design build contracting Toronto

Are Design Build Contractors More Expensive ?

When compared to the design-bid-build method or buying an existing home, employing a design-build contractor is sometimes viewed as being a more expensive option, but that’s not necessarily always the case. 

Traditionally, the construction or remodeling method most prospective homeowners have used over the years has been the design-bid-build option. In this case, an architect is hired to come up with a set of blueprints for a new home. These are then taken to a builder, who may construct the home or subcontract the work. This means the homeowner has to deal with at least two separate contracts and companies, which are the builder and the architect.

In this scenario it’s possible a contractor will come in with a lower bid to win the job. However, they may end up cutting corners to remain within budget or hire lower-paid and quality subcontractors.  

Why Design Build Can Be More Cost Efficient

With the design-build method, the process is simplified and more efficient as the homeowner has just one contract to deal with since the builder, engineer and architect work together under the guidance of the design-build company. This enables them to work side by side every step of the way from the concept and design all the way through the construction of the home, resulting in fewer complications and revisions.

The cost of building or remodeling a home depends on several factors such as its size, the geographic location and the types of materials used etc. However, with the design-bid-build method you also need to pay the architect separately and you may find some architects’ fees could be a percentage of the construction costs. This means if the architect and builder aren’t on the same page the fees could easily rise throughout the building process. 

In some instances and architect’s fees may be based on an hourly rate or even the total square feet of the construction project. Of course, larger projects will inevitably cost more or you could be billed 

approximately $150 per hour or more for their services. With the design-build option though, the architect’s fees will be itemized but incorporated into the project’s overall cost. This typically works out lower than fees based on square footage or an hourly rate. 

Even with a remodeling project, the design-build process might cost more up front but it could be less expensive in the long run. Since the same company is taking care of the design and construction it means they’re inheriting more risk. But it also means change orders aren’t as likely or common as the left hand knows what the right hand is doing at all times and there’s less chance of miscommunication. And as we all know, miscommunication results in time and money and it’s typically the homeowner who pays for it. In addition, a good design-build company will meet with you several times during the design and pricing phase.  

Since experienced contractors are involved in the project right from the design stage it means the costs can be more accurately calculated from the beginning. On the other hand, designers in the design-bid-build method may be way off the mark when it comes to estimating the cost of construction and you could soon be over your budget. If this happens, you’ll need to start the process again and hire an architect to re-design the home to lower the construction costs. 

Renovation Project Gallery Thornhill - Novacon Construction (21)

Design Build Offers Long Term Cost Savings

In many cases, the design-build option could cost more in the short-term when compared to purchasing an existing home. But a few years down the road you may find yourself remodeling parts of the home such as bathroom or kitchen since it wasn’t custom-built for your specific tastes. With the design-build method you can custom design the dwelling to fit your preferences exactly. This often results in a more energy-efficient home and can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars being saved on annual energy costs.

Also, design-build contractors are typically familiar with current popular construction trends and this could result in the home having a higher resale value since they know what home buyers are looking for. There are a few other intangibles to consider when choosing between the design-build and design-bid-build methods and these include flexibility, reliability, professionalism, warranty and craftsmanship. 

About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a Design Build contracting company that specializes in custom home building and large scale remodeling projects.  We have been providing high end renovation projects i the GTA for over 15 years, contact us today for a free consultation.

Novacon Home Additions - Living Room

5 Popular Home Additions in Toronto

Home additions are popular in Toronto due to the lack of available inventory and high real estate prices. Toronto homeowners interested in increasing their living space without having to move usually do so by choosing one of five popular options listed below. Each of these additions will enable you to add usable square footage to your existing residence. Increasing your living space will typically increase the value of your home as well if you should decide to sell later on.

Before you begin with plans for a home addition, be sure to inquire about the local laws in Toronto concerning building codes, permits and zoning ordinances etc. An experienced home addition contractor can help you navigate the rules and regulations to ensure your home addition project is up to code.

