Sunday, June 30, 2013

Eldorado stone is blurring the line between manufactured and nature stone.

Eldorado stone is blurring the line between manufactured and nature stone.

Eldorado stone's line of manufactured stone veneer will make you take a second look. Then a second look and maybe a third, you will have trouble telling the difference between it and nature stone.

One of the biggest complaint's consumers have had for decades is that manufactured stone looked like what it was, a fake man made product. Eldorado’s stone now has a high definition look that makes it the closest thing to real stone without digging it out of the ground.

There are a lot of advantages to using a manufactured stone over a nature stone:

Manufactured stone is lighter then natural stone. It makes using Eldorado stone an ideal product for renovations, you can install it on any wall in your home without having to worry about the overall load unlike when you work with natural stone.

If your one of those people that wants to choose the exact look and colour of your stone then you want manufactured stone, natural stone can have random colours, sizes, shapes an patterns. Eldorado's colours match perfectly and blend seamlessly, giving you exactly what you want without any surprises.

The cost of installation is a fraction of natural stone. Natural stone requires a stone mason, where the installation of manufactured stone can be done by any competent person with the skill and eye of installing it. I do recommend using a stone mason to install it, especially if you are doing a larger job like the outside of a custom home, the installation will be of a higher quality with a stone mason then without. Stone masons rates for the installation of manufactored stone are far less then that of real stone.

The actual cost of the stone is usually cheaper then natural stone as well.
With Eldorado’s panel installation it is actually faster and easier than ever before. The panel has three or four pieces of the stone already attached together and are positioned so that you can interlock them with one another creating an almost seamless joint. There is almost no noticeable difference between a panel of Eldorado stone and the normal individual pieces of Eldorado stone, the only difference you'll notice is the  the greater speed with which it is installed.

The next time you are thinking of renovating take a look at Eldorado stone, you will be impressed with their products fit and finish.

Eldorado stone will look great on any custom home, bringing a richness to your home without the high cost.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Carpets in todays custom homes

Modern Day Construction for custom homes Part 17

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 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 carpets where used wall to wall. Every room could be installed with carpet, sometimes even the bathroom.

Today carpet is being used less in the custom home. Most places that carpet is used are in the bedroom and the basement. Here are some of the things that have changed and been improved;

Carpets used to be the same colour almost through they entire home. Today's custom home you will routinely see a different colour of carpet in every room and one for the hallways.

Good quality carpets are made from environmentally friendly materials these days. Carpets now are sold as low or non off gasing, that means that they do not release harmful chemicals after they are installed. This is safer and healthier for people and their pets.

Under pads have gotten thicker and softer with more quality foam being used for more comfort. Under pads in the basement are made to be anti-mold and anti-mildue. They help reduce the smell of a damp basement environment. Under pads are also used to dampen the sound when people walk across bedroom carpets on higher floors.

Basement carpeting is now made to be anti-mold and anti-mildue. The carpet is treated in a way that will help resist the growth of mold when damp conditions are present.

A lot of carpets are now made out of recycled materials so that they have a smaller environmental footprint.

Carpets overall are made thicker and softer than ever before, this is great for bedrooms and other areas where people enjoy walking around in bare feet.

There are different types of carpets for different purposes. Bedroom carpets are thicker and softer to the touch. Hallway and high traffic areas are built to hold their colour even with heavy wear and still keep a high level of comfort.

The modern carpet is made to last longer and hold it's colour for a per-longed period of time. The should easily get 20 years of life out of a good quality carpet in a custom home today.

Looking for part 18 coming soon....

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Simple decorating tips for summer

Decorating Tips to try this summer

Colour - Paint is an inexpensive way to transform a room and change the mood, never underestimate the power of paint. Try to repeat the colour somewhere in an accessory.

Texture – To add interest to a space you need different textures to give the room depth.
 Try wood, glass, fur, fabric and plants.

Display meaningful objects – add personality to a room with your treasured finds, it also makes for a
 great story and can never get old.

Mix Styles – Mixing different styles of furniture adds interest to a room, NEVER buy an entire suite or set of furniture.
 It will date fast & you’ll tire of the look even faster.

