Author: Adriana Valentina

Top 7 tips for building a custom home

By Rob Haslett 1. Create a custom home building journal as soon as possible. This is very helpful if you have a home building project or if you just want to organize your details in one place. You can track essential home details such as ownership information, budgets, renovations, improvements and more. 2. When you’re deciding on a contractor or custom home builder, examine the homes they have built, in person. Reach out to references and past clients and try to learn more about the builder. Are there any complaints or reviews on Facebook or Better Business Bureau? 3. Insist on a home that is built to last – not a quick-and-sell build. Let’s be honest, it’s one of the most expensive things in your life, but it’s not the best time to be frugal. Quality and time will produce the best results. 4. Don’t overbuild. Compare the home you’re planning with others on the same street. You don’t want to be the most expensive house on the block; you won’t get your money back when you sell. 5. Don’t select a builder based solely on bid amount. Don’t necessarily select the one with either the highest or lowest bid. A high bid doesn’t guarantee a superior product, and the lowest bid could mean that you’ll be hit with extra costs as construction progresses. Often, the low bid is...

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Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association Ottawa Renovators’ Council Message from the Chair

Give yourself time By Casey Grey People usually start thinking about their renovation in the spring. However, fall is probably the best time to start planning your project. If it’s an interior project, the weather won’t slow you down, and the work can be done through the winter. If it happens to be a larger project, like an addition, allowing extra time to plan through the fall and winter is probably the greatest gift you’ll give yourself. We RenoMark™ renovators always want to over-deliver on our clients’ expectations. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible, and it’s really tough when the project starts off with an extremely short timeline. This can result in failure to meet your expectations. (Nothing great rarely happens overnight, after all.) For a project to go from an idea to a physical structure, there are literally hundreds of people involved. Here are some examples: Designers Architects Draftspeople Structural engineers Geotechnical engineers Excavation crew Foundation/concrete crew Framers Roofers Siding crew Masonry crew Electricians Plumbers HVAC crew Insulation crew Drywall crew Painters Hardwood installers Tile installers On top of all that, there are all the people you deal with at all the suppliers’ locations where you purchase the materials for all the people involved above.     Before that can even happen, there are the people who work at the manufacturing plants who build all the materials and supplies you...

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Renovating for aging in place

By Patrick Langston We plan our finances, our vacations, even our grocery shopping. So, why aren’t we doing the same when it comes to growing older in our own homes? A recent Ipsos poll for HomeEquity Bank found that 93 per cent of seniors believe it’s important to stay in their own homes throughout their retirement, a practice known as aging in place. Yet the decision to retool a home for aging in place is usually “reactionary,” says Sean MacGinnis, who is president of BuildAble, a company specializing in renovations for those with mobility challenges that often accompany aging....

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Real Estate Matters

By Natalie Belovic What will your home call home? How on earth do you decide on the right urban lot for your new home in Ottawa? You know, the one that hasn’t even been built yet? It’s exciting. But it’s not simple. There are many things to consider. But don’t look for cut-and-dry answers ‒ at least, not at first. Here are some points to ponder: If you are at the beginning of your journey and don’t know what your house will be, should you have an idea of the shape and size of your new home, and then...

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Renovator of the Year: Lagois Design-Build-Renovate — Perseverance gets you there

By Francie Healy With characteristic grace, Herb Lagois of Lagois Design-Build-Renovate calls his company’s recent Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association “Renovator of the Year” win “an incredible award that speaks to our team.” He is proud of his team of eight and the evolution of his company that began more than 30 years ago, in 1984. Back then, it was called Lagois Drafting and Construction. Herb started it soon after he graduated. Right from the start, he learned from his business mistakes. “My first lesson?” he muses. “You need the proper things in place before you can grow.” He...

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What is RenoMark™?

RenoMark™ renovators are held to the highest industry standards. They have to do the big things – carry $2 million liability insurance and enforce strict workplace safety – and the smaller things that give you comfort: pledge to call you back within two business days, for instance.

RenoMark™ renovators must pay a fee to be certified. They must also follow detailed guidelines. In addition to insurance, safety and courtesy, they must:
• Give you a detailed written contract for all jobs, big or small
• Provide a minimum two-year warranty on all work except minor repair
• Carry the proper licences and permits
• Keep their worksite organized and safe
• In the Ottawa area, be a member in good standing of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) and abide by the GOHBA Code of Ethics.
• Stay current, through consistent and continuing education, in their professional knowledge of building codes, permit procedures and technical skills.

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