Thursday, May 30, 2013

New hiring trends in the construction industry for 2013

New hiring trends in the construction industry for 2013

The custom home building sector has had a surprisingly sluggish start to the year in 2013. New custom home starts in most areas of Ontario are down, this is the same trend that happened last year as well, if the trend continues like 2012 then the second half of the year into the fall will be much stronger as the fall of 2012 ended up.

My phone and email in box are filling up with people looking for jobs, I’m seeing a lot of trades men looking for a job that are willing to relocate if they can get a full time job in our area that will be long term.

The actual applicants are of all ages, but one trend that I am noticing is that there are a lot of younger people that have had some training from trade colleges and the provincial apprentice program looking for a job or at the least they are looking for a better one then where they are currently employed. It is a good trend to see that people are taking the time to become educated in the profession that they want to work in, but on the other hand most of the people that I have talked to have little to no on job experience.

In my company I do not require applicants to have experience, especially if they are applying for an apprenticeship position. What I am finding is that the salary expectations are out of line. Applicants are asking for too high a starting wage with little to no experience.

In a construction industry that is under a lot of strain because of the higher cost of materials, contractors cannot add to that cost with high unskilled labour costs. Ever tightening rules and regulations on safety and building codes are also driving up the price of custom homes. The squeeze on contractors is getting worse as a general theme, what is being heard from perspective clients is that the price of their new custom home is just too high. The cost of building a custom home has become prohibitive to a lot of people that in the past would be able to have a custom home built.

I am hearing more and more complaints from younger people that there aren’t that many jobs in the construction industry and even less that are offering apprenticeships.  A lot of builders have shrunk their companies to the point where they do not have enough licensed tradesmen to qualify for apprentices. This is putting younger workers into a position where they do not get hours toward their apprenticeship if they take a job with one of these companies, but on the other hand with little work at the moment in the industry any job is better than nothing.

The growth of young females in a lot of the trades as apprenticeships continues to grow with more and more women taking the opportunity to get in the industry. Carpentry, cabinet making and electricians are seeing a healthy dose of women joining the ranks. Plumbing is one area that has not seen much growth with the female demographic, in general young people overall are not entering into the plumbing trade as apprentices. This is a strange thing for the ability to stay employed and make a higher salary as a plumber should be a larger draw, but for some reason the profession just doesn’t seem to be that attractive to younger people.

The construction industry seems to be in a holding pattern at the moment, with less than ideal conditions for growth. If the economy should turn around then the construction industry would be able to ramp up into a higher gear, there is a great potential for a lot of young smart enthusiastic people to be trained to help take the industry into the next generation. A properly trained younger, eager, enthusiastic workforce is something this industry with an aging skilled work force desperately requires.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Interior designer tips for window treatments

Window treatments

In today’s window treatment market a growing popular choice is wood shutters. With numerous possibilities out there, you'll need to consider your budget, tastes, needs and decorating style.  Deciding on these as your guidelines should help you make the right decision, stay within your budget and get the shutters that you require.

If you are cooking, dish washing or bathing near the window treatments then you'll want something that is easily wipe able and maintainable. Wood blinds, shutters or waterproof fabrics are all good choices.

Rooms that receive a lot of sun typically fade fabrics and their accessories as well as hold in the heat. There are window treatments that diffuse light, trap warm or cool air and block UV rays. They are available in sheer, semi-sheer, semi-opaque and opaque, if privacy is an issue.

In rooms that you watch television in or use your computer you'll want a window covering that reduces glare and that can be easily tilted. Offered in numerous colours and styles they're practical and pretty.

Good luck with your shopping!

Village Builders Inc. now offers custom drapery, blinds, shades, shutters and hardware.

This is an excerpt from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc.  If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Interior finishes when designing a country home

Series: Tips on designing a country home.

In this multi-part series I will help give you tips on how to go about having a custom home built in the country, where it should sit, what it should look like, how it should function and what type of home performs the best and fits in with the surrounding country side.

Interior finishes

If you truly want your home to blend in with the country homes in your area then there are certain things that you should be putting into your home to make it a “country home”. The actual fit and finish is up to you and the colours are all your decision but there are certain things that every country home must have to be called a country home.

