Monday, March 30, 2015

Interior stone walls as a feature in your new custom home

Interior stone walls as feature walls

In your custom home when you are looking for something unique and different instead of just another paint colour try stoning one of the interior walls.

Most people are used to seeing stone on the outside of the house, but a growing trend in custom homes is stone feature walls instead of a painted feature wall.

New manufactured stones look remarkably like real stone and now with sheared natural stone you don’t have to worry about the overall weight of the stone like you do with full bed stone that is installed outside. This means that you can use manufactured stone or natural stone for your feature wall.

What you need to do is install cement board on the wall that you want the stone installed instead of drywall. The cement board will stop the framing from shifting and shrinking which can damage the stones finish overtime.

In the area that you are going to install the stone you need to make sure that the walls are primed and painted before you start installing stone. This will help keep the stone clean and clear of any paint splatter as the painters are finishing the inside of your new home.

If you decide that you want to use the full bed stone then you are going to have to reinforce the floor for the extra weight of the stone. Full bed stone is extremely heavy; if you’re building it on top of a wood floor instead of a concrete one then you will need to have the bearing engineered into the floor system. This needs to be done at the time when the rest of the floor is being engineered and decided on before it is installed or you could be creating a real headache for your contractor.

Other things that you can do in a feature wall are as follows;

Lighting-wall sconces, pot lights, LED strip lighting, ect.
Art cubby-a wood box set into the wall, stone boxes or slabs that make a place for art to sit.
Wood mantles-you don’t need a fireplace below to have a wood mantle.
Fish tanks built into the wall and surrounded by stone.
Mirrors, this helps give more length to a space when the stone can have a tendency to darken the area or make it feel smaller then it is.

Remember that it’s a feature wall so be creative, the only limits to it are the limits of your imagination.

Placing your feature wall at the end of a hallway or in a plain room will help make the space more interesting and inviting. Putting it at the end of a long hallway makes the hallway feel shorter and also helps give purpose to the area as not just a walkway to another part of the home but also as an attractive feature inside the home.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

How to stop break-ins at your cottage


We have a cottage that we close up every fall for the winter, is there any way to secure it so that no one can break in?


The problem with typical security on a home is that it is reactionary, this works well in the city were the response is prompt which means that to would be thieves it’s a real deterrent, the deterrent being that they actually might get caught. When someone breaks into your cottage the same thing happens when you have a typical security system, the moment the violation occurs an alarm is activated, the security or police are notified and someone is dispatched to your cottage to check on the alarm. This takes time, time is exactly what potential thieves are looking for, time allows them to steal things from your cottage, cause damage or take the time to case the place for a future break-in.

Since the typical security system doesn’t work right for you then what you need to do is stop them from entering the cottage altogether, the one guaranteed way of doing this is to have roll down steel shutters installed. These shutters are like a small garage door (they look a lot nicer), they are made of steel and they roll down from an enclosure that is either installed above the windows and doors (as a retrofit) or in a new home they are built right into the walls of the cottage so that they are hidden from view.

These steel shutters would take hours or days to cut through and would make so much noise that people would notice. Usually just the looks of them are enough to persuade a potential thief from attempting a break in.

The shutters aren’t just made to stop potential break-ins; they work to protect the cottage from harsh elements or severe storms. Falling branches or blowing debris will not break your windows and cause damage to the inside of the cottage.

Another real problem in Ontario is the fact that the Black Bear population has exploded in the last couple of decades, the amount of Black Bears in cottage country has caused them to look for food in other places then the forests. Black Bears breaking into cottages in search of food have become a real problem and no monitored security system will stop them from breaking down a residential door.

These steel shutters will, they will withstand the hungriest Black Bears attempt to attain unwanted admittance to your cottage.

These shutters are not cheap to buy or have installed but once you have them installed you will not have to pay for alarm monitoring or maintenance men to look after the property. They literally will pay for themselves in the long run.

Your cottage would be as safe and secure as the police station itself.

