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RS Homes Website – Resources: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
 

 

As one of Toronto’s leading custom home builders, we get calls every day from people who want to build their dream home. Here are some of their most frequently asked questions:

  1. What is the difference between a custom home and a regular home?
    A custom home differs from a regular or standard home in the flexibility and quality that is offered to the owner. A regular home will be limited in available options. Maybe there are three types of brick to choose from, or a few different options for countertops. With a custom home anything is possible. This is true not only for items such as flooring, countertops and paint colours, but for the very architecture itself – the entry, the roofline, the floor plan, and everything inside. This is the joy of custom home building – knowing that you can design and build a home that is just the way you like it. So how do you figure out what that looks like? Start by discussing your visions with a trusted professional. A custom home is work of a flexible and progressive constructer whose vision begins on day one during the design process and continues throughout the construction process to harvest ultimate unsurpassed product.
 
  1. What is the process of building a custom home?
    There are 4 basic stages to building a custom home: There are various steps within each stage, and many pitfalls. Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy, but also rest assured that building a custom home can be very rewarding when you work with the right people.
    1. Real estate: finding and purchasing the perfect lot;
    2. Design: deciding how your dream home will look, feel and function (including Architecture, Mechanical and Structural Engineering);
    3. Permit: obtaining the city’s permission to build; and
    4. Construction: building your home from start to finish.
 
  1. Do you offer “turnkey” services?
    Yes, RS Homes is pleased to offer fully managed services. We take care of everything for you, so you can focus on the things that matter. From finding the right lot, to getting your survey, designing a beautiful home and selecting the final finishes, RS Homes is here to guide your vision for your dream home.
    • Real Estate
    • Design
    • Permit application process
    • Construction
 
  1. How long does it take to build a custom home?
    Let’s assume you have land to build on. Allowing for design, permitting and construction, the entire process usually takes about one and a half years, or 18 months. (We typically allow 2-3 months for design, 2-3 months for permitting and 1 year for construction, for a 4-5000 square foot home). While a smaller and/or simpler home will take less time, it is not directly proportional because every home has complex elements such as the roof, electrical and mechanical systems, and time consuming finishes like kitchens and bathrooms. You can expect a longer timeline if:
    • You are seeking exemptions from local bylaws (such as setbacks or height restrictions)
    • Your project is in close proximity to a conservation area, watercourse, or subject to heritage restrictions
    • Your project is larger or more complex than a typical custom home
 
  1. How much does it cost to build a custom home?
    This is easily the most common question people ask us. It’s difficult to answer however, without having information about the specific project in question. That said, we look to a third party for an unbiased answer: the Altus Group’s Annual Construction Cost Guide offers up-to-date information on hard costs to build within the GTA. For 2015, these range from low end speculative building at $120 per square foot, to high end custom home building at $1,000 per square foot. Where your project sits within this broad range will depend on your expectations for exterior and interior finishing. (And keep in mind, this is hard costs only. Additional fees will apply for soft costs such as land, design, permitting, servicing and other requirements such as surveys, geotechnical studies, arborists etc.) If you want to learn more about how to budget for your dream home, call us today and we can review a typical project.

 

  1. Do you offer a warranty on your new homes?
    Yes, RS Homes is a registered builder with the Tarion Warranty Corporation. We strongly suggest that, whether it be RS Homes or not, you work with someone offering Tarion. Otherwise, your investment is subject to significant risk. You can learn more about applicable terms and fees here: I want to learn more about Tarion.
 
  1. How big of a home can I build on my lot?
    The size of home that you can build is determined according to local bylaws, which vary from one area to the next. You can find out more about the bylaws that apply to your land by contacting your local building department. (Please note: RS Homes will do this for you during design). Typical bylaws dictate that the maximum amount of property that you can cover is 27-35% of your total property area. So for example, let’s imagine a lot that is 60 feet wide and 200 feet deep, with a total property area of 12,000 square feet. If we assume 30% coverage is allowed, then you could build a home with a 3,600 square foot main floor, or 7,200 square feet for main floor+ second floor, not including basement. Want to know more, like “how many garages can I build?”, or “what is a good size for my master bedroom?” – call us today to schedule a consultation.
 
  1. Where is the best area to buy land to build a custom home?
    The answer will depend on your priorities, be they lot value and size, quality of schools, proximity to work, ability to access highways, local amenities and so on. That said, recently we’re seeing a lot of interest North York, Bayview Village and Bayview Hills. Other areas experiencing significant growth include Etobicoke, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Markham, Stouffville, Newmarket and Oakville.
 
  1. What sets RS Homes apart from other builders?
    We’re so glad you asked! Among the main reasons to choose RS Homes, here are three that set us apart.
    1. Experience: Over 30 years of it…
      During this time, we’ve built homes of all shapes and sizes. When you’re looking for someone to build your dream home, don’t choose someone whose portfolio is mostly subdivisions or typical homes. You need someone who has built countless unique structures, and will know how to stay true to your vision throughout the ups and downs of the project.
    2. Reputation: based on the highest quality.
      We’re not the cheapest builder, and we don’t try to be. Instead, we focus on getting the design right and staying true to that vision throughout the construction process. We do that by working with experienced professionals, subcontracting artisan trades, selecting top grade materials, and managing the work carefully from start to finish.
    3. Trust: at the heart of our success is the relationship we foster with our clients.
      When you work with RS Homes, you’ll sleep easy. That’s because we know that our success depends on your success. Ultimately, if you’re not happy, then we haven’t done our job. So what do we do to keep you happy? For starters, we use our 30 years of experience to maximize your equity through your home’s design. We also provide a flexible design process, to ensure your needs are understood and met. And we communicate regularly throughout the project, using state-of-the-art technology. You’ll have your own online portal where you can check on your project, anytime, from anywhere.
 
  1. How do payments work - are they monthly, or progress based?
    When you design and build with RS Homes, you only pay for work completed. And you have the opportunity to review a full schedule of payments before you're asked to sign anything. A typical payment schedule includes a small deposit upon contract signing (2-5% depending on the project), a down payment upon commencement of construction, and then 15-20 payments based on key project milestones (such as your foundation, framing, roof structure, etc.).

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