Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Do i have to Drywall my attached garage in my new home?


Do I have to drywall my attached garage of my new home?


The simple answer to this question is that you should drywall your entire garage of your new home.

Legally you only have to drywall the wall that separates your garage from your home, that only applies to attached garages. It doesn’t just have to be boarded it also needs to be mudded, not finished but mudded at the least.

The reason for this is so that the wall between the garage and the liveable space of the home is what is called “gas proofed”. This basically means that any fumes from a running automobile will not be able to leave the garage and enter the home where they could injure or kill someone with carbon monoxide.

If you have a room above the garage then the ceiling of the garage must be drywalled and mudded also for the same gas proofing reasons.

The reason that I recommend that you drywall your entire garage regardless of what needs to be gas proofed is because it is always cheaper and simpler to do it before you have moved in. After you have moved in to your new home finishing the garage becomes a more difficult job. You will have to empty it and find a place for all your stuff that you have been storing in your garage. Drywalling is a dirty procedure and doing it later will but just inconvenience you, it will also allow drywall dust and footprints covered in drywall dust into your new home.

If you finish the entire garage then you can install whatever kind of storage or racking system that your needs require, this allows you to move in and put things away immediately instead of moving and sorting boxes many months or years later.

Drywalling your entire garage is better for the resale value of the home, it presents the home as well maintained and gives the feeling of a home that is move in ready with little or nothing to do.

Most people enter and exit through their garages, a lot of the guests that are going to come and visit you will enter through the garage and it will become your first impression.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

2014 master bedroom trends in custom homes

2014- Master Bedrooms trends

As we have progressed into the 2014 residential construction season trends are starting to appear in the master bedrooms of custom homes. There are trends that have continued from previous years and there are trends that have disappeared from previous years. Here is a brief summary of the trends in master bedrooms that we are seeing this year.

Master bedrooms

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

People opting to place their master bedroom on the first floor of two story homes.

The master bedroom is one of the few places left in custom homes that have ceiling fans.

Master bedrooms are turning into master suites. The suites are bathroom, walk-in closet, bedroom and usually a sitting area.

With the multiple rooms hallways in master suites are now prevalent.

Carpets are still the most wanted flooring in master bedrooms.

Coffered ceilings with lighting and crown moldings to give a dramatic affect.

Gas fireplaces set opposite to the bed placement to help set the mood and regulate the temperature for sleeping and relaxing.

Custom blinds and drapes so that homeowners can sleep later in the morning after the sun has risen.

As master bedrooms have grown in size so has the size and amount of the windows along with them.

Makeup tables with extra lighting are being added in the bedrooms to allow women to prepare without having to take over the ensuite bathroom.

Wall hung televisions with all the wiring buried in the walls.

Balconies and decks with glass French doors leading to them allow some private outdoor space and so give the master a better view.

Sound dampening in the walls of master bedrooms to keep the sounds inside and out from migrating.

Here a list of the new trends happening in master bedrooms;

Wood floors are making a comeback in master bedrooms, taking over where carpets have always been more prevalent.

Cathedral ceilings to give a more dramatic feel.

Stone and wood feature walls placed behind the bed; floor to ceiling.

More lighting is being added; potlights, chandeliers and wall sconces. All on different switching to allow the option for setting the mood.

Master bedrooms are becoming a more open modern feel with bathrooms having no door from the bedroom into the bathroom.

Audio wiring in the walls attached to a system that allows wireless control of audio music located just in the bedroom.

These are some of the most popular trends in master bedrooms in custom homes today. Trends in custom homes are very fluid, a lot of times custom home trends only last as long as it takes to build a custom home and other times depending on how expensive the trend is it can last several years.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

How to trim a window in a custom home

How to trim a window

In the world of a million DYI and builder shows you have probable seen your share of people trimming a window. I will not explain to you every way to trim a window; I will explain to you how custom home builders trim out a window properly;

The material

Here is what you are going to need to trim a window out the way we do it;

Build out material (if the window did not come with the proper depth of window build outs on it already.

