Friday, August 31, 2012

New homes trending toward higher quality products and finishes

Staying in Style in the "New Economy"

Economic hard times or not, new homes are still being built across the country and in our community. But housing industry and new-home style 'experts' have noted a change in how people are approaching those projects. The trend seems to be toward high quality products and finishes.

We've been paying attention to those trends. We are committed to be responsive to the needs of our homebuyers by being prepared to help make design selections or suggestions for their new home.

As you read this list, keep in mind that our clients' specific and unique wants and desires trump any trend. Consider the following as observations. They are not intended as mandates.

A few of the primary themes we've noticed include:

People are looking for Canadian made finishes and quality products that will last longer and reduce energy and resource use. Homeowners want to lessen ongoing maintenance and replacement costs.

Given that higher-quality and resource-efficient materials and products may cost more, consumers are gravitating toward "minimalist" design schemes .

We like our technology! New homes are a great way to accommodate greater and more convenient access to it -- namely, by providing an ample amount of wiring and cable (and multiple outlets) to allow for video and audio through the house.  All home automation is something that is really catching on. Imagine walking around your house with one remote that will control lights, heating , audio , video etc

Our new central vacuum with the "hid a hose" feature is a great hit . No more trying to hang your vacuum hose in the closet, just put your hand over the end of the hose and it disappears into the wall.  ( my wife thinks this is awesome ,and never fails to demostrate it to everyone who walks into our showroom)

Earth tones are the new white ... at least according to some style experts.

Though not as opulent or outfitted as they were a few years back, outdoor areas remain a popular way to extend usable living space.

Home offices continue to be in demand, accommodating in-home businesses or telecommuting trends.

Home theater in dedicated rooms with high end video and audio are a must have with the younger generation of new home owners.

Reports indicate that buyers of new custom homes and other consumer goods have altered their value systems toward more quality, durable,energy and resource-efficient products. We're keeping close tabs on those trends to meet our clients' needs.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

 This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What to look for when looking to buy a cottage?

When you are buying a cottage, there are things that you need to look for and things that you should not worry about.

When you are buying a cottage it’s not the same thing as buying a house. There are different things to look for in cottages that you usually don’t worry about when buying houses.

When you are looking to buy a cottage that is on water you need to look at your budget, your wants and needs and then determine if you are going to buy a house on the water or are you looking to buy a cottage on the water? This might sound like the same thing but it’s not, here are the differences;

Cottages are not always insulated where homes on the water always will be. This is the reason that when you look at a real estate listing it will tell you if the cottage is a season cottage or a year round cottage.

Cottages usually do not have a central heating source. Homes always will have a central heating source. Cottages typically have baseboard heaters and or wood fireplaces as heat to sustain you for your short stay or the occasion cold night in the summer or early spring/fall.

Cottages might not have a true foundation where houses always will. Some cottages are built on concrete piers, built on crawl spaces, built on top of solid rock, slab on grade and sometimes they are built sitting on the ground.

Cottages will not have city water and sometimes will not even have well water. Houses always need a source of fresh water. When looking at cottages you need to find out if there is drinkable water, is there a well or is it coming out of the lake? In a lot of places it’s easier and cheaper to bring your drinking water with you then to install a proper well or water treatment to clean the water so that it is drinkable.

Outside finishing’s. In cottages the look of the cottage on the outside is less important than how it functions. Houses on the other hand are usually the other way all together. A cottage exterior is usually put on to keep the weather and animals out while blending into the natural surroundings.

Inside finishing’s. Cottages are usually designed inside with the idea that it should be easy to maintain. Function over fashion in a cottage rules the day. In homes a lot of energy is put into the way the house flows and the look that you are trying to accomplish.

Septic system. Most cottages will not be on city sewers and some of them will not have a septic system at all. There are a lot of ways to deal with waste once it goes down the drain. Today you can still find cottages that have a holding tank and sometimes that holding tank just has a pipe that runs out into the lake. Houses will always have a septic system; it will have to be designed for a lot of use because the idea is that houses are made to be lived in all the time, not just stayed in over the weekend.

