

The Churchbridge RTM

Basement or Crawl Space

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

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

For more information on the custom design process visit here.

 

Using Social Media to Plan an RTM Project.

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

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

Instagram

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

Facebook

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

Pinterest

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

YouTube

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

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

How to Manage an RTM Project Remotely.

This year B&B Homes is celebrating a major milestone as we have almost finished building our 100th home! We have been working on the walk-out basement in the Eston area this past week for this home. We wouldn’t have been able to get here without the people, processes, and best practices that we have acquired in project management over the years.

Seven years ago we discovered a tool that would help our clients manage their RTM project remotely while helping us keep all of our communications and decisions in one place for the ultimate transparency from both sides.

Introducing COCONSTRUCT

Whether you are at home, at work, on the road, or on vacation, B&B Homes puts all project information at your fingertips about your selections, financial decisions, questions, documents, photos, and more. So if you are on your family farm or in Mexico, you can be working on your custom home project!

You will monitor the details and stages throughout the project inside COCONSTRUCT remotely until the final walk-through prior to the home leaving our yard.

For more information how it works, click here for a printout.

“We also really loved working with CoConstruct to manage the project. Every decision was at your fingertips and we weren’t stuck with anything that we didn’t want. The tool helped manage the project remotely and for us busy people, it was very handy as we are often running around in lots of directions. Questions were answered almost immediately and there wasn’t any phone tag.”

-Cindy and Trevor Tyson, Harris

COCONSTRUCT

Similar Floorplans, But Different Styles Part II.

In part II of this features comparison series, we continue to highlight the differences that style and selections can make in a home that may otherwise appear the same when analyzing a floorplan drawing. Below highlights a few recent Chesapeake home projects.

The Chesapeake Floor Plan Features Include:

  • 1640 Square Feet
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2 Baths
  • Vaulted ceiling in the living room and front entry
  • Main floor laundry
  • Swinging closet doors
  • Walk-through kitchen pantry
  • Island eating ledge
  • Walk-in closet in master bedroom
  • Double sided fireplace

See how one Chesapeake in a modern style with light color tones throughout compares to one in a rustic style with warm earthy tones in these similarly customized floor plans below.

The Chesapeake RTM The Chesapeake RTM

Stone clad wood burning fireplace with a hearth vs a stone and drywalled gas fireplace.

The Cheasapeake RTM

Solid rustic hickory cabinet door style with rough stone backsplash, and a custom wood range hood in the rustic style vs dark, streamlined cabinet door style with a sleek glossy white backsplash, and decorative range hood in a modern style.

The Cheaspeake RTM The Cheaspeake RTM

Oil rubbed bronze fixtures for a rustic, farmhouse ambiance vs smooth chrome fixtures for a sleek, modern feel.

The Chesapeake RTM

Pine ceiling and gel stained wood grain fiberglass front entry door vs painted ceilings and a white, smooth fiberglass front entry door.

The Chesapeake RTM

For more information on the process or to get started planning your own custom floor plan, reach out to B&B at any time. Book a visit for a one-on-one consultation and to tour our current projects.

 

Same Design, Two Totally Different Homes.

The Redburn is one of B&B Homes most popular designs that we have built many variations of over the years. When reviewing floor plans, the colours and features that make a home are not yet quite clear.

In this short series, we want to showcase the differences that style and features can make in a home that may otherwise appear the same when reviewing the floorplan.

The Redburn Floor Plan Features Include:

  • 1668 Square Feet
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2 ½ Baths
  • Vaulted ceiling in kitchen, dining, & living room
  • Main floor laundry
  • Swinging closet doors
  • Walk-in kitchen corner pantry
  • Island seating
  • Walk-in closet in master bedroom
  • Front deck overhang

See how one Redburn in a transitional style with light color tones throughout compares to one in a rustic style with warm earthy tones in these similarly customized floor plans below.