 De-clutter – Everything should have a place. When you run out of storage space, it’s time to purge.
You’ll feel better getting rid of those things that were weighing you down especially if you donate them.

 This is an exert 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, June 23, 2013

When you renovate you should set aside money to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

When you renovate you should set aside money to increase the energy efficiency of your home.
A recent study of Canadians showed that 4 out of every 10 people want to renovate their home to increase the energy efficiency of it.
Increasing the energy efficiency is actually a lot easier than it sounds. Here are a couple of things that you can do in an older home to help lower your heating/cooling bills;

When taking on a bathroom or kitchen renovation remove the drywall on the outer walls and add insulation. You can spray foam the walls solid or add foam on top of the studs before you install new drywall.

Whenever you expose a ceiling check to make sure that the rim joist are insulated, if there not then add insulation to them. Simple fiberglass insulation will do.

Add insulation to your attic, this can be either bats or blown in loose cellulose. Make sure if you add insulation that you are not blocking the air flow from the soffits. Moore vents might be required.

Insulating the walls in your basement will go a long way to lowering heating bills and it will also give you more livable space without adding any additional square footage to your home.

Upgrading your furnace to a high efficiency model if it is gas or switching to geo-thermal or an air to air heat pump if you live in the country.

Change your hot water tank to a tank-less. This kind of unit only heats water when a tap is turned on instead of heating water all day long when no one is home to use it.

Add an HRV to your home. This will cut down on how hard your furnace will have to work when bringing in air from outside.

When replacing your appliances in your kitchen look for models that use less energy. Look for the energy star symbol.

If you are replacing or repairing outside siding, add foam insulation to the building. This will stop the heat and cold from escaping through the studs.

Have new windows installed that help regulate the amount of solar rays that come into the building. This can help you regulate your home from being too hot on the south side of the building and to cold on the inside. This will lower the demand on your furnace as well.

If you are re-trimming windows take the time and address the gap around the windows with spray foam. If it is already spray foamed then add where needed.

Caulk around all windows and doors, caulk not just the outside but the inside trim as well. This will cut down on the amount of drafts if the insulation is compromised around the window.

Make sure doors have proper seals on them; if they leak air then you should repair the seal or replace the door with a newer one that has a magnetic seal.

Doing a lot of these things while you are renovating will not just help you lower your heating and cooling bills but in a lot of cases raise the value of your home. With new rules in Ontario about getting an energy audit every time you sell a home, it makes sense to do these things so that your rating is higher at test time, making the home more attractive to potential buyers.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ever wonder why your do it yourself project didn’t turn out the way you thought it would?

Ever wonder why your do it yourself project didn’t turn out the way you thought it would?

There is a simple reason why this happened to you, when you see these projects done on TV or on commercials for big box stores, they are first done by qualified professionals and then have actors do it to make it look better. They also have the ability to edit everything so it looks easy and seamless. Then they show you on TV how easy it is to do it yourself, the problem is that what they leave out is all the little tricks that has taken years for an experienced professional to figure out. These little tricks are what make the job your doing come out looking like the one on TV.

Those little tricks are what you will never learn; the reason is that you aren’t going to be doing these projects year after year gaining the valuable experience that is required. It can take you a lifetime to learn what you need to do to properly do large complicated jobs when you are only tinkering with them at your own home.

Large jobs in your home such as kitchen renovations, large plumbing jobs, electrical wiring, bathroom renovations, structural changes, wall removal, window replacement, deck building and anything that should require you to get a building permit.

There is a term in the renovation business that calls the dust in a renovation “divorce dust”. More relationships break up because of renovations gone bad then almost anything else. Nothing causes more stress and confrontation then renovations. If you then take that stress causing, money costing, dirt everywhere, can’t find anything, strange men in your home and nothing where it should ever be. Then take all of these irritants and extend them over a long period of time because you are doing it yourself and you have the perfect recipe for divorce.

After you go through all the work you end up with a product a little less then what you wanted because you did yourself and it lacks that refined touch that professionals do.

After all the things that can go wrong and the stress that it will cause you, why wouldn’t you hire a professional and get the job done right in a timely and efficient manner.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What are frost walls?