Fireplace. Every country home must have at least one fireplace. It can be propane, natural gas (if you actually can get it) or wood. What most people don’t realize is that alot of the things that are in a country home have evolved from practicality. Fireplaces are still installed in country homes so that if the power fails you still have a way to heat your home. There are other wonderful things about fireplaces like they create extra heat in one area of the house without heating the whole house up, they are a show piece in the room and they can help create a mood. Your fireplace in your main living room should have stone around it, it should have a hearth and a large mantle. Fireplaces in country homes are not the place to try and do a modern theme or look.

Large eat in kitchens. There is a reason that there called “country kitchens”, the country the kitchen is a gathering place for people at any part of the day. You can still have formal dining rooms, but true country homes have a place  to eat in the kitchen so that you can interact with the cook. Your kitchen should be of a large size.

Mudroom. Country living is a dirty living, especially on your footwear, that’s why every country home needs a mudroom. A lot of people put the laundry machines in the same location, this makes the washing of the dirty clothes from outside much easier. Mudrooms should have hooks not closets so that it is easier to hang up wet dirty jackets to dry.

Hardwood floors. Country homes have as many local natural things in them as possible. Hardwood floors that are the same species as the trees in your area are a most. One popular thing to do is to have reclaimed floors like Elm or Maple. These reclaimed wood is taken out of local barns that are 100’s of years old and the barn has reached the end of its life. Then they are milled down and turned into flooring. The look is simply wonderful, it’s a warm and inviting floor.

Colours. Remember when picking colours for your home that you want your home to be warm and inviting on the inside. Country people like visitors and except their neighbours to pop in every once in a while. So you want your home to be a place that they feel welcome and they want to hang around and chat.

Trim. Your trim doesn’t have to be stained, it can be painted. But it should be of a fair size. The larger the wood trim the better, natural products like wood trim are always a highlight of country homes.

Tile. When picking tile for your bathrooms or your laundry room, try to keep the natural theme going, you don’t have to spend the money on natural stone tile, but you should be choosing something that gives the feel or has the look of natural stone tile.

Remember the dirty theme of living in the country. Any type of flooring that you put down should be durable. Because it will be beat up by people, kids and animals coming in from the outside.

Your side entrance to your home should be as nice as your front entrance just more functional. Country people do not use their front doors, that’s only for special company, country people all enter from the side or back entrance of your home. Make sure your mudroom looks nice and is designed in a way that will withstand a lot of abuse.

What I have listed is not the only thing that you can put in a country home, it should though be a guideline that you can follow when choosing what your country home will end up looking like. Obviously your own style takes precedent over anything that I have talked about, guidelines are so that your home looks like a country home at the end and not a city place.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Exterior Finishing Trends on Custom Homes 2013

2013- Exteriors Finishes

The trends in the exterior finishes in custom homes and renovations in 2013. Some of the trends have started this year (2013), a lot of trends where started in the 2012 construction year and continued into this calendar year. There are trends that have been sustained year over year as well, they are long running trends.

Exterior Finishes for Custom Homes

Here is a list of the trends that have stayed the same over the last several years;

Pre-finished wood siding. Pre-finished wood siding has been by far the most popular exterior material used on the outside of custom homes.

Horizontal siding is still the most popular choice for siding.

Using a different material in the gable ends such as cedar shakes instead of running the siding all the way to the soffit is still the most popular way to finish off high gables.

Decorative timber framing is still the best way to high light gable ends and make them stand out.

Natural stone is still the most popular stone to be placed on the outside of custom homes.

A 4 ft skirt of stone is still the most popular option around the bottom of a custom home when stone is being used.

Siding with trim to butt the siding up to on the outside corners. 45ed corners are not that common because of the high expense and the degree of maintenance involved.

Wood facia and wood soffit are still the most common.

Installing freeze boards in certain heights of a multi story homes are still used to add definition to a large sided area.

Here a list of the new trends happening in Exterior finishes on custom homes;

Vertical siding is showing up on more and more custom homes. It helps give the home different lines that make the place look more modern.

Cement siding continues to grow in popularity.

Using facia that is coloured the same as the eave trough is a newer trend that is gaining in popularity, it helps hide the eave trough.

New stone from manufactures like Eldorado are making man made stone a more likable option when compared to the high cost of installing real stone.

Crown molding installed at the point where the soffit and siding meet is a new growing trend, it helps give a more detailed look to the area.

Layered facia and layered trims where the siding meets the soffit are growing in popularity as people try to “dress up” the exterior of their homes.

Elaborate layers of siding trims are being used, one trim installed on top of another to give the window and door trims more definition.

Vertical siding is growing in popularity as people look for a more modern clean lined look.