Enough casing and back band to go around they entire window plus 1 extra foot per side.

You will need a piece of stool for the bottom of the window, this should also be 1 foot longer then the window is wide.

The first thing that you have to do is install the build out in the window. That is the wood that goes from the actual window out to the edge of the drywall. Some windows come with this already attached but most window build outs end up to short to make it flush to the drywall and need to be extended.

Take flat stock material that matches the trim that you are using and rip it on a table saw to the desired thickness. Cut all four sides to the length required and nail and glue them together on the floor. When you measure this out you do not want your build outs to be flush with the existing build outs that are already in the window. You want to leave a review of a 1/8th of an inch. This allows the trim to move a little between the different seasons and humidity levels that a home will go through. When measuring the depth of the build out material you allow the build out to stick slightly past the finished drywall. This is because drywall is not perfectly flat, drywall is skim coated with drywall mud making it an uneven surface to work on, by leaving the build out proud of the drywall you will be able to install the trim without any bumps or bulges in your trim. Install the build out with shims and trim nails making sure that it fits tight against the window frame.

Now that your build out is in its time to install the stool. What is a stool you ask? It is the piece that is installed on the bottom of the window that extends out into the room like a little shelf.

We do not picture frame windows when we trim them, it is a cheap way to trim a window and in a custom home for a little extra money and effort you can make the window look like it was installed by a professional and not a handy man. Picture framing is when you install four pieces of the same trim around the window with a 45 degree miter on each corner.

When measuring for the stool measure the bottom of the window between the new build outs that you just installed. You must now add the width of the trim and backband for each side of the window. Then add one extra inch to the measurement. You want the stool to be extended past the backband on the trim when you are done.

Cut the stool at the required length at a 45 degree angle on each end. Then cut end pieces at a 45 degree angle so that the ends of the stool will have a return on it. Glue and nail the returns on the end before installing the stool. Set the stool at the bottom of the window and leave a 1/8th of an inch reveal from the edge of your window build out. To install the stool you will need to pre-drill holes through the face of the stool into something solid like the window build out or the framing around the window. Use long trim nails and glue to attach the stool to the bottom of the window through the pre-drilled holes.

Now that the stool is installed you need to install the header of the window. You will be using your casing material for this.

Measure from the inside edge of the build out across the window to the other inside edge then add ¼ inch for you reveal. Cut the casing at a 45 degree angle from the measurements that you just took. Once you have both ends cut at 45 degrees then install it with trim nails and remember that you want to leave a 1/8th reveal from the build out.

Once the top piece of trim is installed then you need to install the legs. Measure from the top piece of trim down to the stool at the bottom of the window. You are going to want the trim to sit right on top of the stool, cut and install them so that there is 45 degree angle at the top so that it fits perfectly with the top piece of trim. Nail the trim and remember to leave the 1/8th of an inch reveal from the build out.

Now that the trim is installed around the window you need to install the apron. The apron goes under the stool; it must be installed upside down so that the thick end of the casing is against the stool. You will want to cut the apron so that it has the same returns on the end as the stool. Cut and install the apron so that it is smaller the width of the window with the casing added. This will mean that the stool will extend past the apron on each end.

The only thing that you have left to do is to install the backband on the casing. The backband is installed by cutting the top piece first and installing it with the backband cut at a 45 degree angle at each end. Then install the side backbands on the casing so that they join at 45 degrees with the top piece.

You have now just trimmed a window the proper way and if you did it right it won’t look like some hack handy man did it.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Designing the outdoor living space at the cottage

Designing your waterfront cottage: Outdoor living space

So you’ve built a new cottage in beautiful cottage country or bought and renovated an older place and now you’re wondering what to do with the outside space.

Your first thoughts are probably “what do I care about the outside, I just spend months and months paying for the inside spaces of the cottage.” What you need to realize is that the reason that you bought the property in the first place is to enjoy the outdoors, why else would travel all the way to cottage country if not to enjoy the outdoors.

