Build YOUR Winter Dream

So let’s talk about the benefits of a winter build. I get the usual sentiment….

“Well it’s -40 degrees outside in the Saskatchewan prairie, how could you possibly build a home in these conditions?”

Well believe it or not there are benefits to building in winter.

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Born and raised…

Saskatchewan kids are tough. If we can handle feeding cows for seven months of artic temperatures and spending our entire childhood in non-heated rinks surely we can build a house!

First of all, over the winter months construction generally isn’t as busy so permitting is almost always faster in the winter months. By working over winter you can commence on landscaping once the home is completed in early summer.

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Secondly SNOW…

…in actuality it is a lot less of a impediment than rain. Because of frozen conditions snow has no impact on lumber. Unlike rain water that soaks into framing materials, snow is easily removed and as long it doesn’t melt has no impact on construction.


Another benefit of building over the winter months is it can be easier to find qualified tradespeople,

which is a significant advantage in the prairie provinces with it’s tight labor market. With better trades you end up with better service which is a great benefit.

If you’ve financed or mortgaged the land you are putting the home onto, you will have less carrying cost’s by starting the work earlier, rather than later.

In the end one of best benefits is

beating the Spring rush

Builders only have so many build slots are starting at a proven slower period makes sure that you are at the front of the line for building.

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The Fine Line

Lines.  Sometimes they’re straight.  Sometimes they’re winding.  They’re meant to be crossed once in a while, other times they keep us organized (thank you excel spreadsheets!).  Sometimes they are way too long (think Dairy Queen at 10:30pm when you are seriously overdue for your Reese’s Pieces blizzard).

There are many different types.  But today we would like to rave for a while about GEOMETRIC LINES.  Bear with us while we go ‘designer geek’ on you.  At the end of this post we believe you too will develop at least a small love for this design trend that just keeps getting better!

They’re crisp, they’re clean, and perhaps they make us feel smart – like we’re still in math class (isn’t it funny how all that information exits your brain faster than the TVs leaving Best Buy on boxing day?! Our teachers tried so hard to make the Pythagorean Theorem interesting, bless their hearts!)

How should I incorporate geometric details into my space?

We thought you’d never ask!  The options are endless. 

1. Focal Point

One of our favorite fireplace surrounds to date, this Hospital Home Lottery showhome in Greenbryre estates was the guinea pig for a design inspiration that was drawn from a powder room with great wallpaper

The great thing about shapes is that they can morph!  This geometric design was created out of a combination of square and rectangular tiles – who would’ve thought?!  12x12, 6x36, 12x24, 18x36 cut at different lengths and angles…toss in some custom gold schluter (thanks to our powdercoating crew) and you’ve got yourself a stunning room feature to keep your guests entertained when you’ve run out of ‘weather’ to discuss.



Not ready to try your hand at tiling?  You can achieve this look via 'The Lines' wallpaper by Ferm Living.  It's modern art deco inspired pattern is available is various shades.


2. Accent Backsplash

This grey and navy kitchen was clean-lined and fresh.  It needed a special something to finish it off.  This chevron pattern was a labour of love – it was created out of regular 3"x 12.5" subway tiles.  Each tile was individually cut, polished and ground before being set in place to create this presentation of geometric genius!


3. in the loo

Let’s face it.  Bathrooms can be boring.  There’s only so many ways to configure a sink, tub and toilet.  But when you introduce some geometric tiles there ain’t nothing boring about the space!

Okay, we admit – we may have an obsession – note the geometric towel rack, and hexagon moss wall hangings that tie in perfectly to the multi-coloured hexagon shower tile...can't have too much of a good thing right?

Okay, we admit – we may have an obsession – note the geometric towel rack, and hexagon moss wall hangings that tie in perfectly to the multi-coloured hexagon shower tile...can't have too much of a good thing right?

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3D Hexagon Tile

This en-suite shower really deserves it’s own post so we’ll keep this brief and just point out another fantastic integration of hexagons….they’re 3D people!!!  And yes, that is a skylight in the shower…like I said – separate post is coming.


