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)
•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.

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.

Which Is Better: Fir Plywood vs. OSB Flooring?

wood RTM
Fir Plywood

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

 

Fir Plywood Holds Up Stronger to Moisture

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

 

Fir Plywood Has More Longevity for the Home

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

 

Putting a Strong Structure in Place

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

 

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

 

 

Considerations When Designing a Kitchen Island

The kitchen island is one of the fun parts to plan when designing your own custom RTM home. When visioning your layout, you need to be conscious that there is enough traffic space so you can be comfortable doing multiple tasks at a time in the kitchen, making the space functional. Let’s review some ideas you can make your own when designing a kitchen island when planning a custom RTM home project.

Double sink in the island area while allowing for enough space from the range to move around the space for the busy multi-taskers.

You may prefer prairie views when doing this dishes and opt for family meals on an easy to clean and maintain quartz countertop.

No wasted space if you plan for storage in advance.

Create an ambiance based on your personal style and preferences to prepare daily meals. A rustic look can be achieved with custom cabinetry and lighting fixtures to compliment.

Plan 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.

Preparing for a 2018 Spring/Summer RTM Delivery

With fall coming full steam ahead and harvest wrapping up, it may be time to consider planning your RTM for a 2018 spring/summer delivery.

Not sure where to start? Check out the RTM Project Roadmap page on our website to see how the process is broken down into different pieces and phases.

It is never too early to start, so you can take your time in the process, as it is common that not enough time is allocated for design, quoting and obtaining financing. The build itself, once started, goes by quickly! There are however a few time intensive steps to take before you get there.

Below are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to work with B&B Homes on an RTM project.

Custom RTM Design Services

B&B Homes offers custom design services to all of our clients. Katia, our on-site designer will work with you to create a floor plan that meets your lifestyle needs, overall aesthetic preferences and will help you to stay within your overall budget. To learn more about the custom design process, visit here.

Efficient Project Management

B&B Homes offers a full suite of services making for a seamless experience including: foundation, basement, garage, deck and hook up services. B&B Homes recommends ICF basement foundations but will also complete wood basements upon request.

B&B Homes is now on Instagram! Follow us @BBHomes07 or click the image below to access visual inspiration from B&B Home’s projects. #DreamItBuildItMoveIt

For more information on planning a custom RTM project or to book a site visit, contact Suzanne directly at suzanne@bbhomes.ca or via phone at 306-856-0073.

Typical Requirements for an RTM Mortgage

One of the components of getting a brand new RTM home project underway is lining up a mortgage. Getting financing for an RTM home follows a slightly different process than other mortgages. Some local lenders, such as Affinity Credit Unions, are more RTM project friendly than others. B&B Homes works with a Mortgage Specialist that has financed a number of our projects; if you need an introduction, let us know! Below are some typical requirements that will come up in the process.

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)
  • 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.

Protecting an RTM Home From the Start

From the start when planning for an RTM home, you need to make sure that this long term investment is safe and structurally durable for the long life of the home. Many of our homes are being built on family farms that will be passed down to their children.  At B&B Homes, we have spent over 10 years learning best practices for both building and materials used to protect our homes from both harsh prairie weather and the test of time in general.

Planning to Protect Your Investment of a Lifetime

B&B Homes Uses a 5″ Engineered Screw to Tie the Roof Trusses in with the Interior and Exterior Walls

Typically it is not a builders standard practice to attach the roof trusses to the interior and exterior walls. However, at B&B Homes, this is a standard practice for each of our homes we build.We use a 5″ full-threaded shank screw at each point where the bottom cord of the truss intersects with an interior or exterior wall. This not only ensures the stability and integrity of the home during the move, but it also effectively withstands extreme prairie weather such as storms, wind, and heavy snowfalls.

Key Benefits include:

  • Highly stable roof system
  • Minimum worries in wall cracks
  • Helps reduce truss lift in winter (reducing drywall repairs)

 

 

 

 

B&B Homes Build with a 12″ Heel Height Rather than 7” for Energy Efficiency as Our Standard

A raised-heel (12”) truss (also called high-heel or energy truss) features a vertical member at the bearing point that raises the top chord of the truss 12″ above the bottom chord. This design at B&B Homes creates an extra 5″ of insulation above your interior walls to reduce heat loss between the attic and your living space, therefore creating a more energy efficient environment. Combined with proper air sealing and attic ventilation, this system is critical to lowering energy demands on a home’s heating and cooling equipment and reducing moisture problems such as ice dams or mold growth.

Key Benefits Include:

  • Reduction of heat loss (higher energy efficiency)
  • Prevents ice damming
  • Longer life span on heating/cooling equipment

Working with an In-House Designer

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. Once you are in the build process you have access to many different custom finishes and options for your home. 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:

  • Not limited; get the home you want
  • Strong connection between the designer & builder
  • Alleviates stress in entire process

B&B Homes Uses Fir Plywood Rather than OSB for Subflooring

There are some major differences between plywood and OSB subflooring. At B&B Homes we understand these differences building over 80 custom RTM homes. A major disadvantage of OSB is that if it gets exposed to water or moisture, the edges expand up to 15%, especially if they are cut edges. This may cause damages or an uneven floor. If Plywood gets wet, it will return to its normal size more rapidly and consistently than OSB over time.

