Wescraft – renovations in Fort Langley

Wescraft is known for its commitment to quality and creating fine custom homes.  Did you know they also do renovations?  Right now the lower mainland is in the middle of a red hot real estate market.  This is a sellers’ market but what if you like your neighbourhood?  What if you like your home but want to expand or rework the floor plan?  This might be a perfect time for a custom renovation.

Right now Wescraft is working on one of these renovations in Fort Langley. The upstairs is being doubled in size to accomodate a new mastersuite.   A week ago we took some photos of the work in progress and some more today.  We pride ourselves on our craftsmenship and our attention to detail.  We thought we’d show you some of those details before the completion.

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One week later we see the progress.

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We invite you to check back to see the finished work and hear about the process first hand from the owner’s perspective. If you are considering renovations give Scott a call.  He’d love to make your custom home dreams become a reality.

 

Wescraft – Renovations versus New Home Build

 

Considering a major renovation or custom build?

As a fan of HGTV I’ve seen a lot of episodes of “Love it or List it”.  I often turn on the first few minutes and the last five minutes to see the options and try and decide whether I would keep the renovated home or go with a new one that fulfilled the wish list.

What I don’t know is what the current house means to the owners.  Hint: If the wife is pregnant she almost never moves. When most home owners look around and decide it is time for a change they don’t usually have the two options handed to them quite so neatly.  If you are in the situation where your house no longer meets your needs or you are dreaming of something different will it be renovations or a new home build?  Here are a few things to consider.

What is driving you to make changes?

  • If you have a growing family is there room to renovate?
  • Do you have the property to expand?
  • Can you build up or can the layout be arranged to accommodate your needs?
  • What are the city bylaws in terms of what you can do on your property?

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For some families it makes sense to stay on their property due to nearby family and friends, work, schools and the community.  They have good memories in the home and see its future potential.  Sometimes adding storage, changing out fixtures, and taking out a wall or two is what it takes to make it work, while other times it ends up being a complete overhaul. Here is where it is good to consult a home builder/renovation specialist to get a realistic budget on what it would cost you to convert your home. They can have an assessment done to check if your home is structurally sound, the roof, siding and foundation, and well maintained. This will help you gauge is renovations or a new build are best for you. He/she can also suggest ways to solve your current issues that you might not of considered.

You may decide that living next to a playground and school is no longer necessary and you’d like a place a little closer to the lake.  Then you know it is time to let location help make your decision.  This option allows you to revision your living space and have it designed to meet your new needs. Maybe a main floor bedroom is now the focus rather than having everyone on the same level.  Having a floor, a sound proofed floor, between you and your son’s electric guitar solos may be just the ticket.

Whatever option you choose it has to make financial sense.

  • Building a new home gives you a choice of neighbourhoods.
  • You may buy somewhere with less property taxes and less expensive land.
  • You know you are starting with a new house that is completely your design.
  • Depending on the size and option you control the expenses.
  • You can choose high efficiency, green options which will have an effect on operating cost and improve its resale value.
  • Also the current interest rates may help determine the scope of work you want to do.
  • Can you live through an extensive renovation of your current home, which may also have extra costs depending on the age of your home?

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Are you aware of all of the costs involved in building a new home?  This is where having a comparison done by a good custom home designer/builder can help you in your decision making.

Whatever you decide, Wescraft would love to help you choose the option that is best for you. We do both major home renovations and build custom homes.

Don’t hesitate to call us and let us help you make your dreams a reality.

Wescraft

 

 

 

Wescraft – Meet the Designers

We’d like to introduce you to Wescraft’s design associates d.a.c. design consultants Diane Parkinson and Lynda Aasen.   Sitting down with Diane and Lynda you can’t help but feel the energy and excitement they have in helping you make your dream a reality.

“When we initially go to meet a client we tell them it will be an amazing process.”

For Diane she knows firsthand as she first met Scott as a client.  “Twelve years ago my husband and I decided to build our first custom home.  We met with a number of builders.  Scott made us feel confident.  He answered our questions and was there for us throughout the entire process.  He was pro active with the design and construction.  The quality of his work was outstanding.  Even now when we have guests they comment on the quality of the work.”

As for Lynda and Diane they met in the community through their childrens’ swimming lesson and found they had both been involved in design since they were young.  Diane remembers rearranging furniture in her home when she was six and Lynda had a passion for colour and fashion.  Both ladies had backgrounds in education with Lynda as a preschool teacher and Diane in education and human resources. One night they both walked into the same decorating course and knew right away that they wanted to form a partnership. It ended up being a great decision.  Lynda had an amazing gift for colour planning and a leaning to a contemporary minimalism/ classical styling.  Diane did excellent sketches and enjoyed modern country and beyond.  For both their styles and interests continued to evolve.  They found that the partnership gave their clients a greater range of skills and options.

