How much does it cost to build my dream home?
Every home we build is unique. There are a number of factors to consider when budgeting for your custom home. Some considerations are:
• the size of the lot
• the square footage of the home
• the finishes that are chosen
• whether the basement will be finished
To discuss costs for the project you have in mind, call Andon in confidence or send us an email.
Does it make more financial sense to buy land and build, or gut and renovate my existing property?
When envisioning your new home, it’s important to mentally walk through a sketch of the floor plan and ask yourself what would fit your lifestyle, leaving room for growth. If you are generally satisfied with the size of your current home, but feel it needs modernizing or perhaps a modest expansion (such as adding another storey), then a major renovation could be indicated.
If, on the other hand, you picture adding a great room or an Olympic pool to your property but are constrained by a small property, you may need to consider selling your current property and purchasing a new lot.
Every situation is different. Andon provides a consulting service that can help you review all your viable options and decide which is right for you.
Should I buy land before contacting a builder or talk to a builder before I buy land? What should I know before buying land?
You should speak to Andon before buying land because Andon can point out any potential issues with the property such as bad soil conditions and discuss any land prep work such as clearing of trees, grading, utility lines and the like, that might be required. Andon provides this professional consultation at no additional charge.
Can you help me find a property to build my home on?
We can work with you directly to help you find the perfect property for your custom home using either our favourite Real Estate Brokerage or yours. We can also help with issues regarding the suitability of soil, grading, trees, zoning and other crucial issues, if required.
How is Andon Fine Homes different from other home builders?
One of the most significant differences is that prior to construction commencing, we provide a detailed budget and work to ensure construction costs are kept within the budgeted price. Our clients begin their projects understanding the costs upfront, and are not burdened with unexpected costs.
Another key difference between Andon and other custom home builders in the GTA is that we provide a complete suite of services, from designing architectural plans to helping you obtain minor variances, permits and approvals. Everything we discuss is put in writing in painstaking detail, You will receive a complete and accurate Scope of Work, a Payment Schedule, and a step-by-step guide tailored to your home before we ever break ground.
We also work directly with highly experienced skilled trades who are fully aware of our clients’ budgets and needs, and use only fine quality materials to construct every Andon home.
How long have you been in business?
We have been delivering exceptional building experiences since 1996.
How long should it take to build a custom home?
Multiple factors such as the size of the house, details, finishes, etc. can influence completion time. Smaller homes can be completed in 9-10 months and larger homes can be completed on average between 10-12 months.
There is already a bungalow on our lot. Do you handle the demolition as well as building the new home?
What if there are unexpected surprises, such as drainage issues with the land?
We have over two decades’ experience dealing with unexpected issues of all kinds. In the case of drainage, we inspect the property long before breaking ground, and can advise you on solutions.
Should my attorney review your contract?
Some homeowners do ask their legal professional to review building contracts before signing. We have our standard building contract that we have been using for many years and is signed by all of our clients.
Do you work with a certified architect to design the floor plan?
Yes. We highly recommend working with an architect for your project. We will work with an architect of your choosing or, if you do not have one, we can make a recommendation.
Will I get to make architectural decisions based on my preferences, such as the size and placement of windows, the location of the laundry room, and ceiling heights?
Yes, we design the house based on your wants and needs. We will work with you to ensure that your specifications are met in the elevations, floor plans and sitting of the house on the property.
What about budget? How does that work?
We go over every aspect of building your home and detail the costs of every part of the construction process for you. We provide you with an itemized budget so you have a very clear understanding of how much the build will cost before we begin construction. Cost areas include:
• Service connections
• Site preparation
• Exterior roofing and finishes
• Concrete and drain
• Rough in services
• Interior finishes
• Miscellaneous (examples include duct cleaning, final clean up, floor covering etc.)
Everything is included in the final budget. With Andon, there are no surprises.
We know what kinds of features and general style we want. How does this get turned into a plan?
Most homes that we build begin with a basic blueprint of the main floor, second floor, and basement, based on your requirements. From there, we can make any necessary adjustments to suit your needs. After the interior is approved, we then begin design on the exterior.
Do you have a warranty? If so, what is it?
We offer a one year limited warranty. Our after-sales service department will promptly address and correct any problems that may arise with the home. In addition, Andon is a member of the Ontario New Home Warranty Program (Tarion) and offers a full Tarion warranty which lasts up to seven years.
Can I come to the building site during construction?
Yes. You are invited to come to the building site during construction so you can see your vision taking shape.
Do you require a survey?
Yes, we require a topographical survey showing the front walls of the neighbouring houses and all trees on the property and affecting the property.
I lost my home in a fire. Would I be a suitable client?
We have previously worked with insurance companies to rebuild homes for their insured clients. You do not have to build the exact same home you had beforehand. We can help you understand your insurance company’s settlement and work with you to determine the total cost to you of building a new home based on your current wants and needs.
Do you have any properties I can drop by to take a look at?
Yes. We always have several homes under construction at various stages.
Do you have general liability insurance coverage?
Yes, we have general liability insurance.
There is a lot of confusion with regard to TV placement above fireplace.
TV’s should not be exposed to high heat. If you choose to place a TV above a fireplace, there should either be a mantel separating the two or the TV should be in a recessed box.