What are frost walls?


I am having a new house drawn by an architect and they keep telling me that because I have a walkout basement I need frost walls. I’ve never heard of such a thing, I’m worried it will be expensive.


 Frost walls are concrete walls that are placed in the ground deep enough so that in the cold of winter when the ground freezes the walls and the footings they are sitting on will not end up with the ground freezing underneath them.

The reason that you don’t want the ground to freeze underneath them is because it can cause the ground to move. When frozen ground moves (we call it heaving) it has the ability to move your concrete walls up and down. This will cause serious damage to the foundation of your home.

Most frost walls in the main part of North America have to be a legal depth of 4 feet in the ground. This is usually plenty deep enough to stop the ground from freezing.

Frost walls are not expensive; they are a 4 ft high concrete wall sitting on a footing. Usually they do not require water proofing or structural steel, this is because they are backfilled on each side in your walkout basement. They will be cheaper than the rest of your concrete walls.

Do not be afraid of the cost of the frost walls it will not be great.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Why hire an Interior Designer/Decorator"?

"Why hire an Interior Designer/Decorator"?


Yes, at first you may not see the value in hiring an interior designer, it’s an additional cost, right? Well, let me elaborate.

We can help you avoid costly mistakes and raise the value of your home.

For most people their home is their biggest investment. Building or remodeling is a full time job with big ticket purchases that can make or break your home. You should be looking at your home as the largest and most important investment that you will ever make.

We can keep you on time, on budget and save you a lot of running around. We have built relationships with suppliers, spent endless hours researching products and brands and we know where to get them. We have also spent years of building relationships with the finest craftsman that we highly recommend and work closely with everyday.

One of the biggest complaints I here from Contractors when working with a homeowner is that the homeowner is slowing the job down because they are just too busy to make decisions and to actually physically go shopping. Things like plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, flooring and window treatments all need to be researched and shopped for not only the price but the availability of the item. We do all of this for you, then we organize it in a way that gives you the least amount of hassle to make your choices simplier.

Plus we will extend our designer discounts to you!

And on top of all this don’t forget about the WOW factor! I will tell your story without words.

 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

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Planning and designing custom wine rooms

Building a wine room

If you were thinking about having a wine room installed in your home but you thought that it you wouldn’t have enough room in your home, think again.

Wine rooms today are installed in as small as 50 sq ft of floor space. That’s right people are now installing wine rooms in spaces that are smaller than your average walk in closet.

If you are having your home renovated or are planning to have a custom home built you should think about having a wine room installed. They are a feature that helps raise the value of your home and can give your home that little piece of class that helps your home stand out from the rest.

Cooling the room

If you install a wine room in the basement of your home then you probably can get away with not having a cooling unit, if you are installing a wine room on the first or second floor of your home then you will need to invest in a wine cooling unit.
Wine cooling units range in price and size depending on how big of a room you are planning to cool. They can be as sophisticated as an air conditioner system that is independent of your furnace, to a wall unit that is like a window air conditioner that exhausts the hot humid air into a closet, hallway or to the outside.


The one thing that is very important when constructing a wine room is to insulate the walls in your wine room. You want to limit the air movement in the room, the simplest way to do that is to use foam in the walls. You can use sheets of foam or have it spray foamed between the studs depending on how big an area you require to insulate. Wine rooms in basements are easier to cool and require less insulation, rooms on upper floors have to be protected from your home furnace and the sun light coming in from the windows. Remember heat rises so the higher the wine room is in the house the more heat and humidity it most repel.

Remember that the tighter the seal around the wine room the easier it is to keep the room cool and your wine at the proper temperature.

Never run furnace ductwork into a wine room, even if they have the ability to be dampened, the risk of overheating the wine is too much of a risk.


Most wine rooms have tiled floors and wood walls. There are certain types of wood you should only use in wine rooms. You should have your contractor check into which ones are expectable to be within contact of wine, the wrong wood can have an adverse affect on the quality and taste of the wine that you are storing. Wine stored over long periods of time will change in taste depending on the wood that it is in contact with, so choose your wood wisely.

