Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Protect your construction site from falling items

Over a five-year period, there was an average of 2,000 lost-time injuries caused by falling objects in the sectors served by IHSA. This safety talk can help start the discussion around eliminating this hazard in your workplace.

Safety: Protecting workers, the public and clients from falling objects

Safety is a premium on construction sites. Safety is so important in construction that it is more important to work safely than anything else that must be completed on a construction site.

Falling objects have injured an average of 2000 people in the last 5 years in Ontario.

Falling objects can come from workers working on scaffolding, roofers working on a roof, workers in an aerial lift, workers on ladders and cranes and lifts moving material.

The objects can be from as small as a hammer to as large as skids of natural stone. The range of injuries can be from minor wounds to life threatening situations.

There should be steps taken on construction sites when there are workers that are working off the ground while using any of the above mentioned items;

A safety talk should be given at the beginning of the day before anyone starts working, the safety talk will explain what workers should do to stay safe on the site and also to help give them the information to work safely.

Areas with workers that are working off the ground should be avoided by most employees, the less people around the area the less likely anyone will be struck.

Put up safety tape to stop people from walking under areas of concern. Safety or physical barriers like snow fences can stop the public or your clients from walking into an area that might be dangerous to them.

Depending on how high you are working or the size of the area your working on you can install catch nets that will stop anything from hitting the ground or people below.

Warning signs will inform people about the dangers that are posed if you are near the area.

The greatest form of safety on a construction site is information. The more information that are given to the workers on the site the more they will know what to do and not to do.

Remember stay safe.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Building with an eye to selling to the baby boomers

New Canadian Statistics show that the majority of new home buyers are baby boomers and that the average amount of people living in new homes is down to only two.

These new statistics show that when people are thinking about renovating their homes they should keep an eye toward resale down the road. The largest group of people that you will be marketing your home too will be baby boomers that are planning to have only one or two people living in the home at any time.

This affects the planning and designing of your renovations, you should be designing (if you plan to resell your home one day) so that it appeals to older couples that do not have children that will be living in their home permanently.

When designing bathrooms do not worry about making the bathrooms children friendly by sacrificing design and style. Functionality, orientation and the overall flow of spaces specifically tailored to the aging population will help raise the appeal of your home to future buyers. Make sure that you install at least one walk in shower in the home, baby boomers do not require tub/shower combinations, they might work for a guest room but for the main bathroom it should be a glass walk in, if you have the room to install a bench then this will help the resale value as well.

The baby boomer generation is asking for smaller houses, but their plan is to have only one or two people living in them, compared to the average Canadian family that is between 3 and 4. So even though they are buying smaller houses there is more square footage per person for them to live in.

The other thing that baby boomers are wanting is an extremely high degree of finishing and all of the modern conveniences. That means that when you remodel a home you want to wire for modern technology and install the proper structured wiring. Controlling your homes mechanical systems from your laptop or smart phone has become a real demand for all people; the boomer generation is just like all other demographics they like their tools, toys and technology.

The small creature comforts have become increasingly in demand; heated floors, accent lighting, gas fireplaces and centre vac.

These same people are asking for high end finishing’s on the floors and tile but also want it to be little to no maintenance. This will limit the options you will have but will make the care and functionality worth it in the end.

If you are building a new home with an eye to selling it down the road then I suggest that you build a bungalow. The boomer generation is not that interested in climbing stairs. If you own a home that is a two story then you should think about reworking the first floor layout to include a first floor master bedroom. The upstairs rooms can be considered guest rooms or hobby rooms.

Remember to think about the person that wants to buy your home one day and try to incorporate some of things that will appeal to them.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What will survive the high winds that come off the great lakes on the outside of my cottage?


I’m having a cottage built on the water of the great lakes and I’m worried about the high winds. Can you give me any advice on what type of siding or other products that I should put on my house so that it won’t get damaged?