To properly enjoy the outdoors you want to give people an excuse to go outside. When you live in the big city you get use to doing everything in doors whether it is in the winter or the summer. Houses that are on top of each other do not lend themselves to a lot of privacy, when you are short on privacy you tend to do more things indoors. In cottage country because of the overall size of the lots, the trees and rocks that are between the properties you end up with a lot of privacy created naturally.

With the privacy will also come the willingness to be outside as often as possible.

In cottage country people get used to doing everything outside, from relaxing to eating to sleeping. Cottage country is the perfect place to enjoy nature and to do that you need to be ready to do everything outside and have the facilities to accommodate it.

When deciding on what you want to build outside you must take into consideration that the seasons change in cottage country from spring to summer to fall. To get the most out of that outdoor space you will need to make sure that any planning helps and not hinders it. That requires you to think about all the things that you need to make using the outdoors more comfortable to enjoy;

Bug Control

One of the biggest annoyances about being outside in cottage country in a large part of the spring/summer is the bugs. Black flies and mosquitoes can make it most un-enjoyable to be outside at anytime of the day.

Later on in the summer the biting bugs are more prevalent at night when you want to sit and listen to the quiet sounds of cottage country. There are ways to minimize the biting bugs such as gazebos with bug netting or outdoor pavilions with bug netting. You must make sure that when installing bug netting that it is placed underneath any floor if it is built as a deck surface because the bugs can come through between the gaps in the deck boards.

You can use bug zappers or mosquito repellent machines that help clear the area of the unwanted, with some of these systems you will need electricity to plug them in so you will have to take that into consideration when laying out the space with your electrician.

 If you plan any kind of outdoor water features you will have to make sure that it has the ability to keep the water moving or mosquitoes will breed in the stagnant water. Electricity will need to be allocated for that area as well.


Since cottage country has so many activities to do during the day, nights are usually spent relaxing or recovering from the day’s events. There is nothing more relaxing then reading a good book or entertaining friends and family outside in the quiet of the cottage night air. To do this you will require lighting because cottage country is extremely dark at night. When planning your outdoor space you should be doing a proper lighting layout with your contractor. There are many ways to do lighting outside;

You can have solar lights that can be installed in the decking, patio or in the ground around paths; they will come on as the sun goes down and go out when the sun comes back up.They do not require you to run electricity to them.

Lighting fixtures placed in buildings, gazebos or around barbecues help you control the amount of light that you require. They also work as an added safety feature so that people know where they’re walking and where the elevation changes are located.

Step lights are very popular these days, allowing light to wash over decks and steps without the problem of people or animals knocking them over during the day. Snow does not hurt them and they do not have to be removed at the end of the season. They help with the safety at night showing the elevation changes to people that might need a little more light in their later years.


Cottage country is a wonderful place outside at night, but in the early spring and into the fall the nights become increasingly colder. To help extend your stay outdoors think about adding heating to the space. There are several different types of heat you can use to achieve this depending on what and where they are to be placed;

Stand alone heating towers run on either electricity or propane, they can be placed around the deck or patio area to warm up the immediate area.

In outdoor buildings that have the ability to be closed up for the winter you can have an electric or gas fireplace installed to warm them up when you are relaxing outside.

If you have the ability masonry built fireplaces can be used outside to warm up a large area and if they are built into an outdoor kitchen then they can also be your main source of cooking.

In buildings that have the ability to be enclosed you can add any number of different heaters from baseboard to forced air heaters. This kind of building can be warmed up even in the winter to be used if you want too.


Outdoor kitchens have become extremely popular, why would you want to be the only one stuck inside on a beautiful cottage summer night when everyone else is outside. Outdoor kitchens allow you to be with your friends and family the whole time. As long as the kitchen is properly planned out and made out of the appropriate materials you should have little problem cooking and eating outside.

An exterior kitchen becomes a gathering point for people and can be used after dinner for serving drinks. With the right heat source the cooking area can also be used to keep everyone warm and create a natural gathering point.