 

Second Story Addition

Second Story Additions Toronto Contractor

 

The biggest and costliest home addition is to add a second story as it adds a significant amount of extra square footage and value to the home. This involves building upwards and the project usually allows you to add several rooms to your home such as a new bathroom and bedrooms. You’ll also need a stairway to access the living area and a second-storey can only be added if the home’s foundation and structure can handle the additional weight. Ranch style homes on smaller lots make the perfect candidate for adding a full second story to the home.

 

Family Room Addition

family room designs toronto

If you’re looking to add a family room to your home, many homeowners will do so by finishing their basements or converting another area of their home. However, you can also construct an additional room to the side of your house. The size of a family room addition will generally be dictated by the size of your property as well as your budget. A family room addition can be used in any way you choose as you can also add a wet bar and/or fireplace etc.

 

In-Law Suite Addition

In-Law Suite Contractors in Toronto

In-Law suites are quite popular in the Greater Toronto Area as they allow you to live under the same roof as your family but with everybody still enjoying their own privacy.  These multi-generation units are ideal for in-laws as well as elderly parents and grown children. Your existing space can often be used to create an in-law suite such as converting the attic or garage, finishing the basement or transforming an office or other unused room. Additions can also be built in your backyard. Many in-law suites contain their own bathing, living and cooking quarters as they’re similar to installing a separate apartment to your existing home or property.


Garage Addition

How Difficult Is It To Add a Second Story To a Home?

When it comes to garage additions, this generally means constructing extra living quarters or an apartment above the built-in garage. This provides privacy and independence for in-laws, grown children and visiting guests etc or could even be used as a rental unit. When planning an addition over the garage you may want to install a kitchenette, bathroom and separate entrance to make it a fully independent and livable space. Since the foundation is in place already, you just need to construct the walls and a roof. The space could also be used as a gym, studio or office etc.  

 

Sunroom Addition

sunroom-3

Adding a sunroom with heating will allow you to increase your living area by enjoying the addition all year long. Depending on the layout of your property, a sunroom can be added to your existing home and can be used as a family room, office, games room or exercise room etc. You can also transform an existing porch or patio into a sunroom. However, in an area such as Toronto, it’s important to make sure the roof and walls are capable of supporting heavy amounts of snow. 

In general, these five home additions can usually be created in a variety of sizes and can be used for a multitude of different purposes. However, you will need to contact a professional contractor to make sure all of your ideas and plans can realistically be achieved and are allowed under your local zoning regulations and bylaws.  To learn more about your home addition options in Toronto, contact Novacon today for a free consultation.

home renovations Toronto On

Should I Remodel or Build a Custom Home?

Should I remodel a home or build a custom dwelling is a question many homeowners ask themselves. The cost to fix up a few rooms is certainly always the less expensive option but if you’re planning on a large-scale renovation from top to bottom you may want to reconsider your choice.

 

 Cost Considerations

Of course, the cost of remodeling will depend on the age, condition and size of the home and what you plan on doing with it. If new siding and/or roofing is needed then the cost will definitely increase substantially.

However in some cases, remodeling a home can cost more per square foot than building a new one from scratch. When building a new home you’ll typically be able to use modern materials and concepts and the home is likely to be more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

 

 When Remodeling Makes Sense

Remodeling a home is often a good choice when you already own the home and don’t want to leave your current neighbourhood. Building from scratch if typically done if the cost of renovating the home outweighs its resale value.

Some older homes have been constructed with higher-quality wood and can possess a  lot of character with features and finishing touches such as marble window sills, solid-core doors, crown moulding and arched doorways etc. If you’d like to retain the original features and characters of a home you are more likely to remodel it rather than build a new one.

 

 Condition Of The Home

If the current home is in poor condition though and the heating system, utilities and plumbing all need an upgrade you may want to build. A tear down enables you to custom design a new home as long as you have permission to knock down an existing home.

In addition, if a home has structural problems, water damage or a crumbling foundation it may not be worth renovating. It’s recommended that you enlist the aid of a structural engineer for a professional opinion to help you decide which route to take.