These are just some the new trends on the Exterior Finishes of today’s new custom homes.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bathrooms in the modern day custom home

Modern Day Construction for custom homes Part 16

In today’s modern world of construction things are changing year to year faster than they did decade to decade in any other previous time period. In this multi part series I will traverse through an entire house starting with the foundation and working my way up to the roof and then to the finishing’s. I will explain what has changed in the last twenty years in custom home building.

One thing that you should be able to take away from this is how important it is to not just to hire the right general contractor to build your custom home but how important it is to hire one that is up on today’s building methods.


Twenty years ago the bathroom rooms were fairly simple with a couple of lights, a tub/shower combination and a small vanity.

Today bathrooms are made so that they will never feel like the old bathrooms. Every option is used so that they bathroom does not feel like a damp dark place. Here are some of the major things that have changed;

Mirrors. Mirrors have grown bigger and fancier. Custom cut glass with edging and sometimes having the mirror trimmed out to look like a picture usually using the same still of wood and trim detail as the room has.

Lighting. Lighting has gotten extremely fancy with the rule being the more lights the better. You can never have to bright of a bathroom. Chandeliers are routinely placed in bathrooms to help bring some style to a room that is has historically been function over faster.

Pot lights. Pot lights are found commonly found in bathrooms now, in the shower and in the general use area of the bathroom, pot lights are simple lighting choices that never really go out of style and are able to give you a fair bit of light for a little amount of money.

Fans. Bathroom fans have become more powerful and quieter. Gone are the days when you have to use the hair dryer on the mirror before you use it on yourself. Properly placed bathroom fans should keep the mirror free of fogging up with moisture from the shower. Fans also have light and even heat bulbs in them. Heat bulbs help keep you warm and help you dry when you are finished in the shower.

Showers. Showers have grown in size and changed shape. Custom glass showers are the norm now, some are being built with corners in them so that they do not require a door. There are luxury pre-made models as well that are very function and are able to fit in tight spaces. Most showers in main bathrooms also have seats built into them, this helps older people who are unsteady on their feet and also women who want a place to sit to shave their legs.

Glass. Glass is being used everywhere in bathrooms today. From the ever growing mirrors, to entire glass shower enclosures, all the way down to glass counter tops on the vanity. Glass is strong and functional; it also comes in any colour that you desire.

Vanities. Vanities have gotten bigger and more elaborate. Vanities now routinely have granite counter tops and are built to maximize storage space so that everything can be put away. A properly built vanity almost makes linen closets obsolete for towels and toilet paper. Vanities are being built with almost like stations for being depending on what they are trying to accomplish. There are multiple sink’s, or large long sinks that more than two people can share and there are areas where women can sit down and apply their makeup with proper lighting and mirrors to make it easier.

Sinks. Sinks have grown in size and shape. There are now sinks that are so large that they are designed with two sets of taps for his and her usage. Sinks can be mounted on top of the counter top, underneath the counter top or a combination of the two depending on the look the person wants.

Shower fixtures. Shower heads have gotten larger and larger, to the point where it is like standing underneath a waterfall. Hand showers and multi headed body jets are now expected. Shower fixtures give you almost a carwash type cleaning.

Tubs. Tubs have been given more jets and even “bubblers”. There are also tubs now that you can get that have lighting in the tub and play music through the water. Some tubs now will even air dry themselves when you have finished in the tub and drained the water out. This helps stops the tub from getting rust stains and water rings.

In floor heating. Heated floors have become the norm for any bathroom that has a lot of tile on the floor. It helps to limit the use of floor mats that cover up the beautiful tile work. This helps make the bathroom its own climate regardless if the heat is on in the rest of the house or the air conditioning.

Toilets. Toilets have become water savers in the last decade. You actually can’t buy a non low flow toilet anymore. Toilets come with slow closing lids to limit the slamming of lids by children or other people not paying attention. They can also be purchased with heated seats and higher end toilets come with an anti-bacterial coating to help reduce the smell. They also have before longer and wider so that even the biggest person can be comfortable while reading their favorite book.

Looking for part 17 coming soon....

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Can I build a house with stronger walls?


I want to build a new home but I am worried about the severe storms coming off the water where the home is to be built. Can you recommend a way to build a house that would be guaranteed to withstand the harsh climates?


There are many ways to build a home to withstand the harsh elements that you are describing. There are many ways to build homes in the modern age and have them survive any kind of storm. What you should be thinking about is not if the home will survive the harsh climates but how it will perform in those harsh climates.

