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Carol & Brian’s Journey
Part 1: Why They Chose Modular

A Little History

Long-time cottage-goers Carol and Brian have begun looking forwards towards their upcoming retirement. For more than 10 years, the couple have retreated to the Bruce Peninsula to escape the pressure of urban life, and have fallen head-over-heels for the unique beauty of the region. Carol had even started a blog, The Cottage Wife, in which she specifies that, “One of the things we really want to focus on is making as light an impact on the land as we can, while still living a modern life.”

With their love of the Bruce growing stronger every day, Carol and Brian made the big decision to make the region their permanent residence. But when it comes to housing, the area doesn’t have a surplus of ready-built homes that are prepared for 4-season living. Their solution? It was time to build their own!

As Carol says in a blog post where she talks about the possibility of renovating vs. building:

“In the end, being in an efficient home, built to current code (or better) on a larger lot, in which we can choose every detail won out. We’ve worked long and hard after all, why not get exactly what we want so we can enjoy our “golden years” without compromise.”

The First Steps

Their journey to building their own custom home began with a search for the right builder. After meeting with a contractor and working towards finding a budget and a plan, Carol and Brian learned several things about site-built homes:

  1. They can’t guarantee the cost due to the price of labour and materials
  2. They can’t guarantee the timeline due to availability of workers
  3. They don’t buy materials in advance, so there are risks of shortages and delay

Feeling let-down by the pricing estimate they were given and the lack of a timeline, Carol and Brian began to look into different options. On The Cottage Wife, Carol writes, “Every weekend, on the drive north, we’d drive by the Quality Homes Sales Centre in Kenilworth, Ontario. I’ll admit though that there were many weekends on the way to or from the cottage, I’d look longingly at that sales centre as we drove by.”

With Quality Homes fresh in their minds, they began to look into manufactured homes (also known as modular or prefab homes). After endless research, the road kept bringing them back to us. And so, Carol and Brian began their journey with Quality Homes.

Carol detailed 7 big reasons why they decided to build with Quality Homes, which she outlines in one of her blogs: Part 3 of a series on choosing a builder. The reasons were:

1. Efficient Single Floor Design

Quality Homes has over 80 prefab home designs to choose from, with a beautiful collection of bungalows that can be personalized to your needs, and your property.

2. Guaranteed Price

Our HUGTM Program guarantees that you pay what you were quoted, with zero additional costs.

3. Efficient Building Process

By building homes indoors, Quality Homes has a faster, more reliable construction process away from the elements.

4. Sustainability/Lower Carbon Footprint

Not only do prefab homes produce less waste in the building process, but all of our homes include green features that reduce energy and cost.

5. Guaranteed Delivery Date

By paying you an extra $250 for each day that your home is delayed, Quality Homes ensures that construction is completed on time, or you are compensated for it.

6. One Stop Shop

Quality Homes is a full-service builder with a dedicated team of experts. From sales, design, customization, excavation, installation, and assistance with permits, we’re all under one roof.

7. Ease of Customizing

Our team can help modify and personalize plans in a blink of the eye – after all, they’ve been building dream homes and cottages since 1987!

The QH Journey

When sitting down with a Building Consultant, Carol and Brian began the process of deciding which home design would best suit their needs. From the beginning, nothing suited them quite right. But that’s the beauty of Quality Homes! Our sales team knows just how to help modify a home to the needs of the client. “The best part was that we could break down the modifications and the alterations, and she priced each individual item out for us, so that we could select what we wanted to change,” Brian explained, describing the process of modifying the model they chose, The Woodstock.

The ability to clearly see the cost of each upgrade and know that customizing a model won’t impact the timeline is something that puts Quality Homes far above a traditional site built home. As Carol says, “Even though they gave us a plan, we still would have wanted some changes done and some alterations. We have no idea when that would have been ready!” When building a custom home, that level of uncertainty adds unnecessary stress, but our process was able to give Carol and Brian the peace of mind, knowing that their home wouldn’t face unpredictable delays or extra costs.