There are several types of material that I would recommend installing on the outside of your cottage and
there are materials that I would strongly recommend against installing on the outside of your cottage. Let’s start with the material that I would stay away from;

Vinyl Siding

There are many different types of vinyl siding, degrees of thickness, colour, shape, installation methods and availability. I would recommend against all of them, especially on a cottage that is going to have to deal with the extreme winds that are coming off the great lakes.

Vinyl siding must be installed loosely, that means that the nails that hold it on the building are not nailed tight. This allows the vinyl to shrink and expand in the summer sun, vinyl actually moves so much that if you don’t install the fasteners in this way it will buckle and come apart from the siding around it.

Because vinyl siding is installed loosely, it can catch the wind, if the wind catches the underside of it then it will be ripped off the house fairly easily.

Vinyl siding is installed with Vinyl trims around the windows and doors. There is no caulking used in the installation of vinyl siding. That means that with a driving rain there is a chance that water will penetrate around the window and get behind the siding.

Wood Siding

Wood siding has come a long way in the last three decades. It is painted in a factory and the finish is warranted for 15 years. That means that you shouldn’t have to repaint the house 15 yrs, as long as the paint is refreshed when it is needed the siding should last a life time.

Wood siding is installed with ring nail fasteners. This means that short of a tornado wood siding should never be pulled off a home even in constant high winds. There are wood siding applications that now tongue and groove all the joints so that there is even less chance for movement.

Caulking is required for wood siding, caulking around every joint, window, door and protrusion. This will ensure that nothing penetrates the siding even in a driving rain.

Steel/metal siding

Steel siding comes in many different shapes, styles and applications. It is becoming more popular to on custom homes. New steel siding is painted in a factory the same way that they paint cars, the siding comes with a long warranty and the finish will withstand almost anything.

Steel siding has the ability to withstand impact at a much higher degree than normal siding. Steel siding does not bend well and as such if the wind was to catch a corner of it there would be little damage to the siding as it resists the urge to fold and be pulled away.
Steel siding is more expensive then wood and looks a lot different but with steel comes one of the best warranties you could ever want.


Putting stone either natural or manufactured is a great way to protect your home. Either product is basically a forever product as long as it’s installed properly.

There’s a reason that castles are still standing after 1000’s of years, stone doesn’t move, bend, shrink or
expand. It stays in one place no matter what the weather is or the temperature.

Putting stone on the windward side of your cottage will guarantee that you wouldn’t have any wind damage no matter how high the wind blows. Flying debris will not damage stone or penetrate it.

There are so many different types of stone whether it is manufactured or natural, the choices are almost endless and it will have more to do with your budget and less to do with the availability of the product.


Stucco should never be put on a cottage. Stucco has come a long way in the last couple of decades but it is still a product that was invented for warmer southern climates where they have to deal with more intense heat and sun and less wind and rain. Stucco will absorb moisture, flying debris or high winds will damage stucco overtime.

Stucco is a high maintenance material and should be avoided in cottage country.

Cement siding

Cement siding is strong and will stand up to high winds and flying debris. The paint warranties are the same as wood siding with you not having to worry about repainting for at least 15 years.

Cement siding will not tear, bend or be ripped off a home short of a tornado. It is highly durable and will last a long time.

Cement siding requires caulking at all joints, windows, doors and penetrations.

The only difference between cement siding and wood siding is that cement siding is a lot more expensive and requires more time to install.

Remember that when picking the exterior product that you want on your roof you should weigh durability, style, and price. Your budget will have the biggest impact on what you place as a finish on the outside of
your home.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Should I paint walls in color or white?


Should I paint walls in color or white?


Opinions vary, of course, but most style experts advocate the use of color for both interior and exterior paint jobs. A splash of dramatic color on a single wall or as an accent can be attractive and effective.

If your tastes are a bit more conservative stick to more subtle tones on large canvases (walls and ceilings) that will bring some life and interest to the room. It's best to avoid stark and cold white finishes.

