why-winter-is-start-building

A frequent question for our custom home builders is “what is the best time to begin building a home?” Surprisingly, winter is the best option! Here are a few reasons:

1. You won’t rush through the design process and can make sure it’s just right.

You really don’t need nice weather to design your dream house, but it does take some time. When the window of nice weather is closing in the spring and summer you might be tempted to make quick hasty decision about the design, just to get things moving along. In the winter you can take your time and make sure you don’t make poor choices.

2. You can choose a good winter lot.

Victoria custom home builders sometimes see a situation where home owners choose a lot based on summer conditions and then home owners are disappointed in the winter. In the winter you get a chance to assess potential lots at their worst. How does the water run through or does it pool? Will you get any sunlight with the lower winter sun?

3. Set up financing

Realistically it takes 30 – 60 days to set up financing for new home construction. This timeline is an aspect that many new home construction clients forget. It’s important to consider and if you begin the process in the winter it will likely end up great timing for breaking ground.

4. You can complete many of the preliminary items during cold weather.

There is so much to do before you actually begin digging. Clearing property, excavating, preparing ground and getting utilities set up are all cold weather activities. Also in Victoria, the rain makes the ground softer and easier to dig. So if you’re putting in a basement, late winter is a great time to get going.

Contact us today to start the process of turning your dream home into a reality.

hire-a-custom-home-builder

Building a custom home in Victoria BC is a goal that many strive for. When you undertake this process it’s important to have a builder along for the entire process to avoid disappointments down the road.

When you’re shopping for a lot, you’re probably comparing things like, proximity to work or family, privacy, noise level, traffic, yard situation and lot size. Custom home builders see situations where people have picked out the perfect lot according to their wish list and then find out they can’t actually build on their new lot or it will be outside of their budget to do so. Many times clients buy their lot without any guidance from a builder and when digging begins, it becomes a nightmare. Large boulders that become very expensive to remove, poor ground structure that is saturated with moisture makes some site unbuildable.

If you hire a builder before you purchase a lot the likelihood of these kinds of situations coming up is reduced to zero.

Working with a builder while you shop for a lot means, they can do a lot of the testing before you actually purchase. This means you can have soil tests done, so you have a clear understanding and expectations on what you’ll need to spend on excavation.

Hiring a Victoria based custom home builder before you purchase the lot also means you’ll have a heads up on the building codes needed in the area. For example, some regional districts require a water collection system and some areas you don’t. These unknown expenses can really add up, so it’s important to know ahead of time.

Hiring a builder before you purchase a lot is a small investment considering the hundreds of thousands you could waste on the wrong lot. Contact us today to start the process of turning your dream home into a reality and before you chosen a lot to build on.

fall-maintenance-checklist

5. Clean your gutters

This is such a simple step and one you can mostly do on your own. If you don’t have the proper ladders and equipment we urge you to call a professional instead of trying anything unsafe or procrastinating until you end up with problems. Clogged gutters can cause roof leaks, ice damming, and ruin your gutters.

6. Assess your roof

If you have traditional shingles look for wear and tear, missing or broken shingles. Also inspect the flashing around the vents and stacks and ensure there aren’t any leaks. If you have metal roofing it’s unlikely you have any leaks but have a look at all attachment points and repair as needed. If you have flat roof, make sure you remove all debris that holds moisture without displacing the cover material.

7. Seal cracks in sidewalks and driveways

If water gets into concrete the freezing and thawing process causes it to crack even more. Over time these cracks will get bigger and bigger and you’ll end up with large chunks of concrete missing. Deal with the small cracks now before they get bigger.

8. Inspect the exterior

Look for signs of rot, especially around the bottom. You’ll want to replace any rotten wood or siding and then assess for the cause of the rot. Is there water constantly leaking, splashing or dripping on the area? If so make sure you take care of the problem now so, your repairs aren’t all in vain.

9. Seal cracks in foundation

The foundation is a very important part of your house. If there is any damage to it at all you’ll want to have it assessed by a professional. If there are small cracks, it’s important to get them sealed up right away before water has a chance to seep in, and later freeze causing the crack to get larger.

