Tag Archives: house


4 Signs That Your New Build Will Go Over Budget

Nobody wants their new home build to go over budget.

You hire a builder, they quote you a price, they build the house, final bill comes in… Notwithstanding new items that you chose to add or upgrade along the way, the final cost should be the same as the contract price.

Should be. A home-builder, after all, does this for a living.  You, the client, have likely never priced a home in your life and you’re trusting your builder to do it for you- accurately and without surprises.

But we’ve all heard the stories.  You have that friend, cousin, workmate that built a house and ended up paying way more than they were quoted.  This happens all of the time and it shouldn’t… going over budget is avoidable and should be a focus of any solid home builder worth working with.

If you’re about to get into a contract with a builder, make sure that you look for the following signs to ensure that your home will cost what you’re builder says that it will.

4 Signs That Your New Build Will Go Over Budget

Your Builder Is The Cheapest

You’ve done your homework & met with multiple builders.  You’ve probably narrowed it down to 3 or 4 builders that you like/trust and had them price the home.  So where did the pricing come in?

I’m going to let you in on an industry secret… if the builders priced the exact same quality of materials and finishes, their prices should be extremely close.  Extremely.  After all, they’re sourcing material and labor from the same region.

If you’re finding that one builder is significantly cheaper than the others, chances are very good that they are planning on using cheaper materials.  There’s nothing wrong with that, you think, until you find out that your kitchen allowance will not cover that “painted, cabinets-to-the-ceiling” dream you’ve been coveting on Houzz.

Your Builder Doesn’t “Get” Your Vision

You’re planning 10 foot ceilings, a double-sided fireplace and custom woodwork throughout.  Is your builder thinking 8 foot ceilings, non-existent fireplace and mini-baseboards? Communication is key and it is impossible for the builder to price something that you’ve never discussed.

Prior to pricing your plan, your builder should be asking you extremely detailed questions about the finish that you want in the home.  If they don’t include these items when pricing upfront, these items will become upgrades and will drive you over budget in no-time at all.

Your Builder Only Builds “A Few Homes Per Year”

Maybe they told you that you will get a more custom experience because you’re 1 of 3 projects… Perhaps, the owner of the company himself will be able to be on the job-site every day… Heck, he may even do the finish work himself! Great…. or, is it?

First, there’s buying power… Obviously, Wal*Mart buys better than Joe’s Convenience.  Shocker.  Similarly, home-builders are rewarded by vendors based on volume.  The builder who builds 3 homes a year is simply not getting the same pricing as the builder who builds 50.

Next comes the issue of limited experience.  20 years of home-building experience, building 3 homes/year = 60 homes built.  10 years experience at 50 homes/year= 500 homes built.  The builder that is more active is much more likely to be current on trends and customer wants (aka. more likely to know that you want an open-concept floor plan instead of the halls & walls of yesteryear).

Your Builder Did Not Give You A Detailed List Of What They Priced

Whether your builder is a relative stranger or your second cousin, you need to get a detailed list of what’s included in a quoted price.  This is not negotiable.  Not requiring this level of detail of your builder is giving up too much control and allows the builder to decide what is (or isn’t) included on whim.

Having a detailed list of inclusions creates accountability.  Always ensure that the inclusions are added to your contract, making them part of a legally binding document.

 

If your home builder is demonstrating these signs, talk to him about budget & share your concerns.  Cross-reference your wishlist with the pricing specs.  Ask for past references and find out what their experience was like.  Only when your builder demonstrates to you that these items are taken care of, should you move forward with a contract.

If you have any questions about staying on budget throughout your build, shoot us an email to natalie@themartellexperience.com.  We’d be happy to help out!

No kidding… we are giving away a free HOUSE!

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WIN Tony’s New Home! XL 96.9 announced last week, the biggest radio contest EVER in Atlantic Canada! XL Country 96.9 and Martell Homes have teamed up give away a newly built home. In fact, its still being built now! Stop by 35 Holland Drive in Moncton, and see it for yourself!

 You don’t need to buy a ticket to win this home. This is a contest for XL Listeners ONLY!

 Weekdays at 7:10a, 8:10a, 9:10a, 1:10p, 3:10p, and 5:10p, call us to hide your key! There is only one catch: You have to remember where the LAST listener hid their key to win!

