The luxury custom homebuilding process
Hiring a custom builder to construct your perfect luxury home is a partnership requiring clear decisions and several important choices along the way.
Lupi Luxury Homes builds 18 to 25 homes a year priced between $900,000 and $3 million. Two thirds of these homes are in communities with Lupi land positions (like Rock Lake Estates in Rocky Ridge), the final third are in inner-city neighbourhoods where customers or the company have bought individual lots.
President Nick Lupi advises custom homebuyers to “come with a clear budget and a clear idea of what you want in the home,” including everything from number of bedrooms and storeys, to walkout versus basement, to custom finishings.
Generally, custom homes built in the inner city are more expensive because of a longer permit process, possible demolition of an existing residence, and the price of land.
Project manager Anna Ricioppo says it is important buyers recognize the number of decisions that need to be made within a prescribed time frame to keep up with construction schedules. Unlike houses based on showhome models, custom homes are individually designed for each client.
The Lupi Luxury Homes custom-build process
- A detailed review and assessment of the customer’s vision, wish list, lot preference and budget is done. An architect designs a preliminary plan while the sales team prepares quotes. Plan and budget/price are agreed on.
- Purchase agreements, schedules and other documents are signed, and estimated construction completion dates are determined. Construction generally takes 7-8 months.
- Inner-city homes and infills need City development permits, requiring consultation with planners and community associations. For new areas, “architectural control” approval is required, ensuring conformity with the developer’s architectural theme. Buyers review and sign off on controls.
- The permit process includes working drawings, engineering reviews, joist and roof layouts, and building and energy code requirements. For infills, a demolition permit may be required to ensure the safety of neighbouring homes.
- As construction starts, customers finalize supplier selections. Walkthroughs/site meetings are held continuously, including after the foundation is poured, during/after framing, rough-ins, finishing and prior to possession. The City conducts inspections at various stages.
- Customers receive 35 days notice of move-in while land-title transfer (where applicable) and final closing documents are prepared.
- A final walkthrough notes any deficiencies and items for touch up and service. An orientation covers plumbing, HVAC and mechanical details, as well as the binder of warranty information and instruction/care manuals.