4. painted feature wall

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A peach palette was just what the doctor ordered for this girl’s room.  This is an easy weekend DIY – just make sure you splurge for the Frog tape – trust me you will not regret spending the extra $3.  Also this is where the pencil crayons come in handy to make sure you like the pattern and colour blocking before you whip out the rollers -  colour twice, paint once!

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The colour palette:

Benjamin Moore

Bridal Pink 2013-70

Pink Harmony 2013-60

Springtime Peach 2014-50


5. Light fixtures

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Besides the fact that the shapes are awesome, geometric light fixtures usually come in the most epic metal shades – like this copper pendant for example.  You like rose? We’ve got a sconce for that.  Matte brass is your jam?  Look no further – the light fixture gods are here to provide you the perfectly plated light source for your space!


6. accessories

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Shop Local

One thing's for sure about Saskatoonian's - we love our city!  There are so many talented artisans who call YXE home.  Check out Saskatoon's Farmer's Market, Joyne Marketplace, and SaskMade to find the perfect treasure for your space.

Shout out to rooted.plants who has an amazing assortment of plants (yes, they come in geometric pots!).  She even makes lamps! 

Really friends, the options are endless.  And you don’t need to break the bank to integrate geometry into your home.  Sometimes less is more, like a simple pillow (yes, Homesense here we come), candle (please hit up Indigo… scents, best colours, best shapes!), or plant pot (Wilson’s Greenhouse has an amazing collection, not to mention this helpful thing called the internet – how did we live before online shopping?!).

Conquering The Custom Build

Custom home building…even the sound of it makes people shudder. What connotations immediately come to mind?

You’ve heard the stories, the rumors, the warnings…

“My custom home cost way more than I was told”

“It was just so much work”

“I was constantly bombarded with having to make choices and I wasn’t given enough time”

“Building a custom home is an overwhelming ordeal”

That doesn’t sound like fun.

The common belief is custom builds spiral out of control, they take months longer then planned, they’re stressful, nerve wracking experiences that they cost more then they should…

So why does custom building have these connotations?

Because there is a history and track record of frustration in the building industry. The build takes forever to complete, clients not knowing or understanding where the money went, giving up control of the process, not being communicated to in a timely manner.

So what are the desired end results that people choose to custom build?

You want to be relieved and happy with your decision in the end. You want to be able to build a home on budget that suits your family situation and reflects the life style that brings you the most joy. You want your ideas to come to life, to be heard by your builder and for the end result to match or exceed your expectations.

So how do you get there? How do you ensure success? How do you conquer the custom build?


It all starts with a great plan.


You need to hire a builder that can oversee the entire process. From architectural to interior design to project management, the plan needs to be developed by a single firm that can creatively design, lay out a game plan and communicate the costs.


Your builder should be able to show you 3D renderings of the inside and outside of your home. They should be able to present to you the interior and exterior selections and the finite costs associated. Your builder should be creative and passionate! You should know the costs before the contract is signed!


If you don’t want to be a part of another custom build horror story then you need to focus on finding a builder that checks these boxes.

Worried About The "What If's"?

So you have decided you want a new home. But not some generic box that has been replicated 30 times in your neighborhood because that’s just not you. You want a home that suites you needs, reflects your life style and serves your family well. But how do you proceed?

You want a home that will reflect who you are. In order to achieve that you need a custom design which also means building a custom home. You may have done this before and didn't enjoy the experience or you're feeling overwhelmed by the thought of starting the process. 


You are hesitant.

Because of all the “what if’s”...


What if the house doesn’t finish on time?

What if I lose control during the design process and don’t get the home I wanted?

What is it costs way more than it was initially supposed to?


I get it. These are very valid and realistic concerns. These "what if's" happen all the time in construction. But how do you ensure that doesn't happen to you? 


These are great questions and everyone at one point time or another during the planning phase has these fears whether they realize them or not. 


At Haven Builders, we’ve created a design process to remove the stress and anxiety of building a new home. With the help of our design team, you can decide exactly how you want your home to look before building even begins. By having a concise plan with specific details decided, the cost of the build and the timeline are predetermined and controllable. 


