Buying a new home? Here are 6 things you must do and questions you MUST ask!

If you’ve never built a new home and are unfamiliar with how a home builder operates, then chances are, you will have questions. The below list provides the most frequently asked questions, accompanied by a short answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1. Check out the builder:

Many home builders have been in the business for years and produce a quality product. However, a few do not. Check review sites, provincial licensing boards and the local court records to see whether the builder you’re considering has run into any trouble, including lawsuits, complaints with licensing agencies and disciplinary actions. This is also a good time to talk to previous customers.

Sunlight Heritage Homes has been in business for over 30 years and has built thousands of family homes in South Western Ontario and beyond.
Qualified. Trusted. Reliable. More than just words when it comes to selecting the right company to build your next home. In a fast-paced world of mass production and unprofessional workmanship, we realize that homebuyers still believe in both quality and value. As a family run business, we fully understand that the quality of our workmanship is the cornerstone of our reputation, and we embrace the many challenges and opportunities that will lend to our legacy.
Check out our testimonials here: What our clients have to say!

2. Research the community:

There’s no harm in visiting the community you’re interested in building your new home. Get a sense and feel for what’s around, amenities, schools, depending at what stage you are in life, is too close to shopping centres? or perhaps too far?  Before you buy, find out as much as you can both about the area and the subdivision itself. Visit at different times of the day and talk to residents about what they do and don’t like.

Our agents can be a great resource when researching the area and our amenity maps listed on Sunlight Heritage Homes and available to you at our sites. They can be fantastic guides for everything you’re looking for; from schools, shopping, dining, to recreation have all been carefully researched and added to our maps for your convenience.

3. Ask about warranties:

Most builders offer warranties on materials and workmanship. Make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered and what process you need to follow to get something fixed. All home builders in Ontario must be registered with TARION. Tarion’s primary purpose is to protect consumers of new homes by ensuring that builders abide by the provincial legislation. Tarion serves new home buyers and new homeowners by ensuring that one of their life’s biggest investments is protected. Almost every new home in the province is covered by a new home warranty.  This warranty protection is provided by Ontario’s builders and lasts up to seven years. To see if your builder is registered, do a search in the Ontario Builder Directory.

Sunlight Heritage Homes is a Tarion registered builder.

4. Do you provide assistance for selecting the home’s finishes?

Building a new home involves a lot of decisions, especially when it comes to selecting items like cabinets, counters, light/plumbing fixtures, paint colors, etc. For many people, it can be overwhelming. An experienced designer can walk you through the process. Make sure you’re not on your own and the builder has someone to guide you through the selection process.

Sunlight Heritage Homes are designed to fit your lifestyle. And our professional design consultants are here to help you turn your home into a perfect reflection of who you are and how you want to live.

We give you all the options. The possibilities are endless when you design your home with Sunlight Heritage Homes. From hardwoods and tile flooring to an almost endless array of countertops in granite, solid surface and quartz; from the best names and newest looks in fixtures, faucets, and finishes to the hottest trends in lights, cabinetry, and colors, we’ll help you pull your ideas together into a home that’s uniquely yours, just the way you dreamed it.

Our design center was created with you in mind. When you first arrive, you are not overwhelmed with products on top of each other. Each area has been designed to allow you to walk freely with a view of the entire area. From a fully functional designer kitchen to a luxury washroom display you will feel as if you’re at home. Let Sunlight Homes be part of your dream and help you create that home you have always wanted.

5. What standard features are included?

Every home builder includes a set of standard features in each home built while offering extras that cost more. Much like buying a car, you want to find out what is standard and what is extra. What is included and what isn’t is one of the most important questions to ask when buying a new home. The builder should have a detailed “specifications” sheet that details everything that comes standard with your new home.

Sunlight Heritage Homes come equipped with Standard finishes and
the following Main Features:

  • ENERGY EFFICIENT HOMES
  • 7-YEAR INSURED STRUCTURAL WARRANTY
  • FULL BASEMENT
  • HIGH POURED WALLS
  • HEAVY DUTY 2X6 PREMIUM EXTERIOR WALL’S
  • PEX WATER SYSTEM
  • R-22WALL & R-60 CEILING INSULATION
  • HRV SYSTEM

Standard finishes can be obtained by visiting one of our sites or online.