The use of white for wall colours should be used for places that it fits. White wall and ceiling colours work well in more modern homes. Using white can be a very dramatic look in a modern home that has no trim and very little detail.

In extremely modern homes white is preferred. With no trim designers will look to kitchen backsplashes or fireplaces or the furniture to give that pop of colour that catches people’s eye.

What you have to remember with white is that it will show every mark, stain, scrap and rub on it. Anyone that touches your walls with sweaty or greasy hands will leave that imprint and you could end up spending a lot of time cleaning the walls.

Hiring an interior designer is the best way to go about creating that space; they will be able to help you get the look that you want.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What is a septic system?

What is a septic system?

If you live in a rural area where there are no sewers then you know that you need a septic system. Septic systems have been pretty much the same sort of idea for decades.

The Septic Tank

When you flush a toilet or have a shower or wash vegetables in the kitchen sink the waste water goes down the drain, it then travels through a pipe outside of your home in a large holding tank that is under the ground.
This holding tank is called a septic tank; it collects the waste and waste water from your entire home. The waste water flows out the tank through another pipe into a septic bed. Today’s septic tanks have two chambers, first one fills and then the other. The solids remain in the septic tank while the waste water flows out the exhaust pipe into the septic bed.

The solids that stay in the septic tank break down over time because of the high bacteria content in the septic tank. A properly working septic tank will break down wastes and solids at a steady enough rate allowing years between the need to have it pumped out and emptied.

The septic bed 

From the septic tank the waste water flows out through piping to a septic bed. A Septic bed is basically a bunch of perforated piping encased in a layer of sand. The waste water flows down the piping and gradually leaks into the sand that is surrounding the perforated piping. The sand acts as a filter cleaning the waste water. By the time the water is through the sand the organic plants usually absorb it cleaning it again for a final time.

Septic systems work on time, everything takes time to travel through the system, by the time the waste water travels through the entire system it comes ready to be re-consumed.

There are many different types and variations on the septic system model but this at the root of it is the basic one that has been around for decades.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How to properly read a set of house plans

How to properly read a set of house plans

Reading house plans is not as hard as it sounds, it takes a little practise, someone to point out what the symbols on the page mean and it also helps to be able to picture things in your mind.

When you have a set of house plans drawn up by an architect or draftsmen usually the first page of drawings is an overview of the site that you will be working on, this shows the position of the house relative to the lot lines, road ways and right of ways. It also shows the positioning of the other buildings already on the property or any building that is to be built. A lot of the time this overview page will also have numbers on it that will be around the home and in key areas. These numbers are the grade elevation numbers, they show what the height of the finished grade will have to be around the newly build building. From these numbers you will be able to set the height of the first floor of the house which will set the height of the entire building.

The next pages of a proper set of house plans will show the foundation and footings as an overview (from above looking down).

There should be this same overview for every floor and the roof with details on interior and exterior walls.

What comes next are the elevations, this is the pictures of all the four sides of the home as seen from the outside of the building.

The last pages will be details, cross sections and lists of window, doors and anything else that the architect and engineers deem necessary for the construction of the home.

There are several things you need to understand about house plans;

Every house plan has a scale. This scale will allow you to measure with a tape measure or a ruler to ascertain the lengths of things on the plan that do not already have measurements. The scale for most plans is ¼” =1’. This means that for every ¼” you measure on the paper in the real world it would have been 1 foot. This is the most common of scales, but a lot of plans depending on the size and scope of the building will use different measurements. Depending on the architect and what they are attempting to draw the scale could change from page to page and detail to detail. It is critical that you take the time to ascertain the scale of the drawing that you are looking at.

There is always a legend. Depending on what part of the plan that you are looking at there will be symbols that you won’t understand.  You will have to look for a legend that will help you identify what they mean. The part of the plan with the most symbols is usually the electrical layout. There are so many different things that go into a home to do with electrical the only way to do a proper layout is to use symbols. The legend will tell you in detail which symbol means which.