One of my favorite ways to build a home is to build with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF). ICF is basically two pieces of polystyrene with a concrete core in the middle. What this gives you is a concrete walled home, the insulation placed on both sides of the wall keeps the concrete core warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

 A concrete wall allows no air to pass through it; this means that the wall performance is amazing when it comes to heating and cooling. One of the hardest things to do in a conventional home is heat it when there is high winds outside. The reason for this is that the wind chill reduces the temperature of the inside wall cavity.

This doesn’t happen in an ICF wall because it is a concrete core wrapped in insulation. Since the wall never drops in temperature then the interior of the home doesn’t drop in temperature either.

The other thing that ICF homes do rather well is reduce the transfer of outside noise into the home. Insulation wrapped concrete walls allow almost no sound penetration.

When those big storms coming roaring in off the water you would have a concrete wall that is re-enforced with rebar, this concrete wall would be tied into your footings underground and would continue all the wall up to the roof. The wall would never move, creak or flex. If your builder takes the time to install hurricane brackets to the roof trusses then your roof would also be anchored to the concrete walls.

Think about your house in terms of concrete walls instead of wood and with the insulation wrapped around them, those creating a warm, dry and quiet living space. With that in mind you should be able to sleep peacefully even through the biggest of storms.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Custom home building in the Bruce Peninsula

Custom home building in the Bruce Peninsula

Village Builders Inc. who has been in business for over 33 years building custom homes is now available in the Bruce Peninsula.

We specialize in high quality custom homes allowing you the home owner to enjoy your home/cottage instead of worrying if something is going to fail.

Village Builders uses the highest rated products available in the industry and of course the home owner’s budget.

Always staying at the forefront of building technology we regularly install geothermal heating, air source heat pumps and LED lighting to help keep the costs of running your home at a minimum.

We specialize in different types of high performing exterior walls, making it easier to heat your home. Products such as Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), spray foaming outside walls, Zip panels and interior and exterior foam board panels.

We can advise you on what roof you should be installing, one of the first things to fail on any home is the roof system, on average a home owner replaces their roofing system every 20 years. To give your home the best possible protection from the extreme weather that tends to arrive in the Bruce Peninsula we use products such as Enviroshake and Steel roofing which can last 50 years. In a climate that seems to becoming harsher a new home needs the greatest protection available.

Building yourself a custom home/cottage is one of the biggest investments that you will ever make, you should have it built by someone that knows how to make it last longer.

Village Builders is not only a custom home builder, we also have in house full service interior design, we are able to give you the options of having us buy the plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, fireplaces and furniture all at builder discounted prices.

When you build with Village Builders you can rest assured that the project will be run professionally with a high degree of quality, fit and finish.

We believe that we can supply the home owners and the cottagers of the Bruce Peninsula with a unique home building experience that puts Village Builders above the rest.

Checkout Village Builders website at or give us a call at (877) 866-3202.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We have a large empty wall, we feel overwhelmed by the size and don’t know where to start?


We have a large empty wall, we feel overwhelmed by the size and don’t know where to start?


One of the best things you can do with a large empty wall is to turn it into a photo wall!

Start by picking frames. Frames can be different materials, colours, shapes or sizes but there should be a constant within them, like using the same colour and size matting. I do like to work with uneven numbers, it’s easier for the eye to take in.

Your next step will be to chose the picture you want to place in the centre of your photo wall. Then you can work your way out.  This  also allows you to build you wall, as your family and experiences grow.

I typically adhere painters tape on the floor in the size of my wall, and place the pictures within that space.

This allows me to move around the pictures and manipulate the dead space between them, without unnecessary holes or paint chips on my walls. Then I take a picture of that layout , so I can get a different perspective.

I typically leave 2" between pictures.

Good luck with your photo wall project and have fun!

This is an excerpt from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc.  If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Renovating in the Town of the Blue Mountains

Renovating in the Town of the Blue Mountains

If you are thinking about renovating in the Town of Blue Mountains then one of the first things that you need to do is find yourself an interior designer. An interior designer will be able to produce accurate drawings so that you can understand what the potential is for the space you want to renovate.

The next thing that you should do is find yourself a company to do the actual renovation work. Your best bet is to call a general contractor that can give you an accurate quote on the drawings that your interior designer has supplied. This way your quote will be as accurate as the drawings that you had created.

