Sunday, August 28, 2016

The True Cost Of Building A Custom Home

Here's the one question I get asked all the time when someone calls me about building a custom home "what do you charge per sqft to build a custom home".

Our answer use to be "how much do you pay for a car?" Basically because there is so much difference in the cost from one custom home to another because they are "custom" to the person its built for that there was no entirely accurate way to answer the question. We decided that the answer (even being correct) really didn't help the person asking the question to know what a custom home cost.

So what we started doing was telling people the cost of the "average" custom home per square foot (sqft). This helped a lot because people then realized that they could take that number and multiple it to the size of the house (in square feet) that they wanted. The math was kinda simple, for example if you wanted to build a 2000 sqft custom home and I told you that the average cost of a custom home was about $200 a sqft then you could come up with the figure of $400,000 and know the cost of the house you wanted to build. 

The problem arises when the person asking that question isn't looking for a rough number on the cost of having a custom home built but an exact cost for the home that they want to build down to the dollar. The problem with this is that most of these people have no plans or drawings of their future home for me to price from, which means that the house could be simple or it could be a palace with gold toilets. No matter if the simple home and the palace were the same size one is obviously gonna cost more then the other.

So when you tell someone that the average cost of a custom home is $200's a sqft that's because thats where they usually start, the fancier the custom home the more it's gonna cost. For example; I have built really large custom homes that are 8000 sqft, the actual cost of the home overall was about $2,000,000. That works out to about $250 a sqft. But I have also built homes that are 4800 sqft and they also cost $2,000,000's. The difference in cost per sqft is a lot. The reason was that the larger home had large rooms that didn't have a lot of detail in them, they were big open rooms with normal trim and fairly normal finishing's throughout the home. The smaller home had the best of everything, it had cathedral ceilings, timber framing, hardwood stained trim and the most expensive floors money can buy. It also had real stone on the entire outside of the home. The smaller home was more expensive per sqft at about 416.00 because of the finishing's and the design of the home. This type of price discrepancy is what gives contractors a bad name, people will say that the builder told me one price at the start, "I got the plans drawn up and the price sky rocketed". 

So when you start looking into having a custom home built calling around to every builder that you can find on the internet in your area and asking them how much they can build a custom home for isn't really going to tell you how much they will build your house for, what you need is a proper set of plans for your future home. When you have that then you can visit builders and ask them for a price on your dream home, then the contractors have little to know excuse not to give you a fair and accurate quote . That's the only way that you will ever get the correct answer to what your home will cost per sqft.

When contractors are quoting or even budgeting new custom homes the more information that you can give them only helps them generate a more accurate quote. Take your time, make as many decisions as you can and concentrate on the details as the plans are being prepared, remember the more information the better.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Time To Change The Exterior Of Your Aging Home?

Do you have one of those bungalows built in the seventies, with the old white siding and maybe a little bit of bed brick. The windows are original, the soffits are the original wood and everything requires constant repainting and even after it looks tired and aged.

What you need is an exterior face lift for you home. This type of face lift isn't simple, it takes a while for a contractor to complete and also takes a lot of planning, but when it's completed you will look at your home and think that it's a brand new home. Not only will it look good but with adding new windows and some foam sheets of insulation it will perform better in the winter and in the summer. The great thing about doing a big exterior face lift on your house is that it instantly adds value to your home for resale.

There are many different types of windows and doors that you can choose from that are made to be installed as a retrofit. Also your choices for an exterior products can range from wood siding, to vinyl, to manufactured stone and even to cement siding. As long as they are installed properly they should last longer then you will in that home of yours.

The adding of insulation has an up front charge but it easily pays you back in the long run with the savings that you receive on your heating and air conditioning bills.

The changing of soffits to either aluminum or vinyl from the old style of wood means that you will never have to paint them again! New soffits made from aluminum and vinyl also allow the attic of your home to breath better as they have more penetrations for air to move through. This helps the overall performance of your home.

Overall if you choose the appropriate materials you should end up with an exterior for the home that requires little to no maintenance. That's not only good for you but it's also really good for the resale value of your home.

