How Much Does it cost to Build a home in Western Canada?

If you have been searching for your dream home for a while, you may be coming to the conclusion that to have exactly what you need for you and your family, you may have to build it yourself. The first question prospective homeowners ask is, how much will it cost to build a house? The answer is often more complicated than they initially believe, in part because of all that goes into home-building and the vast array of paths and choices to build a home.   Based on our experience, the average cost to build a custom home comes in between $240 to $800+ per square foot. This will obviously a vary wide gap with many facets involved, so it is important to define specifications and understand what it costs to meet the permitting and code requirements vs just pricing out different finishing options.  While are ton of resources online to read, nothing beats speaking with an experienced builder and we are always happy to talk more about costs with you.  Planning and Soft costs Custom construction has numerous advantages, including unlimited control and customization, the appeal is obvious. Unfortunately, custom builds are often more expensive than spec and may take longer in terms of overall planning, design and construction time. The services of a architect can be quite costly, ranging between 5 percent and 15 percent of construction costs for a new home. After you have determined all your soft costs, including financing and lot purchase, consider the other numerous factors that influence the final cost of your home. Many of them involve customization while others are expenditures more closely related to the basic construction costs. Size isn't the only factor: Its obvious that a smaller home will cost less that a bigger home but there are a lot of complications that can affect the basic size.  Are there any areas of the home that re open to floors below, how high are the ceilings? where are the staircases laid out? What type of system will heat the home?  All of theses factor into the price regardless of the  the square footage. Number off finished levels: Creating additional stories, including basements and attic spaces, can increase the building costs, especially if these areas are finished instead of roughed in to the structure. This includes finishing the basement. Shape of the structure: For custom builds especially, the more corners a house has, the more it will ultimately cost. Style of Roof: Flat roofs, complex roof designs require more resources from the home-building budget than more typical types, like asphalt shingles. This is an area where durability should trump other concerns. Fixtures/Finishes: The grade of plumbing and lighting fixtures, including standard, luxury or custom, can impact the cost of a home.   Big Appliances: We like to ask our clients what appliances they want to have first, it sets expectations for the budgeting of the kitchenm, which is the most costly room in the house.  You may want to consider the cost of your appliances as a starting point.  Pick the size, features and manufacturer, a built-in Sub Zero refrigerator can costs over $10,000 for instance.  Cool Features: Many people dream of having a Theatre room or Library in thier home. However, these features are among the most costly to add, you may want to outline a list of requirements for these areas in home so you know the costs structures up front.  Altogether, creating the perfect home is an expensive endeavor. Nevertheless, at the end of the construction project, few new homeowners will ever say that the cost was not worth it. How much will your project cost? ​

Design Trends: retro modern

You’ve probably heard the saying “everything old is new again.” The same can be said about interior design trends.  The retro modern design trend is in full trend this summer. What is retro modern? Modern retro gets its name from a style that’s very throwback, but not too far back. This style uses hints of design patterns from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s as a basis for projects but incorporates cues from our modern digital era.  For instance check out the wire frame pendant lamps we used in our model kitchen that resembles and early 1990's computer graphic.  The style is upbeat, bright, simple, and geeky chic.                   The pendants reflect a tech theme of old computer graphics. The backsplash basic subway tile but arranged in a herringbone pattern to give it a classic yet pixelated effect.                     The nice thing about modern retro is that it comes with a certain sense of nostalgia and provides an immediate connection between the design and the homeowner.  The modern aspect is  Even without particular brands or icons, modern retro styles should make users say “I remember that.” Most of the designs focus on fun, so that they feel light, easy and have an almost child/early teen flair to them.  Check out the old dresser we turned into a bathroom vanity.                  Flat elements, from curved lines to straight lines, modern retro does not use a lot of extras and is somewhat reminiscent of flat 2D graphic design.  Clean abstract illustrations like our giant octopus print adds warmth and whimsy.

ready for smart windows?

At ESTATA we are always eager to see new technologies enter into the home construction marketplace.  We are always looking for whatever is most innovative, clever and beautiful to give our homes a little extra wow factor.  Last week, we met with View Glass and boy were we ever impressed.  The technology is polished, backed by some industry giants that will ensure it is here to stay.  How it works:                 View glass offers custom homes a new feature we can integrate into residential homes alongside the the growing number of energy saving tools and smart features that a custom home can have.  According to View Glass, controlling the windows makes up large portion of your total energy savings and should be implemented alongside lighting, cooling and heating.  