There a lot problems with setbacks, building permits, septic permits, well permits and lot definitions. In houses typically all of this is well defined, in cottages depending on the age and the location the cottage might be too close to the water, over the property line or been built with no inspections. These things you have to be careful with because in the future they could come back and land you in court when you try to change something or resell the property yourself.

Kitchens in cottages are usually an afterthought. As long they have all the amenities like a counter, sink, fridges and some cabinets to place dishes in. Houses will have all the modern fixtures including a dishwasher.

One of the best ways to tell in what shape a cottage is in is to walk into the house after the cottage has been closed up for a week or so. Use your nose and smell the stale air, do you smell anything? Does the air smell of moisture? Do you smell mold? Cottages should smell a little, they are not cleaned regularly and do not have furnaces to move around the stale air. Old carpets and furniture can also make a cottage smell.

Remember to look past the furniture, light fixtures, curtains and bad furniture. Look at the bones of the house, look at the lot and last but not least look at the water front. Finding nice waterfront is harder to find then a nice cottage.

Rob Abbott
Operations manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Should I try to fix my leaky roof myself?

Should I try to fix my leaky roof myself?

Many people believe that when they have something wrong with their home they should go ahead and fix it themselves. In a lot of cases that can be true but there are certain things in your home that you shouldn’t fix yourself. If you think of your home as the largest investment that you will ever make then you should understand that there are certain parts of the house that should be fixed by professionals.
One of those areas that you should have a professional fix or replace is the roof and roofing material that is covering it.

Your roof is the first line of defence when comes to defending your home against the endless assault that Mother Nature throws at it. Your roof takes the hot sun on it all day; it takes the brunt of the high winds, the driving rain, the dumping snow, the freezing rain and the pounding hail. No other part of your house is assaulted like the roof of your house.

And no other part of a house is installed or repaired more improperly then the roof of your home. I have personally repaired people’s roofs, roof’s that had been repaired by the homeowner creating an even bigger leak and then proceeded to fix the inside of their water damaged home. The homeowner tried to fix it themselves to save a thousand dollars, in the end it cost them over 10,000 dollars for all the drywall, flooring and paint that I had to repair and replace. That was money they could have saved if they had a professional repair it immediately after finding out they had a problem.

Roofing is like a lot of things, the best roofers are the ones with a lot of experience. This is how a lot of homeowners get themselves in trouble; they don’t have enough experience fixing roofs to know how to fix the leak properly.

There are so many things that can go wrong when you go onto a roof; here is just a small list of the things that you as the homeowner can cause;

If you don’t repair the leak properly you can actually make the leak worse. This happens when homeowners don’t understand how certain flashings work and how they interact with each other.

You can cause damage to the rest of the roofing material on the roof. A lot of products on your roof do not survive having heavy humans walking on top of it. Steel roofing can dent if you don’t know where to walk. If you have shingles nearing the end of their life you can actually create more leaks with every step you take while walking up the roof.

You can be seriously injured. Countless homeowners are severely injured or killed from falling off ladders or roofs every year.  Most people don’t realize how hard it is to walk around on a roof; one misstep or slip could send you rolling down the roof slope and down to the ground.

You can damage your eave trough and or facia. If you don’t know where to put your ladder you can easily damage the eave trough or the facia. Most eave trough is aluminum that dents fairly easily and once there is a dent there is no way to remove it unless you replace the trough.

You could be damaging the structure of your roof by repairing the shingles yourself. A lot of people don’t realize it but by the time that most people notice that you have a leak in your roof months have gone by of water penetrating the home. This can cause rot in the roof sheeting, the plywood or OSB that is on your roof can already be rotting or water damaged. This can cause the sheeting to fail the next time that there is any kind of load on it; snow or even you walking around on it. If it isn’t repaired when the roof is fixed this can lead to a whole host of structural problems in your roof and to a larger repair bill later.

You could disrupt the way the roof breaths. Roofs need to breath, they need to draw fresh air in through the soffits and allow hot moist air to escape through the top of the roof. These vents can easily be compromised if they are repaired or replaced by someone that doesn’t know what they are doing. If you disrupt this flow you can cause interior moisture problems or even mold issues.

Please have a professional fix your roof; it’s a small cost to protect the investment that you have already made in your home.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Finding the Right general contractor should be more then how much they cost

Finding the Right Builder

There is a ton of information about how to find a builder for your new home. This newsletter, in fact, is one way we use to impart information about our company in hopes of being a good match for your project.

