Building Your Dreams: Answering Your Top 5 FAQs About Custom Homes in Calgary

Embarking on the journey to build your own custom home in Calgary is an exciting endeavor that offers creative freedom and the chance to craft a living space perfectly designed to your preferences and lifestyle. However, as with any major undertaking, the path to creating your dream home comes with many questions and considerations. From design and permits to costs and timelines, the process can feel both exhilarating and overwhelming.

In this month’s blog article, we are diving into the top five frequently asked questions about building a custom home in Calgary. Whether you’re building a home for the first time or a seasoned homeowner seeking to create a unique home that reflects your personality and needs, we’ve got you covered. Join us as we demystify the ins and outs of custom home construction and help you navigate this exciting chapter with confidence.

1. What’s the process of building a custom home in Calgary?

Building a custom home in Calgary involves several steps, from initial planning and design to construction and final touches. Here’s a general outline of the process:

Step 1: Find Your LandSelect a suitable lot or property that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle.

Step 2: Determine Your BudgetSet a realistic budget that takes into account construction costs, permits, design fees, and other expenses.

Step 3: Choose a Builder – Research and choose a reputable custom home builder in Calgary. Look at their portfolio, reviews, and experience.

Step 4: Start DesigningWork with your builder and design team to create detailed plans for your custom home and ensure your vision is captured in the design.

Step 5: Apply for the Development Permit (if applicable) – Ensure the design of your new home complies with zoning regulations, building codes, and other legal requirements.

Step 6: Finalize Drawings – For your home to be built and priced correctly, you will need construction drawings, which will include things like a detailed floor plan, exterior elevations, building cross sections, electrical plan, foundation plan, plot plan, and miscellaneous construction details.

Step 7: Sign Building Contract – Sign a building contract for the construction of your new home that outlines the scope of work, timeline, and payment schedule.

Step 8: Apply for the Building Permit – Submit your design plans to the local authorities to obtain necessary permits and approvals to start the construction of your new home.

Step 9: Construction – The construction schedule may differ slightly from home to home and can be influenced by factors such as weather, layout, and trade availability, however, the order of construction is generally as follows: site preparation, foundation, framing, and structural work, exterior and interior work, finishing touches, final inspections, and occupancy.

Step 10: Possession & Warranty – When construction is completed, it’s time to move into your new custom home! Your builder will also offer a warranty period during which they will address any issues that arise after you move into your new home.

Remember that building a custom home is a collaborative process, so communication with your builder is key to ensuring your vision for your new home becomes a reality. Each project is unique, and the timeline and specifics can vary, so working with an experienced builder will help you navigate the process smoothly.

Want to learn more about the process of building a new custom home? Visit our Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your New Home.

2. How much does it cost to build a custom home in Calgary?

This is one of the biggest questions clients have when thinking about building a new home and it is an important one. However, when building a custom home there are many variables that contribute to what it is going to cost because it is, well… custom! Custom home costs can vary widely based on factors like size, location, design, materials, and finishes. All these factors can have a big impact on how much a custom home will cost. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the cost implications for different design decisions throughout the planning process.

The key is in knowing your budget and involving a builder right from the beginning. Before you engage a builder, you need to know what your budget is. Once you have decided on a budget, you will be able to engage a builder to design a plan for your new home that aligns with your vision and your budget. By discussing your budget openly with your builder at the very beginning of your project, you will be able to determine if your vision for your new home is achievable.

If what you are looking for is not within your budget, your builder will help you to cap the overall size of your home or establish the parameters for the architectural design. This will help you to design a home that is right for you and your budget. Throughout the design process, your builder will also be able to make recommendations on where to cut back or save, based on your priorities.

There are many, many things to keep in mind when determining what a custom home will cost. But involving an experienced custom home builder early on in the design process will help you to ensure that your new home design aligns with both your vision and your budget.