So when you are thinking about protecting your cottage think about steel shutters to protect your cottage all year round.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How much land do you need to build a luxury custom home?


How much land do you need to build a luxury custom home?


The amount of land that you will require has more to do with the size of the custom home you decide
to construct, where you plan to construct the home and what your plans for the outdoor space are going to be then actual size of the property.

If you are planning to build in the city all you have to do conform to the existing building bylaws with reference to minimum setbacks from your lot lines and the total percentage of the lot that you are allowed to cover with the purposed new home.

When you are planning to build a luxury custom home in a more rural setting then you should own enough land that the home doesn’t look like it is over whelming everything else around it. Luxury custom homes in rural settings should have acres around them so that there can be professional landscaping that includes features that are common with luxury homes i.e.: Pools, ponds, fountains, out buildings, fences, gardens, hedges, patios, barns, pool houses, outdoor kitchens, walking trails and trees.

When you are planning to build a luxury custom home you should think about how you are going to heat the home, in a rural setting you will usually not have access to natural gas. That means that you should be installing geothermal heating, geothermal heating has piping installed in the ground. The most efficient version of geothermal heating is horizontal loops that are placed 5 to 8 feet under the ground. For that you should make sure that you have 5 to 10 acres to have it installed. Add in the need for a septic system to be installed in the ground and you will require 7 to 10 acres to build your luxury custom home in a rural setting.

If you want large out buildings for your toys then you should look for 20 to 50 acres, this will allow you to spread things around so that nothing looks crowded. One of the things that people look for in a rural setting is the feeling of space from other people and other structures. When you construct a custom home you should try to set it back from the road and away from all your neighbours, this gives you the feeling of a private setting and a feeling of a quiet and personal place all to yourself.

Sticking to this size of property in a rural setting will maximize the value of resale in the future; if you are planning on building in the city then the local building department can tell you the maximum you are allowed to cover on your property and what your restrictions will be for the setbacks from the property lines.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Monday, March 23, 2015

What Is A Change Order From My Renovation?


What's a “change order”?


A change order is a request to alter, exchange, or substitute a product or design feature that has already been approved, delivered, or installed by your contractor at your project.

A change order is the same no matter if you are renovating your home, adding an addition or having a new custom home built. Since you are asking for something that was never agreed upon a new agreement must be created and this is what a “change order” is at its essence.

The change order will state what the change is that you are asking to be completed and it will also give you a cost for that change. Once you sign it you and your contractor have agreed to amend the original contract in the stated area of work only.The rest of the original contract stays the same.

Just because a change order is created doesn’t mean that you have to sign it. A change order is also something that you can decline once you see the final cost on paper. When building a custom home your contractor will probably end up creating dozens of change orders for you. Some of these changes are asked for by the client and some are recommendations from the contractor to alter something or upgrade something in the home as the home is being constructed. Sometimes depending on the type of change you can be given several change orders all with different options on them and it is up to you to choose the one that is right for you. For example; When building a new custom home the home was estimated with typical to the minimum code batte insulation. Once the building has started your contractor will offer you the ability to change that insulation to something that is better, there are half a dozen ways that the insulation in a home can be upgraded, every different way will come with a different price. You are then presented the different options on several different change orders and choose the one that you want and also will fit into your budget. The others are filed as rejections and only kept on file to prove that you were offered them.

Occasionally you will be presented with a change order that details the changes you want but has no cost attached to it. This is because the change you are asking for will not cost you more then what the original would have cost you. You are only agreeing to the new change order so that everyone has a record of what and when you have changed something from the original contract.

A change order isn’t something that you should be scared of, it’s something that you should expect your contractor to produce every time you want to change something from the original contract. This is a sign that your contractor is a professional and is interested in keeping your project well organized and running smoothly in a timely manner.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Does Village Builders Build Waterfront Custom Homes on Georgian Bay?


Do you build waterfront custom homes on Georgian Bay?


Yes we do build homes on the waterfront of Georgian Bay. We have built quiet a few custom homes on that body of water.