When trying to understand a cross section you must figure out the location of the cross section. This is done by looking at the floor plans that are shown from an overview (birds view); at certain locations around the perimeter of the building envelope you will see symbols that will say A2 or A5 with a line running away from them towards the building. These numbers are telling you that there is a cross section available to look at, the A means it’s a cross section for that floor of the house and the number tells you what cross section it is. All you have to do is look through the plans until you find the corresponding number labeled on a cross section. This cross section will give you a view of that area of the house as if someone cut the building in half as a straight on view. These are extremely important for interior details and to determine how certain loads and beams are to be built and carried from floor to floor.

There is always a date on the plans, it will state the date and also if the plan is a revision. Revisions are changes to the plans from the original set of drawings that will affect the building or design of the structure. Everyone most make sure that they are working off the same plan with the same date.

The best thing to do when trying to read plans is ask a lot of questions to your builder while you are reading them together. They will be able to explain to you what they mean and then when you are having discussions about the build either over the phone or via email you will both understand what part of the plan to look at.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why you need to understand how to properly read a set of house plans

Why you need to understand how to properly read a set of house plans

Whether you want to become a carpenter, work in any part of the construction industry or you are thinking about having a custom home built then you need to learn to read a set of house plans or blue prints properly.

If you want to pursue a job with an engineering firm or work for a municipality then being able to put on your resume that you can accurately read a set of blue prints will give you a leg up on the competition. Everyone eventually will need to deal with a construction company or renovation company when they own their own home; this makes it imperative that you take the time to learn how to read a set of plans.

There are many reasons why you need to be able to read a set of house plans, especially if you are having a custom home built;

When your contractor asks you a question about your home over the phone or by email you need to be able to look at the plans and understand what he is asking you. There are a lot of decisions to be made by you the homeowner on a custom home but not all of them have to be made in person.

How do you know what the inside of your home will look like if you can’t read the plans the architect drew for you. It wastes time and money if you have to wait for your contractor to build sections of the house before you can understand what it looks like.

Understanding your house plans will help you understand what you’re being billed for by your contractor.

Most delays when building custom homes come from the homeowner having trouble making decisions, it is usually because they can’t envision what they are being asked or the options that they are being given.

Most disputes between the homeowner and either the contractor or the trades are because the homeowner has asked for something that cannot be done because of the way the home has been designed, drawn or engineered.

When having a custom home built or having someone renovate your existing home knowing how to read the plans is not just a one person job, your significant other should always learn to read them as well. This will allow better communication between the two of you and give your contractor the option on who they can talk to when explaining something or asking a question.

Knowing how to read the plans that your house was built with will also help you in the future, even custom homes eventually require renovations or repairs and when that time comes you might not be using the same contractor that built the home. Even if you are using the same company it could be ten to twenty years since they had been to the house and might not remember what’s behind the walls. A set of house plans will inform the contractor and you as the homeowner of the load points and bearing beams that are behind the drywall.
This is critical information when you are planning out a major renovation that requires removing or moving walls.

The more you can understand about your house plans the better it is for everyone involved, it makes your contractors job easier and will help take the stress off a lot of the decision making that you will be required as the house progresses.

Once you learn how to read a set of house plans or blue prints you probably will never forget. It will also give you the basics to reading many different plans and schematics for many other things that you could run into in life.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Do my front steps need a handrail?


I have a set of stairs on the front of my porch, they are 3 feet off the ground, do the steps require a handrail?


The simple answer is yes they do need a hand rail.

Once you get above 24 inches off the ground your stairs require a hand rail by the building code. Hand rails are not that hard to build if you know how to do them. If you don’t feel comfortable building them then you should hire a professional to build and install them for you.