Village Builders Inc. is one of those general contractors that can give you an accurate quote, they also have access to excellent interior designers who can take your ideas and create drawings for you. This means that they are able to streamline the process of design and building by keeping it all in house.

Here are some of things that Village Builders is able to do for their clients when they want to renovate their home;

Have drawings created and if needed submitted to the township for approval.

Give accurate quotes from the drawings created with an extreme amount of detail in the quote so that you the client know exactly what you are getting.

Drawings once they are created can be rendered and displayed on a screen allowing you to be placed in the room to give you the feel of what your renovated space will look like.

Protect other parts of the house and your furniture from the dust and demolition of construction.

Give simple, organized billing so that you understand what and where you are spending your money.

Organize all sub-trades in an orderly and timely manner to attend the project.

Insure that all sub-trades have proper insurance and WSIB coverage to protect you and your home.

Source, quote, acquire and install all plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, audio/video equipment, furniture, fireplaces (wood and gas), appliances and flooring at contractor discounted pricing. (only if requested by owner)

Provide consultation on how to make your home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly before and during the renovation process.

Make sure that once the project is completed the job is left clean, complete and the customer happy.

Staging of all rooms that were renovated so that you are able to move and enjoy the space immediately.

These are just some of the things that Village Builders is able to do for you when you want to renovate your home. Check us out if your looking for a professional renovation company.

Our website is or stop by our showroom/office at 3 Caroline St. East in the village of Creemore.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Not Your Grandpa's Solar energy

Not Your Grandpa's Solar

After a 40-year hiatus, solar energy is cool again. But for those who remember bulky aluminum frames awkwardly balanced on the roof, the current look, use, performance, and value of today's solar energy systems has changed dramatically.

As a professional remodeling contractor, we keep a sharp eye on products and systems that are getting the public's attention so we can intelligently advise our homeowner clients about their validity and proper use.
Today's solar energy systems -- for both domestic hot water and electricity -- have made significant strides that, in the right circumstances, can reduce a homeowner's monthly energy bills.

The first thing to remember is that solar energy systems are most effective and only worth the investment if you add them to a house that's been designed and built or remodeled to sizably reduce its energy consumption. No solar panel or thermal collector will offset the ills of a poorly-insulated, drafty house, and it is a waste of time and money to consider it.

Also, solar panels work best if they face south/southwest and are in full daylight; any shading from trees or adjacent buildings (more so than clouds) render them far less efficient at converting enough solar energy to offset their cost. That's one of the first things we consider when a homeowner asks us about adding solar to their existing home.

The good news about solar is that today's photovoltaic or "PV" panels (for electricity) and thermal collectors (for hot water) are more efficient at capturing and converting the sun's energy while minimizing their visual impact on the roof.

A relatively new breed of so-called "roof-integrated" PV panels are so sleek that they lay almost flat on the roof. Some are even formed to look like and run flush to roof shingles and concrete barrel tiles to better integrate into the roof finish. And, because modern solar cells are more efficient at converting solar energy into electricity, a house needs fewer of them to satisfy its solar energy needs.

In Ontario, the majority of the solar systems you see on a building's roof or on there own stands do not actually provide power to that house.  These solar power systems are actually providing power to Ontario Hydro power grid .  Through the"Ontario Solar Fit Program" the Ontario Government pays the homeowner for the power generated. Your house is not at all connected to the solar system. Usually only homes that are in very isolated areas are totally running on alternate energy systems like solar and wind.

Solar energy isn't just rooftop panels anymore. Landscape lighting, attic fans, and other products can be powered by the sun, as well. Though not connected to the grid like larger PV arrays, their use offsets demand for utility-provided electricity to further reduce monthly energy costs.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

 This is an excerpt from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc.  If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Should I have an architect help me select my builder?


Should I have an architect help me select my builder?

If you have already engaged an architect to draw the plans for your house, by all means ask that person to suggest possible candidates and to join you in interviewing potential builders, they most likely have worked with local builders in the past who might be a good match.

However, it's often best to find a builder first, essentially to work with a design professional to help ensure that your budget is considered through the design process.

It can be heartbreaking (and leave a bad taste) to invest time, effort, and money into architectural drawings and then you find out later (from your builder) that what has been designed is too expensive to build with your budget.

It is better to have the whole team together from the start. This way your builder can recommend different things that have worked in other buildings that they built. Doing it in this way allows you to have more than one opinion on all the aspects of your new home.

With residential construction techniques evolving at such a rapid pace these days it is always good to know what your builder feels comfortable doing and what they do not, you don’t want your architect to add things into your home that your builder isn’t comfortable doing or has little to no experience with.

