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Considering a Custom home or Major Renovation: Where to Start

Blog | December 11, 2020

Owning a residence that you can genuinely call home is one of the most significant life decisions you will ever make. That’s why it’s essential to have a clear direction when considering a custom home build or a major renovation. Finding the right design-build team, and asking the right questions, are the first steps in making your dream home a reality.

Here are some questions to help you get started when considering a custom home or major renovation:

What is best: Building a custom home or undergoing a major renovation?

To build or renovate is a question often asked by homeowners. The answer depends on several factors, including:

  • Cost: Is it more economical to build or renovate? Your builder can assess what shape your current building is in by looking at potential issues that could drive up the renovation cost. In some cases, it may be less expensive to build rather than renovate.
  • Resale value: Researching area real estate and having your home assessed can help you determine whether a newly constructed custom home or a renovation will offer better resale value.
  • Land and location: As a custom home build requires property, you’ll need to determine whether you are happy in your current location or willing to move elsewhere. Your builder can help by inspecting potential lots to see if they will fit your custom home plan and if any factors could hinder construction.

Why consider a design-builder over a general contractor?

When considering a design-builder over a general contractor for your custom build or renovation project, it helps to look at the following key points:

Transparency and Communication:  A general contractor is usually not involved in the early stages of the design process, while a design-build team puts together the design/plans and then communicates with the dedicated project manager to assist with the execution of design throughout the project. This allows for more accurate and transparent reporting to the client.

Cost and Timeliness: Having a design team that handles all aspects of the build or renovation is more cost-effective than hiring separate contractors. A design-builder can also offer more accurate estimates. With a design team, the planner, designers, and builders all work together to make decisions, creating a more efficient process that cuts down on costly and timely errors.

Knowledge and Experience: Unlike a general contractor, a design team includes a broad range of experts, avoiding the need to contract additional trades and sub-trades. For example, Stattonrock Design + Build has a professional team that includes:

  • Dedicated Project Managers
  • A Drafting Designer
  • Interior Design Team
  • Carpenters/Framers
  • Exterior Installers/Siders
  • Excavating + Landscaping Division
  • HVAC, Plumbing + Heating Division
  • Millwork Division

How do you budget for a major renovation or custom home build?

Budgeting for a custom home build or renovation starts with a meeting with our team of professionals, where all costs are assessed — from planning and permits to materials and labour. Keeping your budget in check for all of the things you want for your custom home or renovation can be tricky. That’s where your designer-builder can help, by offering materials and methods that will help you attain the home of your dreams without breaking the bank. Stattonrock Design + Build uses special software that pinpoints your budget from the roof right down to the foundation so that you can see how and where your money will be spent.

Who does the planning for your custom home or major renovation?

Besides the budget, coming up with a plan is one of the most critical steps when building a custom home or undergoing a major renovation.  Working together with a design-build team, an integrated design process ensues, where the builder, draftsperson, designers, and trade experts collaborate to make sure the home functions well and is built efficiently. Proper planning helps to alleviate possible stress points before the project starts.

Your design team also has access to stock plans that can be customized, or they can come up with something wholly unique. Whether you desire a West Coast contemporary design with an open concept interior or a craftsman design with lots of wood and stone finishing, a design-builder can draft up a plan that meets all of your wishes and brings your vision to life from the ground up.

What happens during your design-builder consultation?

A custom home build or renovation always starts with an initial ZOOM meeting, in-person consultation or a site visit with your design-builder. These essential steps help build trust and are a way to get the answers to all of your questions.

Things your design-builder will want to discuss with you include:

  • Budget: Devising a healthy budget that meets your expectations but is realistic.
  • Placement: Looking at lots and finding the right land to build your custom home.
  • Timeline: Discussing how long it will take to see your dream realized.
  • Design: Looking at 3-D plans and renderings, or even utilizing VR, so that you can visualize your new home design or renovation.
  • Permits: Ensuring all municipal covenants or restrictions are met, and permits are in place before construction starts.
  • Trades: Determining what trades and sub-trades will be needed to complete your project.
  • Communication: Making a communication plan so that you are aware of every step.

What things should you be aware of during a build or renovation?

One of the main things to consider during your renovation project is how you’re going to live while construction is underway. In addition, plans will have to be made about safe areas in your home during your renovation or how you will be able to see the progress of your custom home during construction.

Your dedicated Stattonrock Design + Build project manager will do everything possible to ensure renovation areas are safe and protected and that the impact on your family is at a minimum. We can also arrange safe worksite visits, so you are informed about your custom home build every step of the way.


Serving communities around the Lower Mainland and BC Interior, Stattonrock Design + Build is an award-winning home design and construction company providing clients with everything from home renovations, additions, and kitchen and bathroom renovations to custom home building and design. Our team takes care of every detail, from design to permits to finished project. See how we can bring your vision to life by contacting us for a no-obligation consult.


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