Unfortunately, most of what you read or hear from non-builder "experts" reduces the decision to numbers, specifically the cost estimates that a few builders provide in a competitive bidding process. To us, basing such an important decision and arguably one of the largest investments of your life on mere numbers is at least incomplete and at worst, a potential nightmare scenario. Frankly, we'd rather not be your builder if your evaluation of our capabilities rests entirely on how much we think it will cost to build your new home.

Instead, we encourage and have found success (read: satisfied clients) by suggesting a different tact. It's a comprehensive approach that admittedly takes a little more time than just collecting bids, but one that can result in truly finding the right builder for your unique situation and budget.

It starts with identifying what's "right" for you, a unique definition that requires a solid vision for your project and some personal introspection. For instance, if you are planning to build a large custom home, you should look at builders in your area that specialize in and have a track record of building those types of homes.

Narrow that list by investigating each builder's website, calling their references, the Better Business Bureau, or your local building association chapter.

Based on your current personal and professional relationships, consider the types of personalities you like and respond to best. You'll probably spend more time with your builder over the next several months than almost anyone else.

You won't know if you're 'compatible' until you meet face-to-face. If you're confident in one builder, either from your research or a strong referral, you may not feel the need to meet with any other candidates. But if you are truly starting your search from scratch, without a referral from a trusted source, we suggest you develop a short list of 3-4 builders and invite them to make a presentation in your home or their office -- as much to glean their methods as to gauge compatibility.

At those meetings, be open and honest about your project. If you have a set of architectural plans, show them. Request that each candidate bring photos of projects that are similar to yours in style and size. Inquire about how they define "quality" construction and how comfortable they are about green building ... if that's something you care about.

Finally, ask the builder (or builders) about their financial stability and, in turn, share your project budget and financial plan. There's no sense in trying to forge a good working relationship if you demand a builder's financial status but won't be forthcoming about what you can afford and how you'll pay for your new home.

Once you find a builder that's earned your confidence in their skills, financial stability, understanding of your project, and (most important) their ability to communicate with you, it's time to refine and sign a contract and get your builder involved in the project as soon as possible. Having a builder on the team early helps ensure that everyone is moving in the same direction and toward the same goal of realizing the home you envision.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

 This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Steam showers in your home

Steam showers

The new trending item that is being installed in master Ensuite bathrooms today is the steam shower.

It is actually very simple to install when you are having your custom home built. All you have to do is design your shower so that it is enclosed on all sides. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have glass; it just means that you have to limit the amount of open space above the glass.

The reason that a steam shower works is because the steam once it is created is trapped in the shower enclosure with you and cannot easily escape. This allows the shower area to heat up and fill with the steam.
Modern day steam units are actually very simple and compact. All they require is the unit to be mounted in a room next to the shower and have the steam pipes traveling into the shower. The actual steam unit that is installed in the neighbouring room needs 240v electrical run to it and water lines. That’s all that is required, there is no drain needed because the shower will have a drain for the steam once it cools and falls to the floor. The actual controls for the steam unit are low voltage so they can be run through the wall and are left sticking out of the cement board, this ensures that they won’t get buried in the wall or covered over when the wall gets tiled. The simple controls hang on the wall and with a touch of a button will give you steam when you want it.

When building a steam shower there are certain things that you should do, one is design the shower so that there is a bench or a seat in it. This will allow the person using the steam to side down and enjoy their steam room. Build the shower big enough that it can function as a shower and a steam room with the seat in it.

Make sure that the bathroom has a high end exhaust fan that is rated to move a large amount of air. Steam showers create a large amount of condensation and can damage drywall and cabinetry if the moist air isn’t removed in a timely manner from the bathroom area.

Buy a quality unit; the more expensive the unit the faster it will make steam, if you buy a cheaper unit you will be forced to wait a longer time for the steam to be produced once you push the button.

You also want to make sure that your steam unit has a timer setting so that someone doesn’t turn it on and forget about. You want the timer so that it turns itself off and doesn’t endlessly make steam, this could severally damage your bathroom and cost you a small fortune in electricity bills.