Village Builders Inc.

 This is an excerpt from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

We want to build a custom home but can't start in the spring, is it ok to start in another season?

We want to build a custom home but aren’t able to start it in the spring, can we start construction later in the year?

Even though spring is the best time to start building your new custom home it isn’t the only time that you can start building a home.

The reason that general contractors recommend that you start building in the spring is because everyone involved in building homes is not overwhelmed with work like they are later in the year. This also gives you the maximum amount of potential good weather to be building the structure of your home.

Here is a brief summary of the challenges per season when you don’t start in the spring;


This is the best time other then the spring to build a house, but in the summer general contractors, sub contractors and suppliers are at their busiest. This can cause delays in the building process as you have to wait for important sub-trades to become available. It is also when the best weather is available to be framing houses. For digging foundations, landscaping or general grading the summer is idea because the ground conditions are usually at its driest. It’s actually more preferable to dig a hole starting in the summer then in the spring because you don’t have all the mud to deal with. Hot summers can cause delays in building as well, if temperatures are to warm then sub-trades like concrete and insulation installers will have a harder time working around the heat for safety reasons.


This is a very popular time for people to start building new homes. I lot of people do not want to start building a new home because they have other commitments throughout the summer but once September arrives and the kids go back to school then house building sees a bump in business. The fall is still a good time to start building a house as long as you start early enough so that you can get the house framed and the roof on before the weather turns to winter. Although sometimes you can really be slowed down with rain in the fall it is the last chance you have before winter to get the home framed and closed in. You will also be pressured to get the house closed in with Christmas slowing you down right in the middle of insulating and drywalling.
A major draw back about starting in the fall is that you don’t know when winter will start, so if you have stone to be laid on the outside of your home, chances are that it will have to wait till the spring to be installed unless you want to pay to tarp and heat the area’s where they are installing stone. Heating the home through the winter with portable heaters is another drawback, though easily done it can be a little hard on your hydro bill until the house gets to the point where you can turn the homes heating system on without damaging it.


Winter is the most undesirable season to start building your home. But it’s not impossible to start building  a home in the winter. Some winters can be warm and light with little snow allowing you to work in almost fall like conditions for a lot of the season. Other winters are a deep freeze with endless snow, these winters are the challenge when you are trying to build your home.
If you start your home in the winter you will save on having to heat it, the time it takes to frame the home will take most of the winter, when it comes time to drywall the building it will be spring and will require a lot less temporary heat depending on the spring conditions.

Today’s modern construction techniques allow general contractors to start building homes all year long, so if you really can’t start in the spring then don’t be afraid to start it in other seasons, it can be done even with the above mentioned difficulties.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Safety tip Scheduling of trades

Safety tip Scheduling of trades

In today’s construction world times have changed and so have safety regulations. In the modern age of construction, safety comes before all else when building custom homes. One of the main things that general contractors do is organize and schedule the sub-trades. But scheduling the trades incorrectly can create a major safety problem.

You have probably watched those shows were they are building a house for charity and there is 100 people working on the home, there are people everywhere, they are on the roof, they are on the ground and they are in the building. That to a general contractor is a health and safety nightmare.

When general contractors schedule trades in custom homes they schedule them so that they aren’t working over top of each other but beside each other. For example:

You would not schedule roofers to shingle the roof of a new home while there are men below installing windows. Falling tools, falling shingles or any debris can fall off the roof and hurt someone or damage the windows as they are being installed.

The proper way to schedule these two trades is to have the roofers start first and when they have finished one side of the building then the window installers can start installing windows behind them.

This might sound like common sense but you wouldn’t believe some of the worksites I have visited and there are men everywhere doing different things and they were tripping over each other’s tools and material.

Where you really can get into trouble is when you have heavier equipment moving around outside the house like landscapers with their skid steers or excavators. This is a recipe for disaster, not just for the safety of men but also the safety of material. It doesn’t take much to ruin a lift of siding if it’s backed into by an excavator or people walk on top of it to get to something on the other side.

A good general contractor will schedule there trades in an orderly fashion and will not sacrifice workers safety for the building schedule.

Even in large commercial or residential high rises where it looks like there is an enormous amount of labour onsite, it’s actually quite controlled if you were to enter the site and take a walk around. The labour is divided up into different sections and usually one area of work is designed to not overlap or impede the other.

This is all for safety reasons.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.