You also need to consider the unexpected costs involved in remodeling. For example, once things are being ripped apart you could discover a few unwelcome surprises such as mould and rot or electrical and plumbing issues etc. In this case, building a new home is usually a more straightforward and easier process.

 

 Remodel or Build New?

Deciding whether to remodel or build a custom home is a case-by-case choice. It’s a good idea to call in some professional help and get some quotes to see which option will give you the most value for your money. Architects, builders, renovation experts and structural engineers can all provide you with their valuable opinions.

In general, if you plan on retaining 60 to 70 per cent of the existing structure, finishes and systems of an existing home you may want to remodel if it’s structurally sound and up to date. If you’d really like something new and completely different you may feel more inclined to simply focus on designing a custom home and having it built from scratch.

 

Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction specializes in major renovations and custom homes in Toronto and the surrounding GTA. For more information on remodeling options and designing and building custom homes please feel free to contact us today for a free consultation 

Renovations for elderly Toronto

How To Renovate Your Home For An Elderly Parent

If you plan on having an elderly parent live with you there are specific things that need to be taken care of to get your home ready for them. These include, safety, comfort, mobility, security and self-sufficiency/reliance. 

You need to make the home as safe and easy to navigate as possible for the elderly while still enabling them to have their independence. However, your parents will need to realize things may be different from what they’re used to.

The home renovations required will more or less depend on the person’s state of health, level of mobility, daily living activities/habits and lifestyle. Depending on your home, sometimes these renovations may be minor, other times they may be larger such as adding another room to your home. 

Questions you may need to ask are: 

  • Are they confined to a wheelchair or do they need the aid of a walker? 
  • Will I need to renovate or add a room for them?
  • Are there stairs or other potential hazards that could make navigating the home harder for them

You should then go through the house to assess each room to see what needs to be done. You can also spend a day with your parents to see how they manage their daily routines.

The following are some common renovations that could be used to help for a smooth transition into a new home for the elderly.

 

1-Doorways

If your parent needs a wheelchair or other type of mobility device you’ll likely need ramps and extra wide doorways wider than 32 inches to accommodate the device. You may also need to remove floor rugs if they hamper the movement of a wheelchair or walker.

 

2- Grab Bars

Grab bars to prevent falls should be installed in the home’s bathrooms either permanently or temporarily with strong, portable suction-cup grab bars. Specially-designed sit-down showers can be installed as well as bathtubs designed for the elderly. Also, elevated toilet seats with arms are available.

 

3-Lighting

Making the home brighter is often a good way to welcome elderly parents since their eyesight may not be what it once was. This can be achieved with more powerful light bulbs, additional lighting and brighter paint on the walls. In addition, stairways and hallways should have light switches at both ends.

 

4-Flooring

If your guests use a wheelchair be sure the flooring doesn’t inhibit the movement. However, if they don’t use a wheelchair it’s important to make sure your home’s flooring isn’t slippery. Dull with a good slip-resistant grip is a better option.

 

5-Handrails

If you don’t reside in a single-level home, all of the stairways should have strong, sturdy handrails installed on both sides. In some cases, you may want to install automatic chair lifts or an elevator to take your parents up and down stairs if needed.

 

6-Lift Chairs

These are power chairs which use a motor to recline and gradually lift the occupant to a standing position. These can be found in a variety of styles, colours, sizes and fabrics to match most types of decor.

 

7-Bed Rails

Some elderly people may also benefit from bed rails to help them getting in and out of bed.

 

8 – Wheelchair Accessible Curbless Shower

Wheelchair accessible curbless showers, also referred to as roll-in showers or Barrier free showers, provide safe and independent access for wheelchair users. Curbless showers are also safer for individuals who walk into the shower and make it easier to manage the transition into and out of the shower.

 

9-Lever Door Knobs

Standard round doorknobs can often be difficult for seniors to turn due to the required twisting motion. An easier option could be to install lever-style handles.

 

 10-Lower Kitchen Countertops

Most kitchen countertops are approximately 34 inches from the floor. However, if your parent uses a wheelchair it’s easier for them to access countertops and cabinets that are about 30 inches in height.