Remember that when planning your outdoor kitchen it does not have to be fancy like the ones inside, function and sustainability is more important than the fashion of it.


When planning that outdoor space don’t get too wrapped up in what each exact spot outside will become, plan some of the space to be used as a multi-functional space. These spaces will take on a life of their own as people use them. Since cottage weather changes so much so will the use of these spaces, it’s better to plan them to be adaptable then to fix them into a finite role.


You will want some where to have a fire outside. Depending on what you want to do with the fire will determine where and how much space to leave for it.

If the fire is for cooking then containing the fire in some sort of masonry built unit is the best way and the safest way. This will allow you to have a fire closer to other outdoor entertaining without endangering other structures or the actual cottage.

If the fire is too be used to sit around like a bonfire then you will want to give the fire more room around it. You will also want to keep the fire away from any buildings, that includes the cottage; it’s not only for the fire safety but also for the smoke that a bonfire creates. There is nothing worse than having the bonfire fill your cottage full of wood smoke because the wind shifted. Here are a few more tips on locating your bonfire;

Give yourself enough room around the bonfire so that people can sit on all sides of it. You will want to use seating that will allow people to move around as the wind changes direction to get out of the smoke.

Enclose the fire. A ring of rocks, bricks, concrete blocks or poured concrete is the best way to accomplish this; you want an and all organic material removed from inside the bonfire burning area and the seating area directly around it.

Dig a pit. You need to dig a pit to place the fire in, this is the safest way to control a fire, and it allows the fire to burn and also allows the ashes to cool while out of the wind.

You should have a water source nearby. Either the lake with a pail or a tap to fill up buckets or attach a garden hose too. Bonfires can get out of control very quickly especially in windy conditions.

Never place the bonfire under the trees. Sparks from burning wood have a tendency to rise up into the air. Make sure that the bonfire is placed where sparks have the ability to rise and cool safely.

Anything of wood like decking or seating should be kept well away from a bonfire location, people often forget about dosing the flames late at night when they go to bed and you don’t want the potential of burning your cottage down.

Flat space

You should work into your outdoor living space a flat area where you can play any number of games. You want to give kids and adults every excuse to stay outside. Playing games like horseshoes, volleyball, croquette, soccer, football and badminton require a flat surface. The surface doesn’t have to be grass; it can be sand or even packed earth as long as it’s fairly smooth and level. This can also be a place where you can set up a portable gazebo, lawn furniture or tents when the kids want to sleep outside.

Whatever you decide to do outside around your cottage make sure that you take the time to plan it out and have drawings created so that you know what it’s going to look like beforehand. Hiring professionals to do the work is a great way for you to be able to enjoy the outdoors quicker. They can help design the space so that it is built in a way that keeps the maintenance of the area down, allowing you to concentrate on relaxing and not worrying about working outside every weekend.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Build your custom home with Master Craftsmen

Master craftsmen

Your thinking about building a custom home, your interviewing general contractors, here’s a simple question that you should be asking them.  Do you employ master craftsmen or master carpenters?

If you are having a custom home built you will want a master carpenter working on it. Master carpenters excel at all things within the building of homes especially working with wood and the interior finishes that go along with them.

If you want a house to look like an extremely rich and well put together place, then your general contractor better have master carpenters on your job site. Without them there is no way anyone can guarantee that the work will be of an extremely high quality and finished in an efficient and timely manner.

Master carpenters are hard to find into today’s construction industry, not all general contractors are able to find a master carpenter and they usually have a harder time keeping them. As a general contractor you have to pay them enough to keep them around and you also have to generate enough work to constantly keep them busy year after year. If your general contractor isn't able to do these things then his master carpenter will go to the competition.

The only way to become a master carpentry is to be in the construction industry for decades working on high end work in all manner of homes and buildings. As the population gets older there is a glaring number of high end carpenters that are retiring from the industry or stepping back into a more handyman role where it is easier on their aging bodies, allowing them lighter workloads and more flexible hours.