We hope these tips will help you ensure your home is ready for this fall and upcoming winter.

fall-maintenance-checklist

Fall is in full effect here in Victoria. The trees have pretty well shed all of their leaves which means you’ve probably spent a few hours raking them up.

Outside of raking leaves, there are a few things to make sure your home is ready for winter.

  1. Turn off outdoor hoses  

You might think that it doesn’t get cold enough in Victoria to turn off all your outdoor faucets and disconnect the hoses, but when temperatures dip below freezing it can turn into a serious mess. Frozen water expands and contracts as it freezes and thaws and that can cause pipes to burst, which can costs thousands of dollars to repair. Custom home builders in Victoria usually install shutoffs to outdoor faucets.

  1. Blow out your sprinkler system

If you’re lucky enough to have an irrigation system it’s important to get it blown out in the fall (and then again in the spring too). Professional landscapers or yard maintenance companies will have the proper equipment to do this and if they’re reputable they’ll have a long line of customers so book early.

  1. Assess your yard and run off water drainage

Predict the flow of excess water. If you have downspouts, extend them at least 3 feet away from the house and foundation. Take a look at the slope surrounding your house. Make sure it is sloping away and not towards your foundation. If it’s sloping towards it, you will need to change the grade before the rain and snow come.  

  1. Close the gaps

Assess all the openings to your house, like windows, doors, vents, etc. If there are gaps in the doors you’ll want to add weather stripping. Are there gaps between the window and the walls? Make sure you seal them up with caulking. Are the vents fitting properly and sealed around the openings? If not you can have cold air and rodents rushing into your house. Add some steelwool to any large opening that you can’t close up with caulking- this will keep the mice at bay!

We’ll have more fall maintenance checklist items in our next post. Stay tuned for that.

4-reasons-hire-interior-designer

Building a custom home can be a massive undertaking and many people try to do interior design on their own. Here are 4 reasons to put that Do-It-Yourself attitude aside for this project.

1.They will help keep contractor’s true to design.

A designer can make sure things are being done as it was decided on paper. This saves you from having to deal with any hassles. A designer can be your best advocate, for getting things done just the way you want them.

2. They’re experienced in the industry

This has two implications. The first being they already know the ins and outs of the process, and how to communicate properly with a contractor. A designer will also know people in the industry and this can be a major resource for you. If things go wrong in some of the details, you definitely want a professional to handle it.

3. Their job is to deliver your needs and wants based on realistic limitations

Because a designer understands the process it means you get a great combination of what is actually possible and your desires. Using their expertise they can create a plan based on these two factors and then make sure the plan is followed through on.

4. Your time is precious

The design process can take a lot of your time and energy. This is a valuable commodity these days. Because designers are experts and have a lot of practice at this means they’re much more efficient than you. Being a beginner means you’re going to make mistakes and take much more time to come to a feasible plan. This will probably delay your home building a little bit. Contractors prefer to work with professionals making the building process smoother and less stressful for everyone involved.

At LIDA Homes, our Victoria BC custom home builders focus on both the inside and the outside of your home. Contact us today to start the process of turning your dream home into a reality.

custom-home-heating-options

Fall is here in Victoria and as the weather starts to cool down, heating your home is something we all have to do. Building a custom home requires good decision making when it comes to choosing a heat option. There are so many available so it’s important to know all the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Central Furnace

Fueled by oil, natural gas or electricity a furnace requires ducting to distribute heat throughout the house and a thermostat controls the temperature of the entire home. One disadvantage is you may end up heating areas of the house you don’t use.

Heat Pumps

Commonly thought of as a two way air conditioner. In the summer, the pump moves hot air outside and in the winter it reverses and uses an electrical system to bring in warm air. Heat pumps are considered an efficient way to heat your house and one advantage is that it also serves as air conditioning in the summer.