Here is an overall view of the open concept living, dining and kitchen areas in each style. Optional features that can be incorporated into any home include fireplaces, window coverings and appliances.

Simple shaker cabinet doors vs rustic hickory cabinetry that were made uniquely for each home.

Simple and elegant materials such as minimal patterned tile with chrome finishes can be found in a transitional style vs dark natural materials such as wood and stone used in a rustic style.

Modifications can be made to any floor plan in a custom RTM project based on each families preferences for storage and natural light.

For more information on the process or to get started planning your own custom floor plan, reach out to B&B at any time. Schedule a site visit for a one-on-one consultation and to tour our current projects.

 

 

Incorporating Concrete Into Your Design Features

Concrete like tile, is a diverse material that can be used in various applications of a home. Not only can concrete be used for foundations and ensuring structural stability, but it can also add modern design elements to suit your style and preferences.

Here are some uses for concrete in a home:

  • Countertops
  • Countertops with integrated sinks
  • Backsplash (either as one ‘piece’ or multiple tile like pieces)
  • Showers (same as backsplash)
  • Fireplace mantles
  • Custom furniture tops – ie. coffee tables, end tables, dining tables, benches

*Please note: Concrete that is used for any surface exposed to liquid would need to be sealed once a year like granite because it’s a naturally porous material. This includes all of the items above except fireplaces, mantles and furniture.

Did you know that concrete can be mixed to create any color? It can also have a smooth, glossy, matte or exposed aggregate finish. It is even possible for concrete to have a wood grain texture.

See these different examples of concrete home finishes from Stoneflow Concrete Designs, a supplier that works with B&B Homes.

For more information on the process or to get started planning feel free to reach out to B&B at any time. Book a site visit for a one-on-one consultation and to tour our current projects.

The RTM Process After You Sign

Once you have signed the contract it is time to start building your home. With design, quoting, and sourcing a mortgage behind you, this is when things start to pick up and get really exciting when the actual build begins. Below are the different stages you will go through when building an RTM home once you have passed through the initial planning and quoting stages:

Selecting the Home Features

Once you have your floor plan finalized, you will have a selection meeting with our onsite designer Katia just before you sign the final contract to start. We like to be as transparent as possible working with clients so that they adjust their home features according to their budget and know their final price before the project starts so there are no surprises later. Prior to this meeting you can share your inspiration images with Katia so she can help guide you through the decision making process to help you create the look and feel you are after, that will suit your preferences for your family’s custom home. You are still able to make adjustments to your home throughout the progress, however, the majority of the decisions are made at this time.

In-Person RTM Project Milestone 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 walk-through approvals. At these stages you will release funds from your mortgage provider in parallel. At your first walk-through the framing will be complete  (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 the final walk-through prior to the home leaving our yard. You are welcome to come anytime throughout the build to view the progress of your home in person.

Moving Day and Keeping Track of Warranty Items

On this exciting day you are at the site location to confirm any details that the movers may need as your home arrives. Once the home is delivered onto the foundation, you will need to make a note of any warranty work in Co-Construct that needs to be completed. Once you have your mechanical & electrical hook-ups complete, B&B Homes will come to do service work prior to you officially moving in roughly 6 weeks later.

At the One Year Anniversary of Your Project

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 may have happened to the home within the first year.

For more information on the process or to get started planning feel free to reach out to B&B at any time. Book a visit for a one-on-one consultation and to tour our current projects.

RTM project timelines, is now the time to start?

Building an RTM Home usually takes only five months once the agreement is signed but the planning needs to start way before then. If you need to create a floor plan or secure a mortgage from a lender, you will want to allow extra time in pre-planning as these pieces can delay a start by months. Alternatively if you’re wanting an RTM home that could be improved and made into your home by us, you could look into shipping containers for sale for a modern stylish yet still niche style of home.

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.

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 with. 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 to start the project officially.

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. This stage on average takes 4 – 5 months. 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, but this can depend on your location. 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 would be 6 – 8 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 for more information to get started.

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