A unique and nuanced path to homeownership, building a custom home is a rewarding yet complex undertaking that requires careful planning and consideration. 

In this blog, we’ll analyze a selection of frequently asked questions about building a custom home in Toronto.

If you are interested in going the custom build route as opposed to purchasing a resale home, these insights will help you have a more complete understanding of what building a custom home entails, along with the advantages, drawbacks, and any other key considerations that should be mull over. 

What Will It Cost to Build a Custom Home in Toronto?

As you may expect, the precise costs of building a custom home in Toronto will be dependent on your personal ambitions. Given the complex nature of custom homes, there are countless variables involved that directly influence the final cost of the project. However, as a general rule of thumb, hiring a builder to build a custom home in Toronto will usually be substantially more expensive than buying a home on the resale market once you factor in carrying cost, arcitect and planning and your lodging during construction.

Looking to purchase property in Toronto? Explore these related posts for helpful anecdotes and insights. 

How Long Will It Take to Build a Custom Home in Toronto?

Like cost, the timeline for a custom home builder will vary based on your personal vision, the developer you work with, and whether or not you encounter any adversities throughout the process. Speaking generally, the construction process can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months and it can take over 18 months for homes that are over 6,000 square feet above grade. The planning process which includes having a survey made, designing your house with an architect can take 6 months or longer depending on the design of the house and can easily take over a year if you have to go to the municipal Committee of Adjustment, Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) or The Ontario Land Tribunal.

How Can I Find a Trustworthy Home Builder or Developer?

Choosing the right builder or developer is paramount for protecting your investment and ensuring the final result matches your vision. 

Starting with an online search, research builders who work predominantly in your preferred areas. Pay close attention to any reviews or testimonials you can find as this will help you get an idea of their service quality, standards of client communication, and overall trustworthiness. 

Lastly, you can also reach out to a well-connected local real estate agent who may have builders or developers within their professional network that they can refer you to. Depending on your vision, you may be working with an agent as you source the real estate to build your custom home so it’s a good idea to make this connection early. 

When considering a builder, verify their credentials and check to see if they are registered with Tarion. A trustworthy builder should have a portfolio of completed projects and be willing to provide references.

Looking for homes for sale in Toronto? Click here to browse our expertly curated collection of listings

Can I Buy a Vacant Lot or Will I Need to Demolish an Existing Home?

In Toronto, the availability of vacant lots for custom home construction may be limited, especially in well-established neighbourhoods. As a result, most custom home buyers elect to purchase an existing home with the intention of demolishing it to make way for their custom build.

If you find a vacant lot you will need to factor in the cost of sewer, water and hydro service as well as municipal levies.

Further, if there’s a certain community you’d like to build in, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research on zoning regulations, building codes, and any restrictions on demolition in your chosen area. Again, a real estate agent who is well-versed in local housing can help you ensure your bases are covered. 

What Permits Do I Need to Build a Custom Home in Toronto?

Navigating the permit process is a critical aspect of building a custom home in Toronto. The specific permits required depend on the scope of the project, including zoning, construction, timeline, and community or environmental considerations. 

Work closely with your real estate agent and builder to ensure all necessary permits are obtained. Neglecting to do your due diligence could lead to legal complications, financial penalties, and major setbacks in the construction process.

Searching for more resources pertaining to Toronto real estate? Explore these other blog posts. 

What Happens If My Custom Home is Delayed?

Unfortunately, delays in custom home construction are not uncommon and can be caused by various factors, including poor weather, labour shortages, permit or regulatory challenges or unexpected issues during construction. With that in mind, it’s essential to clearly understand potential setbacks that may arise – and by extension, to have a contingency plan in place. 

Clearly outline expectations and penalties for delays in your contract with the builder. Open communication throughout the process helps address issues promptly and keep the project on track as much as possible.

Looking to Build a Custom Home in Toronto? Ken and Jaime have built custom homes and work with builders on a regular basis, we can provide strategic and personalized guidance that leads you toward your ideal result. Click here to contact us by email or call 416.906.8366 to be in touch. 

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