The building of a hand rail properly is not that hard of a thing, the hardest part is actually the anchoring of the posts at each end to make the hand rail secure. You want to be able to anchor the posts in such a way that there is no way someone will break the hand rail if they were to fall on it.

The way you should think about it is that the hand rail isn’t for you it’s for all the potential people that could walk up to your front door. Think of the different sizes and shapes of people, and also of all the different levels of mobility and fitness that potentially could end up using that hand rail. That hand rail is the first line of defense in saving people from slips and falls coming and going down your front steps, especially in the winters snow and ice and the summer rains. There is now a whole legal specialty business that does nothing but sue on behave of people who hurt themselves slipping and falling on people’s front steps and usually it is because they didn’t have a proper handrail to protect them.

With the aging population in North America I would recommend putting a handrail on your front steps even if it was less than 24 inches off the ground just for the safety and security of knowing that you have done everything possible to help protect people from hurting themselves on your property.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What to do when you can't commit to colour

When you can't commit to colour

It happens all the time. You find a beautiful raspberry sofa that you love but you end up purchasing the beige one, just to be on the safe side.

Here are a few ways to add interest to a beige colour scheme

1)  Tone: lighter & darker hues will add interest, and dimension. Don't buy all your furniture in same the colour. Try a darker sofa & lighter chairs for starters.

2) Texture: a sea grass rug, linen curtains, leather ottoman & shell chandelier. 

3) Architectural Detail:  grass cloth wallpaper, wainscoting, trim, casing and don't forget the ceiling 

4) Light: make sure you have changed your light bulbs to one pink and one frosted, it will cast the most beautiful light.

5) Accessories:  pillows, cozy throw or a bouquet of flowers is a noncommittal way to introduce a splash of colour that will bring your space to life.

Have fun decorating,

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

Village Builders Inc

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hiring your own trades will cost you money and time

I recently worked for a professional who was moving his business up to the Collingwood area, they bought an old building and wanted to renovate it, we were hired to do some of the early work on the building.

Once we were established in our work doing demolition and re-framing the client asked us for other quotes for heating, insulation, flooring, painting and concrete work. There were a couple of things that they didn’t ask us to do and one of them was the electrical. They were bringing an electrical contractor from their former city to do the work. Their former area was over two hours away.

As soon as we heard this we knew what would happen and it did. We finished our work, the clients were in a big hurry to get the place up and running and then the project sat there with nobody working on it for weeks which turned into months.

The client would call me and ask me how I was doing and what was happening up in Collingwood on his project, I would tell him basically nothing. Without electricians nothing can proceed, there were wires in the way, a sub-panel that had to be removed before we could frame any farther and so as far as we were concerned we had left and gone to another job until the electricians arrived to do their work. Since the homeowner had hired the electricians himself from his former town I had no way to talk to them or any pull with them to get them there quicker. It was up to the homeowner.

This is a typical story in the residential construction industry, a contractor is brought in to do some work and is asked to organize certain aspects of the job, the client thinking that they can save some money and keep control of their own project hires one or two trades themselves. Those one or two trades hold up the whole job and end up in the end costing the homeowner more time and money in the long run.

When you don’t have the appropriate trades on the site at the correct time things are done slower and a lot of things end up being done twice because the other trades when they show up late end up having to remove other peoples work to do theirs. This all costs money and time and time is money.

One year later we have completed our part and the place hasn’t opened yet. We haven’t worked there in 10 months and driving by you notice nothing happening for weeks at a time. More and more trades and companies have been brought in from the owner’s former city. There is no general contractor for the project just the owner who has his own work to do.

The moral of this story is that for the little bit of money that you think you are going to save by hiring a trade or two yourself will be wasted in the time and re-work that will have to be done. Let the professionals handle it; let a general contractor do ALL the hiring and organizing for you. In the end you will be happen you did.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I am having granite counter tops installed in my new kitchen, is there anything I need to know for when they come to install them?


