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  • Derrick Spearman

Where to start when you plan to build a custom home?

Let's talk about bringing your dream home to life ...

So you want to have your dream home? The first thing you want to make sure you do is secure a parcel of land. When looking at the land check for the location of large trees and if they will affect demolition and excavation, are they bordering with the neighbours, etc. Is there a hurried oil tank or any other surprises not seen to the naked eye? Also consider the proximity of the existing house to neighbouring houses - houses in close proximity such as in areas like Leaside, Forest Hill and Downtown Toronto may require shoring can add $25,000-$150,000 to your project. Look at the location of the house to the sun - what kind of lighting will you have in your primary bedroom and family room if there is a large tree from the neighbours house that might obstruct sunlight coming into the house? Consider consulting us before purchasing land and we can do a site visit to let you know about the feasibility of construction.

Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Once you are set on a given lot and purchased the property it will be important to get a surveyor involved. Past this stage you want the architect and custom home builder to meet and be part of your project at early stages. You will need to apply and secure a building permit and you may need to apply to the Committee of Adjustment, and having your architect and builder involved early on ensures they are collaborating and providing strong arguments for the feasibility of your project at the Committee of Adjustment. It also helps to get signatures from neighbours that they support your project.

Once the building permit is secured and we receive permission for demolition, architectural plans are in place we begin the construction and demolition process and are off to the races.

Many of our clients also have an interior designer involved (we often provide our colleagues with contacts for those designers whose work we find outstanding). During the process of construction, typically our project managers will speak to the architect on a weekly basis at the early stages and provide direct feedback to the architect and engineer. This is not a common practice for builders in the GTA but we find it significantly improves the end project, speeds up construction as we tackle design issues before we even start building and ultimately saves our clients money.

Subsequently, our philosophy is to ensure the client receives the best product possible when building their house so it is not uncommon for us to collaborate with the interior designer on a weekly if not daily basis. On one of our more unique projects, the client selected to work with a designer who lived in Germany. Our team worked around the challenges of time differences and remoteness of the designer - in fact one of our team members would visit boutique shops with the designer via zoom to ensure the customer was able to get the exact design of his kitchen that he wanted. Customer satisfaction is more that our priority - it is the philosophy of our business.

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