3. How do I choose the right builder in Calgary?

When it comes to building a custom home, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is which builder to engage for the construction of your new home. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you choose the right builder for your new custom home:

  • Define your needs and budget
  • Research and gather recommendations
  • Check experience and portfolio
  • Verify Credentials and licenses
  • Seek references and reviews
  • Interview multiple builders
  • Visit current construction sites
  • Review contract and warranties
  • Trust your gut

Check out our How to Choose the Right Custom Home Builder blog article for more helpful tips.

4. What is the timeline for building a custom home?

The timeline for building a custom home can vary significantly based on various factors, including the complexity of the design, the size of the home, weather conditions, permitting processes, availability of labor and materials, and the efficiency of construction. Here’s a general breakdown of the timeline for building a custom home:

  1. Pre-Construction Phase (4-6 Months or More):
    Design and Planning: This phase involves working with your builder and design team to create detailed plans for your custom home. This process can take several months, especially for complex designs.
    Permitting: Obtaining the necessary permits from local authorities can also take some time, as it involves approvals for building plans and adherence to zoning regulations. If a development permit is required, this can add 3-4 months to the pre-construction phase. A building permit will also be required prior to starting the construction of your new home and usually takes about 2-3 weeks for the initial approval.
  2. Site Preparation & Foundation (3-4 Weeks):
    Site Clearing and Grading: If the land needs preparation before construction, this could take a few weeks to complete.
    Foundation Construction:
    This phase involves pouring the foundation, which can take several weeks. The type of foundation (slab, crawl space, basement) can also influence the timeline.
  3. Framing & Exterior Finishes (4-6 Weeks):
    Framing: Building the structural frame of the house is a significant phase that involves erecting walls, roofs, and floors. This can take a few weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the design.
    Exterior Finishes: This phase involves finishing the exterior envelope, including installing roofing, siding, windows, and doors.
  4. Mechanical Rough-Ins & Drywall (4-6 Weeks):
    Mechanical Rough-Ins: This is when plumbing, electrical and HVAC rough-ins are installed.
    Drywall & Insulation: This is when insulation and drywall are installed and mudding and taping are complete.
  5. Finishing Touches (8-10 Weeks):
    Interior Finishes: Installing millwork, countertops, tile and flooring and other finishing details. This stage also incudes priming and painting the interior.
  6. Final Inspections & Occupancy (2-3 Weeks):
    Inspections: Local authorities will inspect various aspects of the construction to ensure compliance with building codes and safety standards.
    Occupancy: Once the inspections are approved and any deficiencies are corrected, you can move into your new custom home.

Remember, these timeframes are estimates and can vary based on the factors mentioned earlier. Delays in material deliveries, adverse weather conditions, changes to the design, or other unforeseen circumstances can impact the timeline. It’s crucial to work closely with your builder and project team to monitor progress and communicate effectively throughout the construction process.

5. What customization options do I have for my home?

The customization options available for your new home will depend on which builder you choose to go with. But with Braemyn Homes, we will guide you through every selection decision to ensure you can fully customize your home to be uniquely yours. For example, you will be able to make informed decisions on items such as which plumbing fixtures you would like to use throughout your new home, which tiles you prefer for your bathroom, and what layout and design will work the best for your dream kitchen.

If you’ve changed your mind on an item or would like to add something to the scope, our team will present you with an updated quote relayed to your budget for your review and confirmation. You will be kept fully informed throughout the entire project as our team captures and records every request and every communication, so you’ll never feel like you’re in the dark or trying to chase us down for updates. Braemyn Homes allows you the flexibility of changing your mind throughout the building process so you can make individualized choices for your home and end up with a home you love.

About Us

Ready to make your dream home happen? Braemyn Homes is Calgary’s preferred custom home builder. Our clients can expect the highest standard of excellence delivered with exceptional craftsmanship and superb customer care. Call us at (403) 606-2923 or fill out our contact form to see how we can help you bring your dream home to life.

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