The only other thing that you need to do is sit and enjoy. Let the stresses of modern day life wash away with the steam.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My air conditioner saves me money the more that I use it!

My air conditioner saves me money the more that I use it!

That is a statement that most people don’t think they will ever here, especially when you have people on commercials telling you that if you want to save energy and save the planet you need to turn your air conditioning off. Well in my house that’s not the case.

In my house I tell my wife to keep the house nice and cool and make sure you use lots of air conditioning whenever you get the chance. Even in those days in the late spring and early fall you wonder if you should turn the system off and open the doors and windows, I don’t let that happen, I keep the air conditioning on.

The reason I do this is because my house has a geothermal heating system in it. This system heats my house in the winter and in the summer it cools it. This all happens just by pushing a button on the digital thermostat. One of the lesser known benefits of geothermal heating systems is that when you use them in the summer for cooling the system supplies you with free hot water. That’s right I said free hot water.

The way it works is that a geothermal system has pipes that run under the ground, in the winter they absorb the heat from the ground and transfer it back into the house to be used to heat your home against the winter’s cold. In the summer the pipes are used to transfer the cold in the ground to your house to be used as cooling.

A by-product of using the cooling is that the lines are left with only heat in them. The lines (that are now super heated) run from the furnace into a hot water tank. These lines heat your water to over 100 degrees giving you free hot water.

Most people don’t know that one of their biggest energy consumptions in a house is hot water and most hot water tanks are electric not natural gas. Since water that comes in from a well or city water lines comes in at a fairly cold temperature, having the ability to raise the temperature to 100 degrees for free helps your electricity bill because your hot water tank doesn’t have to work very hard. A hot water tank is used far less than most people think and if the water being supplied to it is preheated then maintaining that high temperature becomes a lot easier and cost effective.
If you don’t have access to natural gas then you should be looking into a geothermal heating system. Geothermal heating is actually more economical to run then natural gas furnaces. The only down side with geothermal heating is that it is more expensive to install then installing a high efficient natural gas heating system.
So in the summer when everyone is paying higher and higher hydro bills to keep their homes cool, I will be smiling all the way to the bank as I turn the air conditioner to cooler so that I can save more money.
Writing this from inside my house where I have no idea what the temperature is outside,
Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, August 17, 2012

When renovating your contractor must balance customization and the budget

The Choice is Yours

The professional remodeler walks a fine line. It is our job to balance a remodeling project's cost and construction efficiencies while customizing our design and specifications to meet our client's desires.

It is critical that our clients fully participate in the remodeling process to make sure the end result meets their lifestyle needs and expectations.

To that end, we encourage and enable our remodeling clients to select from an increasingly diverse list of products and finishes before we begin construction. Most often, these selections are from the catalogs or websites of our trusted suppliers and feature familiar brand names with rock-solid warranties. This allows us to do our work efficiently while keeping the budget in check.

Whenever necessary, we accommodate a special request from a client, assuming the product or system is available and within the agreed budget ... or the budget is revised to include it.

This "customization" process is a two-way street of responsibility and respect. We rely on our clients to make their selections on time to avoid delays in delivery and construction.

We do our part by establishing deadlines and milestones as part of the construction agreement. We identify when materials and finishes need to be ordered so they are on the job site to maintain our construction schedule. Our schedule also confirms "lead times" -- the time between when a product is ordered and when the supplier can deliver it -- so that we can coordinate its installation with the proper contractor.

Every missed deadline almost always results in a delay in construction ... which invariably translates to additional costs. Worse, it can trigger a domino effect, affecting not just its point in the schedule, but also several others that follow. Remodeling is a linear process, often requiring one step to be finished before another can start; a glitch can therefore ripple through the schedule, affecting tasks and deadlines that might appear unrelated.

Over the years, we've not only come to expand the choices we allow our homeowners to make -- from minor structural changes to any number of finishes -- but also how to accommodate those choices in the overall scheme and schedule of the project. We leave plenty of leeway for lead times (especially for new or unfamiliar selections) and use technology to find reliable sources for special orders.