10 Reasons To Work With Estata

You've seen our homes and it was love at first site. Here are the top 10 reasons why we think we should be your builder


Most home buyers have a lot of questions about the construction of their home: How long will it take to build? What happens when? What does each step involve? When can we visit the site and see our home in progress? When do we have to make final decisions about cabinets, fixtures, flooring, and so on? When do building inspections take place? Will we have a chance to inspect it ourselves before we take possession? Below is an outline of the typical construction process today. Bear in mind that this is a generalized description—we will tailor a process that works best with the design of your home and most of all one that works for your life and work schedule.  The process and schedule will also be affected by the size and style of the house; the lot; the construction techniques used; the amount of customization required; the number of municipal inspections; specifications of the home, and many other factors. Just remember that building a home is an experience that is both enjoyable and rewarding.   Pre-construction Before any construction begins, plans for your home are developed, finalized and submitted to the municipal building permit office for review. Permits are required for all or some of the following work: building, electrical, plumbing, septic system and sewer connection.  The starting point for all design work is the site survey for development permit.  A number of site tests may also be conducted to examine the water table, the soil and the bearing capacity of the ground and other environmental tests. With this information, final engineering adjustments can be made to the plans.   Building the Foundation Your house is staked out and the land is prepared. Often, the topsoil is removed and piled elsewhere for later use, if your site has limited space and access we might remove all of the soil off site so we can execute more efficient construction techniques.  Excavation is done, and the footings (concrete slabs to support the foundation walls) are formed and poured. The foundation walls are erected (may use poured concrete in temporary wooden forms or permanent insulated blocks, concrete blocks or preserved wood, for instance). The foundation is insulated and damp-proofed. Weeping tiles are installed to drain ground moisture away from the house. Inspections are conducted before the outside perimeter is backfilled. Framing the Home Exterior walls, interior partitions and the roof are assembled. This usually means erecting a framing skeleton and applying an exterior sheeting; or other framing technique may be used. Frames are built on the floor, one wall at a time and then lifted in place. Roof trusses are most often brought to the site ready for installation, and roofing is completed as quickly as possible to prevent accidental damage as work progresses on the lower parts of the home. Windows and doors are installed. Our aim is to get to "lock-up" as quickly as possible to protect the structure from the elements.   Rough-ins for Electrical and Plumbing The basement floor is installed. Electrical and plumbing services are roughed in, and ducting for heating, cooling and ventilation is put in place.  At this time, we do a full a structural inspection to ensure that the home is being built according to building code requirements. Electrical and plumbing inspections will likely be conducted as well.  An extra step that we do here is that we take pictures of the inside of the walls at this stage so we have documentation of where everything is positioned before we drywall.    Interior and Exterior work begins For the next several weeks, a great deal of work will happen inside and out, much of it at the same time, or overlapping. Proper scheduling and having all the selected materials on hand is key to smooth progress. The exterior walls and the roof are insulated, and a vapour barrier is applied. Inspections take place to ensure this work has been done properly, before the drywall is installed. Heating and cooling systems are installed, including fireplaces. Walls and ceilings are painted, flooring is laid, and kitchen and bathroom cabinets are installed. Plumbing and electrical fixtures are put in, trim is applied, and interior doors are hung. Siding is applied on the outside, along with eavestroughing, and porches and decks are installed. Final lot grading is done, and the driveway and walkways are put in. During this period, we will work very closely with you and the designers to update you on progress and to meet deadlines for selecting finishes to ensure materials are available when needed as well as other decisions you may need to make. Flexibility Along the Way From our past experience, we have found that custom home owners like to maintain as much flexibility as possible while building their dream home and as such we will gladly attempt to accommodate any changes or additions you want to make before construction of your home begins, or even when it is in progress. From Near-Completion to Move-in They last 10% of the project is always the most challenging, but also the most rewarding as this is where you visually inspect all the hard work that has gone into building the home.  While our crews are complete the final touches and cleaning up. We are doing final detail and quality inspections. You will do a couple of walk-throughs of your home alongside with us and we will address any last-minute touch-ups. When final inspections are done an occupancy permit is granted and  you will be able to move it! Our Ongoing Service Commitment Designing and building a new home is an exciting  an exciting process.  We want to ensure that your excitement and enjoyment of the home remain for years ahead. For a period of 1 year after your move in we handle any warranty and repair issues related to the home, a service we provide to you free of charge.  Have comfort that we will always stay in touch and do another walk through with you on your one year anniversary.  After that you are covered by our New Home Warranty Program   


