It was a good year for Village Builders Inc in 2013, the year was full of starts and stops with periods of time where the phone never stopped ringing and sometimes you would check the phone to make sure they were still working. Even with the ebbs and flows we were kept busy all year with new homes, renovations and repairs for customers in 6 different townships and three different counties.
2013 has seen Village Builders now offer our services to the Bruce Peninsula for the first time, while keeping the rest of our current area’s as well.
The trend for custom homes over the last several years is that the homes where becoming more expensive per sqft because of the needs and wants of the homeowners. That seems to have finally leveled off, the prices per sqft has not come down with people all wanting the same high end finishes and doesn’t look to come down anytime in the future. The thing that is changing is the size of the houses; houses are now starting to grow larger again. This growing of homes is a drastic change to the market, since the crash of 2008 the growing size of homes had leveled off, houses stopped getting larger and in a lot of cases they had gotten smaller, more compact and more space efficient. The houses now are growing larger and it showed in new custom homes in 2013.
Every year we as custom home builders are able to offer our clients more energy efficient products, here is a brief list on things that our clients opted for in 2013;
• Furnaces in 2013 continued to be high efficiency natural gas for customers in town and geothermal is now the norm for customers in rural properties with no access to natural gas. Radiant in-floor heating was really popular in 2013 with homeowners opting for it because of the efficiency and the ease of use of the system.
• All the homes that we constructed or bid on in 2012 ended up having either natural stone or manufactured stone on the exterior.
• All the homes that we constructed had a main fireplace in the living room, the homes that had access to natural gas installed gas fireplaces and the country properties where wood burning.
• Asphalt shingles where popular this year, with less people installing steel or other materials on their roofs, people building larger houses found they couldn’t justify the higher expense for the steel roof systems.
• Decks that were built this year where mostly composite decking. But there is a definite shift towards thermally modified decking. Village Builders now has a direct supplier for the product and is able to supply and install the product at a better price than ever before. Thermally modified wood is cheaper to buy then composite, it will last just as long and is almost easier to install.
• The trend of larger and larger fireplaces continued in 2013, with both gas and wood burning fireplaces growing in size. The more modern style of gas fireplaces, the ones that are low and long are being installed more often, even these modern gas fireplaces are growing in size and width.
• The trend of painted trim from the previous years has stayed the same, more and more people are opting for simple painted trim, it’s a classic timeless way to finish off a house.
• Large windows or French doors are the trend that has continued from previous years. Windows and doors seem to becoming more and more expansive with less exterior wall space facing southern exposures or water views. Aluminum exterior windows with pine finishing’s inside where the most popular in 2013.
Most people wanted the coloured aluminum or wood windows instead of the white vinyl clad ones.
• Garages continued to stay large as in previous years; people want places to store all their cars and toys. The height of garages stayed exceedingly high as well with most people opting for bonus rooms above their attached garage.
• Large master suites have become the norm as year over year they are getting larger. Master suites have large ensuite bathrooms, larger walk-in closets, large main bedroom area, make-up areas either in the bedroom or in the ensuite and sitting area’s near the exterior where the most windows are located.
The trend of homeowners becoming completely over loaded from information and products from internet and television shows continued. The process of building custom homes keeps becoming longer from the planning stage, through the permits to the actual building of the home. Homeowner’s indecision during the building process is by far the chief problem that causes custom homes to be constructed slowly and municipalities are asking for more details about the home and its overall use than ever before.
2013 was a year of flux with employees in Village Builders. With our estimator off for the year one of our Carpenters moved in to the office to take over the estimating. With some larger projects being built in 2013 the company took on more employees to complete the work and most of these employees where of the skilled labour kind.
This is the 3rd year for our design department. With our design department concentrating more on renovations, the design department has had a growth year doing more business than in the previous two years. The design department has taken over the organizing and running of a lot of the renovations that they are hired to design.
The design department was also helping custom home clients of Village Builders with the layout of their bathrooms and also their kitchens. They were also shopping and pricing a lot lighting and plumbing fixtures for our clients.
Overall 2013 was a prosperous year for Village Builders, the homes and renovations taken on this year went well and the future looks bright for the new year.
Village Builders Inc.