A friend suggested he try the local Home Hardware Building Centre, so Clare did. There he met with Dave Traviss, then working in package sales at Midland Home Building Centre. "He mentioned the packages. I had already done my own [cost and materials estimates]," recalls Clare. "I compared mine and his and an estimate from another lumberyard, and I liked what I saw, so I said, 'Okay, let's try this!" Clare went ahead and purchased several materials packages from Dave, and hasn't looked back since. After building three package homes in 2004, Clare expects to complete 20 this year.
"Once he realized what we did and what came with our packages and how they worked, Clare said 'this is for me!'" explains Dave Traviss, now the Home and Cottage Building Consultant for Orillia Home Building Centre. "He said, 'this is unbelievable! More people should do this! If more people knew about this, they couldn't help but be successful!'"
When it came time for Clare to build his own dream house, he not surprisingly returned to Home, "Clare [and wife Evelyn] made modifications to a standard model and came up with a design that worked for them," says Traviss. The Boudreaus had decided on the Foxstone. "For example, we put a little loft library in, with a spiral staircase, and we did some nice work with lights and crown mouldings to really dress the home up," Dave continues. "It was everything they wanted and expected, and of course that's what we strive for - to make our customers really happy."
Dave Traviss says the Boudreaus were typical of the type of customers he's starting to see more and more of, "They were downsizing from much larger home to a mid-sized home," he explains, "But really finishing it. They're not worried about the nickels and dimes - they've got all the bells and whistles." And most of those bells and whistles were purchased directly from Home Hardware Building Centre, "We like to buy everything through Home," says Clare Boudreau, "The paint, the cupboards, everything - even the furniture!"
It's not hard to see why Clare is such a fan - he's now running his business based on Home Hardware Building Centre materials packages because he's seen the value that they offer consumers. "It's peace of mind in knowing that you have everything in there," he explains. "Especially for the first-time builder."
"People have less and less time," adds Dave Traviss. "This program takes a lot of heat off people, it allows them to do the things they still need to do while they're building their house. I'm a huge believer in guaranteed packages. It just brings so much value to the customer. And so many of them who've been shopping around come in to see me and say, 'Wow! Why didn't I come here first?!'" he says, laughing. "And I think they say that because we have such a complete program. That's the key, we include so much - we do so much more for you than anyone else in the business."
Making Your House a HomeThe ability to customize is one of the advantages of a Beaver Home or Cottage package. The Beaver Home and Cottage Design Book is just the beginning - you will have the opportunity to tweak your home plan to suit your needs exactly. "This is a starting point," concurs Dave Traviss, "We've got to give you something to start the juices flowing, to get you thinking about what you want. Any plan can be completely customized."
Home Hardware Building Centre also offers a great resource for anyone just beginning to think about building - The Complete Guide to Planning and Contracting. Clare Boudreau, pro that he is, also uses it to help his clients decide what they want in a house. This book will walk you through many of the major decisions that you will need to make in the course of imagining your dream home, and will help prepare you for the process of actual construction.
Once you've decided on your package and made the changes you want, you'll have the added comfort of knowing that the construction drawings - the plans from which your house will be built - will be executed by Home's design team. These highly trained professionals are licensed experts in both national and provincial building codes, ensuring that you won't face any surprises down the road.
Of course, when you do purchase a Beaver Home or Cottage package from Home Hardware Building Centre, your Building and Design Consultant will be with you every step of the way - as one Consultant put it, "I tell all my customers, 'the sale is never completed - if there are any issues, I'm here for you. The sale never ends.'"