 In any infill project, the an older home must be torn down before a new home can be built. In rare cases a home can be salvaged and moved off site but a typical project involving home demolition can contribute up to 50 tonnes Of waste to landfills... That's a lot of waste. Some recyclable materials with strong recycling support and infrastructure like metals, heavy timber, gypsum drywall and concrete can be salvaged during the demolition process. Would you throw out your old fridge in the stove or would you send it to a recycler?  Why not do the same for your furnace and electrical wiring.  Deconstruction is a more labour-intensive process than demolition. After the removal of any hazardous materials such as asbestos or lead we hand disassemble the house and sort it out into its various construction materials. While the typical demolition process uses heavy machinery to knock down a building, completely destroying it during the process with deconstruction, we buildings are systematically taken apart allowing building materials to be kept intact and separated before carting it off to several recyclers.  Deconstructing buildings drastically reduces waste and keeps it from ending in the landfill. So why don't more builders deconstruct vs. demolish?   Well, there is always the cost factor.  Deconstructing costs 25-40% more when compared against straight demolition. It also months to complete vs days...however...You can deconstruct a home during the time your building permit is being reviewed.  The City will usually grant you a permit to start deconstruction before your building permit gets its final approval, so with careful scheduling, your project timeline will only be slightly affected if at all. So when deciding deconstruction vs. demolition, remember its not always a bottom line decision. Work with a builder that at least gives you a choice. Deconstruction can be something that adds a little extra homeowner pride to your new home. Check out our latest deconstruction project in North Vancouver...


TD Economics has released their latest housing market update, highlighting the many high and low points of Canada’s ever changing housing market. CANADA’S HOUSING MARKET IN A NUTSHELL Canada’s housing market is expected to stabilize in 2016 in most areas. Low interest rates will likely remain relatively stable with only small increases, and this is primarily responsible for the continued drive to purchase new and existing homes. However, the current state of the oil marketplace will also impact housing sales across the country, and in some areas this could mean that stabilization is not likely to take place until sometime in 2017. Canada’s markets with the lowest inventory of existing homes, including Toronto, Vancouver and their surrounding areas, will experience stronger price gains and a continued seller’s market. In contrast, Saskatchewan Newfoundland and Labrador are expected to see a decline in sales, as these are the largest oil producing areas in Canada, and dropping oil prices could mean a slower economy and higher unemployment rates in these provinces. CALGARY Calgary, existing home sales have fallen by up to 36-percent from their peak in 2014. This is directly linked to declining oil prices and the loss of jobs in both provinces. Many are leaving their homes to find better career opportunities and financial situations elsewhere, meaning both new and existing homes sit on the market longer and prices are driven down. As oil prices stabilize, expect to see some stabilization in both markets and a return to a more secure housing market. VANCOUVER Those waiting to see a significant decline in the Vancouver housing markets will likely need to continue waiting. While these areas may see some shift toward neutral with even the slightest increase in interest rates and the new housing regulations, foreign investors remain particularly interested in both areas and inventory remains low. This continues to drive the market and support the demand for new and existing homes. OTHER PARTS OF CANADA Most other markets across Canada remain stable. Both existing and new home sales and prices continue to experience modest gains, and they are entering 2016 in a rather balanced state. These markets are not expected to experience a significant squeeze from the slight rise in interest rates or the new regulations. Fair employment rates and financial pictures in all of these areas continue to benefit the housing market and drive individuals to purchase homes. Overall, Canada’s housing market remains favorable with commonly seen highs and lows in various provinces across the country. 2016 looks promising, and many analysts predict that this year will see stabilization that benefits potential buyers as they search for their new homes. 


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