a. This one is mostly based on personal preference:
1. Bungalow or 2-Storey
ü Keeping in mind that it is cheaper to build up than it is to build out. Therefore, bungalows will be more expensive per square foot than 2-storey houses.
2. Total Square Footage of home
3. Size of garage (based on usage and how many vehicles being stored).1. Location, size, and type of rooms (sunrooms, offices, library, exercise, theatre…etc.)
2. Number of washrooms (full or partial)
3. Basement layout (finished or unfinished)
b. The standards and options offered by the builder (varies from builder to builder):
1. This will determine what is included in the square footage price, the allowances given for floor, electrical (lighting), and cabinetry.
ü Some items to keep note of (which may or may not be included in the build) are:
· Structural beams used - steel beams will alleviate the number of teleposts needed for structural support.
· Type of stucco finishes – Acrylic Vs. Traditional
i. Both systems of finishes are adequate for our climate, but one thing that definitely stands out is the variable colors that can be used with Acrylic finishing (almost any color under the rainbow), while Traditional finishing’s are limited to the lighter tones.
· Higher basement ceilings:
i. Typically 9 feet high in the basement
1. NOTE: if you are getting a concrete pad as your basement floor, then the height drops by the thickness of the pad. However, with a structural wood basement floor, you are able to retain the 9-foot height.
i. Believe it or not, some builders do not include the driveway – make sure to address this before you sign the contract!
ii. Traditional broom or Stamped finish
i. Piles Vs Footings
1. Footings (shallow foundations) – are embedded about a meter into the soil, which transfers weight from walls and columns to the soil or bedrock.
2. Piles (deep foundation) – impact driven reinforced, or pre-tensioned concrete used to transfer the load from a structure through an upper (weak) layer of soil to a stronger, deeper layer of soil.