What are the benefits of using Caesar Stone or Granite for your counters tops?
Benefits Caesar Stone:
Caesar Stone is one of several companies that manufacture engineered composite quartz. These quartz counter tops are compiled of 93% stone-like materials and 7% binders that are either plastic-like (polymeric) or cement-based. Caesar Stone is very attractive and durable. It is also scratch, stain, crack, heat and burn, as well as mold and mildew resistant and is very low maintenance. Caesar Stone is a nonporous material so spills and other debris can be wiped away with ease. Caesar stone is permanently sealed, so once it is fabricated, resealing services are never required. The manufacturing process allows a much wider range of colours than you’ll find in natural stones such as marble or granite. The appearance of the finished engineered stone is rich and luxurious.
Benefits of a Granite:
Granite is a natural product taken directly from the earth and sliced into sheets. It is also an extremely hard surface which makes it wonderful for cutting and placing hot items on. Once the granite is sealed, it is stain resistant. The various minerals within granite add depth and character making every granite top unique. The colour of the granite will never fade. Similarly to Caesar Stone, Granite is very attractive, durable, scratch, stain, crack, heat and burn resistant, mold and mildew resistant and is very low maintenance. It is also nonporous so liquids and foods to not penetrate the natural stone, keeping it sanitary and easy to clean.
Solid Hardwood Floor vs Engineered Hardwood Floors
There are so many decisions to be made when designing your new home, major renovation or addition. Hardwood flooring is a popular choice amongst homeowners as it provides the home with a warm and inviting feel. We are going to help you with your decision making process by providing you with some helpful information on solid hardwood floors verses engineered hardwood floors and the pro and cons between them.
Solid hardwood floors are made from planks of single pieces of wood with tongue and groove edges.
They are available in a variety of sizes, 3/8 to ¾ inches thick, and commonly found widths are anywhere from 3.35 to 5 inches. Wider widths are also available, anywhere from 5 to 11 inches or greater and are referred to as plank flooring. Red oak, white oak and maple are common hardwood flooring choices.
Pros for Solid Hardwood Flooring
- Solid hardwood floors are extremely durable and will last a very long time
- Can be sanded and stained many times
- Wood can vary in length and width, but usually comes ¾ of an inch thick
- This solid wood comes unfinished. It is then installed, sanded and finished on site
- Many types of wood to choose from (red oak, white oak, maple) etc.
- Depending on the type of wood, colour can deepen and look richer over time
- Since the floor will be completely sanded before finishing, it can be made perfectly smooth and flat.
(There will be no ridges between the boards when laid)
- Can choose whatever finish, colour, stain and number of coats as well as sheen levels
- Solid wood floor can be sanded and refinished over and over again, restoring the surface to its original
- Very durable and will last for generations
- Easily cleaned and maintained.
- Simple to repair
- Not appropriate for all areas. Can warp or buckle when it is humid or come in contact with moisture
- Not ideal in rooms such as basements, bathrooms and kitchens for that reason
- Sanded and finished onsite, the job can take several days for staining and drying time
- Can hold up other trades from working
- Dust and chemical fumes can be unpleasant and unhealthy
Engineered Hardwood Floors
Engineered hardwood flooring is a combination of several layers of wood/plywood glued together in an overlapping pattern. This overlapping pattern makes the flooring strong and very durable. The top coat is a layer of real hardwood glued onto the top and is finished at the factory with many coats of a highly durable finish. On site is where the flooring is nailed or glued into place.
- Ease and speed of installation.
- Engineered flooring can be installed almost anywhere, including over concrete.
- The flooring is either nailed or glued into place. This is a rather quick and clean process
- The cross-grain pattern resists expansion and contraction caused by changes in temperature and
- This product is very durable
- It looks like solid hardwood because the top layer is solid wood.
- Can be refinished once or twice.
- This product has many coats of a very durable aluminum oxide finish which is applied at the factory.
Will last for many years
- If the subfloor has any irregularities such as height variations, the engineered hardwood will not lay flat.
- Customers are limited to the manufacturer’s choice of colours and finishes
- Hard to repair. Difficult to match the look of the damaged floor with the same colour and grain of new
- Life of the floor is not as long as a solid wood floor. Can only be refinished once or twice.
Heat Recovery Ventilation systems (HRV)
A ‘tight’ house refers to a house with a large amount of insulation, thermal breaks, and high quality windows. This tight house may be a great thermal package, but without a controlled system to deal with the air inside, it can be a trap for humidity, pollutants and staleness. It can be a breeding ground for mold to grow, which is a serious issue with many new ‘tight’ houses. Quality builders are turning to Heat Recovery Ventilation systems (HRV) to improve the air quality in new homes. An HRV running continuously will exhaust stale, polluted and humid air and introduce fresh dry warm air into the home’s atmosphere. It transfers heat from that stale damp exhaust air to preheat the fresh incoming air, thus reducing condensation that can cause mold and mildew. It is not enough to open a window, switch on an attic or furnace fan or use a heat pump to resolve a tight house situation. These solutions are uncontrolled and allow warm air to exit and cold air to enter which wastes energy and promotes mold growth.