Gilbert + Burke Blog

Custom Home Construction and Remodelling Tips


July 19, 2017

Building the Crew


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From the idea, to the Pinterest board, to the housewarming party, there are dozens of steps involved that each require precedents and specialized skills to build your dream home. The likelihood that you’ll be 100% pleased with the end result, rides on the team you put together. This is why it’s so important to know exactly who to hire and why, to avoid hiring someone on-the-fly without doing prior research.

Here’s who you’ll need on your building crew:

Financial Planner & Lender

The first step before breaking ground on your new home construction is determining the size of your budget and how you’ll finance it. Sit down with your Financial Planner to talk about your options. Once you’ve established how much you can realistically spend on your your home, work with your lender to borrow the funds you need.

Real estate agent

If you’re purchasing new property, a real estate agent can help you find the perfect spot to plant your custom home. Not only do they know the area well, but can also find lots that may not be on the market yet.

Your family

Whether they’re going to be living in the home or not, seeking your family member’s input will be extremely beneficial and can prevent you from needing major renovations later on. Talk to each one about what their goals are for the project and any “must haves” on their list. 

Designer or Architect

If you or a family member has an eye for design, solicit their ideas  to create a home that incorporates everything on your dream house wish list. Many individuals and families will turn to an experienced professional design partner to ensure the designs meet code and use the most efficient and appropriate materials. At this stage, you should determine what your lot size is and any restrictions that may impact your plans- your Designer may assist you with that.  


A professional survey is required for a building permit in most municipalities. If you don’t already have one, you will need to hire a Surveyor to accurately determine your lot size and what you size are allowed to build or add on. 

Your Local Municipality

Next, you’ll need to work with your local municipality or town in order to obtain a set of construction drawings by a BCIN licensed professional, possibly approval from your local conservation authority, copies of the existing septic approval or new septic plan, Tarion registration, and heat-loss calculations.

Builder or Architect

Now it’s time to assemble your building team. Builder’s time may be booked up months in advance, so if there’s a particular company you want hire, don’t wait to reach out. Identify at least three and be sure to ask for portfolios and referrals.

Under the umbrella role of the builder, there are many speciality contractors you’ll need to have on your team to successfully complete the project.


Once the home is finished being built, you’ll be eager to get in and start enjoying the house. Consider hiring a moving company so that you can enjoy your first few days without worrying about throwing out your back lifting heavy boxes.

Decorator for Final Touches

An interior decorator should be engaged during the design phase to ensure your colour preferences and specific functions of each room are incorporated. An interior decorator will also help ensure the decor of each room flows to the next, achieve that wow factor you’re looking for, and even help you save money! They typically have intel on where to find budget-friendly decor pieces that fit your preferred style.

An experienced business that’s dedicated to helping you achieve your dream home should have a team that’s equipped with several of these roles. Build your crew full of members you feel you can trust, have a reputable portfolio, are accredited on your local builder’s association, and are willing to provide referrals. This might just be the most important and biggest investment you’ll make in your life--make sure you feel confident in your team.



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