A property’s exterior is a living testimony of its appeal and owner’s exclusivity. Design done well is the design that hits close to home for many aspiring buyers. Here’s how you can tell your contractor nailed it.
One of the first things homebuyers are complemented on—or not—is their home’s exterior. Exterior design takes solid planning done months in advance as the scale and nature of work are heavily influenced by a homeowner’s budget. The uniformity and curb appeal of your exterior home design illuminates visitors to the beauty that resides within—the interiors.
Exterior designs can be lengthy and complicated for new homeowners unsuspecting of dubious design practices that can quickly escalate costs. Alongside keeping your dwelling’s land appropriately graded, it needs to be safeguarded against weather conditions prevalent in the area. Here’s where you need an expert hand at selecting the right roofing and cladding material that also complies with the design language of other houses on the street.
Many aspects figure into the exterior designing process and without reasonable thought, you’ll end up making uncomfortable trade-offs between your budget and required design specifications.
So what makes an excellent exterior? Rounding up the attributes of a good exterior design contractor, we hope these will help you select the right exterior design contractor.
They Satisfied Bylaws, City Regulations, and Community Guidelines
Have you heard your contractor unstoppably quote the “code comes in the way”?
They are probably keeping you out of harm’s way since certain design styles may not comply with the city’s regulations. For instance, Health Canada proposed recommendations in 2007 to cut back on the radon concentration in home construction—a radioactive gas found in soil and rock. Certain substances in exterior design material can aggrandize their prevalence and cause significant health hazards not only for the occupants but also for neighbours. Such stipulations aren’t without reason and come with hefty fines if flouted whether due to negligence or incompetence.
Narrowing the focus, exteriors are built in close view of the neighbourhood’s community. Every community conveys a specific look and feel—some sport minimalistic styles while others are delightfully radiating a Scandinavian style. Colour combinations vary even though inspired from the same style, moreover, pressuring homeowners to choose accents, finishes, and details that don’t conflict community values. Such a focus can only be developed by an experienced contractor who has worked with an architectural firm to understand what they can do. Do you know what breathtaking exterior home designs look like? Don’t miss this.
You must think why all this is necessary. Just as a home looks haunted without people in it, a house looks inelegant without design harmony. It would lose its sheen and market value as compared to other properties despite great design detail. On the other hand, it shouldn’t terribly deprive you of the feeling of calling it your home. This delicate balance is achieved when a contractor has years of home building projects under their belt. Consider a situation where you hired a contractor who claims to have done multiple construction projects in the neighbourhood of your choosing but is surprisingly forward with their recommendations of superior design styles. The key point to note here is that if you try to surpass or underplay the neighbourhood’s design style, you’ll inadvertently undermine your property value and everyone else’s.
The next pressing concern is to be respectful of the restrictions set by the local housing authority. They spell out what height and square-foot area of the house are permissible to cover and the requisite yard space and driveway area allowed per unit. They also determine the frontal and back-facing layout of your house. From measuring the entrance area to sizing up your backyard lawn area, bylaws are imperative to your exterior design project.
They Formulate a Vision, Its Specifics, And Follow Through Till The End
Before a single bricklayer is placed, you must know how your money is being spent. A critical step in the project is to agree on a vision, hash out details, and assign near-exact dollars against each item throughout the project. If there are changes, they should be discussed and agreed to prior to starting work. If your contractor has consistently kept in touch with issues, changes, and potential risks for whatever reasons, they are proving that they value your investment in the project. A good practice to meet project commitments is to have a checklist of pending items mapped out across the lifecycle of the project. This article gives best practices to maintain a handy construction punch list—the industry term for checklists.
As for creating a vision per se, many homeowners are bedazzled by the range of style options on the market. It’s harder to choose when you have to filter them through the community lens as seen previously. We recommend reviewing the catalogues of house styles popular in your locality and creating a mood-board of a mix of design styles, colours, and architectural features. This gets you closer to the end goal and hammer down the detailing whether structural, mechanical, or design-oriented. The type of house style you choose will define the kind of plumbing and electrical work needed—enquire a group of professionals in respective tasks.To work your exterior design chops, here’s some food for thought.