When lighting a wine room you need to take into consideration that normal lights give off heat. You need to purchase lights and fixtures that do not heat up. This will help keep the wine room at a cooler temperature.
You should try to buy LED bulbs; they give off a lot of light while not giving off the heat. Adding dimmers or coloured lighting can help set the mood, this works extremely well at night when guests view your wine room through the glass door.


Racking also comes in a wide variety, you can have custom made wood racking of your choice or you can keep it relatively simple with pre made metal racking. It depends on the look and feel that you are trying to create. The only restricting your chooses in racking is your budget. The racking when custom made from certain materials can cost more than they entire construction of the room.

Remember that the reason that you are building this room is so that you can have a place to store and display your wine. So don’t clutter the room with too much stuff. A simple picture or two is all a finely designed wine room requires to help bring it all together.

The door

The final piece to any good wine room is a glass door at the entrance. This is the easiest way to allow people to look at your beautiful wine room without having to walk in. If you are in a home where you believe that it will be difficult to keep the room cool then you will have to spend some money on a well built glass door.
The door must have a proper seal on it, the door basically has to function as an exterior door, and it will be dividing two completely different climates from each other well still in your home.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Clear for Takeoff: The Preconstruction Meeting

Clear for Takeoff: The Preconstruction Meeting

Without a successful launch, a safe landing is impossible.

People who hire a remodeler to improve their home want the project to turn out just as they envisioned, completed on schedule, and for the agreed upon price. As Professional Remodelers, we want exactly the same thing. That's what makes the preconstruction meeting so important. This meeting is analogous to the airline pilot's preflight checklist: it's a time for remodeler and client to ensure all project details are clear and agreed upon, and to nail down the jobsite rules and procedures before work begins.

Clients who get the most from the preconstruction meeting know what to expect and come prepared to fully participate.

The meeting is usually held at least a week before work starts. (This gives the remodeler time to complete any pre-job items that come up during the meeting.) Depending on the size of the project -- a kitchen remodel or a major addition -- it could last anywhere from 45 minutes to a couple of hours. Attendees include the lead carpenter, the company owner or owner's representative, and the client. Regardless of who will act as the primary decision maker or point of contact during the project, it is important to have husband and wife in attendance, especially if they will be living in the home during construction. Having both parties at the meeting helps eliminate uncertainty and minimizes surprises once the project gets under way.

Topics covered will vary depending on the project, but one topic will generally be a review of the company's general policies. These could include things such as work hours, the process for making changes once construction begins, and how often the remodeler's team will hold scheduled meetings with the client. The job schedule will also be reviewed.

The remodeler and client will usually walk through the areas of the home to be remodeled. They will review the project plans and specifications, making sure to confirm the client's product choices: cabinets, fixtures, appliances, floor finishes, even mechanical items like a new water heater or air conditioner. If something isn't as expected, this is the time to ask questions. Errors and misunderstandings are easier, less costly, and less stressful to correct now than they will be once work begins.

This meeting is also where the client and remodeler agree on jobsite rules and procedures. Remodelers will ask the client a series of questions that will manage a number of logistic issues. They can include how to interact with pets, who gets the code to the home security system, where to put the porta potty, where to stage materials and place the dumpster, where the workers can park, and any number of other concerns. Professional remodelers understand that they are guests in the client's home, and use this time to make sure they minimize stress on the family.

Some prep work will usually need to be done before this meeting. For instance the client should prepare by making timely selections, especially if there are special-order materials with long lead times. The client should also carefully review the plans and specifications, and prepare a list of questions and concerns. These can run the gamut, from products and design features, to procedural questions such as who should the clients call with questions or concerns.

Done well, a good preconstruction meeting eliminates uncertainty and puts everyone on the same page. It goes a long way toward ensuring a trouble-free project and a smooth landing for everyone.

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

Sunday, June 9, 2013

You take the time to educate yourself; you should expect your contractor to do the same

You take the time to educate yourself; you should expect your contractor to do the same!

When you want to know something in today’s world you google it, when you want to learn something new you seek out a class or course and take it. Whether the course is in a class room, a trade show, a conference or online, you need to keep learning to keep your mind active. You should expect your contractor to be the same way.

