Completion of our Newest Build in Westboro!

Custom build in Westboro
Custom build in Westboro

Sierra Gate Homes is proud to announce completion of our latest Westboro project!  This 3,200 square foot contemporary modern home at 231 Daniel Avenue boasts a bright, open-concept design, modern finishings, a fully finished basement and a double garage.  Situated in a quiet neighbourhood of mature trees, this home is just minutes from the bustle of Westboro. To see pictures of the finished project, please click here.

We are now working on our next project.  Like our build at 231 Daniel Avenue, this next home will incorporate a range of green construction practices that optimise energy efficiency and exceed building code requirements.  Stay tuned for updates!

Looking for Construction Professionals? Make Sure You Do Your Homework!

Kijiji Kitchen FinalFinding the right professional for your home construction or renovation project is critical.  Hiring the wrong firm can cost you time and money, and lead to endless frustrations.  It is important to do your homework!  Here are some key steps to consider:

  1.  Talk to people you know and trust.  Think about family members, friends, neighbours and co-workers who have recently done a construction or renovation project.  Ask them if they were satisfied with the company they used.  If possible, go and look at the work that was done so that you can judge the quality for yourself.
  2. Go online.  You will find client ratings and reviews on reputable sites that allow you to search for construction professionals – sites like houzz.com and trustedpros.ca.  In reading the reviews for a particular company, you want to ensure that most or all of them are positive.  Also, once you have a couple of firms in mind, you can search their name together with words like “scam,” “rip-off” and “complaint.”
  3. Get estimates.  It is critical to get written estimates from a number of different firms.  The estimates must be provided to you at no charge.  They should be based on a visit to your home.  And when it comes time to assess the different estimates you receive, do not automatically choose the lowest bidder.  If one estimate is lower than the rest, try to find out why.  When discussing estimates with a firm, make sure you don’t reveal the competition’s pricing.
  4. Ask questions.  There are several questions you need to ask before hiring a construction or renovation firm.  Here are just a few examples.  How many projects like mine have you completed within the last year?  Will my project require a permit?  Could I please have a list of references whom I can contact?  What types of insurance do you carry?  Will you be using sub-contractors for my project?

 

 

Finding Top-rated Construction and Renovation Professionals

A new year and a new honour for Sierra Gate Homes!

231 Daniel - Front
Our latest project at 231 Daniel Avenue in Westboro. Photos of the completed home will soon be on Houzz!

We have been rated at the highest level for client satisfaction on Houzz (houzz.com).  Because we are part of the Houzz community (http://www.houzz.com/pro/sierragatehomes/sierra-gate-homes), our clients review us on the site.  And their excellent reviews have earned us a Best of Houzz 2016 award!
Houzz brings homeowners and home professionals – from architects to general contractors to landscapers – together!  It is a tremendous resource if you are searching for top-rated professionals.  Or perhaps you’re just looking for inspiring new ideas for your home.  You can search and browse photos and products, and collect the photos you love in your own personalised ideabooks!

 

 

 

 

Buying a Fixer-Upper: Are We Opening a Can of Worms?

turkel3On the face of it, buying a fixer-upper seems like a terrific idea!  Perhaps you’re first-time homebuyers.  You’ve found a rundown house in the perfect neighbourhood.  The price is right.  How can you possibly pass up on the opportunity?  While buying a fixer-upper can work to your advantage, it can also become your worst nightmare.  Here are some questions couples should ask themselves before signing on the dotted line:

  1. Is the house just in need of some cosmetic work or is there structural damage?
  2. Do we have the time to invest?  Are we prepared to devote our evenings and weekends to this project?
  3. Are we going to live in the house while it’s being renovated?  If not, do we have somewhere else to live?
  4. Will we have enough money to complete the renovation work that needs to be done?
  5. Will the stress of buying a new home, and then spending a lot of time and money on the renovations be too much for our relationship?
  6. Do we have realistic expectations about this project?  This may not turn out to be the quick and dramatic transformation that we’re used to seeing on reality television.

Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of buying a fixer-upper at this link:

Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper

Buying a Lot for Your Custom Build? Beware of These Pitfalls!

turkel4You’ve decided to build a custom home for your family. One of your first steps will be to find the perfect lot! This can be a tricky process and there are many factors to consider. Here are some key questions to bear in mind as you begin your search:

  1. Location. Do I like this location? What about its proximity to schools, shopping and other amenities? Do I want to be this close to or this far away from my nearest neighbour? Does this land flood in the spring?
  2. Costs. How much will this lot cost me (over and above the purchase price)? For example, do I need title insurance (see link below)? Does the lot need to be surveyed? What are the taxes associated with this lot?
  3. Zoning Restrictions. What are the zoning restrictions associated with this lot?
  4. Utility Access. Is this lot serviced with hydro, gas and water? If not, what are our options? How much will it cost to bring hydro to our new home, drill a well and install a septic system? Will we heat our home with hydro, natural gas (if available), propane, oil or wood? How much will each of these heating options cost?
  5. Road Access. In the case of rural lots, are the roads plowed in the winter? Do we mind that the roads are gravel rather than paved?

Custom Design Ideas for Your Powder Room

You have decided to renovate your existing powder room.  Or perhaps you would like to add a powder room to your home.  It is a small room so making good use of space is key!  The powder rooms below might inspire you.

Powder Room 2 Powder Room 3 Powder Room 5 Powder Room

Do you have a design in mind for your powder room?  Not sure where to start?  E-mail us at [email protected] or connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sierragatehomes

Stunning Moderns Designed by Leading Architects

Altius2740_entrySierra Gate Homes is proud to be Eastern Ontario’s independent distributor for Lindal Cedar Homes, the first and largest manufacturer of cedar custom homes in the world.  The Lindal Architects Collaborative is an initiative that brings together some of North America’s most renowned architects, including Toronto’s Altius Architecture, Inc.  Together, they are creating a varied and extensive selection of modern green designs.  Visit our Lindal Architects Collaborative gallery to view some of these stunning creations!

Renovating Affordable Housing in Ottawa

P1060747Sierra Gate Homes is proud to work with Daybreak Housing on some of its residential improvement projects.  Daybreak is a non-profit organisation run by a small professional team with the support of dedicated volunteers.  Since 1982, Daybreak has been a place to call home for men and women who not only have difficulty finding affordable housing, but also struggle with issues such as mental health, addiction, abusive situations and limited life skills.

How to Choose a Custom Home Builder

Kijiji Kitchen FinalChoosing to build your own home involves of lot of planning and thought.  You can’t just jump in and get started!  One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whom you should hire to build your home.  It is smart to do your research!
Of course, referrals are your best route.  You want to hire a custom home builder with whom friends or family members have had a good experience.  So talk to people, and find out about their success stories and horror stories.  Of course, people also share their experiences online so internet research is critical.

Once you have chosen a couple of builders, the next step is to set up a face-to-face meeting with them.  In essence, you’re interviewing potential candidates for this very important job.  It is vital that you trust and feel comfortable with your builder.  After all, this is your future home!  So ask whatever questions you need to ask.  The following three are key:

  1. Have you built homes similar to home we would like to build?
  2. Could we tour a home that you are currently building?
  3. Do you have pictures of homes that you have recently built?  Could we take a look at these homes?

The process of finding a custom home builder takes time.  Doing your research and asking lots of questions can save you a tremendous amount of money, time and heartache.

Sierra Gate Homes is a custom home builder offering both design-build and construction project management options.  Call or e-mail us anytime to find out how we can help you make your dream home a reality!  Contact us now!