I am having granite counter tops installed in my new kitchen, is there anything I need to know for when they come to install them?


Your granite counter tops will be installed using silicone to hold it in place to the cabinets. The installation of your counter tops works because granite is heavy and is not easily moved, the silicone holds the granite in place from moving, while the weight of the granite ensures that it wouldn’t be moved around from someone pushing on the end of it or sitting on top of it.

The silicone that holds the granite needs to dry over night.

Once the granite is set in place the countertop installers will then locate any penetrations that must be made and will proceed to drill through the granite to create them.

For this you must be on hand to inform the granite installers where you want them. Penetrations through the granite could one of the following;

Holes for the faucet. Some faucets require one hole and some require two, every faucet is a different size and so every faucet will require a slightly different size of hole to be drilled for it.

Sprayers. Kitchen faucets that have a side sprayer will require an extra hole; the placement of that hole will be determined by where you want it placed and the length of the supply line that runs from the faucet to the sprayer.

Soap dispensers. These need to be located by you to whatever is your convenient location.

Depending on if you are running electrical through the granite to a power supply underneath you might require a hole for the cord access.

The sinks whether they are under-counter or sinks that sit on top of the counter will be fixed in place with the same silicone. These sinks are installed at the same time as the granite counter tops and must also be left to dry overnight.

The next day you can have the plumber come and hook up the drains to the sinks and install the taps.

Your tiler can start the next day as well if you require a backsplash in your kitchen. You will need to have the granite countertops covered with something like plastic or wood so that the tiler does not damage or stain the counter tops when grouting or installing tile.

Hopefully your kitchen installer installed the cabinets correctly and level, if they did then your countertop installing should go smoothly.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Custom homes require structural engineering plans

Structural engineered plans

In the world of construction you can do anything you want as long as you have a detailed drawing with an engineer’s stamp on it.

These drawings are called structural engineered drawings/plans.

Structural engineered plans are most common in commercial construction where every aspect of a buildings structural integrity and performance has been mapped out by an engineering firm. This is not only for the betterment of the building but it is also to help the general contractor bid, spec and build the structure.

In residential construction there is a lot less structural engineering; most buildings have little to no engineering because of the residential building code that exists. If you design a simple house then for all the load bearing walls, window and door headers and floor supports you only have to follow the building code for your plan to get approval from the municipality and you can construct the home.

Where things get tricky is when you start drawing complex custom homes. Because they are custom homes then you will have trouble fitting the normal building code into certain places in the home. Most custom homes have a lot of windows and open spaces. This creates certain points in the home that are load points, they are larger load points then in a normal home and thus they fall outside the parameters of the building code.

When something falls outside the parameters of the building code then it cannot be approved to be built, the only way it can be built is if it is designed by an engineer, placed on paper and has the engineers seal attached to it. The key is the engineers seal with it you can have anything approved, without it a building department will dismiss it immediately.

The moral of the story is that when you are paying for plans to be drawn by an architect or draftsmen you need to make sure that the plans are engineered. This will cost you more money but it will allow the general contractor to build your home without having to go out and get engineering for it. That could cost you more money and it will cost you time, time is what you don’t have a lot of when building custom homes.

A properly drawn structure with engineered drawing gives your contractor everything they require to understand how to build your home, this will also guarantee they also understand how much it will cost when they are preparing your budget before you begin building it.

So when you are looking at your new home plans make sure that you ask the question if you require engineering, it’s always cheaper to have it done before the build starts then after it.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Selecting Your Remodeler: Check References

Selecting Your Remodeler: Check References

Some tips for getting the most from this important step

Homeowners who fail to check their remodeler’s references do themselves a disservice. After all, a reference check is an easy way to avoid trouble and an important confirmation that hiring a particular company is a good choice.

Consider talking to current and past clients and possibly subcontractors. Utilize these guidelines to get the most from the referrals offered by your remodeler.