Here is one home that we built on the waterfront that is one of my personal favorites.

It is a craftsmen style custom home that is set facing North over the southern shores of Georgian Bay. It has dark wood siding on the outside with Red Loewen windows for dramatic affect. The roof of the home is finished with Enviroshake shingles that have a 50 year warranty and have the look of real cedar shingles with the durability of a steel roof. The home is built to be extremely energy efficient with the exterior walls built out of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), triple pain windows and spray foam insulation installed in the ceilings and walls that are not built out of ICF.

The home is so well built that when you are inside the home you are unable to hear even the fieriest storms that come roaring off the great lakes.

Inside the home is heated with a high efficiency natural gas furnace for the upstairs of this spacious retreat and the entire first floor is heated with a natural gas boiler that feeds the efficient in-floor radiant heating system. This keeps the home a consistent even temperature throughout those long winter months.

The entire first floor is finished in Limestone with only the two bedrooms that are on the first floor finished in carpet.

The home is trimmed in fir and stained a wonderful hard red.

The kitchen is spacious and flows into the dining room that is positioned with a wonderful view of the water.Custom granite counter tops with mineral veins running throughout them catch the eye in an open concept kitchen with a wonderful view of the water.

There is even a custom made cabinet in the mudroom that has built in cages for the family pets to stay in when they are needed to be placed in a quiet space. That’s not the only thing that is for Fido, beside the custom cages is a dog shower to help wash the mud off from playing in the lake.

The great room is the focal point of the home, it has soaring ceilings with fir timbers and a t&g fir ceilings. The entire space is dominated by a 28 ft wide mason built Rumford fireplace. This is truly a welcoming space to entertain everyone or relax with a simple glass of wine and a good book.

The home is truly one of the nicest homes we have every constructed.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2015 flooring trends in custom homes

2015 Floor trends

Now that we are well into the 2015 construction year there are trends that are emerging in what homeowners are choosing to be installed for flooring in their custom homes. There are some new trends that have appeared lately and are gaining momentum and there are the longer running trends that have been popular for many years. Custom homes are extremely trendy and these trends can come and go as fast as fashion trends do.

Here are the trends that have stayed constant over the last couple of years;

Hardwood floors are still the most installed flooring for houses.

Oiled floors have really taken off instead of just staining them. The difference is that when an oil floor ends up with a wear spot you don’t have to sand the entire floor and recoat it, all you do is buff the area and then reapply the oil on the affected area.

Tile or natural stone is the most popular product that is used in bathroom floors.

Mudrooms or entry ways into homes are still mostly tile or slate for the ease of clean up and longer durability of the product.

The ensuite bathroom with tiled floors is now always laid with electric in-floor heating.

Scandinavian Fumed White Oak is all the rage now. This is white oak that is milled in Scandinavia and shipped over to North America as engineered flooring without a finish on it. When it has arrived here it is finished with an oil finish before it is installed. The overall look is a smokey finish that is very unique.

With engineered floors being so popular gluing floors down is become routine instead of nailing them.

Oak floors are by far the most popular hardwood flooring installed. The reason for this is its durability and its availability.

Cork flooring that started being installed in kitchens has also spread to other parts of the house because of the ease of installation and the cushioning it gives the feet.

Pre-finished floors have almost completely eliminated the need to have raw wood installed and finished onsite. The finish on pre-finished lasts so much longer then the finish that is applied by hand.

Carrera marble is commonly used in master ensuite to give it a luxurious look like a high end hotel room.

Distressed or reclaimed wood is still popular in new homes.

Here is a list of the new trends in the flooring for custom homes;

The 1/3 offset for brick patterns has basically become the rule of thumb when laying tile.

Engineered flooring is winning the war with full bed hardwood. As recently as last year it was 50/50 being installed; now 75 percent of all hardwood floors are engineered. There are less and less full hardwood floors being installed, people are looking for flooring that will survive and engineered does that.