From there they taught continuing education courses at Douglas College in home design and grew a flourishing business with a strong client base.  It became a natural fit to work with Scott.

“It is a pleasure to work with Scott as he handles issues immediately, fairly and with the best resolution.”

So what is the process in working with a designer?  “We start by meeting you at your house.  We come to you.  By meeting at your home we get an idea of what you already have and want to take with you.  It gives us an idea of your style.  We can help blend your favourite items with new discoveries.  We had a clent who had amazing antiques from Europe.  They had been tucked away in cupboards for years.  She was having a renovation and we helped her incorporate them by rematting and reframing and some refinishing and reorganizing.  By adding just a few new pieces she had a new look that featured what was important to her.

After meeting at your home we will also meet you at the suppliers and then again on site.  We are there to make sure the transitions are as  smooth as possible.”

What does the designer do?  “We see what it is you hope to achieve and help you take it from dream to reality.  Design is our strength.  You might see something you like in a magazine but you don’t know how to make the photo come to life in you home.  We can help you make choices to create your vision in a way that is functional, beautiful and reflects your personality.  A good design is style married with function.

We start with the exterior and work our way through.  We want you to come around the corner and say “I can’t wait to get home. This is my home.” We help your home reflect the life you choose to live.”

How long does it take?  ” The honest answer is that it depends.   It depends on whether you are doing a renovation or a new build.  It also depends on how long a client takes to make a decision.  We understand that clients want to feel sure they are making the right choice. Some have a hard time committing and others know it as soon as they see it.  Part of our job is to help the clients be aware of the timelines for these decisions. The builder’s timeline dictates the construction schedule.  This can be overwhelming and an emotional process.  Sometimes clients do not agree with each other or the tile they chose may be discontinued.  Sometimes they fall in love with something that is over budget so we help give them perspective as to what can be adjusted to accommodate that and revisit their priorities.  Sometimes we help them find the look for less.  We help them negotiate these hurdles and suggest alternatives and options.”

Are you an employee of Wescraft?  “We are independent consultants.  As a company we also do staging consultation, redesign, decorating and colour consultations.  Wescraft offers our services as an option.  We can be hired for a set amount of work or by the hour.  It is up to the client. We make it a priority to be efficient with everyone’s time.  We really enjoy helping you to get the best value with the most impact.”

When not at work Lynda and Diane lead active lives in the community.  Lynda enjoys being part of a women’s dragon boat team at Bedford Landing and traveling as time permits. “I love the being part of the team for the fun, the exercise and social time.”

Diane is on the board of directors of the Devon Clifford music foundation.  The goal is to provide at risk youth, who would otherwise be unable to afford it, an opportunity to pursue music.  This is offered though rock music based camps and private music lessons.  www.devoncliffordmusicfoundation.ca

If you wish to contact them their email is info@dacdesign.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wescraft – Remembering the Past

 

 

Memorial Trees

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At Wescraft we call Langley and Fort Langley home.  We are B.C born and raised and this is were we live and work.  We’d like to share some of what makes the community we build in so unique and honour its heritage.

Fort Langley is a town known for its historical charm.  The Fort itself with its re-enactments, festivals and tours is a constant draw as are the store fronts, vintage train station and waterfront.  On a weekend afternoon it is a perfect place for a stroll, enjoying the heritage properties, but have you ever noticed this house?

In Fort Langley on the corner of Trattle and 96th sits a small colonial house.  If you look closely you will realize that besides its historic beauty it is impossibly small.  It is in fact one of four such houses placed in Fort Langley for a very special purpose.

According to the Langley Heritage society in the summer of 1914, a local group known as the Langley Volunteers went off to serve in the great war, World War One.  Two of the returning members, Dr. Benjamin Marr and and municipal collector Archie Payne, wanted to create a legacy to commemorate those who had fallen in battle.   Streets like Glover Rd. and Berry were renamed for local soldiers who didn’t get to come home.

In 1923 it was decided to plant a tree for each soldier at their renamed street.  According to the Society these trees were meant as a living reminder of how such events affected everyone in the community.  Over time most of the trees died and the original white fences and plaques disappeared.

