Building a Custom Home in Nova Scotia While Living Away

Building a home here in Nova Scotia while residing outside of the province may cause some concern and apprehension. The first step (and an important one!) is that you investigate and research the best Builder for you in order to protect yourself and your investment.  

If you are considering building a home while residing away, keep these tips and advice handy as a guideline.

Allow for 3 site visits during construction.  The first as the project is started; the second after the house is framed and ready for sub-trades, and the final visit at closing. As you interview potential Builders, ask them if they have any experience building for clients from away. If so, what is their process?  A detailed specification and schedule, along with a detailed documented home building system will ensure you are making the right decisions at the correct time, allowing the project to proceed smoothly and on schedule.

  • The First Visit:  you should meet your Builder on site to locate the house on the lot, mark the area to be cleared, locate the well and onsite sewage disposal system and define the size and location of the driveway. You must also be prepared to select and confirm the windows and doors, as well as all exterior finish details including; roof shingles, siding and brick.  Your Builder should be willing to accompany you on visits to suppliers to assist with these decisions. It would be an excellent idea to have an Interior Decorator available to you as well.
  • The Second Visit: will be to select all interior finishes. Your Builder must be willing to help with this phase as well, and the Interior Decorator should have cleared her schedule for you while you are here. Electrical, Plumbing, Flooring, Cabinets, Paint Colors and Staircase should be decided during this trip. A site visit and guided tour will give you a much better understanding of your new home as well. Every detail may not be 100% decided during this trip but you will have the opportunity to meet every supplier and trade that is working on your home and it will be simple to follow up by phone and email if required.
  • The Third visit: will involve a walk-through of your beautiful and finished home. Your Builder will answer any questions you may have and explain the various systems and products that have been incorporated in the construction. There will be some paperwork involved, and after paying your Builder (very important!), you will have the keys to your beautiful new custom home.

Priscilla and Sanford have successfully gone through the Home Building Process with Sawlor Built Homes while residing outside of the province, here is what they had to say


Keith Sawlor Sawlor Built Homes Custom Home Builder in Nova Scotia

Keith Sawlor

Keith Sawlor is the second generation Owner of Sawlor Built Homes. With more than 35 years experience building custom homes in Nova Scotia, Keith has built a team that mirrors his professional knowledge and values.

Keith is a Certified Residential Builder who is also certified with many leading industry organizations. He is a Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified Builder, a Net Zero Energy (NZE) Certified Builder, a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) R-2000 Certified Builder, and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).

Keith is a Board Member of the Atlantic Home Warranty Program as well as the Canadian Home Builders' Association Nova Scotia. He is involved in many other industry programs and associations, such as the Canadian Home Builders’ Association National, Safety Services Nova Scotia and Better Business Bureau.

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