Custom finished hardwood is really taking off. There are so many different looks to floors now with the ability to make original before they ever arrive onsite. Bombarding them with UV light or white washing the boards give hardwood floors a dramatic look.

Dark floors, floors that are almost black are becoming very popular.

The bevel which defines one board from the next is becoming smaller and smaller, the bevel is now a micro bevel.

Hardwood flooring made from wood that has been recovered from the bottom of the great lakes. This wood is unique as it has aged for up to a 100 years.

Tile floors that take the look of real wood are now popular in bathrooms and shower walls.

As there is always new flooring materials available on the market the trends of floors in new homes can change rather quickly. As certain materials gain popularity more suppliers start to offer that material, this brings the cost of the material down as the supply grows. This has the affect of flooring trends exploding in popularity almost out of nowhere.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Can I Have A Basement At My Cottage On The Bruce Peninsula?


I want to build a custom home on the Bruce Peninsula but the land I’m looking at is all solid rock, can I still have a basement?


Building a custom home on the Bruce Peninsula comes with certain challenges especially if you are going to build the home on a piece of lake front property that is all solid rock and you also want a full basement under your cottage.

First things first, make sure that the floor of the basement you want is going to be high enough above the water level of lake that you are not going to have future water problems. Remember that the level of the great lakes goes up and down more than 4 feet depending on the weather, season or the decade. For example; Lake Huron has risen almost 1 full metre in the last 2 years alone.

If your lot is what we call “high and dry” then you should be able to create the full basement that you want, you just have to remove some of the rock that’s in the way. Being High and dry usually means that you are up a hill and there is a significant amount of height between you and the Lake.

Removing solid rock on a building lot in cottage country usually involves blasting the rock until you get to the desired depth. There are several problems that come along with blasting rock for foundations;

It’s expensive. The handling and detonating of explosives is not a thing done lightly by anyone. It is dangerous work and most be done with care. That means that there are very few companies that do it and fewer companies that do it really well. The better ones cost more money.

It can cause delays. Blasting can cause delays in your construction schedule as there aren’t a lot of companies that do it well and so you have to wait for them.

Depending on how the rock fractures the hole can end up being uneven which then requires you to fill in the gaps with stone or concrete, this will add to the cost of the project.

Blasting is usually done only when there is certain moderate weather conditions, starting the building process in the spring means waiting for moderate spring weather which can cause weeks of delays.

There is another way to remove the rock; since you are in the Bruce Peninsula you are probably building on top of limestone and not granite. Limestone is a softer rock then the granite that you find in most other cottage regions of Ontario. What Limestone allows you to do is break it with machines instead of blasting it with explosives.

The way you break out limestone is with a very large excavator that has a breaking hammer attached to the end of its arm instead of a bucket. This hammer fractures the rock into pieces, once the pieces are small enough to fit into a dump truck another excavator digs them out of the hole and loads them into the trucks. This process can be done anytime of the year and can be done rather quickly. This process of breaking rock usually costs less then blasting as well.

So when you are looking to remove rock for your basement ask about fracturing the rock instead of blasting it, this could save you time and money on your build.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Can I Build My Cottage On Top Of The Granite Rock in Muskoka?


I was thinking about building a cottage on a lot that’s one big slap of granite rock, can I build right on top or do I have to do something else?


As long as you don’t require a full basement then you can construct your cottage right on top of the granite rock. The granite must be stable, it cannot be flaking or crumbling away. If everything is solid and secure then you can set the concrete walls or concrete footings right on top of the rock.

If the lot that you are thinking about building your cottage on is waterfront then chances are that the rock will be slopping towards the water naturally. This means that the foundation walls of the cottage will be shorter at the road side of the cottage and higher at the water side. This is important because if you want any kind of basement then you are going to have to fill and level with stone the basement area before you pour the concrete slab on top.

Depending on how steep the slope is running to the water you might end up with the road side part of the basement that will be little more than a crawl space and the water side of the basement being full height.