Our ultimate goal is to deliver a satisfying experience and exceed our clients' expectations. We coach our clients to understand the remodeling process and the critical role they play in it, and leave ample time to enable comfortable, unrushed decisions. We are here to advise, offer choices, and ultimately fulfill dreams -- as well as complete projects that will stand the test of time and evoke memories that span generations.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

 This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Additions do’s and don’ts

Additions do’s and don’ts

Don’t add an addition or additions to your home that are so large they will leave very little space for a yard. It’s always bad practice to end up with little or no yard; this is bad for the re-sale of the home. You also could end up regretting not having a large enough yard as your life changes.

Do try something new in your addition. If the rest of the house is one style try a different style in the new part. A lot of people spend a lot of money trying to make an addition blend in so that it looks like the original house. The problem is that most people don’t succeed and it ends up with a noticeable difference between old and new. So try something completely different and make it standout. This allows you to try new things and not be stuck in trying to keep in the mold of the old house.

Don’t add an addition or additions to a house that when completed will cost you more than building a new home. A lot of people get caught up with adding square footage to a home and end up spending so much money on making the new addition fit into the existing one. They don’t realize they are spending more money than a new home would cost them to buy or have custom built. The one nice thing about a new home is that it is new! An addition is an old house with a new addition and unless you spend a lot of money you could end up with something that doesn’t work with the existing home.

Do make sure that your addition is functional. When deciding on the size and shape of your addition try to envision what you want to do with the space. This can help you decide the size and shape of the rooms needed. This process can actually help you save money; a lot of people come to the realization after they figure out all the livable space that they can shrink the square footage of the addition. Less square footage means that you save money and allows you to spend more money on the finishing’s.

Don’t add an addition to an older home that doesn’t have a proper foundation. If you try to put in a proper foundation against an older home that does not have one then you could end up undermining the existing house. This can damage the inside of the existing house and can also be very dangerous for the people doing the work.

Do try new technologies in your addition. Technology in home building is moving so fast these days, the way they are building homes is changing at a rapid pace. Products like ICF (insulated concrete forms), spray foam, structured wiring, in floor heating, solar gain windows are only a couple of the new advances. A lot of these technologies can help lower the energy that your new addition will use helping you save money into the future.

Do add a lot of windows. Adding large windows is one of the ways to make an addition feel bigger and allows a lot of natural light. New windows can be ordered so that they do not allow a room to overheat from the sun in the hottest part of the day. These types of windows allow the light in and keep the heat of the sun out. Bigger windows even if they are only looking out at your backyard will help raise the resale value of your home.

These are just some of the things you should consider when planning your new addition.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My roof is leaking what should I do?

My roof is leaking what should I do?

General Contractor

The first thing you should do; if you already have a general contractor that you have worked with in the past call them. They will be able to help you right away.

What you need is someone to come over as soon as possible and put a tarp on the roof to minimize the interior damage that water will cause to your home. Your general contractor would be able to send people over to tarp the roof; this will satisfy your immediate need (which is to stop the leak).

Your second need is to have the roof repaired by a professional. Here again your contractor can help you, they can gather competing bids and break the bids down so that you understand exactly what you are being quoted on.

If you need to involve your insurance company then having a general contractor acquire multiple bids should help satisfy them as well.

What you need to know about roofers is that they need insurance and also need to follow certain safety guidelines to work on your roof. This will protect you as the homeowner and minimize the chance for an injury while they are on your property.

The other thing that a general contractor will be able to do is give you all the choices of shingles and colours that you can choose from, this will allow you to not just get a new roof but get the roof that you want.

Roofing Contractor

If you don’t have a general contractor then you should call a roofer that someone you know has used and would recommend. This way you know that they do quality work. Get them to come out and tarp your roof to stop the leaks. This will cost you some money which should be expected, no one works for free.

The one thing about paying the roofer for the tarping of the roof is it allows you to not have to use that roofer to repair or replace the roof.

If you agree to have the roofer repair or replace the roof immediately then you take your ability to research other roofers and get competing bids. Acquiring competing bids will allow you to get the best price and also allow you to have the product that you want.

If you are using an insurance company to finance the repairs or replacement then you will be forced by them to get competing bids.