In 2003 the Langley Heritage Society placed four house shaped cement monuments at the feet of the remaining trees to commemorate the soldiers lost in the war and those who planted the trees.  In speaking with Bays Blackhall of the Langley Heritage society, she shared some more info about the markers.  “Fort Langley is a unique with its village feel.  It is the birth place of B.C.”.  She said that as time went on they wanted to protect these trees, safeguarding the tribute to those soldiers.  When asked about the choice of a house as a marker she said that they represent our heritage.  “The men lived in this area, made their homes here.”  The house was the fitting symbol to represent their part in the community; where they came from and all the lives affected by their passing and sacrifice.

At Wescraft we build homes to last far into the future but we never forget our past.  “We appreciate and stand behind the men and women that sacrificed so much to give us the community we have today.  Thank you.”

If you have not seen these unique tributes here are the locations you can visit ( as quoted from the Langley Heritage Society Facebook page).

Trattle St. and 96th – planted for Alfred Trattle, former CPR worker and farmer, who died at Vimy Ridge in 1917.

Wright St. and 96th – planted for Jesse Wright, who came to Canada in 1911, enlisted early, and died overseas.

Wilson Townline Rd. (96th Ave.) and Glover Rd. ,  believed planted for A.W. Wilson, listed as killed in action.

Johnston Townline Rd. (216th St.) in Milner, planted for Arthur Johnston, grocer and local leader, who died in France in 1916.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Welcome to the World- the front entrance

 

Building a custom home allows you to create a space that meets your needs and reflects your style. Your mind goes to layout, colour swatches, appliances, and materials for flooring, counters and storage.  Yes we want a lot of storage.  Most of our thoughts go towards the inside of the home  but what about the outside? What do we want it to say about our home?

From the minute people pull up to your property they will see the landscaping, whether we used brick, stone, wood or siding, the trim and the colour but where their eye is really drawn is the front entrance way.  This is the statement and it introduces the style of the home.  When you build a custom home what do you want it to say?

Do you want a relaxing porch, strong columns, rounded archways or contemporary lines? What about natural stone, stained glass, double doors, maybe art deco styling or a vintage look with shuttered windows? Is your home west coast style, contemporary, cape cod, Craftsman, a country estate or a country cottage? Whatever you choose Wescraft can help you translate your vision into a strong workable design.

Here are some photos of wildly different styles. Some are whimsical, dramatic and exotic. We can only guess at what lies behind these doors.

9e8d22b9301d804a08f5369931b7717a Benji Reyes, Antipolo, Philippines, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Benji-Reyes/88321902103?ref=ts

 

1b7b651a6320c336915f3f80dc667fa6A cob home on the banks of a small stream in Somerset England. http://www.naturalhomes.org/goatlings.htm

71f1b009ecde3b43a93cf88224b43dfaArt Nouveau doors by platitude_way on Flickr

5ac89aef68b5ab08abf4b77278ea59eeA door from the set of “The Hobbit”.  Photograph by Laurence Noah. ( I admit I want to live in the Shire.)

8f5090807cbf60445477844cd5f18a2eLibrary in Rome.  www.pinterest.com/pin/28780885094907371/

 

 

When it comes to your own home let us help you design your welcome to the world.

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Finding the Right Builder – how much will it cost?

At Wescraft we know that it is essential to do your due diligence in researching your potential builder.

Out of everything that you will ask, it often comes down to that one crucial question – Price – What is this going to cost us?

As not all builders have the same style of budgeting.  You need to establish a strategy and how it may effect your budget.  You need to know what works for your personal preferences, your schedule and your finances.

One common way some builders use of handling a construction budget is called  “cost plus basic pricing”.

A simple explanation of this method is that they apply a percentage mark up to the cost.  It takes the fixed and variable costs associated with building (materials, labour, overhead etc.) and adds a profit margin.  It is considered a simple pricing strategy that can be used to boost profits in almost any business. This sounds great for the builder but is it great for you the client?  This formula removes any incentive for the builder to keep a watchful eye on pricing, timelines or material costs.  In fact it often ends up working in the builder’s favour if the costs end up higher. The framework of the budget can be considerably looser than might be to your benefit.

The method offered at Wescraft is to set a firm contract price.

How does this work?  I sat down with Scott and he explained his process.

“First the customer approaches me to talk about the land they have purchased or plan to purchase.  I’ll happily meet with them on site and look at the possibilities.  We will discuss their wishes and ideas and get an approximate budget.  It’s an exciting process to be able to guide them to craft a home plan that is designed to suit their wishes, needs and budget. Once the plans are completed I put together a firm contract price for the project. We create a set of specifications of what exactly will be used in the constructing of the home. The emphasis is on a strong communication as to what can be expected and what will be delivered.  The goal is to achieve clarity between both parties and peace of mind for the client”

building costsWhat about if I want changes once we’ve started? Is that possible?