Before you fill and level the basement with stone and pour the concrete slab for the basement floor there should be an effort made to remove all organic material from the face or the crevices in the rock. Even on granite rock plants will find a spot to grow, efforts should be made to remove all of it so that there is no problem at a later date with your concrete floor cracking.

Some thought should be made towards the drainage of the basement as the water will naturally run down hill to the lake but with it being granite the water will not penetrate into the surface, it will run on top of the rock and gain momentum as it falls down the hill. Water should be diverted around or away from the cottage as much as possible.

The thing that will make it building a cottage or home expensive or cumbersome on granite is if you decide that you want a full basement, a full basement that is the same height all the way across the home. Wanting this will require your builder to blast the rock to create the hole for your basement walls. That though is an entirely different question and also entirely different cost structure.

Your footings for your cottage will be anchored usually to the concrete with rebar that is drilled into the rock, This rebar will be then embedded in the concrete footings, and this will hold your foundation to the granite.

Once you have secured your foundation to the granite then there isn’t much difference for the rest of the build then building on overburden. You should have little to no problems constructing your home.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dumping Sand On The Shore Line At Your Cottage Is It A Good Idea?


I want to put sand at the shoreline of my cottage so that I don’t have to walk over the rocks, is that a good idea?


Putting sand at your shoreline to cover up rocks is a great idea, it allows easier access into the water without you having to walk over rocks that can be hard on the feet, it can help your property value as your shoreline looks cleaner and more appealing. It also makes a much more enjoyable area for little kids to play in the shallow water where it they don't have to worry about what they are stepping on in bare feet.

Having said all that, there are some major problems and concerns with dumping sand at your shoreline;

If your cottage is in an area where there is naturally rock and not sand then it is probably illegal to dump sand at the shoreline or at least restricted. You will probably require permission from the local municipality, conservation authority and/or native tribes depending on where you are located and what jurisdiction you are under.

Dumping sand in the water where it naturally is not can be hard on the local natural ecosystem. The ecosystem (including the living animals and pants) has adapted to living and surviving in rock or the existing mud bottom, when you add something as different as sand you change that environment completely. This can affect fish stocks and the food that they rely on to eat. You could also be inviting certain invasive species to take up residence in-front of your cottage.

Depending on how much movement there is in the water you can end up losing a lot of the sand after every storm. This means that you end up in a cycle where you are endlessly dumping more sand at the shoreline to replace the sand that you lost last season. The movement of the water especially in the great lakes can be so forceful that you could lose a large portion of your sand every year. It is not uncommon for the water to rise 6" to 12" in a large summer storm, that raising and lowering of water levels pulls the sand off the shoreline and into the deeper water.

Depending on the type of sand you want it can cost you a lot of money in trucking to have it delivered, real beach sand can be hard to find especially if you are in an area that is mostly rock.

Most cottages do not own their shorelines, usually cottage lots end somewhere near the water, that means that you are not dumping the sand on your own property. Even if you don’t require permission to dump sand at the shoreline you still could end up in trouble as you don’t own the land where you are dumping your sand.

Before you go and start creating the perfect beach at your cottage you should take some time and look into the legal ramifications of what you are about to get yourself into. It doesn't cost anything to call your local municipality and ask about the rules, you won't have to give your name or address. This simple phone call can save you a world or headaches.

You should also consider the effect on the natural environment, the whole reason that people have cottages is to get back in touch with nature and the natural setting. If you go and change it all to a pristine neutral environment then what’s the point in having a cottage in the first place? Remember that cottages are about being outside and being able to relax, If you spend all your time working on the sand beach (shoveling, raking and cleaning) then you will not be able to enjoy it.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bend those knees when shoveling snow off the jobsite- construction safety


Bend those knees when shoveling snow off the jobsite.

It might sound like a logical thing to talk about when living in Canada but there are a lot of compensation claims during the winter from workers hurting their backs from shoveling snow on construction sites.

Shoveling snow off of a construction site is a necessary evil, snow must be removed for work to progress and un-shoveled snow is actually a safety hazard as it increases the potential for slips and falls at the work site. All area’s that workers are going to be working in or travel through must have the snow removed and to do that on most sites means it has to be done by hand instead of with a machine.

