Looking for Great Home Design in the GTA? Do Your Homework
Home Design in the GTA
So you want to design your own home. That’s a great choice for many reasons. Rather than having a home generically designed for the general population, you can have a quality home built for your personal needs and tastes, which will ultimately ensure high functionality. A contemporary, custom home can incorporate money saving efficiencies and environmentally savvy details. So now you’ve made that great decision, what is the next step? Here’s a guide to home design in the GTA.
The first step in designing a new home is to dream about all the possibilities. If you have purchased a lot to build on already, look at other homes in the area. Go to open houses and make lists of what you like and what you don’t like. Look at home magazines. Take pictures of homes that work. Ask friends about the features of their homes they love most and the features they could live without.
Now is the time to get tough with your budget, speak to your financial advisor and know your financial limits. Think practically about how many bedrooms you will need. Do you work at home and do you need a home office? Plan for the future; are you planning to have children or are your children about to leave home? Think about a style of house that works both inside and out. Consult other members of your family and make sure you are on the same page.
Find the Right Home Builder
Ideally, you want to find a company that can see your dream through from conception to fruition, one that is capable of offering design, engineering and architectural services, with skilled labour on staff. Some quality home building companies also have in-house interior designers who can help with getting some of the smaller design elements just right early in the process. Ask friends for recommendations of companies that completed their work on budget and on schedule. If you find a company you like, ask for referents you can speak to. Ask to see their work on-site. Ask how they calculate their fees. Do they pass on any discounts on building materials on to their clients? Who is supervising the work? What are their qualifications? A trained engineer is more desirable than someone with less expertise.
Is Your Builder Registered with Tarion?
Seek out a builder that is registered with Tarion. Tarion is a government regulated body that ensures that home builders are complying with the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Builders registered with Tarion must undergo a certification process that tests technical knowledge based on the Ontario Building Code, as well as an annual review of financial stability. Be wary of hiring a general contractor: most are not members of Tarion and are not required to be regulated in any way. Find out what kind of warranty will back the work. A builder, at the minimum, should offer a seven-year Tarion backed warranty.
Building your dream home is an exciting adventure. Make sure you have an expert in home design in the GTA as your guide. Find a company that answers your questions, offers concrete advice and listens to your concerns.