Project Management
& Design Planning

Monday - Friday
09:00 - 17:00

Tel: 416 356 4745

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We are constantly finding ways to enhance our process. Do not hesitate to contact us with any suggestions or comments


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Frequently Asked Questions

For your convenience, our most common customer questions are answered right here.

How long does it take to build a custom home from start to finish?

If you refer to the chart found under the Build Process Tab, you’ll find that typically, a custom home takes about 18 months in total. The pre-build process – which includes architectural drawings, Site Plans, Surveys and Permits and if need be Committee of Adjustment, generally takes between 3 and 5 months. This is a very important phase and shouldn’t be rushed. The actual physical build usually takes between 9 – 12 months depending on the size and scope of the project and equally important, how well organized the clients are when it comes to selecting all of the design features including exterior materials, floors, moldings, cabinetry, door hardware, bath and shower tiles, paint colors etc … which is where we can be very helpful in getting and keeping you on tract!

I’ve heard that there are a lot of hidden costs when building a custom home. How do I properly budget for the “hidden costs”?

Our goal is to eliminate as many of the hidden costs as possible thanks to our own experience (the hard way) in hiring contractors for our own personal homes. We’ll take you through an extremely detailed budget based on both the structural build requirements as well as the exterior and interior finishing selections which is where budgets can vary considerably. The biggest impact on budget is when clients decide to change their mind on the caliber of the finishing products being used (eg. replacing porcelain with marble; budgeting for a 4″ basic hardwood floor but then falling in love with the 7″ high end engineered floors; deciding on a cedar shingle roof rather than the originally planned fiberglass or asphalt product). Our job is to build as realistic a budget with you based on your goals and financial restrictions – doing so mitigates much of the risk in going over budget. Last and most important – you MUST put a healthy contingency budget in place for any unforeseen issues that might come up.

How do I ensure I’m getting the best / fairest quotes from trades?

We have a list of trade contacts that we have used on our builds that we rank in terms of quality and price and we are constantly refining that list. Our approach differs from others in that we get paid a flat fee for Managing your project and we DO NOT up charge on trade quotes. In fact, we’re happy to introduce you to the various trades so you can negotiate your price directly while we provide input on the quote. Alternatively, we can negotiate the best possible prices from the trades on your behalf. Either way, it is important to realize that not all trades are capable of the the same quality of work … it’s the old adage “You Get What You Pay For”

What’s involved in getting approvals and permits?

The permitting and approval process while intimidating is a relatively straight forward process:

1/ Site Plan Application: If you are planning to build a new building or addition, you may be subject to site plan control. A building permit cannot be issued and construction cannot begin unless site plan approval is obtained. Through the site plan application process, the Town will review the design and layout of the buildings and development including building location, landscaping, parking, drainage, pedestrian access, public realm etc. to ensure compliance with Town standards, by-laws and guidelines. See Link to Site Plan application process PDF

2/ Minor Variance Application: A minor variance allows an owner to build or use their land in a way that does not exactly comply with the requirements of the zoning by-law, but follows its general intent. Examples of minor variances include relief for a minor requirement to a height restriction, side yard setback etc. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, as some variances may be considered ‘minor’ in some situations and ‘major’ in others. See Link to Minor Variance application process PDF

3/ Consent (Land Division) Application: A land severance (consent) is the authorized separation of a piece of land to form a new lot or a new parcel of land. A consent application is required if you want to sell, mortgage, charge for, or enter into an agreement for a portion of your land. If several severances are intended in the same area, a plan of subdivision may be required. See Link to Land Division Consent application process PDF

4/Notice of Project: Must be completed and provided to the Ministry of Labour prior to starting projects that meet the standards set out in section 6(1) of the Regulation for Construction Projects, O. Reg 213/91. You must have a signed copy of the Notice of Project posted at the project or available at the project for review.

4/ Demolition Permit: In the case of an infill lot where a pre-existing (non heritage designated) house is on the building lot, a Demolition Permit must be applied for. Note that there are strict guidelines in most municipalities governing the time-frame from when a home is demolished to when new construction begins. A copy of the Demolition Permit must be posted at the project or available at the project for review.

5/ Building Permit: This is the formal approval that enables the build to commence. A copy of the Building Permit must be posted at the project or available at the project for review. At specifically outlined stages of the project, the Building Inspections Department must be contacted to arrange for site inspection. If all is in accordance with the building code then approval to move forward will be given. If not, any issues must be addressed and then re-inspected prior to moving forward.

After 4 custom home projects, what has been your biggest learning to date?

You can’t do it alone…especially your first custom home. Having access to an experienced Project Manager and access to a solid team of trades who excel at what they do makes for a much smoother process. From planning through to execution, hiring the right team will ensure the right results and in the end, that just makes the goal of building your dream home much easier to attain.

Coastal Impressions is committed to making the custom build process an extremely positive experience