Now your contractor doesn’t have to be taking courses in particle physics, but they should be taking courses to update themselves and their employee’s in all the changes that happen in modern construction. These changes happen at a far more rapid pace then they have every happened in the past.

When you are searching for a custom home builder or renovator you should be asking them questions. You don’t have to know the answers to all your own questions that you are asking; you just want to hear their views on certain things. There are things that should raise red flags for you if you ask the right questions.

For example;

If you ask a contractor about the new products that they are using when they build custom homes and their response is that they stick to the way they have built homes for the last twenty to thirty years then you should start to worry.
Now I’m not saying that if your contractor says that they stick to high quality detailed oriented work like they have for two or three decades that you should start to worry. I’m talking about if they say they stick to the way they have constructed homes for the last twenty years because they don’t think that a lot of the products on the market are worth the money or they just don’t like using them.

There are a couple of products that are “newer” products that any contractor should have embraced today. When I say newer products I don’t mean products that came out a couple of years ago, I mean products that came out in the market twenty to thirty years ago.

One of these products that still have contractors divided between the old way of doing things and the new way of doing things is “ICF”. Insulated Concrete Forms have been around since the late 80’s, but a lot of contractors refuse to learn anything about them or use the product in the homes they construct. Why you ask? Because they still believe that typical wood framed walls are the best and only way to construct exterior walls. The data on ICF walls is long and detailed; there is no real reason that every contractor shouldn’t embrace this technology. I’m not saying that every house we build is an ICF house, there is a cost associated with building ICF, it is an upgrade, but your contractor should be open to the idea, be familiar with the product and how it is installed.

I could name dozens of other technologies that this goes for not just ICF.

Another one that is extremely important to the life of your home is the waterproofing on your foundation.  There are still contractors that believe in taring foundations. That is not technically waterproofing, that is called damp proofing. The protecting of the foundation of your home from water penetration has come light years in the last decade. For a little extra money your contractor can install what is called Rub-R-Wall. It is a sprayed on membrane that is like a pool liner on the outside of your home. It stops any water penetration and as long as it doesn’t get damaged from rocks or human error it should last the life of your home.

So when you start interviewing contractors ask them questions about the new products that they use and the information that they know about them. If they can’t name a lot of them then you should really be looking for a more up to date contractor, a contractor that believes in educating themselves.

Hiring a contractor to build your house that doesn’t use new technology is like buying a new car with technology from the 70’s. Sure the car gets you to the store and back but it costs you a hell of a lot more money in gas and it handles like a lumber wagon.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Do photovoltaic panels convert 100% of the sun's energy into electricity?


Do photovoltaic panels convert 100% of the sun's energy into electricity?


No they do not. In fact, the most efficient PV panels convert only about 20% of the solar energy they collect into usable AC electricity. That may not seem like a lot, but it is enough to generate more than 300 watts of electricity per 20-square-foot panel.

Solar panels actually work better in colder climates; they are the most effective in the winter time when there is snow on the ground and the temperatures are lower.

Ontario's Solar FIT Program

The average solar collector is a 10KW Solar P.V. System that costs between $60,000 and 80,000 installed. The Ontario Government pays the owner of the system a higher price for the power produced than what you are paying for the same electricity from Ontario Hydro.  Most people look at installing a solar system as an investment; the return on your investment comes over the 20 year Government of Ontario contract that you sign to feed the electricity grid.
This year the Government approved only 50,000 KW of systems for the Fit program.  I believe that amount has already been allocated at the time of writing this article.

 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, June 4, 2013

Rebar safety tips for construction

Safety Tip - Rebar safety

The construction industry has changed with the manner they work and in the way that they accomplish the erecting of buildings. Along with the new methods and equipment have come new and advanced safety regulations. In the modern age of construction, safety comes before all else when building a custom home.

When building footings, foundations or ICF homes you will ultimately end up with exposed rebar protruding from concrete.

When concrete is re-enforced with rebar the rebar is left protruding out of the concrete so that it can help the next pour of concrete bond to the first pour of concrete. This rebar is about as sharp as a knife and when it is standing vertically it can end up being a spear to anyone that falls onto it.