 

11-Outdoors

It’s also important to remember the outside of the home as you may need brighter lighting and wider, clear. Be sure the areas are clutter-free for added safety and ramps may also be needed if there are currently steps in place.

 

Novacon Construction

When renovating your home for elderly parents it’s generally recommended that you work hand in hand with a design professional, construction contractor or licensed architect to make sure everything is installed safely.

If you will need to renovate your home or need to make an addition to your home, Novacon Construction can help.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

condo renovations project in Toronto

10 Tips When Renovating Your Condo in Toronto

When renovating your condo in Toronto there are several things you need to consider before diving in at the deep end. Below is a list of 10 things to keep in mind before finalizing your plans.

 

  1. Check the building’s rules

Each condo board typically has its own set of rules regarding renovations. Be sure to find out what these rules are before spending any money. Some buildings may allow only certain renovations or materials to be used and you also need to know the rules regarding deliveries, working hours allowed and using the service elevator etc. It’s very important to know what exactly is and isn’t allowed.

 

  1. Finding a contractor

When searching for a contractor it’s crucial to ask if they have experience working with condo renovations. This type of work is generally more challenging logistically and depending on the condo rules some contractors simply don’t want to work in this situation. You should also ask if there will be a project manager to look after all aspects of the process.

 

  1. Why are you renovating?

There are generally two main reasons homeowners renovate their Toronto condo. One is to try and raise the resale value while the other is simply to add space or make the living conditions more to your personal liking and lifestyle. If you just want to improve your living space for a few more years before selling you may want to renovate with fixtures and furniture that can be taken with you when you decide to move. If you’re renovating to increase the value you may want to concentrate on areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, flooring, lighting, walls and doors etc.

 

  1. Knowing your limits.

Some condos have odd-angled walls and/or intrusive columns and it’s important to know which elements and walls etc can be opened up or removed and which ones can’t. You may want to have an expert assist you in this area before making your plans.

 

  1. Unmovable fixtures

Bathroom fixtures are typically hard to move any considerable distance unless you’re willing to spend a great deal of money. However, you can make some simple alterations which change how your eyes see the space. These could include things such as a glass shower panel and new vanity etc to draw your eyes’ focus.

 

  1. Be flexible

Most condo owners have their minds made up about what they want to do when renovating their space. However, everything may not work to plan once the job begins. It’s a good idea to have some flexibility as it may be needed along the way. For instance, you may realize a smaller appliance in the kitchen could be a better choice as it will free up more space.

 

  1. Sort out the parking

Most condo buildings have limited parking with one space being assigned to each unit. You’ll need to work out how the tradespeople are going to arrange their parking. You’ll need to give up your own space and perhaps pay for the parking of their vehicles at a suitable nearby lot.

 

  1. Proper planning

Most condos have limited space in them so be sure to stagger the construction work. You don’t really want everybody working on their specific trade at the same time. You also need room to store tools and materials etc.

 

  1. Find a place to stay

It’s usually a good idea to find alternate living quarters when renovating your Toronto condo. Your bathroom and/or kitchen may not be usable during the job not to mention your bedroom and living room etc. Instead of trying to make things work and possibly getting in the way it’s generally better to move out temporarily. It’s also a lot less stressful.

 

  1. The cleanup

Be sure to know who’s responsible for the clean up duty once the renovation is completed. Some contractors may not do it unless you pay extra and it’s not a good idea to tackle it yourself. The best option  is typically to leave some room in your budget to hire an outside professional cleaning company.

 

About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a renovation contractor in Toronto specializing in high quality condo renovations.  We have over 2 decades of experience and customer satisfaction, you can rely on us for your next condo renovation project.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Custom Home Builders in Toronto

10 Questions To ask Yourself Before Building a Custom Home

If you plan on building a custom home to suit your own personal lifestyle and needs there are several important factors you need to consider. You’ll be designing and building the home from scratch rather than purchasing a house that has already been built and things can get complicated fast if you don’t have every detail planned out. Here in Toronto, many people are turning to custom built homes, not only for the mega-mansions you see out in the suburbs but for smaller custom builds inside the city.

