The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Custom Home - Blue Mountain Custom Home Builders

If you are considering a custom-built home, it’s important to do your research so that you understand clearly what the process involves.  If you're looking for Blue Mountain custom home builders, L. Patten and Sons can help. It can be tremendously satisfying when you plan ahead and choose the right builder, but it can be agonizing and frustrating if you do not.  This guide is designed to help you with both, so that the experience can be a positive one. If you have any questions please contact L. Patten and Sons today

Blue Mountain Custom Home Builders

L. Patten and Sons is located in the heart of Collingwood in the Blue Mountains. Blue Mountain is the perfect place to create the life you always dreamt of. Being right on the water, having beautiful green space, being close to the beach, and having access to some of the best ski hills and golf resorts in Ontario -- whatever you love, Blue Mountain can offer it. 

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Do Your Research

As with any major purchase, before you start construction on your custom home, there is a certain amount of research that should be done. Starting from nothing can be both intimidating and exciting. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How large of a custom home can I afford?
  • Do I want 1 or 2 stories?
  • Where do I want to live? Are there schools in this area? Does the area have the amenities I need?
  • What will I be doing in the home?
    • Do I entertain frequently?
    • Do I work at home?

When researching custom home builders, you should be aware that there are five main phases of home building. The more involved you are in these phases, the more satisfied you will be at the end of the project. The five main areas are: 

  • Research
  • Pre-construction
  • Framing
  • Interior finishing
  • Exterior finishing

L. Patten and Sons have extensive experience walking through this process with all of their customers. The right custom home builder will guide through what they need to know so they can get to work and create your dream home. This will satisfy steps one and two of the custom home building process, as an architect will be able to draw up a plan for the contractor to follow, who will start gathering a team to put the plan into action.

Choose Your Priorities

This step is absolutely essential, and should be completed before anything else gets going.  It’s easy to get distracted along the way by alluring views on a vacant property, or the proximity to your favourite elementary school, however you really need to consider your priorities. Take the time to make a list, and do your very best to stick to it.  It will simplify decision making and maintain your focus.  Ask yourself questions like:

  • What are your priorities for living? 
  • If you have children, do they each need their own rooms? 
  • Do you work from home?
  • Do you entertain regularly?
  • Do you have pets and need the appropriate property?
  • Do you want space, or do you want to be close to the action?

Discuss all of this up front and it will save you time and stress later on.

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Consider Your Budget

After you've chosen a custom home builder, you should talk through plans and hopes and have an idea of how much your custom home will cost. Financing the construction may be an obstacle, however once this is taken care of, it is crucial that you stick to your budget. Each time you make or consider a purchase, deduct this from your budget.  Is the land a little more than you wanted to pay? Remember the house build will then have to be a little less to compensate.  Always leave room in the budget for items you may not have considered, such as: 

  • Appliances
  • Furnishings
  • Landscaping
  • Development Fees

Once you have a reasonable home building budget set, you will need to decide what will be the scope of your custom home design. 

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Choose Your Land

This is often where it all begins, and for good reason.  The best house design follows the influence of the land, so knowing where your house will be built is the best place to start.  Choosing land is a big decision on it’s own, learn more about that here.  Keep your total budget in mind when looking for land, as well as your lifestyle priorities.

Find a Builder

In many cases you may have already chosen a builder by this point, as there are many advantages to having them work with you from the start. You can find tips on choosing a builder here.

If you have not yet done so, this would be the time to make your selection, but remember that builders can be busy, and they may not be able to start working with you right away.  The more lead time you can give a builder the better so that they can commit to your project in their schedule. 

Design Your Home

It’s up to you who designs your home – an architect or an architectural technologist. Either way, start with a good idea of what you want (and what you can afford) and go from there. Depending on who is doing the drawings and the complexity of your plans, this part of the process can take any where from a few weeks to many months, and cost anywhere from $5000 - $100,000. If you're wondering what style you are looking to have for your house, check out this article on three main styles of custom homes. 

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Begin Construction

Now that you have land, plans and a builder, you are ready to begin construction.  If you have not yet received all of the required engineering for your plans (truss designs, HVAC designs, grading plans, etc.) these will now have to be done;  expect 2-3 weeks for this stage.  Once all of this is complete it’s time to apply for permits, so plan on 2-4 weeks for this.  Builders will also use this time to line up the timing for the initial trades; the excavation crew, foundation crew and framing crew.  This phase requires very little input from the homeowner, though a walk-through during final framing is recommended to ensure you are happy with the placement and sizing of rooms, windows, and doors. 

From this stage the house will get closed in, and the next set of trades moves in; electricians, plumbers, insulators, heating contractors.  Again, the homeowner will need the occasional site meeting to lock in details for fixture placement, where outlets are required, where water will need to go.  There are a lot of people who will come together to build you your custom home; to understand just how many have a look at another article here.

During these stages decisions will have to be made; cabinetry, plumbing, lighting flooring, windows, paint colours.  The process may seem to take forever, but there are thousands of pieces that need to be looked after and it all takes time.  Stay in touch with your builder, and make sure you are getting them the information they need when they need it.

Every custom home is different, and so is the time each one takes to build. As an average, you should count on 7-10 months from the time the shovels hit the ground. 

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Trust L. Patten and Sons

In all, from the time you decide to build a custom home to the time you move in, you should expect the process to take at least a year.  Be patient, and recognize that it’s a little like having a baby;  exciting at the very beginning, a little tedious through the middle, and a flurry of activity and the “will this ever be over” by the end.  And once everything is complete, the joy will definitely be worth the work!

For more information and help planning your next build in the Collingwood area, reach out to us at L. Patten and Sons.

"Over the years, we have come to know Jerry and his group very well. They are a joy to work with and will deliver whatever they say they will. Jerry is trustworthy, dependable and responsible. He is also a very nice guy. For any building project he is our choice." 
- Gerry and Gail

Read more testimonials here.