There is a generation gap in the construction industry, for year’s parents and guidance councillors have been steering boys and girls away from working in the trades, they were told if you’re smart enough you should be going to College or University. They were told this was the only way to be guaranteed a good paying long term job. What has happened is that a whole generation of people have realized that going to College or University doesn’t guarantee you a well paying job anymore. One of the few places left to secure that job is in the trades.

Because of that way of thinking a whole generation of young people did not seek employment in the trades and have left a gaping hole, this makes it even harder to find master carpenters and also carpenters in general. There is a younger generation coming up through the system training to be carpenters but they are decades away from being ready to take on the role of a master carpenter.

If you are interviewing a general contractor and he doesn’t employ his own carpenters but subs out the finishing’s I would consider that a red flag. You want your general contractor to be able to control the fit and finish of the home and the only way to do that is to have at least one master carpenter employed and onsite all the time as your custom home is being constructed.

The more questions you ask of your potential general contractors the more information you will have when you go to choose one. You can never know enough about your general contractor.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Need a railing for your new deck, get a custom one

Need a railing for your new deck, get a custom one

Do you have an existing deck or are you having one built for you? You will probably require railings on your deck in some places where the deck is too far off the ground. There are many different types, makes and models for railings out there, you need to make sure that if the railing is being used as a safety measure that it is legal when it is finished.

To have a legal deck railing there are many different factors that a building department will be looking for, how strong it is, the spacing on the spindles, the spacing on the posts, how high it is and how far off the deck it starts. So when shopping around for your deck railing there is actually a lot to think about.

If you spend any time in a big box story you come to realize that railings all start to look alike, every big box store makes the same kinds of railings with slight differences.

There is a way to get around this; you can have a custom railing created for you. There are many different ways and materials you can use to do this and the choices are almost endless. I will focus on the most popular of custom railings choices.


Wood spindles and railings are the most common; you can actually have custom railings and spindles created for you by a woodworker or a carpenter. There are many different designs that you can have created, you can have a picture or special patterns as long as in the end it confirms with the building code measurements. A good wood craftsman can do this with proper drawings and some special planning. You can have a custom piece of almost art that will make your deck stand out and because it’s wood will blend in to the surroundings especially if the rest of the deck is made from conventional wood decking as well.


This is becoming a much more popular thing to have for railings these days, metal railings and spindles are a very clean system to have installed and also do not weather like a wood railing. They don’t rot or twist in the sun, the only thing you really have to worry about is keeping the paint from chipping off.
A good metal fabricator can do almost anything you want, with proper plans and some foresight the possibilities are endless. The great thing about metal is that it can span larger distances, holds together with welds instead of screws, glue or nails and can be made extremely thin to fit in tight spaces. If the right paint is used the railing and spindles should look new and fresh for many years. With metal you can have whole murals cut out of flat sheets of metal and installed as railings, the look is wonderful.


Glass panels used to be only when people wanted an unobstructed view off their decks. This has changed as more and more people want the clean look that glass panels give. Instead of the cluttered look of railings and spindles one sheet of glass between posts can look really sharp and also create the illusion of the deck being bigger than it really is.
If you live in a windy location glass panels are a great way to cut down on the breeze and can help save things from being blown over from the winds. Glass does not rot, rust, split or need to be repainted. Glass for railings is made extremely durable and does not crack or brake unless hit with something heavy that would damage any kind of railing system.

These are the most popular custom options for your deck railings. Taking the time to look at the options and don’t be afraid to get creative.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What is R-value?


What is R-value?


R-value is a measure of energy efficiency. The higher the R-value of the insulation, windows, and even a home’s structure, the better the house is able to block the transfer of unwanted hot or cold air through walls and ceiling.

Newer homes have a higher R-value rating inside their walls then older homes, this higher R-value allows the homes to use less energy to heat and cool the inside. The lower the amount of energy needed to regulate the inside of the homes temperature the lower the bills will be for the homeowner.