Key Benefits Include:

  • Even floor surfaces
  • Better living experience
  • No squeaky sounds down the road

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homes Service & 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 and Alberta. In a typical scenario, this work happens within 4-6 weeks after the move. 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.

Contact us for a site tour to view here.

At B&B Homes, we are lucky to be able to work all year round building RTM Homes, streamlining the process at our site then shipping the homes throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta. We invite anyone interested in learning more about the RTM process to check out our featured show homes and join our Facebook community to learn more about the RTM process and get some design inspiration.

“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

Other Considerations Besides Price When Building an RTM

When shopping for a new RTM home, price is an important consideration but it is only one piece of the puzzle. There are other factors to consider for the home you plan to live in for years to come. When making this critical decision about where to invest and who to work with, consider the following:

Project Management and Communication

Once you give a deposit for an RTM Home the process is only beginning. Knowing where the project stands throughout and when it will be ready allows you to make accurate plans with realistic timelines for your family. B&B Homes has been using co-construct software on all of our projects for years 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 and 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. B&B Homes is insured both by the Progressive Home Warranty and the Saskatchewan New Home Warranty.

Experience of the RTM Building Company

How long have they been in business? 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 is 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. Making sure you set up the project right on the onset means your dream home will not turn into a nightmare, but a fun and exciting project!  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. The relationship with your builder lasts on average a year and a half, make sure you like who you are working with!

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 work with Credit Unions, select banks and have a Mortgage Specialist we work with and trust. Let us know if you need an introduction, we have lenders we know and trust.

Custom Features, Upgrades and Design Consulting

The definition of “basic’ features is relative. If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is when getting cost quotes per square foot from builders. We all know that cutting corners can backfire. 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.

Quality of the Moving Company

B&B Homes has worked with Neufeld Movers for over a decade. We know that we can trust their team to carefully set our client’s new RTM Home on a new foundation so we do not have to do any major repairs upon setting.

B&B Homes has built over 80 RTM homes and hires the best local trades to ensure that we can live up to our promise of delivering luxury RTM Homes to our happy and informed clients in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

How Long Does it Take to Build an RTM Home?

Planning a custom home is a once in a lifetime experience for many. Putting together a well thought out plan while getting all of the pieces of the puzzle together can take some time but this is not a process that you want to rush!

Building an RTM Home usually takes around six months if you need to get a design made and a mortgage from a lender. Your relationship with your builder will last beyond the project and into the warranty work. On average we stay well connected with our clients for up to 1.5 years. Make sure you like who you will be working with! Depending how custom you want your home to be or the size can influence this timeline.

Getting your design in place, the estimate where you want it, and lining up your mortgage are the core pieces of the project that will influence the timelines of your build getting started. You will want to take your time in the design planning process, so bank on one or more months, depending on the customization of your build. Additionally, your mortgage stage can have delays if your lender requires some leg work from you. The build itself, once everything is in place, has a set time frame.

Do not underestimate the time it can take to secure a mortgage (probably longer than you would think) or how long it will take for your design and blueprints to completely come together. . It never hurts to have time to spare between completing the initial stages and beginning your build.

Design & Project Details Overview

At this stage, clients collaborate their ideas with our designer, get a plan in place and can reserve their spot in the B&B Homes building schedule. Also during this time, clients get quotes for the foundation from B&B Homes, or their local contractor, a pre-approved mortgage and a local permit for the build (if required). Once the home’s completion and move dates are set, the client finalizes their mortgage and signs the official agreement with B&B Homes to get the project started. At this point, the clients approve the RTM final plans and begin making selections on Co-Construct so that B&B Homes can order materials for framing.

RTM-Homes-Bathroom-16

Building and Tailoring the Home

Once the design is finalized, you have a meeting with our designer to select all the components that go into your home. From there, B&B starts your build process. First, B&B completes the framing (floors, walls, roof). Then the first walk-through of the home takes place. Here, you verify with our designer all your electrical and plumbing rough-in locations. As well at the same time, all the exterior materials are being installed. Once the framing and electrical and plumbing rough-ins are complete, it is now time to insulate, drywall, paint, install interior doors and casings, flooring, cabinets, closets, and mirrors. During this time, clients can still make changes or decide to include any unique features that are not on the original plan, if it has been stated before the ordering of that phase has occurred. They can monitor their whole build and the different phases in Co-Construct.

winter build 2

Finishing Touches and Planning Moving Day

Almost done! B&B finishes the plumbing & electrical, lighting, applies the final paint, and cleans the house in preparation for the move date. The client reviews the home and gives the final approval before B&B Homes moves the home to the prepared foundation.
Moving day 3

During the move the homeowner is on site to verify the movers have everything they need to make sure the house is set down and taken care of. In the event that any work needs to be completed by B&B after the home settles, the client tracks what needs to be completed via the warranty list in Co-Construct. These items are covered by B&B Homes’ one year warranty guarantee and the home is also covered in the Saskatchewan New Home warranty as well.

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 potential project. Doing your due diligence and shopping and getting quotes from a few 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.

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.

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? This can determine whether the project runs smoothly; if the team working on your project is informed of all the details; or may end up being more stressful because too many outside trades were needing to be organized and information passed on throughout the process.

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.