There are many fine home builders in Toronto.
So how do you find a home builder that is qualified?
In the GTA there are no referral services that are completely un-biased and/or in an non-arms length relationship with trades or builders as they depend on some sort of subscription fees from builders and tradesmen.
This said, while no referrals are iron clad, you should go with a builder that has been referred to you in some way.
There are many types of referrals, your realtor certainly can tell you of the builders they worked with, so can your architect- although most like to refrain from referring builders. Friends that had their house built is probably the best referral- if they were happy with their builder.
Online services should be a last resort although many builders that are reputable are listed in these services referrals sites.
The best way to find a builder if you can’t get a referral, is by driving around in neighbourhoods where there are actually houses being built. If these guys have construction sites in upscale and growing neighbourhoods, odds are any one of them can build your house.
What type of contract should you agree upon
Most custom home builders in Toronto operate on management or service agreements as oppose to contract prices. The differences between a management agreement and a build contract are very important.
In a management scheme, the builder works as your advocate in a typically non-adversarial relationship. A conventional builder will compete against you and your interests, in order to turn a profit based on a fix price. That is the nature of any price built agreement.
The management company does not sell you materials and products, they do not supply, but rather refer trades, nor are they or should they be committed to the trades in any way that would create a conflict of interest between you and the managing builder.
A built price means that the builder likely will mark up material and trades as well as include safeties allowances in his budget, for unforeseeable amendments to the work involve.
A builder hired on a management basis agrees upfront to a locked-in fee for the built.
As a result, typical conventional builder’s agreements, are more expensive than builders hired on a management agreement.
Moreover it is much easier for a client to determine just how much it will cost to hire a builder on a management basis and what you are going to get for the money, rather than on a built price agreement.
A management contract also assures the client of a higher standard of quality.
In choosing a type of builder the first thing you want to eliminate is temptation for the builder to overlook the integrity of the project for the sake of profits. Conversely, in hiring a project management firm, you want someone with extensive experience in all aspects of custom homes construction, that can actually recognize issues before they occur.
In the end it boils down to this, a conventional builder will cost more for a closely defined set of construction instruction.
A project management firm will give you a budget of all the costs involved, and therefore the likelihood of reaching a threshold of cost-quality and efficiency is by far, more realistic and probable.
Now that you know how to determine your choice and, what it entails to choose a builder, the next step is to establish how much it costs to build a custom home.
So how much does it cost to build a custom home
First let’s establish what it is to build a custom homes.
Unlike sub-division homes, or if you prefer mass produced homes in new developments, a custom home is built according to all your needs, tastes and specifications, a personalized home.
But a custom home is more than a fitted house, it is a structure that is built to higher standards of engineering and construction process’. A custom home also implies that every trades that worked on your house have at least fifteen to twenty five years of experience in doing what they do best.
When you build a custom home, it is implied that you are building a stronger, more durable and more efficient home, not just a differently appointed home.
So lets look at how much it costs.
Prices for an average 3500 sq.Ft., custom homebuilt through a management agreement, with two floors and a finished 8 feet high basement, the house clad with bricks all around, with a front accent of either stone or pre-cast cement, should be in the neighbourhood $1,400,000.00, before taxes, or if you prefer, $400/Ft.
In comparison, the same house built through a conventional builder would cost in the neighbourhood of $1,610,000.00, or roughly $460.00 per Sq. Ft.
These costs should include architecture and engineering services as well as your builder fees and all related permits.
Amenities typically include hardwood floors, tiles as well as marble or other stone for the kitchen counters.
Included in that price is custom cabinetry for the kitchen and all washrooms- typically 4 of them.
Ceiling heights are typically 8 to 9 feet ceilings in the basement, 9 or 10 feet ceilings on the main floor and, 8 to 9 feet ceilings on the second floor.
All ceilings on the main and second floor are trimmed at 75% with plaster crown mouldings.
These costs also include basic landscaping and fencing for the back yard.
What you get for that price is a house built with superior grades of materials, as well as an efficient home. With a custom home you can reduce your carbon footprint by at least 25% to 30%.
All new homes are constructed to better manage weather, moisture and air quality. With a custom home, your systems are simply better at reducing the risk of preventing such things as carcinogens from developing through mold built up, brought on by minimum standard industry practices.
How is your family protected
The foundation of a custom home should be protected with a membrane that is waterproofed, as opposed to the standard damp proofing used in conventional sub-division and speculative homes.
For example, if you have a neighbour with a leaky swimming pool, or if the pool is drained on the neighbouring property, and contaminates the ground, you could have Trihalomethanes (THMs) developing under your house and leaking into your basement.
THMs are one form of carcinogens that arise from the disinfectation of water with chlorine.
Through ground percolation, the recipe of water and chlorine combined with animal discharges and other biological matter, can create the potential of developing carcinogens that could seep through your foundation slab and walls, if the foundation is not properly sealed.
This is one example of the differences between a competent build and a novice build, or a custom home compared to typical homes built for mass re-sale.
In choosing abetween builder or a project management firm, you soon realize that there’s more than just prices involved.
The welfare of you and your family weighs heavily on the choices you will make.
For those with the opportunity to build their own homes, the logical answer is obvious, and that is, to use the financial resources committed to the project for a better built and efficient home.
Finding and choosing home builders, and how much does it cost to build a custom home in Toronto.