Mandatory building code changes have forced the construction industry to adjust their standard building practises to meet higher R-values, the building code in Ontario is scheduled to change again in a couple of years and the R-value will be going up in all new homes.

The raising of the R-value is good and bad, good as it lowers energy consumption and bad because it raises the minimum cost of new homes for everyone.

The future of home building will be to raise the R-value to a point where there is little to no energy to heat and cool the building, this goal is not just to save people money but to also lessen the impact on the environment.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Where do you find a good kitchen design?

Where to find a good kitchen design

One of the most important area’s in your home is your kitchen not just for the functionality of the home but also for the eventual resale of it in the future.

To maximize the value of your home a proper kitchen renovation must be completed, to achieve a stylish and functional kitchen you will need a professional to lay the room out.

I’m talking about hiring an interior designer to design your new kitchen. Interior designers are true professionals that have years of experience in designing spaces in many different types of homes for many different people who have many different needs and wants.

It’s one thing to renovate your kitchen with new cabinets and appliances it’s a completely different one to have your kitchen function well, look correct and also fit your personal style.

An ill planned kitchen renovation will show not only in the amount of the final cost but also with the fit and finish in the kitchen. Interior designers today are able to draw everything on computers allowing you to be able to walk through your new kitchen virtually before you ever sign off on the final layouts.

New design software allows designers to place not only cabinets and appliances but also lighting so that one plan is able to do everything for all the trades that will be involved in the project. The lighting is particularly interesting as it lights up an area just like a real light would allowing you to see the area's where there are dark spot in your kitchen or area’s where you want a little more light to do food preparation.

As interior designers are extremely knowledge in all aspects of lighting and furniture you can also get them to source and purchase the lighting and furniture that will fit correctly in your new kitchen. This saves you the time of having to go out and find it yourself and a lot of interior designers are able to extend their professional discounts to you basically paying for their own time in the money that they save you on the fixtures.

I have learned a lot from the interior designer that we have worked with for the past 4 or 5 years. It’s amazing how easy they make the layout and design of kitchen spaces.

Hire a professional interior designer and you won’t be disappointed.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, April 11, 2014

We want to install new wood flooring in our cottage but the place isn’t climate controlled, what would be the best flooring to use?

We want to install new wood flooring in our cottage but the place isn’t climate controlled, what would be the best flooring to use?


There are several choices that you can choose. It will depend on your budget.

The cheaper flooring to buy and install is the laminates. Laminate floors come in a wide range of grades, colours, textures, widths and our made so that they have very limited movement in them as the climate inside the cottage changes. Most laminates can be installed without actually nailing or gluing them down. This allows your floor to float. Also long as you have the ability to leave room around the outside edges and you do not fasten the floor at any point then the floor will have the ability to move. Laminates do not move as much as a solid wood floor when the climate changes inside.

If you do not like the look of laminates and you want a more natural look and a more natural product then you want flooring that is real wood. But you do not want to get a full bed wood floor, you want to buy what is called an engineered wood floor. Engineered wood flooring is real wood on the top but glued to a plywood backer. The plywood backer stiffens the floor and does not move as much as a full bed wood floor would when the climate changes inside.

The way plywood is manufactured does not shrink and expand like a full natural wood so changing climates in the home do not bother it as much, high humidity or extreme low temperatures have little affect on the floor. Since engineered flooring haves real wood on top of the plywood backing will make your floor look like a solid wood floor and most people will never be able to tell the difference. Engineered flooring should resist most cupping or warping due to high humidity or direct sunlight.

If you do buy a full natural wood floor you run the risk of the high humidity and changing climates in the home causing the wood to swell, shrink and even buckle. This could cause serious damage to the floor in a very short amount of time.

Stick to the manufactured stuff and you will not be disappointed.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The role of your renovater

The Role of the Remodeler

A lot of people don’t understand the sheer complexity of the remodeling contractor’s job, and the systems required to make a big project go smoothly.