Questions for current or past clients

The obvious general questions for clients include the type of project, what did and didn't go well, if it was finished on time and on budget, and if they would recommend the remodeler. Other questions include:

Is the company organized? Do the company's managers deliver on promises or are they forgetful? If the remodeler's business is chaotic, don't expect a stress-free project.

Does the company keep deadlines and schedules? Small things, like being on time for meetings can be important factors in determining homeowners’ satisfaction. If the company does great work but is often late, the homeowners need to decide if that’s a problem.

Did the finished project meet the homeowner’s expectations? This reflects the remodeler’s skill at writing detailed specs and setting realistic expectations.

Does the crew treat the homeowners, their family, and their property with respect? This includes things like keeping the job clean, parking in agreed on spots, and not using colorful language. Simple courtesy goes a long way.

Does the remodeler get along with others? Construction is a team effort, and the best contractors have good working relationships with everyone. This includes others professionals (architects, interior designers, subcontractors) as well as family members and neighbors.

Don't jump to conclusions because of one negative answer; instead, get the remodeler's side of the story. For instance if there was trouble with a neighbor, it may have been a difficult individual who was simply unhappy that work was being done next door. These types of follow-up conversations set the stage for honest communication.

Questions for subcontractors

Few people think to ask subcontractors—electricians, plumbers, and so on—for references. If the answers from clients are satisfactory, there’s no reason to go here, but it’s an option if blanks remain to be filled in.

Possible questions include:

What are the remodeler’s lead carpenters like to work with?
Is the job ready and prepped for the subcontractor when promised?
Do the subcontractor’s invoices get paid on time?

Any reluctance on the part of the builder to provide references is a red flag. A forthcoming attitude is a good sign that the builder values transparency and is secure in his or her reputation.

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

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A custom garage (they ultimate man cave)

A custom garage (they ultimate man cave)

Are you thinking about building a new home or are looking to add more space to store your toys? You should consider building yourself a custom garage. It could be the ultimate MAN CAVE.

Depending on what you like to do a garage built and customized to your needs could give you more enjoyment then the rest of your home!

Most people’s first thoughts when they think of a garage are 4 walls with a concrete floor and a white garage door. Boy howdy how things have changed!

The custom garage is candy land for people who like to spend time out of the house.

Here is a brief list of some of the more popular things be built into custom garages;

Heated floors. Heated floors are the answer to a building that is always hard to make comfortable especially when the floors are made from concrete.

New see thru garage doors allow the maximum amount of light to filter through them to brighten up the garage without the need for a lot of extra light.

Coated concrete floors. There are new coatings that are applied like a sealant to the garage floor. This gives the floor grip, reduces the chance of the floor being stained and stops “concrete dust” that always lingers on top of concrete floors.

New storage and racking systems that are made to work with a wall systems to hang everything up and out of the way. The new systems can hang not only from the walls but also from the ceilings for larger items like kayaks and canoes to bikes and sail boards.

New cabinets that are water proof and rust proof, made to handle temperature changes and moist environments.

High ceilings so that you can hang things from the roof and turn things end for end without worrying about knocking things off the ceiling.

Rubberized floor pads in key work stations to reduce the amount of fatigue from walking on hard floors.

Wired for sound. Today’s custom garages are wired for sound and television, no reason to miss the big game or to have to work without music.

One of the trendy things that people have come to install in their custom garages is a garage door at each end of the building. This allows equipment to be driven straight through the garage and out the back without the need to back out or to find a way around the garage to the backyard.

One of the more expensive trends to start happening in custom garages is the building of walkout living space below them. This is accomplished by installing concrete or core slabs on top to hold the vehicles and then treating the downstairs like a walkout basement. It’s a good idea for people looking for extra living space, rental space, in-law suite or a place to get away from the main house for some quite time.

One thing’s for sure garages aren’t garages anymore, they are a place to go and enjoy yourself while you’re there getting some work done or simply hiding from the world.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.