Below is a list of important questions you should ask yourself before the building process gets underway.

1. Am I positive I want to build a custom home?

Before you get too involved with the idea of building a custom home you should decide if it’s the best option for your lifestyle and financial situation. You should weigh the pros and cons of a custom home and determine if it’s actually better than purchasing an existing dwelling. You may find some existing homes which fit your ideal location, budget, lifestyle and family’s housing needs.

2. How much should we spend?

Unfortunately, the sky’s not the limit for most homeowners when building their dream home. You need to be realistic when designing the home and make sure it suits your financial budget. It’s wise to come up with the budget first and then make sure you don’t add extra rooms and amenities that you know you won’t use.

3. Can the soil support a home?

When looking for the ideal location for your home it’s important to have the soil checked out. Since the quality of soil differs from area to area you’ll need to be sure it won’t lead to any foundation problems in the future. It’s never a bad idea to have the lot’s soil examined by a Geotechnical Engineer..

4. Who will be living in the home and for how long?

It’s not always easy to predict how long you’ll live in a home, but you may have a good idea if you plan on raising a family in it. If you plan on having children you’ll need to know how many bedrooms are needed along with bathrooms and a family room etc. If you’re raising a family it may also affect your location since you may want to build close to a school and recreational facilities/parks etc. Homeowners who don’t plan on having children may decide on fewer bedrooms and bathrooms and the location of the home may be more dependent on proximity to their place of employment.

5. What are the most important factors for my home?

Each homeowner may be looking for different things in their new home. For instance, it will usually depend on how many people will be residing in it and what the house will be used for. The best way to plan your home is to ask yourself specific questions about it and rank them in order of importance.

For instance, you’ll need to ask yourself how much room is required for entertaining. How many bedrooms and bathrooms are needed and how important the location is. You need to consider if a back yard is important to you and if you’d like the exterior to be built out of low-maintenance materials such as stone or brick. It’s also a good idea to consider the home’s insulation and see if you can use energy-saving features to help save money in the long run.

6. What would you like your home to be constructed of?

There are several types of construction materials that can be incorporated into your dream home and you’ll need to decide which ones you’d like to use. Some homeowners choose specific materials to reflect their personality while others simply want the most durable and functional materials available. The decision often comes down to the appearance and style of the home you’d like to live in.

7. Which home will have the greatest resale value?

If you don’t plan on spending the rest of your life in your new home you’ll likely be interested in its resale value down the road. Most experienced real estate agents believe brick homes have the greatest resale value when compared to other materials. It may cost a bit more to construct, but the long-term value is greater.  

8. Who will design and build the home?

Many homeowners will hire an architect to help design the home or translate your unique ideas and plans to paper. Architects and homeowners can utilize computer software when planning the home, but you need a good builder to take those plans and turn them into an actual home. Some contractors offer Design Build services where they take responsibility for the entire process, from design to finished home.  Building a home isn’t as easy as planning one on a computer and you’ll need to find an experienced builder who fits your budget and timeline.

9. How important is the kitchen?

A home’s kitchen is generally seen as the most important and social and room in the house as so much time is spent there either on your own or when entertaining family and friends. Custom kitchens are very popular when it comes to design and functionality. You can be very creative when it comes to kitchen design and you’ll need to know how many work islands are needed and if there are any specific appliances you’d like to add such as a brick pizza oven etc. You’ll need to know how big you’d like the kitchen and how much money you’d like to spend in this area.

10. Should I ask the builder for references?

There’s a good chance the cost of your custom home will be the biggest financial investment you make in your lifetime. Don’t be afraid to ask the builder for references and to view their previous work. A good builder should have no problem with this request. However, you may want to think twice if the request is denied.

 

About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a Design Build construction company located in Toronto.  We offer custom custom solutions and provide an easy and cost-effective way to build the custom home you’ve always wanted.  We offer free consultations. Contact us here to learn more.