Many analogies have been used to describe the professional remodeler: the conductor of an orchestra, the captain of a ship, even a general executing a military campaign. The point is that the remodeler is the one who must coordinate the innumerable players and products needed to transform the homeowners’ wishes and vision into a real-life addition, kitchen, or bath.

The remodeler has to make sure that everything happens just when it’s supposed to, and that the end result is exactly what the clients expected.

This process should begin before the plans have been drawn. Ideally, the remodeler will work with the architect or designer to detail the project so that it can be completed in the most efficient and cost-effective manner, and with the least disruption to the homeowners’ lives. Such collaboration can yield significant cost savings, as well as reducing headaches for everyone.

Once the plans are complete, the remodeler works with local zoning and code authorities to secure the proper permits. Professional remodelers have a thorough understanding of building codes, as well as good working relationships with local authorities. This is another big plus to hiring a pro: the building department will scrutinize more closely a permit application submitted by a homeowner, or even by a small contractor, than one submitted by an established company with a reputation for solid management and quality work.

Professional remodelers also have close relationships with quality subcontractors. And because the remodeler is a source of ongoing work for those contractors, prices offered will likely be less than prices offered to anyone else.

Once the project is under way, the professional remodeler’s management skills really make a difference.

These skills include:

Keeping the job on schedule by ensuring that all workers and materials show up at exactly the right time. Timetables often change, with causes that range from bad weather, to late deliveries, to unexpected structural problems uncovered during demolition. The time and organization required to constantly adjust everyone’s schedules is something homeowners seldom see.

Overseeing the job to guarantee that all trades deliver quality work and to ensure that the homeowners’ assets are protected. For example, if the weather forecast makes it risky to tear off the roof, the remodeler will have the authority to put it on hold even if the roofer wants to move ahead.

Solving and preventing problems. A major renovation is an extremely complex undertaking with a million things that can go wrong—and that will go wrong without a skilled and experienced person in the lead. Having a pro in charge of solving problems takes a lot of stress off the homeowners.

Completing the punch list at the end of the project. Everyone has heard horror stories of unprofessional contractors who left a job with a list of small things undone. The pro will make sure that everything is complete before the last worker leaves the job.

Finally, from start to finish the professional remodeler protects the homeowner by carrying the needed licenses and insurance policies and confirming that everyone else on the job is similarly covered.

A major remodel is not a seat-of-the pants endeavor: a successful project is the result of well-honed management systems. These systems are an important part of the professional remodeler’s value.
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 www.robabbott@villagebuilders.ca

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc

Monday, April 7, 2014

The external sump pump could be the solution to your wet basement

The external sump pump.

Every new home built today is built with a sump pump, it is installed in the basement or crawlspace of the home. It is installed in a sump pit, this basically is an oversized plastic pail that is located below the concrete floor of the home.

There is another kind of sump pump, it is called an external sump pump. It is installed on the outside of your home. It is installed in what is called a sump well, the sump well is located 5 to 10 feet from the outside of the home.

The well usually is made from concrete, one of the most commonly used things to form a sump well are concrete well tiles. They are roughly 3 ft wide in diameter and about to 2.5 feet high, they are manufactured in a circle and they are designed to fit on top of one another. They are excellent at holding back the ground creating a perfect place to have access to an underground pump.

You install enough concrete pieces so that there is an unobstructed well that is deep enough that it is below the house sump pump, this should put the external pump below the footings as well.

Once you have the well tiles installed, you redirect the house weepers so that they run into the external sump well instead of first going into the sump pit inside. This will cause the sump well to fill with water. You then install a sump pump at the bottom of the sump well and pipe it up and out of the sump well away from the house.

The reason that you would do this instead of relying on just the interior sump pump is because the water volume around the house is so great that the internal sump pump can’t keep up and the foundation of the house is being saturated with water. Instead of allowing the water from the outside around the house into the internal sump pump, you move the water into the sump well outside. This allows the internal sump pump to only deal with the water that is directly underneath the house.