If you need help with your leaky roof email us at and we will be able to help you get your roof repaired or replaced.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Choosing the Right Remodeler? Consider Your New-Home Builder

Choosing the Right Remodeler? Consider Your New-Home Builder

You might find it a little odd to consider hiring a new-home builder for your remodeling project, but organizations like ours can oftentimes deliver a better project than a traditional remodeling company that focuses on a range of home improvement projects.

For room additions and major renovations that require structural work and a significant amount of new construction, professional home builders are already equipped to deliver a high level of quality and owner satisfaction.

Consider...large-scale projects are often very similar to our new-home building work. A room addition, for instance, is really not much different than a new home project, encompassing the full range of construction phases and materials from the foundation and structural frame through all of the exterior and interior finishes.

Because of our experience in building new homes, we are accustomed to delivering a high level of finish and are skilled at working closely with our clients to develop, refine, and execute a quality job. We're also used to working under tight deadlines and budgets, giving us a perspective -- and skill set -- that few remodeling contractors can match.

Our new-home work often affords us greater leverage than a remodeling contractor to negotiate prices for materials and labor with our suppliers and trade partners. We enjoy long-term relationships with our team of trade partners and they know we'll have more work for them down the road, whether it's a new house or a large-scale remodeling project.

In addition to those cost-saving strategies, we value engineer every project. This process identifies and reduces unnecessary or redundant costs for materials and labor. Unlike a typical remodeling operation, we employ staff with the experience and expertise to recognize and rework your project early in the process.

We also order materials as we need them, rather than all at once, which can cut down on theft, damage and eliminate the need to reorder.

Finally, professional homebuilding companies like ours typically utilize more sophisticated and reliable business practices than an average remodeling contractor. And, because of our new-home work, we usually have a greater pool of financial resources that keep headaches and cost overruns in check.

Those combined savings help us to ensure that we meet your budget or align your project with a budget that you can afford. In some cases, the money we save through negotiation, value engineering, and a streamlined operation may allow us to expand your project or upgrade the level of finish.

No doubt, there are some great remodeling contractors out there. But for large-scale room additions and major home renovations, consider the skills a professional builder brings to the table.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

 This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Interior doors common construction terms 9

Common construction terms 9 Interior doors

Have you have ever been on a construction site talking to your contractor and been totally lost in the terms that they are using? Well I’m here to help; here are some common terms that contractor’s use that you might not understand.

Interior Doors

Skin. This is the thin veneer that is installed around the door to create an inexpensive interior door.

Hollow core doors. These are interior doors that have a void between the inside and outside skins of the door.

Solid core doors. These are interior doors that have the interior between the skins filled to stop sound transferring from one room to another.

Solid wood doors. These are doors that are made out of solid wood and so they have no void or skins.

6 panel door. This is a door that has 6 raised panels in it. They are placed in an even spacing, two across and three high.

4 panel door. This is a door that has 4 raised panels in it. They are placed in an even spacing, two on top of two.

2 panel door. This is a door that has 2 raised panels in it. They are placed one on top of the other.

Single panel. This is a door that has one large panel that covers the door.

5 panel door. This is a door that has 5 panels; each panel takes up the width of the door and are stacked on top of each other at even spacing.

Lock set. This is the handle; plunger and the guts of the door handle and lock.

Lock jig. This is a jig that attaches to the door so that it can be used to drill the holes for the handle and lock set.

Plunger. This is the piece of the lock set that inserts itself into the jamb of the door to stop the door when you close it and holds it closed.

Striker plate. This is a metal plate that is installed on the door jamb and catches the plunger when the door is shut. The striker helps direct the plunger into the drilled hole saving the wood on the door jamb.

Jamb. This is the frame that the door sits in.

Hinges. This is what the door swings open and closed on, the hinges are attached to the jamb.

Door stop. This is a small thin piece of wood that the door closes against; it stops the door from swinging too far.

Pocket door. This is a door that is not hung from hinges but hung from a track that is installed above the door. This allows the door to slide back and forth into the door opening from a slot in the wall.

Finger pull. This is a small metal lever that is installed on the front edge of a pocket door; it allows you the ability to pull the pocket door out of the slot in the wall when it is buried completely in the wall.

Rollers. These are the wheels that ride in the track that allow the pocket door to slide smoothly in and out of the wall.

Passage set. This refers to a door handle that does not have a lock on it.