If you are thinking about changing the exterior of your home give us a call 705 466-3202, or visit our website

We would be glad to help you with all of your renovation needs.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Upgrading Your Deck To Make It Special

The cost of labour and materials over the years has risen sharply to the point were it is not a cheap thing to have a deck built anymore, especially if the deck is built properly and by a reputable company that will stand by their warranty. That is why when you do decide to have that deck built you should make sure that you have all those little extra's built into the deck, doing it later will cost more and can cause damage to your new deck.

Some of those extra little things that I'm talking about are as follows;

  • Electrical plugs. GFI's for not only normal electrical needs but also for the rotisserie on your BBQ.
  • You might have thought about the gas line for the BBQ but what about another line for a gas space heater or a gas fire pit. Also if you think that one day you will move your BBQ or in different seasons you move it to get out of the wind then you should have another BBQ adapter location installed. 
  • Lights. Whether the lights are hardwired into the deck or are solar powered it's easier to make them look like they belong if there installed during construction and not retrofitted after.
  • Storage. If your deck is built even a little off the ground then you could have the option of having storage built into the underside of the deck. There are many different types of under-deck storage and many different sizes. Regardless of the one you choose it's a great place to store cushions for the deck chairs when they are not needed.
  • Seating. Sometimes deck furniture can take up to much room and can be impractical in some locations. Having seating built into the deck can be installed out of the way and can allow for more people to comfortably sit when in a social gathering. Built in seating doesn't have to be put away in the winter and weathers with the existing deck.
  • Planter boxes. Building planter boxes can take the place of railings or privacy fences and give your deck some nice colour and depending on the plants height some shade.
  • Shade. There are many different types of shade systems, from sails to pergolas, depending on where you build your deck you could end up with a place that is too hot to enjoy. The best thing to do is to build in some shade in your deck. It's not only good for the people sitting on the deck its also good for the deck to keep it outta the direct sunlight.
  • Speakers. Wiring the deck for sound and running it back to a central location is a nice way to set the mood at any social function. Building it into the deck makes the fit and finish look better and keeps the speakers out of the way of people and animals.
  • Hand rails. Depending on how many stairs you have on your deck you might not require a handrail, but they are a good thing to install anyways to help with an aging population. Hand rails also help in the winter when going down the stairs can be a little dicey. It's always nice to have a hand rail for aging members of the family when they come to visit.
  • Building decks around hot tubs can help people get in and out of them easier and also gives a convenient place to tie down the cover against high winds.
  • Water features. Water foundations, water falls, spouts, misters, there are many different water features that you can build around the deck and into the deck that blend into the landscaping.  
As you can see there are a lot of options that you can pick from when planning out a deck so take your time and talk to your deck building contractor. Doing it while the deck is being constructed will not only save you some money but also add to the enjoyment of your new deck.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sick Of Hearing Those Noisy Neighbours?

Are you getting tired of hearing your neighbours every time they play their music, every time they argue or slam their door? Maybe it's time you did something about it, call a renovation contractor they can help you fix that.

There are many ways to dampen, deaden or stop exterior noise all together and it doesn't involve turning the TV up louder so that you can't hear them.

  1. Change your windows. New windows are better at dampening noise and vibrations that come from the outside. There is also the option of going to a triple pane window, triple pane windows are so efficient at stopping noise that you would have trouble hearing someone on the other side of the window even if they were yelling towards you. You would have more chance of hearing them through the wall then the window. Triple pane windows are also really good at helping heating and cooling.
  2. Upgrade your insulation. Adding foam to your homes exterior walls will help dampen the noise coming from outside. You can have it sprayed in the wall caviities or you can have it installed on the exterior or interior of the outside walls as a sheet. Adding foam is also really good for helping with heating and cooling.
  3. Cellular blinds and curtains. These are a fairly cheap and easy way to dampen noise that is penetrating through your windows. Good quality blinds and curtains can have a tremendous affect on the amount of sound that makes its way into the home.
Some exterior finishes on houses have the same desired effect to dampen sound. Vinyl siding is notoriously bad at stopping noise; products like brick and stone have the density to stop sound from transmitting through the walls. The only problem with them is the cost of installing the product is rather high.

For more tips to combat unwanted sound send me an email at

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.