What makes things worse is that rebar is usually on the bottom of a hole at the start of a foundation, this means that anyone that trips or falls will gain speed and velocity as they fall into the hole.

There are some very easy ways to protect workers and the public from this potentially lethal disaster. Here are a few ways:

Install a construction or snow fence around the excavated hole; this will stop people from accidently falling into the hole or tripping and falling from the top of the hole.

You can install plastic rebar caps, they install on top of the rebar at the cut end where the sharp end is exposed. This works great as they can also be placed on horizontal rebar protecting people from cutting themselves when they walk by them. Caps can be costly, especially on a very large job and they also will wear out overtime, when a rebar cap wears out it does not hug the rebar anymore and can fall off with a stiff breeze. You must take the time to walk around and check each cap once they are installed.

There are simple ways to protect workers from vertical rebar; an easy way is to attach a 2x4 to the top of the rebar. Simply wire the 2x4 on top and run it across the top of the sharp rebar. This easily protects any one from being cut or impaled. This method is far cheaper then rebar caps; the one downside is that it restricts the movement of the workers. They have to walk around to the space that you leave between the 2x4s for access.

When building ICF walls below grade or above grade a simple way to protect workers against vertical rebar is to install the first row of ICF block (which is made of ridged foam), this will keep people from being impaled. ICF block is between 16 inches and 18 inches high, this is usually enough too completely cover the vertical rebar.

Use signage to tell the public of the dangers from the hole and the exposed rebar. This should be done on any site were you think the potential for the public to gain access to the site when there are no workers present is high.

For any area where you believe that the public will have the potential to gain access to the site at night you need to put reflective markers or reflective signs to warn people of the danger of the hole. Even if you have the rebar properly protected the fall into the hole could cause severe injury.

If there is no way to practically cover the end of certain rebar like a horizontal rebar protruding from a wall, then flagging it with bright tape or spray painting it with fluorescent paint will help warn people away from it. Also placing physical barriers in front of it to stop or slow down people walking near it, these can be as simple as a couple of saw horses or a string of caution tape.

The ways to protect workers are simple and affective; there is no reason not to properly protect yourself against the dangers of exposed rebar.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Is there a size limit to my custom home if my lot is small?


I want to build a new custom home but the lot I own is rather small, is there a limit to the size of the house I can build on it?


There is definitely a limit to the size of the home that you can build on your lot. When a township is reviewing your building permit application there are several calculations and measurements that they will do from your submitted plans, this is to make sure that you conform to their rules and regulations.

Here are a couple of things that your local building department will look for:

House setbacks from your property line. Every township has setbacks in their building codes. A setback is the distance from the edge of your proposed home to the property line. Every region is different but a good rule of thumb is about 4 to 5 ft. If your lot is of an odd shape then you can end up with a problem of having a house that doesn’t fit on the lot. With odd shaped lots you can apply for a variance on the side that could end up too close to the property line. As long as that’s the only side of the house that is infringing you have a good chance at being approved.

Percentage of lot coverage. When you build a house you are only allowed to cover a certain percentage of the lot. Every municipality has different restrictions on what that percentage is.

You have a height limit for residential single family homes in most areas. So if you are planning to build a three story house you might be out of luck. A lot of municipalities do not allow more than two stories when it comes to a single family home.

If you are not on sewers then you need to leave a large enough area to install your septic system. On a small lot you might have to install a more expensive septic system that takes up less room so that your house will fit on the property.

If you want a larger home then you might want to forget about having any kind of garage. Or at the least keeping it to a single car. Garages are considered when they look at the amount of lot you are allowed to cover.

There are other considerations you should be aware of:

There are neighbourhoods and communities that have restrictions on the look and size of homes in an area or street. Some local by-laws can restrict size and style as well.

Some lots have restrictions because of wetlands, high water tables, hazardous areas or protected natural landmarks.

When you apply for your building permit, if you are asking for any special rulings like a variance your neighbours in the immediate area will be notified and will be given the chance to have their opinion heard.

The simplest thing for you to do is walk into the local municipal building and planning department and ask them what the restrictions and regulations are for the property that you want to build on.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.