“As a custom home builder we can alter those specifications at any time.  Most importantly we all know what we started with, so the contract and specs can be always be accessed.  Once again we can discuss any changes, review the options and agree on a firm price.”

How do I monitor the budget?

“At Wescraft, you always know where you are financially.  The payment is in draws.  There is a deposit at the beginning and then approximately five or six draws spaced out after that.  As we progress at each stage you can see what you are getting for your investment.  This combined with the flexibility to upgrade, or simply make a change makes this process as client centered as possible.

At Wescraft we believe that the firm contract price is in the best interest of our clients and believe the key to a successful job is great communication.  We pride ourselves on delivering on our promises. On time and on budget.

We think that the answer to the question “What will it cost?” is something that you should have right from the start, and we’re very happy to talk.

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The Wescraft Difference

What makes Wescraft different?

If you go to almost any of the websites for the handful of high end construction companies in the lower mainland you will see promises of quality and excellence.  You will see glossy photos and attractive finishes.  These are things you should expect.

wescraftThe Wescraft difference is the personal attention you will receive at each stage of the design and build.  From the footings and foundation to framing and finishing you are working with the Wescraft team.

Based in Langley British Columbia, and family owned. When you choose Wescraft you get not only a high level of craftsmanship but also intelligent and innovative design.  Wescraft will work with you to create a home that reflects you lifestyle and needs.  We are current on the latest in home technology and energy efficiency.  We will work with your ideas and offer options to enhance your vision.

At Wescraft what we believe allows us to deliver on our promises is our own team of craftsmen.  Scott has gathered a strong core of people some of whom have been with Wescraft for 15-20 years.  One of the greatest strengths of the company is the constant communication between the different areas of expertise.  Everyone takes responsibility for the project and works towards the goal of producing a home that meets Wescraft’s exacting standards.

At Wescraft we work with you to take create your dream home, starting with a budget and a plan and make it a reality.

 

Finding the Right Custom Home Builder in Langley?

How do you go about finding the right Custom Home Builder?

Construction costsYou have decided you want to build your own custom home.  Maybe you are starting with a plot of land or you are rebuilding an existing structure.

You have an idea of a style and several “must haves” that will help it become the home that is right for you.

How do you find the right builder?  You have spoken to friends about their experiences,  you have walked through the open houses. You have gone online to check out builder’s web pages and looked through their galleries.  You want to find the builder that matches your needs as a future owner. This house needs to reflect you.

One of the first things you need is a process to narrow down the field of candidates.  Some of this you can do with just a little research.

Does he build in my area?   Does he build custom homes?

Does he build large scale developments that are profitable due to limited choices? Is the builder accessible or do you have to work through a sales team?  Remember that a sales team may have little or no experience with actual construction.

Is his reputation built on quality or high marketing visibility?

If you are a client who prefers personal attention and a greater range of input into the crafting of your home then eliminating anyone who isn’t a custom builder is a good place to start.

Once you have a select number of custom home builders one of the best things you can do is to interview them and ask key questions.

One of the nightmares most potential buyers fear is who is actually going to be doing the work on their house. What are their qualifications? Are they highly experienced trades and respected in their field? How long have they been associated with the company?  Is the work subcontracted out to the lowest bid? Is there ongoing onsite supervision?

Things to note: Saying that a company builds to code doesn’t mean it is good.  It means they do the minimum to pass inspection.  You need to know that they build beyond code and are willing to give examples of how they do so on a regular basis.  A great builder is proud of his work and nothing makes him happier than to explain what goes into the house long before the finishing stage.

A builder will show you photos of his past work.  A great builder will give you referrals to people who have bought from him in the past and will talk about their experience with the builder and his team.

Chances are you have design ideas of your own but how does it all comes together?  How would the builder enhance your ideas?  What does he provide in terms of design for the aesthetics as well as sound building technologies?  The layout needs to meet your personal requirements while being feasible. Who is responsible for this and is their any flexibility?  Who is responsible for making sure that look and function of the home works together?  What if you are not sure what materials work best for certain areas? Can he provide you of an overview of the final look of a space?

Next you will need to discuss timelinesWhat is realistic to complete your project your way?  What are the factors that might influence that timeline?  Who is responsible for keeping things running according to projections?

If you are happy with the answers so far you would then sit down to discuss the financial aspect of the build and we cover that in another post.

scott fosterScott Foster is the Owner of Wescraft. A Langley BC based Custom Home Builder with over 20 years experience.

 

 

Wescraft

Builders of Fine Craftsman Homes