From Planning to Building
We would love to have the opportunity to put our innovation and drive to work for you!
our planning process
Building a house can be an overwhelming but rewarding process. When you do your homework the process becomes easier to manage and a more enjoyable experience. We are happy to help you with the steps involved and when you should be moving forward with each one. The planning process can take a while but will be worth it in the end.
Establish Your Budget
Talk to your financial institution if you are financing your build. Know what you are comfortable with for payments and what you are willing to spend. Remember, just because you have been approved for an amount does not mean you need to spend it.
Now that you know how much you would like to spend you need to see if you budget matches your wish list. This is the point in your planning that you need to distinguish between your wants and your needs. Be prepared to compromise on some aspects or increase your budget. If you have set a realistic budget based on research you may not have to make compromises.
Our goal at Northern Homecraft Ltd. Is to find the ideal place where your timeline, budget, and wants all meet. It is at this point that your home can become a reality.
Start Looking for a Contractor
You will want to make contact with a contractor early in the process. Contacting your contractor early can be of great benefit to the planning process. Many contractors may have a wait list. If you start looking early you have a better chance of landing the contractor you chose instead of the one that was available. This can be done while you are establishing your budget. Northern Homecraft Ltd. can help you set a realistic budget for your build. We are aware of the costs associated with building and can help you find choices that will fit your budget.
Picking a contractor is more than just the number you are quoted. You want to pick the right company for you. Meet with them in person; make sure that it is a match for your personality. We would be happy to show you our past work, walk you through our current job site, and provide references from previous clients. Do not be afraid to ask your contractor their qualifications and the qualifications of their crew members. Ask questions about how they operate their business and what protocols they follow. Find out what is included in their services; what are you responsible for? what will they provide? do they hire the sub-contractors or do you? Is this the same in all the quotes you are considering? There is a lot to consider so take your time and do some research.
Pick Your House Plan
This is our favorite part! I am sure you have already started looking at plans. Pick out what you like and what you do not like. Plans can be drawn to fit your needs. This is when knowing your budget will be really helpful. Ask your contractor questions. They can be a great help to let you know if you are in your budget range. In the end we want you to find the home that best fits your life and your needs. Plans can be expensive why not only buy them once. Ask us about the various ways a plan can be purchased or drawn.
Get Your Quotes
Now that you have a plan you can collect quotes from more than one contractor. Be sure to specify exactly what it is you are looking for with your finishes. Go over the quotes with the contractors. Ask questions! What is included, does it include excavating, garbage removal, and the finishes you requested? You want to make sure you are comparing quotes that are actually comparable. There are more to quotes than the bottom number, make sure you do your homework. Northern Homecraft Ltd. is happy to provide a scope of work detailing the items and methods that our quote covers to help in your comparisons.
our building process
Commit to a Contractor
Once you have chosen who you are going to use for your build it is important to sit down and finalize the details. At this point we will have you sign a contract and make a deposit. This is an agreement between us that shows we have both committed to your project.
Northern Homecraft Ltd. feels it is important to have open communication with your contractor throughout the building process. Ask questions as they come up. If you want to make a change we will issue a change order form. This helps to ensure we are both on the same page and allows you to keep track of additional costs for your budget. Change orders are amendments to the original contract and are there to protect both parties. Change orders should be signed by you, the client, and us, the contractor, with each party getting a copy. A proper paper trail allows you to look back at what has been done and account for extra spending or credits.
Keep in touch with your financial institution as the build proceeds. If you are financing there are strict payment schedules that coincide with certain completion points. Northern Homecraft Ltd. will have a complete percentage breakdown of your project before construction even starts. We are happy to provide this report to you to take to your bank. Progress reports will be issued to you throughout the build so everyone knows where your project is in terms of completion.
When building a new home there are other aspects of the project to consider that may fit differently into each person’s timeline or build. They are still important pieces of the process that need to be addressed.
Buying a lot
Some people choose to buy their property years in advance while others purchase their lot as they are ready to build. You need to do what meets your finances and timeline.
Some lots already have services (water, sewer, power) run to the property line. However, this is not always the case. Make sure you check to see what is there before you purchase the lot. Being in town does not guarantee all services and becomes less likely the further out you go. Drilling a well, putting in a septic system, and running power to your home location can be costly. Make sure you have budgeted for these expenses if they are not included with your lot.
New Home Warranty and BC Housing
The ways in which a home gets built can vary from contract to contract. Some choose to hire a General Contractor to provide service for all aspects of the build from start to finish, while others choose to go the “Owner-builder” route. They can both be successful but have different restrictions and requirements. A licensed builder that is hired to build a home to turn-key completion is required to cover the home with a new home warranty provided by a third-party warranty provider, whereas an owner builder can apply to BC Housing to be exempt from the need of a new home warranty. There are certain criteria for the owner-built path that must be adhered to; the owner-builder will have to pass an exam on building knowledge and will have to hire the various subtrades themselves as well as co-ordinate the project on the whole. It is unlawful for a contractor to be hired by an “owner-builder” to provide all the needed elements of a home’s construction from start to finish and not provide the home with a new home warranty. Once a single contractor has performed work beyond the threshold of substantial completion as defined by BC Housing, that contractor must apply a warranty to the home. Northern Homecraft Ltd. is proud to offer full 2-5-10 new home warranties. We are also very familiar with the owner-built requirements and are happy to offer our services to the degree requested within the legislation.
The Building Code
There are base standards to which a home in BC must be built. These are defined in the BC Building Code or BCBC; and they are ever changing! Codes do change throughout the years and are set to change drastically in the future as BC moves toward higher efficiency homes. Currently the code is a prescriptive path to making the minimum standard that a home can be built to regarding performance, occupant health and safety, and durability. However, it has been announced that code will change to the “Step Code” system in the near future; step code level 3 will be the requirement by 2022. This means homes will be designed, modeled and tested to certify that they are actually performing to their target goals. Currently communities are able to opt into the step code system if they choose. If you live in a town that has opted in, don’t be discouraged! You live in a progressive town! Our company has put a lot of effort into staying up to speed with the coming changes and has even had the good fortune to participate in step code workshops hosted by BC Housing.
Building permits are necessary to build a new home. Building without the proper permits could lead to delays in construction or fines that far exceed the cost of a permit. Not having the proper permits can also affect your ability to secure a mortgage through a financial institution or have negative impacts on your resale value.