Building a new home, is a big deal! We know that. We’ve had lots of practice (Randy has built over 800 homes now and still as excited about each new one as a kid on Christmas day) and so we advise clients, to let us guide them along. Letting us do the driving will be more fun for you and produce a better house, we guarantee that. Most clients move through the basic steps below. Any questions? Want to go deeper in? Contact us. Or take a look at our Prestart Briefing Document. This will give you a taste of the kind of depth we go into with our clients.
STEP 1: Visit us and figure out where you want to live!
Our experienced Area Managers will get you over the first hurdle. Selecting a lot and a location. Factors such as orientation, budget, view, parking, your family lifestyle and habits, all come in to play. Once you ‘ve found the right lot, we will take a refundable deposit from you to hold the lot on your behalf. This is a key first step, as we don’t do further design or other work until the location is secured. Lot holds are typically good for 30 days and give you peace of mind that the lot is tied up for you, while we help you sort out details.
STEP 2: Budgets
Although we will have explored budgets in step 1, we return to them more carefully in step 2. We need you to set a range for us. We are going to design and suggest ideas within that range at all times. If the range is not realistic to start with, we are going to tell you that as well. Because of our tremendous design flexibility, we are generally able to work towards your budget. We can modify design characteristics and features very greatly if need be, to fit a price range. This is a level of skill and craft that we possess that is a big part of our success.
STEP 3: Design
Next is to get the floor plan figured out. FIRST choice in all cases, is to look at our existing spec homes. They are the quickest, easiest, fastest, less time consuming way to get a brand new home that has been custom designer planned. Spec home buyers, year after year, give the highest levels of satisfaction to JD Power and Associates. Always look at our spec homes first please! (HINT: they are probably the best value pricing opportunities as well). SECOND choice, in all cases, is to take a look at our standard model plans. Roam around our website, or in our brochure. Pick one, tell the Area Manager “I’ll take this one, in blue”. The plans are all fantastic, you will love living in any of them, its that simple. This will save you at least a month, and probably more like two months. THIRD choice – and still a good one, with Celebration Homes design strength – is to work with us to draw from scratch. Maybe inspired by one of our models, or, a custom original creation. We’ve done hundreds of these and we are very good at it. However – pay attention- a surgeon has done hundreds of operations and is probably very good at it. That does not mean the patient enjoys the operation! Custom home buyers, industry wide, struggle with satisfaction levels, even though the homes usually turn out magnificently. The reason is that if we are drawing from scratch for you, we are going to be asking you to make a lot of decisions, and we are going to ask you a LOT of questions. And after a while, its like being at the mall for too long…your brain is tired of making decisions.
We’ve done some things in our process to recognize this and deal with it. For example our Area Managers are brilliant and smiling all the time! However, they still need the answers to their questions! All of which is not to dissuade you from going the custom route – just to alert you that there is some WORK involved and its not like what you see on HGTV.
STEP 4: Placing the Order
This is easy. With the Design worked out, a price tag is attached. Takes about an hour to do the paperwork. Celebration is a member of Alberta New Home Warranty at the highest level of membership, and we use their contract documents. Your bank will need a copy of these to process THEIR end of it, and so this is a pretty routine step. Once your bank approves your financing, this is where you remit your deposit to us.
STEP 5: Pre-Start Briefing
This is where you and the Area Manager meet Randy for a little educational chat! The idea is to get to know the owner of the firm, and also learn about “what happens next”. Randy will be explaining the process, giving tips, and on this day you will likely select your exterior colors as well with your Area Manager. Oh…by the way…if you are buying a spec home, you are DONE already!
STEP 6: Appliances & Cabinets
You are going to select appliances, get the specs over to us so we can do our thing with them. Then you will spend some quality time with our cabinet designer confirming layouts and shapes, as well as taking a good serious peek at colors, woods, styles and so on. Your original order will lay out the basics of the pricing and product range you have already purchased, and the cabinet designer will be letting you know as you upgrade or change things, how much you are investing.
STEP 7: Choose Your Selections
Based on the specification package you’ve selected, it’s time to personalize the details of your home. Everything from paint colors, countertops, flooring and more are all selected at our in-house Selections Centre. This is a fun experience if you do it right. During the Pre-Start Briefing Randy will have given you some advice about how to use our professional interior design staff. Basically it boils down to – let them do the heavy lifting. Give them a theme or a style or a concept or let them see a photo of your favorite furniture. Then go away. Come back in a week. The Designer will have put together a couple of concepts for you. One of these will cost ZERO upgrade dollars. (We want to be sure you can finish the home nicely, with ZERO upgrade cost and we really mean that!). The second concept will involve some upgraded materials and finishes – based on a budget range that you will give the Designer in the first meeting. You may want to tweak these just a bit. Usually your first instinct is the right one. Pick your favorite, sign off, and move on. This approach may seem low key but it actually results in the best product, time after time. The worst possible thing you can usually do, is dive in and micro- manage the selection of every detail. Sorry, but this approach usually generates the least attractive homes and the most stress for all of us. And life is too short for that! The reason we call the company Celebration Home is because we have found a much better way to get good results.
Once you have signed off on your selections, they are locked in and we can’t change them.
STEP 8: Client Plan Review
This is a heavy duty session- but a lot of fun- where you and the Area Manager, together with Randy and sometimes one of our AUTOCAD team, work together on the blueprints, to fine tune them, down to the last light switch and plug. Pack a lunch for this one! It’s a lot of fun and give you great insight into the inner workings of a top notch creative design team. As you modify things on the drawings, your faithful Area Manager is tracking the changes. If any of them cost a little extra, you get to pay for that right away, to keep your account up to date.
Once you sign off on your plan, it is locked in, and cannot be changed as we are heading for permits.
STEP 9: Launch Meeting
This is just prior to construction start, where the Area Manager introduces you to the Superintendent of Construction who will be managing the build. Usually a shorter meeting, but very useful for all parties.
STEP 10: Site Tour
This is a visit to the home, under construction, just after the wiring has been completed. Fussbudgets that we are, we want you to come in and double check with us that everything got put in the right locations. Plus it’s a lot of fun, and you’ll enjoy being photographed with your Celebration Hard Hats on. Our goal is to confirm that what we have ordered has been installed. At this meeting, we are typically not able to change anything in the home.
STEP 11: Home Owner Orientation
About a week before possession, Randy, your Superintendent and our Warranty Manager will orient you to the home. We’ve been striving all along to deliver the home to the same level of quality as our showhome, and we want to show that off to you. (Note – that does not mean we achieve perfection! We deliver excellent homes, but they are not perfect.) This is an entertaining and informative Friday morning session usually, followed a week later by your possession. Move in day is very exciting, and we do our best to help out.
STEP 12: Warranty and Service After
Yup, you are not done with us yet. All new homes need some tweaking after the client move in. We are going to come and visit you about 60 days after you get settled in. Usually its a morning visit and YOU get to cook breakfast. Our warranty technician likes pancakes. We’ll come again, just to check on things, at the end of the first year, by which time, you are pretty used to us. And we hope, by that time, our combination of design flair, realistic common sense and just plain niceness, will have encouraged you to refer us to one of your best friends.