The sump well also has the ability to hold a fair bit more water then the internal sump pit. This is a safety system so that if and when the water is overwhelming for the pump at the bottom of the well it doesn’t overflow out of the well. It contains the water inside until the pump is able to move it.

External sump wells are usually installed as a retro fit to help finished homes that have high water volume problems ease the pressure around the foundation.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Safety: Heating with propane

Safety: Heating with propane

In a lot of construction sites this time of year heat is required to allow certain aspects of the project to keep moving it forward.

Heat is required for work that is being done outside in the cold to keep it warm. Another reason that you would use propane heat is if you didn’t have access to a permanent electricity source that was reliable.

When working with propane there are several precautions that must be taken, propane is a highly flammable liquid that must be treated as a dangerous chemical at all times. When heating with this fuel source inside a building there are several things that must be done;

You must supply a source of constant fresh air into the building. Propane uses oxygen to burn its fuel. Propane eats up the all the available oxygen in the room and without a fresh air supply the oxygen will be eliminated from the space and the heater will go out. If there are workers in the area they can be harmed by the lack of oxygen as well.

You must make sure that the heating source is near the middle of the room away from any flammable materials.

The propane containers must be kept outside, even if they are attached to the heating source. You must keep all propane containers outside and secured in a way that they will not fall over or be damaged.

When using propane outside in an enclosed environment like a tarped in area you must make sure that the same rules as above are followed. There are several things that you need to watch more in yourself and your workers when working around propane.

When working around propane heaters you must be conscious of your own body. If you get a headache then you need to either leave the area or add more fresh air to the area that you working in. The reason that you have a headache is because there is lack of oxygen flowing to your brain. The propane heater is removing too much of it out of the air.

Watch your fellow workers or employee’s, if you see anything in them that makes them look like they are drunk like swaying while walking or staggering or slurred speech.  These are symptoms of lack of oxygen getting to the persons brain. The person must be removed from the are immediately along with all other workers until adequate airflow can be injected.

With propane a strict safety policy must be implemented and enforced, because of the potential dangers of
propane everyone must follow the rules.    

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Doug Abbott featured in ON THE BAY MAGAZINE

The president of Village Builders was just featured in the local magazine “On The Bay.”

The issue is the spring issue of On The Bay 2014.

The article is entitled Building Dreams and it features Doug Abbot and several other prominent designers, developers and builders of Custom homes all from the local Georgian Bay area.

The article is about how custom homes are becoming more elaborate and grand in scale, the article also talks a lot about the current trends and where the industry is going in the near future.

Doug talks about how clients are spending more money than ever on their HVAC systems that offer superior energy efficiency.

To read the full article with Doug’s comments go to www.onthebaymagazine.com and go to their current or spring issue. The article is on page 45 and Doug is featured on page 51.

Here is the direct link to Doug’s interview in the magazine.

For more information on custom homes feel free to drop us an email at info@villagebuilders.ca

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thanks to everyone that came to visit us at the cottage life show

Thanks to everyone that came to visit us at the cottage life show

Village Builders would like to thank everyone that came out to the International Centre this weekend Mar. 28-30. We had a lot of people stop by our little booth and talk to use about their building needs.

We heard from people that wanted to build houses all around the Georgian Bay area, over through Haliburton and into Ottawa. The farthest person away was wanting to build in Michigan!

We also talked to a lot of you people with building issues and renovations/additions needs. Some of you
were in our area and some of you weren’t. Hopefully we where helpful to the both sets of people and that the people in our service area will be thinking about using use in the future.

This week we are doing our recap and organization of all our leads and conversations that we had. We will be getting back to a lot of you starting next week.

If anybody would like us to contact them sooner than please feel free to drop us an email at info@villagebuilders.ca

If anybody is thinking about a Spring start for their construction project the time is now for you to get started.

If you want to talk to us about anything that you saw at the show or a conversation that we might have had then please feel free to email me robabbott@villagebuilders.ca  or info@villagebuilders.ca

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by to talk to use.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.