Depending on the weather conditions the snow can be heavy or it can be full of ice, these kind of conditions can cause injured backs if the proper snow shoveling techniques aren’t fallowed.

I’m not here to tell people how to properly shovel snow, if you live in Canada you should already know how to do that, what I am here to do is remind you to Bend Your Knees.

Most people that injure there back (shoveling snow) usually do it because they are either not paying attention to the way they are shoveling snow or they are in too big of a hurry when they are actually doing it.

Bend Your knees and when you’re finished shoveling snow you will still be able to work the rest of the day.

Remember that the easiest way to stay safe on a construction site is to think before you do anything.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Come See Village Builders At The Cottage Life Show 2015

Village Builders will have a booth at the 2015 Spring Cottage Life Show. This will be our second year in a row attending the show and we are very excited to meet everyone.

Our booth is number 1655 and it is in Hall #2. You can't miss us! We are a stones throw from the entrance.

This year Village Builders Inc. has a Spring Cottage Life Show deal for it's new customers that sign up with us for a bathroom renovation. We are including in every bathroom renovation a FREE MIROLIN FREE STANDING TUBE, the renovation must be worth a minimum of $10,000.00.

The tub that is being given to renovation customers will be on display at our booth for people to look at, here is a link to the beautiful tub that we are giving away.

Rules and regulations for receiving the tub our available at the booth or via email from Village Builders.

Our staff will be there for the entire show to help answer your new home and renovation questions, we are also this year displaying a lot of pictures to show people all the wonderful work that we have done in the last couple of years for our customers of our new custom home builds along with some of our renovations.

We will be also giving copies of our newsletter to anyone that wants one, the newsletter is full of helpful tips for when you want to build a new custom home or if you are thinking about renovating your home. It also will give you tips on how to hire a good and professional renovation contractor.

Please stop in and see us as we at Village Builders are all very excited to meet and talk to you.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Spring Cottage Life Show 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Homeowner's Role in a Remodeling Project

The Homeowner's Role in a Remodeling Project

The remodeling industry has changed significantly in the last 50 years. It has evolved from a trade or craft to a systematized process with many moving parts.

Today’s Renovators manage numerous construction materials and methods, coordinate many trade partners and suppliers, and deal with a variety of building codes and regulations. The complexity of these arrangements may distance homeowners from the actual remodeling process, and can cause uncertainty about where they fit in.

In fact, a homeowner's role during construction is more important than ever. The homeowner is still, ultimately, a leader in the project. By gaining a solid understanding of the building process, homeowners can provide an example of professionalism to the rest of the team.

Consider the following ‘leadership training’ tips that help define a homeowner’s role on a project:

Education is key. It pays to learn about the building process and gain an understanding and respect for the pace, phases, and materials that go into a project’s construction. (That is one of our purposes in offering this newsletter.) This knowledge helps the client communicate with the remodeler and provides confidence as the project moves through stages of completion.

Meet deadlines. Remodelers set deadlines for certain decisions so that materials and labor will arrive on the job site at a certain point during construction, enabling steady progress and on-time completion. Accordingly, builders need homeowners to agree on reasonable deadlines for decisions they have to make, such as selecting cabinets or flooring, and then stick to them. Meeting these deadlines helps keep the construction schedule on track, and sets a good example for the builder and his suppliers and subcontractors.

Respect the change order process. Make sure the contract includes a formal process for managing change orders, which are decisions made (or changed) after an agreed-upon deadline. Most projects will have some changes, but they always cost money and often impact the schedule. It may take time to remove one product, wait for delivery of the new product, and install it. As professional renovators, we do our best to accommodate requested changes. For their part, homeowners need to understand the impact a change order has on costs and the schedule.

Communicate. Communication is critical, so we ask our clients to share concerns, issues, and ideas. Come into the remodeling process with an open mind and feel free to ask questions. It’s best to keep a list and present questions during a scheduled meeting or on-site conversation with the builder, but an occasional ad-hoc phone call (during business hours) is fine.