 Remember where the last key was hidden, and you could win a NEW Martell Home! Imagine, being MORTGAGE FREE for LIFE!

 This is a contest to write home about! So tune in to XL Country 96.9 all week, and your families dreams could come true.

 We are so excited to give away a house!!

10 Simple Ways to Winterize Your House

Photograph by  StevenM_61 on Flickr 

With Halloween and Remembrance day behind us, and the thermostats dipping below zero at night, it’s time to start thinking about winter. For many of us, preparing for with means digging out our sweaters and search for that missing mitten. But it is equally important to ensure your house is ready for winter. Not only will you be more comfortable, but following a few simple suggestions may also save you some money!

Here are 10 easy ways to winterize your home:

 

Check your insulation

Be sure your attic, basement, and exterior walls are properly insulated—even in newly built homes. Insulation can settle and shift over time, leading to cold pockets.

 

Check for cold air entry ports

Spend a few hours giving your house the once-over. Look for areas where cold outside air can seep in or warm inside heat can escape. Some common places include electrical outlets, switch-plates, and gaps around windows and doors. You can buy inexpensive foam insulation made for outlet and switch plates that are easy to install. Ensure your door and window weather stripping is in good condition. Consider caulking drafty areas where weather stripping is not appropriate.

 

Check your HVAC

If you haven’t done so in a few years, call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and ducts system. They’ll make sure your furnace is running efficiently and safely. While s/he’s there, ask the HVAC pro to clean and inspect your ducts heating ducts. Over time, dust and grime can build up and your house can settle, creating gaps in the ducts allowing warm air to escape. An inspection every 3-5 years should be sufficient for most newer homes.

 

Replace Your Filters

The best way to ensure your furnace is working efficiently as possible is to remember to replace your furnace filter, regularly—normally every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on use patterns and filer types. This will help your furnace run more efficiently and cut down on heating costs. I should also help with indoor air quality.

 

Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable digital thermostat is another heating cost cutter. They are pretty easy to install and can be programmed to automatically lower temperature at night when everyone is asleep, and during times when the house uninhabited.

 

Reverse ceiling fans

Many of us forget that you can use your ceiling fans during the winter to keep your house warm. On every ceiling fan there’s a switch that allows you to reverse the direction of the blades. Switch it so your ceiling fan rotates clockwise. This will push warm air down and recirculate it throughout the room, easing the burden on your furnace.

 

Trim any nearby trees

Each winter, there are stories of tree branches falling on cars or houses. This is often cause by winter storms or the build up of snow and ice that weighs branches down and causes them to break .Such misfortune is easily voided by taking some time each fall to trim back any tree branches hanging near your roof, windows, or driveways, trim them back.

 

Clean your gutters

While you are outside, check your rain gutters and clean out the dead leaves and other gunk in your gutters so water can drain freely. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and freeze near the edge of the roof. This ice will eventually forms “dams” that block the path of melted snow from your roof and cause to seep into your house. Even if you don’t have trees directly overhead, be sure to check your gutters every couple of years. Dust and airborne debris can also create blockages.

 

Prepare a 72 hour emergency kit

Every so often a big winter storm hits that can knock out power for a few hours, or keep you in the house for a few days. We recommend that you create a “72-hour kit” for such emergencies. Stock the kit with food, water, and other supplies. While you can buy pre-made 72-hour kits online or at most outdoor stores,  you can save some money by making your own. Remember to only include non perishable food, and—unless you have a camp stove—pick food and beverages that do not need to be heated.

 

Wear a Sweater

You mom was right. If you are a bit chilly, put on a sweeter before reaching for the thermostat. This is an easy way to lower your energy bills. A heavy sweater adds a couple of degrees of warmth to your body. If you set your thermostat to 18 degrees and wear a sweater, your home will feel like a comfy 22 degrees.

Mortages 101 with Kelly Sullivan

We recently had a great conversation with Kelly Sullivan at the Moncton Home Show, and thought we’d share some interesting things we learned.

Did you know?

  1. BMO is Open till 8PM every Thursday Night!
  2. You can switch your mortgage for free.
  3. Kelly conducts company Lunch & Learns around mortgages & financing options.

Call Kelly for more details: (506) 850-2948, or email: kelly.sullivan@bmo.com

The Home Show Kicks Off



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