Custom Built Home in Toronto Canada

How to Find a Custom Home Builder in Toronto

When it comes time to transform your dream home from a set of plans to the real thing you’ll need to find the right custom home builder to see it through. The builder’s job will be to follow every precise detail when constructing the home. When meeting with prospective builders for estimates be sure to fully and clearly explain your plans and what you have in mind.

Where to Find a Custom Home Builder

If you aren’t aware of any builders in your area you may want to reach out to your local home builders’ association for assistance and a list to choose from. The association for custom home builders in Toronto is The Ontario Home Builders’ Association. You can also ask friends and family as well as checking online reviews for custom home builders with good reputations. If you find a builder in your area you may want to check out their work firsthand by visiting a few homes they’ve built and to see any project galleries of past work you can view.

Once you’ve decided to contact a custom home builder take notice of how accessible they are. For example, do they return emails and phone calls in a timely manner or do they just leave you hanging. If you have a difficult time getting in contact with a builder to discuss things that should be seen as a warning sign. You’re ideally looking for a custom home builder who takes client communications seriously and who’s readily available to help share their advice, expertise and ideas.  

Meeting With a Custom Home Builder

When meeting a builder be sure to have everything you need with you and make a list of questions you’d like to discuss with them. There are several important things you should probably know before meeting such as if they’re fully inured and licensed. But once you’re there, be sure to find out how long they’ve been in business, how many homes have they built, are there hidden or additional fees and if they’d be willing to work with a designer etc. It’s also important to ask for a portfolio and references regarding past homes they’ve built.

Don’t leave out any questions you’d like answered and don’t be afraid to take notes at the same time. This way you’ll be able to compare the answers from builder to builder. Information that you should take note of includes a sample budget, invoicing details, a construction schedule and how the work is guaranteed.

You’ll be working hand in hand with your custom home builder for several months so it’s important that you get along and can discuss things openly and freely. If you get a bad feeling about somebody early on perhaps you should simply move on. Remember, this is your custom home that’s being discussed and built and it’s likely going to be the biggest investment you make in your life. It’s worth taking the time to make sure you’re comfortable with the builder and their skills.

This person is going to take all of your plans and ideas and turn them into reality and you’ll have to live with the outcome. This is why finding the right custom home builder can be such a difficult and pressure-filled decision. The builder should have a history of beautiful homes and happy customers behind them. In addition, if a builder has been in business for quite some time they’ve likely been doing something right from day one. They also likely know how to handle any problems that may arise.

Check Custom Home Builder References & Reviews

If the builder has a solid reputation in the community and their references are happy with their work then you’re on the right track. It’s also important the builder has a strong network of reliable vendors and subcontractors to work with as this will result in top-quality construction methods. Real estate agents can also be a good source of referrals.

Be sure not to cut any corners when seeking a reliable custom home builder. They should be able to analyze your engineering and architectural plans and make sure any potential problems are discussed and resolved before going any further. Good builders are up to date with the best materials and building methods needed for a quality home. 

 Many custom home builders today are design-build contractors, meaning that they handle the entire home building process from design to build and can help streamline the entire process for you.

A home builder needs to make sure everybody working on the project is in sync at all times, much like the conductor of an orchestra. Everything from the bidding process to the pre-construction paperwork to the actual construction needs to run smoothly. And once you’ve moved into your new home, the commitment from your builder shouldn’t end as they should stand behind their work with a warranty on materials and workmanship.

Overall, you deserve full access to information from all custom home builders needed to help you make an informed decision. 

About Novacon Construction

Novacon construction is a custom home builder in Toronto. We offer a design-build and customer friendly approach to the home building process which results in a more streamlined and less stressful home building experience.

If you have any questions about custom home building please feel free to contact us for more information at Novacon Construction Inc.