Their Custom Home

Deciding on the Woodstock model, these happy homeowners had the perfect base for their custom home. A 1,426 sq.ft. open concept, three-bedroom bungalow, the Woodstock offers plenty of space for everyday living, but also room for visiting relatives. A two-car garage is perfect for a couple to store two vehicles, and also keep the variety of tools required for remote living tucked away. Main floor laundry is great for those entering their retirement years, and located right outside the Main Bedroom, it’s the ultimate convenience.

The Main Bedroom itself includes a luxurious ensuite bathroom, and his-and-hers closets for optimal organization. Outside the bedrooms, a second full bathroom offers privacy and convenience to overnight guests, a must-have for a home in a remote area. Off the main open living space, a sliding glass door into the back of the home is the perfect transition between indoor and outdoor living, and opens the dining room out into the world with bright natural light.

After long discussions with Quality Homes, Carol and Brian decided on several modifications to the base model to truly create their dream home:

  • Vaulted ceilings
  • Covered back deck
  • Peaked front porch
  • Larger ensuite
  • Extra windows
  • 4’ width addition
  • New pantry
  • No basement

By removing the need for stairs and adding a little extra space, Carol and Brian’s home had the potential to meet all of their needs. The pantry especially added a critical element for a remote home, as Carol says, “Getting a freezer in there can be an important factor for living up north where we get frequent winter road closures!” And with the extra windows, peaked roofline, vaulted ceilings, and back deck, their new home has the ability to capture incredible views of their property on the Bruce Peninsula, and make the compact bungalow feel much larger with the soaring ceiling height and bright natural light.

Due to the construction process of building indoors, Quality Homes makes custom home building more affordable, and more transparent. Each of these renovations was priced well enough that Carol and Brian got everything they wanted in their new home, without sacrificing anything off their wishlist.

A Quality Lot

One of the biggest aspects of building a custom home is getting the right property, and having it serviced properly. Carol has documented the process in a post titled “Felling Trees, Fixing the Driveway, & Clearing the Lot”, which says it all! To make sure a lot is prepared for building, a Quality Homes Site Supervisor and one of our Site Contractors meet with our homeowners – in this case, Carol and Brian – to go through the process of building the foundation, drilling the well, connecting to power, and installing the home.

There are so many things to consider, especially building a custom cottage! Our team helped pick the best views to capture, the best location to set the home, and make sure there was a clear route to deliver the modular home pieces and install them on-site. Carol and Brian’s journey took a few twists and turns, as the title of Carol’s blog post suggests, but soon they had everything fixed up, sick and dead trees removed, and a perfect place to put their new home. You can even check out the video she posted below to see the nice clear space that will soon be
a beautifully landscaped home!

The Real Fun Begins

The most exciting step of any new home is choosing the features and finishes! Located at our headquarters in Kenilworth, Quality Homes Design Studio is packed full of beautiful materials and styles to fill your new home. With finishes carefully curated by our design team from the best suppliers, top-of-the-line products are available right here, in one place, for every purchaser to customize their dream home.

Though Carol confessed that they “Poured over the plans for hours up to [their] Personal Selection Day”, once that day had arrived, Brian said that, “We have an idea of what we want, but we’re still open to a lot of great ideas and suggestions from Quality Homes.” And that’s where we come in! Quality Homes has an incredible Sales and Design Team who know their way around a showroom, and know exactly how to bring your designs to life. After a successful appointment, Carol and Brian were incredibly happy with their finishing selections. They chose:

  • Luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout the whole home
  • White shaker-style cabinets
  • White marble-look laminate countertops
  • Modern black door hardware
  • Vinyl siding
  • Frieze board gable accents
  • Oversized exterior trim

Photo Credit: Carol Glover

All in all, it was a fun-filled experience for everyone, and very soon, their home will be ready! What’s next for Carol and Brian? Keep an eye out for the next part in our series, or check out The Cottage Wife to follow their journey to building their Quality Home! With such in-depth articles, you’ll see the whole process from a client’s point of view, with helpful tips and tricks to help you make the best choices in your own custom home build. We can’t wait to bring you the next instalment of The Road to Retirement!

Watch the full video below!


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