Privacy set. This refers to a door handle that has a simple lock on it, usually installed on bathrooms and bedrooms.

Dummy. This refers to a handle that does not turn and is installed on the face of the door and is used as a pull to help open and close it. They are usually installed on closet doors.

Ball catch. This is a device that uses friction and pressure to hold shut doors that have dummy handles on them. They are installed on the top of the door and when closed friction and pressure fit against the top of the door frame holding it place.

Self closing hinges. These are hinges that are usually installed on the door that leads to the garage. They are made so that when you let go of the door it shuts by itself.

This should help you understand what your contractor is talking about the next time you have a meeting with them. Look for part 10 of common construction terms, coming soon.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Remembering the olympic spirit, alive and well in Creemore

The Olympics are upon us and with it the Olympic fever that tends to grip the country pulling everyone together in a common goal. There is something amazing about the purity of athletic competition and grand scale that it is held when it’s on the Olympic stage. It brings back memories of 2010 when the Olympic torch passed through the small town of Creemore.

Creemore didn’t just watch the Olympic torch pass through the sleepy little town, Creemore decided to make it into an Olympic festival. There were so many people in the streets of Creemore when the Olympic torch was run through that the police escort had to keep asking people to back up so that they could get the runners through. It was a wonderful moment that will last in the memory of everyone involved that day.

That day my company decided that they weren’t going to be left out and so we brought in two time Olympic gymnast Janine Rankin. She was there all day signing autographs and meeting kids who were star struck to be in the presence of such a wonderful person. We played her highlight videos for the delight of all who attended and gave away hot chocolate to everyone that wanted one.

It was a long day but a very rewarding day for me and my family, its days like that day you remember that you are not just running a construction company you are also helping shape a community.

It makes me very proud that we were able to do that for the town of Creemore and for all the people that came and visited us on that wonderful day.

I hope that one day we will be able to do it again, hopefully the Olympics will come back again and we will be able to wow the children with something even better this time.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Defining Value: Your custom builder

Defining Value

In the current economy, it has become fashionable to define "value" as simply the lowest price among new homes. But doing so discounts the value of providing a high level of construction quality, as well as service, before, during, and after your new home is built. This may not be in your family's best interest.

It's been said many times... a new home is likely to be the largest single financial investment anyone will ever make. Why, then, would you trust that investment -- both financially and in your enjoyment of it -- to the lowest price and a limited definition of a home's value?

As a professional builder, we operate with a different and broader definition of value. We believe value includes a positive building experience for the owner and a sense of confidence and pride about a home's quality. Value should also consist of a high level of personal service and a commitment to maintaining a relationship built on trust long after the move in date.

Some builders play the low-price game. They narrowly define value as a stripped-down house, built on the cheap, to achieve a cut-rate price. The goal: make a sale and move on. They typically don't have the staff or systems in place to respond to issues once title is transferred.

Here's how we define and deliver a higher level of value:

Communication: As professional builders, we listen and respond to our clients' ambitions and dreams for their new home. We help them define and discover their wants and needs, while working within their budget.

We educate them about the complexities of the building process, set realistic expectations and keep them informed about what happens -- and why -- as their new home takes shape. We seek to be prompt and respectful when we meet to discuss a project. We follow through on promises made and keep our clients informed about a job's progress.

An Efficient Job Site: Our crews and job site managers follow an agreed-upon schedule and detailed list of specifications that we develop with each client. Materials for a new home are ordered and delivered as needed and on time. We manage and coordinate our trade partners and suppliers toward the common goal of meeting our company's standards and our clients' expectations.

Follow-Through: When a new home is finished and we turn over the keys to our clients', we don't disappear. We know that it is critical to our clients' ultimate satisfaction that we continue effective communication while providing thorough and prompt service. When issues crop up -- and they always do -- we have policies and procedures in place to respond in a timely fashion. We work the problem; we don't pass the buck. We belong to this community. This is where we've chosen to raise our family and we intend to be here for years to come.

We believe our definition of value instills confidence and helps ensure satisfaction. We respect that our clients' entrust us to deliver a product that only exists on paper and is created before their eyes. It's a responsibility we take seriously and it's the cornerstone of what we call value.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

 This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.