Baseboard Heaters

Think of a baseboard heater as a space heater but the only difference is that it’s hardwired. They are cheap to install but expensive to operate if you don’t have superior insulation. However one advantage is only heating the room being used, so rooms that are empty aren’t wasting heat.

Wood and Pellet Stoves

Woodstoves are a popular choice for custom home builder in Victoria because our climate is so moist in the winter and wood stoves offer a very dry heat. The only disadvantage is the manual labour that comes along with burning wood. Pellet stoves are a little less labour intensive, but it does still require purchasing and storing pellets and then filling the stove.

Radiant Floor Heat

Basically tubes under the floor filled with warm liquid. It’s considered highly efficient but two disadvantages is that it is expensive to install, and limits floor choices as many floor coverings insulate against the heat instead of letting it into your room.

Contact our custom home builders for more information on your new home and about the heating options.

protect-new-custom-home-inclement-weather

After going through the process of building a custom home in Victoria BC, you’ll want to take these necessary steps to protect your invest and your family.

Roof

If you have shingles make sure you check for loose shingles or any signs of wear and tear. This is especially true if you live in a well treed area, as trees can wreak havoc on a roof. If you have a metal roof check for signs that it has loosened off.

Attic Insulation

If your roof doesn’t have proper insulation a nasty thing called ice damming can happen if we get some ice or snow. This is when the heat from your house escapes into the ice and snow sitting immediately on top of your roof. It then melts and has nowhere to go as it’s trapped by more ice and snow above it. So the only place it has to go is down through your roof! Yuck.

Gutters

Check for signs of rust or disrepair. Also make sure they remain clean and free running at all times.

Door seals

A properly sealed door will keep the heat in, where you need it. Don’t pay for heat if it just flies out the door.

Siding

Look for holes or gaps. Anywhere water can get it, it will and cause rot and mold.

Downspouts

Make sure they’re extended far enough away from your foundation, usually 5 feet is the  minimum if you do not have a two pipe system. A two pipe system involves removing the rain water from your roof with a solid PVC pipe and the ground water from your foundation with a perforated PVC pipe.  This system connects together just as it leaves the house and takes all water away from the house.

Also check for any holes or rust. Keep water away from your foundation is crucial for preventing floods.

Decks

Wood should be properly sealed with a quality weather resistant stain or paint to prevent rot.

At LIDA Homes, our Victoria BC custom home builders create beautiful homes that stand the test of time.

6-benefits-of-building-custom-home

6 Benefits of Building a New Custom Home

There are many reasons to build a custom home in Victoria BC rather than buying an existing home. Although it takes longer than just buying a home, the benefits are well worth it. Here are six benefits on building a new custom home.

1 – Newer Products are Healthier

Gone are the days when toxic chemicals are allowed in home construction. Things like formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, fungicides and heavy metals are still present in older homes but custom home builders in Victoria choose healthier options.

2 – Customize to your lifestyle and taste

You’re in the driver seat and are in control of pretty much everything, from floor plans, finishes, paint, hardware not to mention neighbourhood. Instead of settling for someone else’s choices you get to pick everything.

3 – New Homes are Greener

Advances in technology means you’re helping the planet with energy efficient appliances, a house that sealed properly, even low flow toilets if you wish. This reduces energy consumption and your utility bills. Dishwashers, ovens/stoves, washers and dryers have all come a long way in respect to energy efficiency. Older homes can be renovated or appliances replaced but it means an added expense and sometimes that can be pretty significant.

4 – Quicker Appreciation

Over the first 5 years of ownerships, new homes appreciate faster. Older homes appreciate too, but just not as quickly. The demand for custom homes in new neighbourhoods will always be higher than older homes in older neighbourhoods, this makes the value increase.

5 – New Homes are more Durable

Engineered materials coupled with a quality custom home builder means you’ll be spending less on home maintenance over the years you own your home. You’ll also spend less time maintaining your home too. Appliances are built to last longer. Exciting new more resilient finishes are coming onto the market every week. If something does wear out it will probably be covered by a warranty.