Your vision will lead to materializing a fairly accurate contract that will protect you and your contractor, ultimately building a cordial relationship to progress through to completion.
They Stick To Budget Constraints
When your contractor consults you before making every purchase, they are as conscious of your budget as you are. They take the project as a personal endeavour without showing apathy in making decisions that may potentially harm your finances.
Every exterior design project is envisioned with a budget. The triple variables of cost-schedule-expectations in home construction are tricky to level out should ambiguity creep in due to miscommunication and unexpected events. A reasonably considerate contractor worries as if it were their money on the line. Forming a realistic budget is an ongoing activity since homeowners may decide to deviate from the original design path to accommodate a more important need. For instance, rather than have a front lawn, they may ask for an extended patio with a small pool for summer thrills.
Furthermore, the type of materials and labour support will be brought in with your approval to arrive at a realistic revised budget.
Contractors who move forward at your pace can seem rare but aren’t extinct. You will know how they communicate and resolve issues in the first few meetings, to help understand if you want to work with them.
They Procure Relevant Permits, Licenses, and Coverage Without Being Told
No contractor can legally run operations without holding requisite permits. They can’t even approach you for work either by happenstance or judicious prospecting. Hence, homeowners should always ask to look for their permits, licenses, and adequate coverage for contingencies. No matter how experienced the contractor, you’re within your rights to check their legal documentation.
Several homeowners have been penalized by city administrators for getting work done that either isn’t authorized, or from unlicensed contractors, or both. Some disgruntled contractors loom in local communities posing as legitimate businesses when they’ve deviously duped past clients. Always check the legal and police history of your contractor. You don’t want to be held responsible for discrepancies that shouldn’t have arisen in the first place and ones that fall within the contractor’s purview.
A highly accountable contractor looks after yours as well as their obligations. Besides, they’re patient in taking inventory of the legal implications undergirding your exterior design demands. A stronghold of this nature helps you knock down barriers before they’ve presented themselves. That’s the work of a diligent contractor.
They Don’t Cut Corners And Will Outright Warn You of Ensuing Dangers
Quality contractors frown upon rushing through details. Runaway contractors are needless to say the opposite—yes, they overpromise and misrepresent what they can do for you, adding to costs and timelines, to say nothing of your piling on frustration.
Exterior home design burns a big hole in your finances while being the foremost priority in ensuring your family’s safety. Judicious planning and budgeting if not followed by judicious action fall right through the cracks. And this doesn’t take a professional’s eyes to notify you, you will begin to detect inconsistencies when you see a contractor leaving a mess on your site without giving progress updates.
Exterior home design involves high stakes that if compromised can create troubles down the road. Good contractors consult your budget and preferences when choosing materials and ensure they are durable and incorporated properly during construction. If you choose a contemporary exterior design style, they will vouch for sleek sidings and metal accents to complement the style without wasting time with multiple cladding and roofing options. They can balance design with real value and save you from making cosmetic upgrades. You end up staying on track as a result and prioritizing only what counts.
Look through these contemporary exterior designs for inspiration.
They endeavour to help you minimize the upkeep of your exteriors by buying smart material. Such virtues are in-built and can be verified through their past clientele. Talking to owners who’ve used their services will distance you from your own biases that form by taking in face-value opinions.
You don’t want your intended design outcomes to remain unrealized. Many times, homeowners make foot-in-the-mouth decisions by thinking that contractors are default experts. So they can rest assured move into a contract if they see a contractor get a couple of rave reviews. Well, it could be that they’ve earned certain credibility over the years but most of the time there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Nobody publicizes shady past mistakes or errors regardless of the situation and the extent of their liability.
Your home’s exterior is the first impression you caste to a lot of important stakeholders from a local home inspector to your potential buyers. Don’t risk it for missed opportunities or worse, those that were untapped.
Have you contracted an exterior home contractor? What was your experience? Help us get better informed with your take on things to look for in an exterior home design contractor.