Frequently Asked Questions

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How long has Normerica been in business?

We began in 1979 as Upper Canada Post & Beam. Since then we’ve created thousands of timber frame buildings, from simple cabins to 50,000 square foot lodges.

How long will I wait from the time I place my order until I take delivery?

3.5 – 5.5 months, depending on how long it takes to resolve any design issues or permit approvals. However, prime building season deliveries are often booked up many months in advance.

Who is responsible for delivery of my material package?

Normerica makes all necessary arrangements for shipping of materials to your site. The cost of transportation is additional to our base price, but we do include it in your personalized quotation, based on the destination.

Who can build my new Normerica timber frame home?

Any capable contractor can build your entire Normerica timber frame home. Our package, including pre-cut timber frame, prefabricated wall and roof panels and other random length materials will arrive at your site ready for easy assembly.

Included in your package is the assistance of a Normerica technical representative who will aid your contractor in the initial stages of construction. Alternately, if you live in the area serviced by Normerica or one of our Authorized Distributors or Builders, we will be happy to assemble the material package we supply or provide complete construction services.

Normerica also has an in-house construction management team which can oversee the entire building process, from site servicing plan development and permit applications through to the final finishes of your home and exterior landscaping; or any portion of that work you require.

What type of foundation do I need?

No special foundation is required. Many Normerica homes are built on full poured-concrete or insulated concrete form (ICF) walls. However, if a full basement is not needed, you can opt for a crawl space basement, slab on grade or concrete piers instead.

How long does it take to erect a Normerica timber frame material package?

Depending on the size of your home and the site conditions, assembly of the materials package will take anywhere from a few days for a sleeping cabin to three to six weeks for an average house. The timber frame itself can usually be erected in one to ten days depending on its size and complexity.

What flexibility do I have to make changes to your brochure models?

You have complete flexibility! Not only are all plans customizable, it’s our pleasure to work with you or your architect to develop a home reflective of the way your family lives. At Normerica, customization is a way of life.
For example, you can:

  • Change the building dimensions.
  • Add shed or gable dormers.
  • Change the style or quantity of windows, including the addition of walkout basement windows.
  • Add entry or screened porches, sun rooms, or garages.
  • Change the roofing, siding or exterior trim.
  • Add interior or exterior architectural details such as heavy timber gable trusses, cupolas, or extended eave treatments.
  • Reverse, or mirror, the entire plan to better suit your lot.

Explore all of our customizable home designs in our Plans.

Can I add on additional living space later?

Yes! We have add-on designs that you can adapt to your selected home design. Timber frame construction allows any exterior walls between the posts to be easily removed, making way for outside doors or complete additions.

Explore all of our customizable home designs in our Plans.

Can I build my Normerica home anywhere?

Yes! You’ll find our beautiful homes throughout Canada and the United States, as well as overseas in countries like England, Ireland, Holland, Sweden, Estonia, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Japan and South Korea.

Do you do commercial projects?

Absolutely. Commercial projects are among our specialties, from golf course clubhouses to ski lodges to multi-unit residential housing, using both our timber frames and our economical Panels-Plus systems.

What is the cost of building a Normerica authentic timber frame home?

There will be three elements to the total cost of building your home:
1. Land, Interest Carry and Legal Costs.
2. Site and Servicing Costs.
3. Construction Costs.

Land, Interest Carry and Legal Costs:
Note that if your land is already serviced with municipal water, sewer, hydro and gas lines, then the site and servicing costs will be less.

Site and Servicing Costs:
Site servicing includes connection fees, permits, development fees or levies, primary electrical service to your building, sanitary and water systems, driveway and landscaping.

Construction Costs:
It will typically cost between $275 to $325 per square foot to build and finish a Normerica home. The square foot price can vary depending on several factors, including whether you have a finished basement (which would bring the cost per square foot down when you factor the basement into the overall square footage), or if your custom home has extensive decks and/or screened porches (this brings the cost per square foot up, since these features are not included in the actual square footage of your home or cottage). The Normerica Shell and Finishing Package often represents 33% to 40% of this cost.

The cost will vary due to home location, availability and cost of skilled labour, taxes, the design of your home and the price range of selected features. The construction cost includes items like foundation, timber frame package, labour, electrical work, plumbing, heating, cabinets, drywall, painting, floor and wall finishes.

What causes the large range in construction costs and cost per square foot of living area?

Several factors affect this cost including:

  • The geographic location, site conditions and remoteness of the location. This affects taxes, labour rates and shipping costs.
  • Features of the home you select, such as large soaring cathedral ceilings; quality and quantity of windows; type of foundation; heating system choice; choice of mouldings, doors and cabinets; and complexity of the design.
  • The size of your home. Smaller is not always less expensive per square foot than a larger yet potentially more efficient building.
  • Amenities outside the living area such as decks, covered porches and a garage.
What are the advantages of a Normerica timber frame home?

Normerica timber frame homes offer you several advantages over a traditional stick frame house. One of the biggest is the complete freedom you’ll have to customize and personalize your home design, thanks to our process and the built-in flexibility of post and beam construction. During construction, our high quality pre-fabricated materials will produce less waste and are faster to build. And because Normerica wall panels exceed current insulation codes, you can expect lower heating and cooling costs over the long term. And perhaps most importantly, there really is nothing like the character, distinctiveness and beauty of a timber frame home.

Explore all of our customizable home designs in our Plans.

How environmentally friendly are Normerica timber frame homes?

Very! Our timber is both natural and renewable. And we buy all of it from suppliers who follow sustainable forestry practices and are members of the Forest Stewardship Council. Our state of the art, prefabricated components produce less waste – both during manufacturing and on the job site.

Once built, your timber frame home will deliver superior energy efficiency and environmental comfort. For instance, our insulated wall panels exceed Canadian and international building codes. And just as we can customize your design, we can customize your full building shell package too – increasing or decreasing insulation values, should you desire.

Meanwhile, our low-emission building materials and recommended whole-house ventilation system will provide excellent indoor air quality. Our exacting standards for airtightness and insulation will deliver lower heating costs. And since our homes are built to the highest efficiency standards, you’ll use less energy overall, reducing your carbon footprint.

Explore all of our energy efficient, environmentally friendly custom home designs in our Plans.

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