As a professional renovator, we are proud of our business operations and systems. We partner with each of our clients. We understand and respect the relationship we have with our homeowners. Our savvy customers meet us part of the way, by educating themselves, sticking to deadlines, and asking quality questions.

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

Village Builders Inc

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I've been waiting for a remodeling contractor to call me back for three weeks, should I keep waiting?


I called a remodeling contractor but they didn’t call me back and it’s been 3 weeks, should I keep waiting or try someone else?


Good remodeling contractors are usually busy throughout the entire year no matter what season it is or the conditions of the economy. But a remodeling contractor that can’t find the time to call you back after 3 weeks is not just busy they are unorganized.

If you run a successful remodeling business it’s not just because you are good at making people’s houses look great, it’s also because you are organized and have the proper policies in place so that your staff know what to do at all times no matter what scenario.

A well run remodeling business will have a plan in place that will require someone to call you back and make an appointment to meet with you; this should happen even if they are so busy they cannot take on anymore work. If they are so busy that they cannot help you at that time they should be able to meet with you to discuss your project and then give you a date that they would be able to start it.

This could be as far ahead as a year from now, it doesn’t mean that they expect you to wait a year for them to come but it’s a courteously and professional thing to be able to tell the person what your current timeline looks like. They do this not anticipating that you will wait for them, they do it so that in the future when are planning another renovation you will think to give them a call because of how professional they treated you even though they didn’t have too.

A lot of remodeling contractors are really busy and can’t call people back because they don’t have the proper office staff to handle it, they are running their company with little to no staff or management.
This is the kind of person that you want to avoid, they might not be able to present you with proper bills or show up when you have a warranty issue.

The best kind of remodeling company is the kind that has somewhere you can walk in and has an office staff, this means that there is always somewhere to go and talk to a real person or complain if that’s what you need to do. This kind of remodeling company will not be cheap as they will have more overhead then the average carpenter with a pickup truck but that also means that they rely on happy customers and repeat customers more than the guy with the truck.

Your remodeler shouldn’t be the cheapest, which means that they are doing everything legally and will be able to take care of all your needs and wants. The cost of construction is the cost of construction if the company is really inexpensive then there usually is a reason and that reason is usually not a good one.

You’ve been waiting for a call for 3 weeks, I’d start calling other companies, look around and ask people you know, if they liked the work they had done then they will probably refer someone to you.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Can I buy a Timber Frame Package and Have Village Builders Build The Rest of The Home?


I wanted to buy a timber frame package from a company for my new custom home but I wanted Village Builders to manage the build for the rest of the home, would your company do that?


Yes we would. We construct custom homes and also custom renovations but at the core of our construction business we are General Contractors.

General contractors (GC) manage the constructing of homes and buildings. Our focus is on constructing custom homes and performing custom renovations but it is not the only aspect of our business. We have in the past completed commercial construction, industrial construction, agricultural construction and institutional construction.

When we construct a custom home we usually have our own carpenters complete all the wood work in the home along with the window and door installation. But there have been times when we sub-contracted out all of this work to other companies because the homeowner requested that we use a certain company to do this work for a variety of reasons.

Several times in the past we have built homes with other companies that build log or timber frame homes, the client wanted us to build the home around the package they had bought from that other company. These cooperation’s between us and the log home makers usually proceed fairly well as most log and timber companies sub-contract out the actual constructing and finishing of the home to other companies anyways. The only difference is that they usually don’t contract out to a custom home company with the ability to handle the whole project and the ability to leave the home with an extremely high end finish.

Since a custom home is a lot more than just the timber or log construction it benefits you to have a General Contractor that is local to the area handle the septic, driveway, basement, finishing’s, heating system, well and hydro line installation.

Make sure that whatever company is going to design and build your timber or logs are qualified to manage a custom home not just the erection of the timber and logs. Bring your plans we will be waiting.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.