Building a home is a huge investment and you want to make the choice that is best for you. Don't let the "what if's" deter you from moving forward. There is a better way. 


During our design process we lay out a budget, plan the infinite details and plan the build schedule accordingly. We rely on our experience over the last 8 years and the variety of challenging projects that we have tackled. This leaves you with the assurance that you will not need to be worrying about the "what if's" throughout your home build.


Plan to build and plan for success!



Thinking Outside The Volume Home Box

Believe the big boys on the building block and you will have your dream home in record time with zero fuss and be on your way to living happily ever after. This is the message Volume Builders sell to people every day so they sign on the dotted line for their new home. Catchy ads tell us it’s fast and cheap with Volume Builders. We hear it on the radio, we see it in our newspapers and we gush over it in shiny display suites.

What the skilled and clever salespeople of any Volume Builders will try and convince you is that you can save thousands and still achieve your dreams by choosing to build with them.  The real question smart customers will ask is, “is this actually true”?

Lets look at some facts so you make the right choice in building your dream home.


Volume Builders build the same house over and over on lot after lot using identical plans and discounted product. Through buying materials in bulk, the big named Volume Builders pass some of the savings to customers through what looks like a cheaper deal and a streamlined process.

To keep their costs low, Volume Builders offer a limited range of pre-designed plans for standard sized and shaped blocks. By churning out just a few designs for a large amount of buyers, these builders offer a production line of housing.

Yes you can alter colors or an external finish but at the end of the day you will be buying the exact same home that thousands of other people own because they weren’t given the opportunity to build the house they needed.


Surely a few changes to an existing plan will be no problem for a Volume Builder? That is not how a Volume Builder operates.  A professional Custom Builder with warn you that Volume Builders’ plans are very difficult to alter. When you engage a Volume Builder to provide your new home you are engaging with a salesperson – skilled in making deals yet most are not trained draftsmen, builders or home designers.

If you really want to achieve your dream of a new home that is unique to your needs, you will need a Custom Builder. Skilled and clever Custom Builders like Haven Builders will tailor your plan to your lifestyle and you will enjoy your living space for many years to come.

Volume Builders simply do not cater for irregular lotd, sloping blocks or land that is challenging to build on – the homes you see in their display villages are drafted for rectangular blocks and that is where customers are limited by their experience with the big names.

It is no secret that salespeople succeed through commission and Volume Builder salespeople are renowned for refusing house plan changes in order to protect their personal bonuses.

Haven Builders has happily surprised Saskatoon residents who were disappointed by the service of the Volume Builders; salespeople who just won’t agree to build the home they want or are unable to work on the dream lot a client already owns.  It doesn’t have to be that hard. Professional Custom Builders will work with any lot of any shape and design a plan that is livable, beautiful and within the budget you agree on.


If you really want to build the home that is in your heart it will take a skilled builder who is willing and able to work with the property you choose. Quality Custom Builders such as Haven Builders will not limit the changes you make along the way.

Professional Custom Builders simply shake their clever heads when they hear that the Volume Builders charge exorbitant fees to make any changes to their pre-designed house plans. That is of course if the client is lucky enough for them to agree to modifications at all.

This does not need to be your experience if you choose a Custom Builder who will work with you from the start. We will show you we can work with any property and any design and you will be our number one priority along the way.


Many people believe that they just can’t afford a custom builder. Everyone knows someone with a brother or colleague or football coach who was devastated by a budget blow out by designing their own home. We’ve all heard the stories yet I would bet my last brick that these were experiences with homes designed through an architect.  There is no denying the amazing skill of a talented architect is a gift to the world and the backbone of reality TV shows like Brian Inc. There is certainly a marketplace for architect design for those who can afford it.

But custom builders offer affordable solutions that don’t skip on the detail that will make your home a dream space, all within your budget.


If you are just about ready to give up on your idea of building the home you want, think again. Maybe a call to a Professional Custom Builder will see your dream come alive and you will find out how easy it will be to design your home the way you like it.