What You Need To Know When Adding a Second Story To a Garage

What You Need To Know When Adding a Second Story To a Garage

When adding a second story addition to your home over an existing garage it typically provides a great deal of extra living space and also adds value to the home. Most single car garages range in size from 12-16ft wide and 22-24ft deep and double car garages typically range from 20- 24ft wide and 22- 24ft deep.

Many homeowners build an extra story for bedrooms and bathrooms however the space can be used for whatever suits your needs. But before getting started be sure to look into your community’s zoning and building laws, etc. It’s also a good idea to bring in a professional contractor to answer your questions and to consult with you on your options.

Planning For a Second Story Addition

An additional story doesn’t affect the house’s footprint but there are unique planning and construction challenges to consider such as making sure the structure can bear the extra weight. You may need the help of an engineer to make sure an addition is possible as the foundation and garage will need to be thoroughly inspected. If the foundation is too weak it may need to be bolstered or replaced, which can be quite costly.

You may want to make sure features such windows and gables are harmonious and seamless with the home’s existing style and be sure the addition is well insulated. A bathroom can be installed above an unheated garage but the plumbing will need to be in heated areas to keep the pipes from freezing. This means you’ll need to work closely with the contractor and plumber to be sure the piping is properly installed.

If the existing wastewater drain is located in a central area of your home you may need to work through a great deal of drywall when connecting your new drain to the current one. Some of the walls may even need to be re-framed or duct work may need to be moved. .

When adding a story to your home don’t forget you have to access it from your existing space. You’ll need a stairway and hallway to reach your new rooms and the additional story will need to be aligned with one below it. To do this you may need to increase or shorten the height of the garage walls as well as alter the existing door and window headers.

Most two car garages are approximately 20 to 24 feet from side to side with a similar front to back, it can be difficult to build a stiff enough floor above it. The flooring will need to support the new story without interfering with your parking space and garage door below. Be sure the floor doesn’t bounce or flex and the tiles won’t crack.

The new space will need a good balance of heating and cooling and a new or additional HVAC system may be required to achieve this. This is where spray foam insulation may come in handy.

Depending on your garage, the challenges of an additional story above a garage can sometimes be substantial as it isn’t a simple procedure. There are numerous things to take into consideration and it’s important that you don’t overlook any of them. The cost and time frame of the project will depend on how complex it is and how much labour and materials will be involved.

About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a home addition contractor in Toronto. We offer award winning service and have been voted by the public as the best Toronto Contractor to work with on Houzz and Homestars. For more detailed information on building a story over an existing garage please feel free to contact our team of professional contractors at Novacon Construction.

How Difficult Is It To Add a Second Story To a Home?

How Difficult Is It To Add a Second Story To a Home?

Toronto has one of the most expensive real estate markets in North America. Land is at a premium and most residential lots are on the smaller side.

There's a benefit of adding living space vertically especially if you live on a relatively small lot. You'll be adding space above you rather than outwards so the addition won't affect the size of your garden and yard etc. At the same time you'll have the chance to increase the height of your first-floor ceilings.

Options For Adding a Second Story

Adding a second story addition to a home isn't an easy job but most homeowners have a few options if they're interested in adding some living space above them.

You can tear the roof off your home and build an upper level from scratch or you can also expand a new level across a current one-story section such as a porch or flat-roof garage.

Cost Factors

The cost and length of time the project will take all depends on the method you choose and if any foundation work needs to be performed. The foundation will need to be inspected to make sure it can handle the additional weight of a second story. You'll also need to inquire about building codes, possible height restrictions and permits and find out exactly what you need before proceeding.

If your existing foundation won't be able to handle the additional weight of another story you'll need to add structural support somewhere or have the foundation strengthened. Also, be aware that rafters in single-story homes aren't typically strong enough to be used as second-story floor joists. This is why it's important to have your home's foundation evaluated by a professional structural engineer. Detailed plans including things such as beam sizes need to be developed with an engineer approving them.

When you add a second level you'll want to make sure the style matches the rest of the home, including window shape and size. Other individual elements such as shutters, trim, eaves, dormers and columns also need to be in proportion.