6. How do you communicate and provide service during the design, build and warranty?

Lack of communication is one of the most common complaints from homeowners about their builder. So how do you avoid it? This is another area where your conversations with past customers will reveal the real story. You’ll want to know if the builder responds to your requests promptly and how accessible they are. Do they communicate in a way that works for you? Given the prevalence of technology in our communications with email, texts and internet access, find out how your builder uses technology to improve communication with you.

At Sunlight Heritage Homes we pride ourselves how quickly and effectively we communicate with homeowners and we’ve made even easier with technology.
Sunlight Heritage Homes is proud to announce the “Homeowners Communication Portal”
Exclusive to Sunlight Heritage Homes: Homeowners have access to documents, and data they need, anytime, anywhere, on any device. Stay up to date with the progress of your home with Sunlight Heritage Home’ “My Story”. Access photos and progress of your custom build from beginning to end. Sunlight Heritage Home “Homeowners Communication Portal” is also mobile friendly.

Let’s Talk

We’d love to have the opportunity to answer any questions you may have. You can get in touch with us by simply giving us a call at (519) 653-5036 or drop us a line at info@sunlighthomes.ca

Steel Studs vs. Wood Studs for Residential Framing

There was a time when the use of steel studs in residential building applications was considered exotic. Its use was limited mostly to builders or home remodeling professionals, and DIYers barely knew they existed and almost never used them in projects. You could only buy them at specialty building supply outlets and rarely saw them at standard consumer stores. 

Now, if you go to any big box home improvement center such as Home Depot, chances are good that you will find a stack of steel studs in the lumber section. But the fact that steel studs are outnumbered 100 to 1 by good old-fashioned wood framing lumber should tell you something: working with steel is not as easy as it seems.

Benefits of Steel Studs

  • Durable: Metal studs are impervious to fire, termites, rot, splitting, and any other number of hazards which can affect any kind of organic-based building material—namely, wood. 
  • Predictable: Unlike wood, which can arrive warped, twisted, or bent, steel studs (unless damaged) always arrive perfectly straight.
  • Cost-effective: While never as cheap as wood, steel studs are now only about 30 percent more expensive than wood studs.
  • Lightweight: Steel studs are lighter to carry and store than wood because they are hollow.
  • Good for problem areas: Since they are impervious to moisture, steel studs work well in bathrooms and water-prone basements.

Disadvantages

  • Difficult to cut: Cutting steel studs is more difficult than cutting lumber. Pros usually use It is usually done a miter saw or circular saw equipped with a metal-cutting blade in conjunction with tin snips. 
  • Limited availability: Metal studs found at your local home improvement store will only come in the most popular dimensions. Unusual dimensions will need to be sourced at stores that cater to contractors. Local big-box retailers will usually stock the dimensions matching wood 2 x 4 studs, in lengths ranging from 8 to 12 feet. Standard steel studs available at big-box retailers use 25-gauge steel. 
  • Safety: Cutting metal studs is considerably more hazardous than cutting wood. Cutting metal studs by hand with tin snips is a good recipe for lacerating skin, and the sound produced by an electric saw on metal studs will damage hearing unless you wear hearing protection. Cut edges can be quite sharp, so make sure to wear heavy work gloves and long sleeves
  • Limited creativity: Metal studs are not a “forgiving” material for the DIYer. While wood is a very flexible, malleable, forgiving material, with metal, it is all or nothing.
  • Drywall installation is tricky: When driving a drywall screw into a wood stud, the wood practically seems to draw the screw into it. Tapping a drywall screw into a metal stud requires a bit more work and practice.
  • Heat loss: Steel studs that are in contact with a conditioned area on one face (i.e. a heated basement) and a cold outdoor area on the other face (masonry foundation walls), will allow considerably more heat loss than do wood studs since metal is a much better thermal conductor. This can be avoided if the walls are constructed with a thermal break or gap. 

Recommendations

All factors considered, most DIYers will find that there is little advantage to using metal studs over traditional wood studs. For first-timers, using steel studs require a learning curve that makes installation a little slower than with wood studs, and working with steel comes with additional safety hazards. And there may be locations where you still prefer to use wood as well as metal studs, such as when attaching electrical boxes between studs and door frames. You may also find it easier to attach trim moldings around doors and windows if they have been framed with wood rather than steel. 

However, if you plan to a lot of stud framing work and hope for your projects to last for a long, long time, it may be work learning how to work with steel studs, since they will never bow, warp, or rot.

 

Prefer Wood to Steel? Let us know why in the comments below!