The Home Building Process

Research - As the first point of contact for Sawlor Built Homes I meet every potential Home Owner. Most of them have heard stories from friends and associates about the pitfalls and horrors of new home construction. They need to understand how this can happen and what they can do to prevent it from happening to them.

The first piece of advice I would give is to research the potential Builders you wish to quote on your home. All too often a Home Owner who hasn’t spent the time on research will select their Builder based on the only information they have - Price. This will almost always result in both the client and the Builder being unhappy.

In my opinion, testimonials are the most important resource you have to select your Builder. It takes 5-8 months to build a new home. There are dozens of people involved, working for many different trades and suppliers. Your Builder has to control all of these people and personalities and make sure your expectations have been exceeded. If a Builders past clients have spent many months working thru all of this and they can still enthusiastically recommend the Builder they used, that Builder is the one for you!

Of course, these types of Builders already have a system in place to make sure the end result exceeds client expectations and that is sure to be reflected in a great testimonial. Please visit our testimonial section to read our clients testimonials about Sawlor Built Homes.

Quote -It starts with clear communication of clients expectation and budgets. A complete review of the house plans while asking questions about every component of the house is critical to getting an accurate quote. If a Builder is not asking you a lot of questions that means he already has decided what to put into your home- possibly the cheapest thing available that will meet the National Building Code and make his the lowest quote you receive. Or he is leaving a lot of items missing from the quote to charge as extras later on. Or both. (By the way, the Building Code is a MINIMUM standard of construction). A properly prepared quote should be 20-30 pages long and give details of every aspect of the construction of your custom new home.

Contract - After you have selected the Builder that has offered the best value (NOT the lowest price), it’s time to sign a Contract. Your Builder should present you with a detailed Contract that covers every aspect of construction.

It should be:

  • fairly written
  • protect both you and the builder from the possibility of any miscommunications or misunderstandings.

He will also suggest that you take it with you, review it, have your lawyer review it, adjust if required, and then sign the Contract. If you have picked the right Builder the Contract will get signed, be put away and never need to be looked at again!

Build - After all of your preparations, it’s time to start building! Your responsibility at this time should be reduced to:

  • Selecting styles and colors of the finishes being incorporated into your new home.
  • Visiting the Showrooms suggested by your Builder.
  • Following the Checklist and Schedule your Builder has provided.

There are a lot of different products and personalities involved in building a Custom Home! Following the Checklist and Schedule, as well as speaking to the designated person in all of the showrooms will afford you the best opportunity to achieve your Dream home and have a great building experience! These experts will be able to answer all of your questions and help you select the right products for your new home. Never hesitate to discuss your budget! There are endless possibilities of products and they are all readily available to you, but prices start low and don’t really seem to have an upper limit. You, like every client, have a budget. Let the sales people help you stick to it.

If you have selected the right builder for your custom new home, this may be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you will have! 

Change Happens - As your new home unfolds, you may see an opportunity to make changes that will enhance a room or upgrade a component. This is a normal part of the process and should not cause any undue stress or hardship. Let your Builder know what you would like to change. He can tell you what is involved and provide you with a document that provides all of the details and the cost (or credit). This is called a Change Order.

  • Do not make changes based on a handshake or verbal communication.
  • Do not assume it is free.
  • Do not assume it will happen automatically, and most of all, never discuss the changes with the workers onsite.

They are there to do their job and may not fully understand the implications of the changes to the schedule, the structure of the building, or your financing! They may also forget to tell anyone that there was even a change discussed. Talk to your Builder and get it in writing!

As your home approaches completion it is nice to know there will not be any surprises, especially financial. The Final Bill that you receive should only show the Contract amount plus the fully approved Change Orders that you approved and signed. Clear communication and documentation will make your Dream Home a rewarding and affordable experience!

Moving In - All of the your research and hard work has paid off! You researched and found the right Builder, you have made all of your decisions and the closing held no surprises- the house was perfect, and the final bill was exactly what you had expected. Seems there is nothing left to do but enjoy your new home! This may very well be the case and hopefully you will not need to call for warranty.

However, with the complexity of the homes today and the many different suppliers and trades involved it is possible that something may require explanation or adjustment. The true test of your choice of builder is service after the sale!

  • It should not be a problem to arrange for lessons on your new home's various components.
  • If a problem arises it should get dealt with in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Information about everything in your home should be available to you at any time.

You and your Builder have worked together for months. His only goal during the entire process was to exceed your expectations and have you refer him to family, friends and associates. 

Congratulations, you did everything right! I am confident you will enjoy your new Custom Home!

What to Consider When Selecting Your Builder

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association Nova Scotia offers a Certified Residential Builder program to its members.

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Making Choices - And Changes

Decisions, decisions, decisions. When you’re building a custom home, you’ll face a lot of them.

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Bring Your Wish List to Life With a Custom Home

With a custom home, you’re able to create a living space that perfectly suits your needs and lifestyle.

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Find more ideas on our blog

Considering that we were located in Mississauga, ON during the first phase of construction where good communication is so important. You and your team made us feel like we...

Jim & Ann