Building our first home had to have been the most amazing experience to date. Sure we had a few hiccups here and there. But overall, we finished with exactly what we were dreaming of.
A couple years before the first ground break, my husband and I had found the perfect plot of land for sale. It was on the outskirts of a quaint town near Belleville in Eastern Ontario. There was everything we needed in the town, and everything we needed on our land. A river flowed through the back of it, forests lined the sides and there was everything available at the road entrance for a new custom home build.
Cookie Cutters Galore
After we had checked with our local municipality for zoning and permits we started to seek out home building companies. My husband and I were not in the market for a house that looks like it belongs in the middle of a suburban village. It seemed all the companies we were having meetings with only had a small handful of designs they would build.
My husband called these houses “Cookie Cutter” houses. The only way you could explain to your friends or the pizza delivery which house was yours, was by painting the door a different colour than your neighbours. Which looks awful… Lets be honest… Modern brick and a bright eyesore of a door isn’t anyones first choice.
Months into our search for a openminded home builder we finally found our perfect partner!
Part of the reason we took so long to find our home builder was that we have high standards. Not just with having specific details and custom build, we wanted to be sure after our build was finished we would be covered for any future mishaps.
We read a whole slew of nightmare mishaps with other people who went with their local homebuilder, no research or questions asked. Tisk, Tisk. With any contractor jobs you want to make sure that the company you chose is qualified, certified and right for you. Here are some of our top runners –
- Custom Build
- Quality Craftsmanship
- Work within our budget
- Communication throughout
- Longterm post build maintenance
- Certified contractors
- Tarion Warranty Registered
As mentioned above, we really wanted our new home to be a reflection of us. Building in a nature environment we wanted our home to be customized with large windows, wrap around deck, and high ceilings. The beauty and tranquility we bought the land for has to taken in everyday.
This Belleville based custom homebuilder brought us a few different ideas he had sketched up based on our talks. I was shocked how well they nailed it! (A very well placed pun, my husband says…. Frequently.)
Our home design consisted of all unique and custom ideas…
With my husbands side of the family all towering around 6ft tall, it was an absolute to get a minimum of 10 ft ceilings. We opted for a raised ranch style home with vaulted ceilings on the main floor. This gave the home builder a fun challenge to incorporate into the plans. And didn’t disappoint with how it will look.
I plan on filling these walls with family. I want to be able to cook in the kitchen while watching the family play in the living room. Most houses these days are pro open concept. But, not many want vaulted ceilings with it. Our home builder blended both of our top 2 on the check list by using gorgeous wood beams. The wood beam visually gave the open concept a comfort feeling. It left the rooms connected from above and not cold and bland.
On the back side of our house we requested that there will be walkout doors and floor to ceiling windows. We love nature, we bought land to enjoy it. But we didn’t want basic rectangular windows. We wanted a more “farmhouse” feel. The wood beams on the ceiling needed to flow with the rest of the designs. And the contractor for windows gave us exactly what we were looking for.
Of course my husband requested somewhere to park… Equal to the size of our house. Living on a huge chunk of land north of Belleville, I understand though. We will have many nature loving toys to store off season. We didn’t want the garage too all be on one side of the house, so it was broken down to 2 (the main portion) on one side with a garage entry to the house. And the 3rd on the opposite side of the house for stored equipment and front and back full opening.
Wrap Around Deck
We really wanted a wrap around deck. But once we added the garages the way we did we were fine to do 2 separate decks. Poured concrete in the front with roof overhang covering. The back, this was the best…. Being a raised ranch home our home builder graded our yard to make a walkout basement with a deck above. My dream! So, a deck across the back where a pair of sliders opened out from the living room and kitchen.
All The Interior Details
I think the most tedious and time consuming portion of the build was the interior choices. Thankfully having an amazing company to work with we had been sent to the best places to source from. From lighting, finishes, flooring, paint and cabinets I was 100% taken care of.
2 years post build and we still have communication with our homebuilder. Aside from the normal 1 year maintenance we have a new build starting. We have a pool/guest house being sketched up to match the unique design we had customized for our home. Our exterior brick is discontinued, and our homebuilder has gone to extreme lengths to find us the perfect complimentary stone. We couldn’t be more appreciative of the ongoing communication and follow ups.
Building our dream home was the best experience I could have ever imagined.
Being heard and ending with a home that reflected us was the number one reason it was so positive. It is SO important that you do your research and check for the certifications. Read reviews and meet in person, don’t feel obligated. Go with your gut!