There's a good chance you'll need to move out of your home and find somewhere else to live while the work's going on to add a new story. So that should also be taken into consideration. The time frame of adding a new level could be between four and six months if you add in all of the planning and details etc. However, you should be able to remain in your home if you're adding a partial second story on top of a garage.

Other things that need to be considered include insulation, plumbing, electrical work, the HVAC system and the addition of stairs.

Hiring a Professional

Adding a second story requires the assistance of experienced professionals as it's not a do-it-yourself job. You'll need to find a person or company with the necessary skill and experience to handle this type of project. They'll need to know how to knock out structural walls as well as tie into the existing mechanical system.

The cost of a second story typically depends on the style and size of your home as well as its location and the quality of materials you plan on using. However, you should plan on spending at least $200,000 to 300,000 these days.

About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a home addition contractor in Toronto and has been providing award winning Design-Build construction services within the GTA since 2004. For more information on adding a second story to your home please contact us at Novacon Construction Inc.

Why The Design Build Method Works In Home Renovations

When it comes to home renovations and custom home construction, many people have heard the term design-build but may not be sure what it actually means. Basically, it means that one contracting company handles both the design and the construction of the home or renovation project. It’s one-stop shopping where you work with a single company from design to construction rather than hiring both an Architect/Designer and a contractor separately.

 Benefits of Design-Build

Things typically run much smoother if the same company looks after all aspects of a project including the permits and engineering work. Homeowners have just one contact to deal with when it comes to the cost and time frame details etc.

In the past, the design-bid-build method of construction and renovation was popular but it typically means you need to separately hire an Architect/Designer and contractor. After the design has been completed, contractors then bid on constructing or renovating it. However, many designers and contractors have no working relationship or obligation to each other and work independently.  This disconnect can sometimes lead to delays, misunderstandings and other issues that could cause issues with the project. One of the largest issues with the DESIGN-BID-BUILD method is that a high percentage of projects come in far higher than clients budget when it goes out for contractor estimates. This is avoided with a DESIGN-BUILD company because we discuss budget before, during and after the design process to keep things inline with the original budget. A lot of time and money is saved on the design costs as well since there are minimal revisions after the fact.

 Design-Build is More Efficient

The design-build method can be used for any scale of project and it’s ideal for home renovations. The design-build company will take care of the entire project every step of the way. And since the designer knows the cost of the materials and labour it’s a lot easier to stay within your budget. In addition, all of the contractors working on your renovation belong to the same team and have the same goal. This helps cut down on the chances of miscommunication and budget over runs.

When renovating, you’ll be able to discuss each aspect of the job such as budget, owner responsibilities, permits, deliveries, working hours, cleanup, style and goals as well as any special interests and priorities.

With design-build, one company is accountable for everything and will spend the necessary attention to all the details and specifics. All costs are taken into account including fees and utilities and any possible landscaping allowances.

The design-build firm is also an expert in the fields of design and construction as they typically have licensed architects on their team or have close working relationships with experienced architects. They also possess professional construction experience and fully understand sequencing and pricing and how renovation projects come together.

 Homeowners Are More Involved With Design-Build

Homeowners will work hand in hand with a design-build renovator and can be as active as they like when it comes to sharing their design and remodeling ideas. The owner has complete control concerning the project while the design-build company collaborates with them. Owners are encouraged to ask questions, become involved and give their input while considering all their options. If changes need to be made something needs to be eliminated or added there’s no problem.

When contacting a build-design company, the first step is a consultation and estimate. The designer will then work with you to finalize the drawings and make material selections. A checklist can be made to make sure everybody knows who’s responsible for what and you’ll be able to discuss things with the project consultant prior to the renovation.

In general, homeowners want their home renovation projects to turn out the way they have envisioned them. They are hoping the job can be completed in the projected time frame and adheres to the budget. They also like to have their ideas and opinions heard and mean something during all steps of the renovation.

About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a design-build contracting company in Toronto.  We specialize in custom home construction, home additions and large scale renovation projects.  For more information on design-build renovations of all scales and sizes please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.