Calgary Custom Home Builder FAQsprint page
To help you navigate the new home buying and building process, we've assembled the common questions we hear at Stepper Custom Homes about building a new home in Calgary and Alberta. If the answer you're looking for isn't here, please use the form below to let us know how we can help.
New Home Sales Questions
I want something in my home that is in the showhome. Why isn't that item included in the price?
All of our new home floor plans include some of the best standard specifications in today's housing market. However, we could not possibly include everything that any individual home buyer may want to select. We have to stay responsible to our market by keeping our prices in line with our competition. All of our customers have the opportunity to add countless extras to their new custom home during our selection process.
Why can't the exterior of my house look like the brochure? (After being sent to Architectural Controls)
Architectural Controls are a third party control system usually set in place by a community's land developer. They [Architectural Controls] are responsible for keeping the integrity and value of the community at the highest level possible. One way of doing this is by ensuring all of the homes do not look the same. This helps ensure the area does not become what is commonly referred to as a "cookie-cutter community".
Can I still purchase a new custom home even if I haven't sold my current one?
By using our Guaranteed Sales Program, you can purchase a home while we help you sell your old one. For details, please review the Guaranteed Sales Program PDF.
New Home Planning
Will I have to go numerous places to make my interior selections?
Thanks to Home Album, you no longer need to visit numerous suppliers to make your custom built home your masterpiece. All of your home's finishings – from flooring to countertops – are selected by you right in our showhomes. You'll have the chance to choose your interior design elements in countless ways from our unique design palettes. This innovative design process saves you time, assures you a visually stunning home and gets you moved in to your new home sooner.
If you are looking to make your home more customized, we also have our Stepper Select process. This process does involve visits to our trades and suppliers.
What changes can I make to my new home plans? When can these be made?
During the sales process you may make changes to your custom built home as described by your salesperson for the area. Stepper Custom Homes has many different new home models with optional layouts that are available. Throughout the planning process, smaller more detail-oriented changes and selections can be made with your planning coordinator so you get the custom built home you've always dreamed of.
All new home changes must be finalized prior to the signing off of your plans at your final planning meeting.
New Home Construction
When will my possession date be finalized?
We give our customers a tentative possession date once the deal has been firmed up with our Sales Department. Also, the Construction Supervisor will update that date during their “on site” meetings, but please note that is still a tentative date. Your confirmed possession date will be set by the Construction Supervisor around the ceiling texture stage. This date will be sent to you by our Construction Coordinator via the Home Page and in writing. This letter will have your Customer Pre-occupancy (CPO) meeting, your Possession Day Inspection meeting and your 14 day Inspection meeting scheduled on it. The times and dates are preset and given to you well in advance in order for you to schedule these informative and exciting final days.
When does the seasonal work get completed and can I request mine to be done first?
Seasonal work is the work that cannot be completed during the cold and wet fall, winter and spring months in Calgary. These would include driveways and sidewalks, exterior painting, stucco, stonework and grading. Some of these items like stonework and painting can be completed on our warm Chinook days but many, like driveways, cannot. We focus on starting seasonal completions in May and / or after we get strong rains. The reason for this is that we want natural settlement to occur around your new home so that settlement issues do not cause you problems down the road. Once settlement occurs, we will pour the driveway, do final grading on your home and install stucco (if applicable). When completing seasonal items for newly built homes, we do not do it in order of possession dates; we do it via flow through the subdivision. This, we find, is the most efficient way for us to complete all the seasonal items with our home builders the quickest way possible. Our Area Sales Managers will call you to let you know when we will be pouring driveways and sidewalks in your area.
Why is there nothing happening at my house on certain days?
We try to keep your new home construction running as smooth as possible but issues come up. When this happens, we do what is necessary to get clarification before we proceed with the construction of your new home. This sometimes causes delays in your schedule. Also, we schedule many of our new home builder trades people well in advance of them actually doing the work. Some workers are faster and some are slower so this would affect your schedule and would give you those days of "nothing is happening". We also have Inspection days where we get the local municipalities to do their new home inspections. This would account for "nothing happening" in your home. Most times we can make up these days during the construction process when building a new home.
When can I visit my new home and can I bring friends to show it off?
As per your Safety Contract with Stepper Custom Homes, you must check into the show homes before stepping foot onto your new home lot or into your custom built home. The reason for this is so that we know that you are visiting the site and if you do not show up back at the show home, we assume something happened. Also, you are required to wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when on the new home builder work site. This includes hardhats, proper footwear and safety glasses (if applicable). If it is necessary for you to go onto your site or into your home when the show home is not open, please call your home builder supervisor to make arrangements to do so.
Can I make changes to my home after I sign off on the drawings?
Our new home builder process is set up to ensure we go through your home and the many custom home changes you may make thoroughly before we release the new home plans to Construction. Once construction has the go ahead that you have made all your changes, additions and revisions, we proceed with building the home.
Do you allow smoking in my home during construction?
No. All our Stepper Homes custom home builder trades and suppliers sign a Safety Rules and Regulations agreement that prohibits smoking on any of our sites at any time.
What should I do if I see an error or omission in my home during construction?
Call your new home Construction Supervisor. His / her contact information will be given to you at your first HOST meeting.
Can we schedule our customer meetings after 5:00 p.m. or on the weekends?
No. Stepper Custom Homes prides itself on being a family oriented custom home builder and we do not want our office or field staff to work after hours. We feel that family hours are just as important as work hours.
Can I move items into the garage before I take possession of my home?
This is something that we do not like to encourage but yes, we can make exceptions and only if you make arrangements with the Area Sales Manager of your new community. Please talk to your Area Sales Manager if you would like to pursue this route.
Can I pay sub-trades or suppliers directly if I want something changed during construction?
All of our new home builders & contractors are instructed not to make any changes to the new home plans without proper documentation.
Am I allowed to get my window covering guy to install blinds in my home before I take possession?
No, we only allow our contracted home builders and trades people to do work on our homes. They all carry Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation. So, if something were to happen to the home or the trade, we would be covered. Also, with our trades, we can control the quality and schedule of the home. For those reasons, we do not allow anybody other than Stepper Custom Homes builders & trades on site.
Why is there a gap in my plywood at framing stage and will it be sealed?
This is an expansion joint between the two plywood surfaces on your wall. As your home cures, it will shrink and settle. This gap allows the home to settle without affecting or compromising the exterior facade of the home. This gap also allows the exterior wall cavities to breathe so as to reduce the chance of mold growth. This gap will be protected from the exterior elements through the use of building papers and exterior claddings so a sealant is not needed. This is completely natural.
Why is there a variance in the stain color on my cabinet doors and my woodwork?
When staining woodwork, the natural beauty of each piece of wood comes through and is magnified by different grains and textures so each piece will react differently. In your home, we have only one or two stain installers doing all the doors, drawers and woodwork but we can have as much as 5 different trees for each cabinet door so that would explain the variances.
New Home Warranty
What is the warranty policy after I move in? When and how often will you check in on my home?
When you receive your possession letter, you will receive your move-in date, as well as the date and time of your 14-day Trades Day. Our Warranty Coordinator will be in contact with you 2-3 days before your Trades Day to confirm this date and time, as well as get you to fill out your 14-day list. Your Warranty Technician will be there to coordinate our trades who will come out to fix the items on your list. There is also a 11-month Trades Day to go over any further tweaks to your home. Any other questions about the Warranty Policy can be sent to the Warranty Coordinator.
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