6 – New Homes are Safer

New homes are much safer than older homes. Fire retardant insulation and carpet, along with wired in smoke detectors with battery back ups are just a few small examples of how far building codes have come in regards to safety. Your Victoria custom home builder will know all the new codes to ensure your house is as safe as possible.

Contact us at Lida Homes if we can be of any assistance if you are looking for an experienced and transparent custom home builder.

how-long-build-custom-home

At Lida Homes, we often get asked a lot of common questions. One of the most common questions we receive is “how long will it take to build our custom home?”.

Unfortunately there is no short answer on this as it depends on a variety of factors. An average custom home in Victoria takes about 8 to 12 months, but there are a variety of different factors influencing the time it takes to build a custom home.

Pre Construction, Permits and Design.

There is a lot of work that gets done before ground even breaks on your new custom home. This can take 4-5 months. Pre construction means preparing the lot- excavating trees and leveling ground. Obtaining permits can take some time especially in a bigger city like Victoria. Also the design phase is a big chunk of time. This involves several meetings with designer, architects, engineers and of course your custom home builder in Victoria.

Weather and Environment

We’re very lucky here in Victoria that we don’t have a permafrost in the ground. In colder regions beginning new construction is out of the question until spring. Thankfully we can start anytime of the year. However there are a few tasks that can’t be done in the rain and need particular temperatures to complete. Ie. pouring concrete when it’s too cold, means it won’t set properly and it’ll need to be redone.

Changing Plans

This is one of the most time consuming factors. When clients make changes to the plan, it can eat up a lot of time especially if it’s late in the process. This is why it’s so important to take your time with the design phase and make sure everyone involved is happy.

Procrastinating about finishes

Many items take 6-8 weeks to order. For example, if you’re waiting until right before the cabinets are to go in to make your final decision, your build will suffer from a 6- 8 week ordering delay. An experienced Victoria custom home builder will be familiar with ordering times of local suppliers and can give you deadlines to ensure everything runs along smoothly.

Contact us at Lida Homes if you have any other questions dealing with building a custom home in Victoria BC.

how-choose-right-victoria-neighbourhood

If you are reading this blog post then you most likely have decided that you want to build a custom home. Fantastic! But where is your dream home going to be located? We wanted to help you figure that out by providing you tips on choosing the right Victoria BC neighbourhood.

Before you read the rest of this blog post, you might want to read our blog post on the top three areas you can build in Victoria BC. If you still aren’t sure what neighbourhood you want to build in, read on and we hope to make the decision a little easier for you.

Make a List of Your Neighbour Wants and Needs

Is it really important for you to be a quick walk to work or is a country setting that is quiet and peaceful more important? Getting clear on what is most important to you will make the decision on choosing the right Victoria neighbourhood much easier. Also talking it over with your family is key. What are they not willing to compromise on? How long do they foresee your family staying in this house, and will their needs change over the long term?

Research Realistic Possibilities

Use a map of Victoria to decide which are realistic possibilities for you. Then google search each potential neighbourhood. What kind of amenities do they have? What amenities are important for you? What type of activities are available? Lastly talk to your Victoria custom home builder- they may have insider knowledge on many Victoria neighbourhoods.

Visit the neighbourhood

Make time to do a drive through of each neighbourhood. Then get out and walk around. Go to the shops, restaurants and talk with people of the community. Ask how they like it, how safe they feel? Try to spend as much time here as you can to get a true vibe of the place before making a final decision.

Do another visit at a different time

If you really want to know what it would be like to live in a community you need to get a feel for it during different times. Weekends and weekdays can be very different. Late evening versus mornings will also show a different side of things.

Weigh the Pros and Cons of Your Narrowed Down List

Once you have it down to two neighbourhoods and still can’t decide it’s a great idea to make a list. Does one have more Pros than the other? Are the Cons too bad to  live with or are you and your family able to compromise because everything else is perfect?

We hope the above tips will help you choose the right neighbourhood in Victoria BC. Contact us at Lida Homes if we can be of any assistance if you are looking for an experienced and transparent custom home builder.