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House Tips – Your New Construction Project

Elvis Elvis

You are about to embark on your own new construction project!

Wow, you’ve actually done it! You’ve got your lot, your ideal home plan and you’ve got your land purchase agreement in place, you’ve got an idea as to what builder you may like, and you may or may not have a handle on exact cost and what exactly is included once you’ve signed on the dotted line. Some builders’ and home/cottage package suppliers will give you a cost per square foot estimate. However, most will try to avoid doing so. This makes your comparison shopping a wee bit tougher.

If you have never had anything built for you before and you want to build your new home yourself, I strongly suggest getting a builder to do your first one for you. However, if you are blessed with persistence and fortitude, it’s time to go back to the beginning and get all of your costs re-verified. Always get at least 3 WRITTEN estimates for each trade and have a checklist handy that places them all side by side for easy comparison.

Wondering what trades actually come out and work in your new neighborhood? Check out the neighbors. Chances are they are building or have built too. They can give you a good “heads up” on who is good and who is not. If a potential trade person is working in that area while you’re out there, there is no time like the present to stop by and talk with them. You also get to see the type of workmanship they actually do. A picture speaks a thousand words. Seeing is believing.

The past 2 years in Edmonton has been a virtual nightmare for securing trades. There was such a shortage of concrete, and then of trades of all kinds – so much so that builders began bidding on trades’ services. If you are in an area or subdivision that does allow new construction of modular homes and you are on a tight time-line, a modular home or a pre-fab home, pre-built in a climate controlled atmosphere can often be ready in as little as 8 weeks.

On the other hand, if you are not having a prefabricated home built for you there can be time-line risks. For example, during the boom of the last 2 years, some construction crews would actually start a home, with the builder believing that the guys would stay and work until it was finished before going on to the next one. Not necessarily so. Many construction workers on contract would start one house, leave it partially framed or serviced, move on and start the next one, and so on until they had 7 or 8 homes on the go at once, and then come back after 6 to 8 weeks (or more) to finish what should have been finished weeks ago. Homes that should have taken only 5 to 7 months to complete were taking over a year. The situation was ridiculous.

House Tips   Your New Construction Project

Currently the market has cooled a bit and trades are once again available. Construction suppliers are not as backlogged and pricing has stabilized. We’re still experiencing a worker shortage, but things are progressing on a more even keel for the moment.