Recently I had the absolute pleasure of sitting with David Brix of Terra View homes at his office in North Guelph. Amanda Lord tagged along so that we could ask David some hard-hitting questions from both the construction and the design fronts. The plan was to talk current developments, what projects are on the horizon for Terra View and to review their quality of construction.
First off, he is about the most welcoming guy possible when you sit with him. Really puts everyone in the room at ease. That’s the type of builder that makes folks like myself and Amanda feel comfortable!
David begins the conversation by wanting to discuss two new projects for Terra View Homes. He is very enthusiastic about both – Hart’s Village in South Guelph, and Nima in North Guelph. Currently in the works is an office/design centre for the Nima site, which will be a beautiful showcase of their models, construction quality and decor selections. He explains it all with such passion, I can tell he can visualize the whole thing in his head and could probably build it without an actual set of construction drawings!
David proceeds to tell us of how things have changed since he first started in the industry, more than 20 years ago.
“We used to build “a” model, and wouldn’t even decorate it. I was doing the marketing and printing it here and running it through the photocopier to try and do some form of it as best we could. Now having been to many trade shows and seminars in the States I have seen what they are doing, and I can see that it’s worth the investment to decorate the home model to illustrate how it could look and stage it so people can envision living there. So we went from one model to two or three models used to showcase our designs and help sell finishes to buyers. We keep them for three or four years and at the end sell them for significantly more then they were worth when we initially built them. So there is the initial investment and carrying costs associated with having them but we do recuperate some of that cost in the end.”
“Our process is a little different then some other builders in that I meet with every purchaser. So they meet with our sales staff and do their options. For selections they meet with Charlene and go over interior decorations. I gather all that information, customize the home for them sitting on their lot with the changes they wanted to make, and then I call them in to go over the plans. We go over the plot plan, orientation of the house on the lot and grading so they understand what they have bought, and sometimes I make recommendations because I know houses well and know what they are trying to accomplish so I may have some insight. For example they may want to finish the basement with a couple of bedrooms. There may not be enough glass area here for that so maybe we should do it this way. “
Terra View has made the move to NetZero homebuilding. Their new projects will be built to this elevated standard, super-impressive stuff. This is not just Energy Star, NetZero takes this to an entirely new level. Builds become much more complicated, and this involves meeting several times with the solar and other suppliers to ensure that each model home – no matter which way it sits on a lot – will have enough roof area to produce the amount of energy needed to make the home NetZero. That means modelling each home with a North, East, South, and West facing orientation. They have done the leg work, and David is very excited to start the new projects later this year. You can tell just by the way he explains it all.
Amanda and I were both blown away by David’s wealth of knowledge, experience and willingness to take new home construction to a new level here in Guelph. The NetZero movement for Terra View and David isn’t about marketing, it’s about quality. Man, I can’t wait for the Nima and Hart’s Village projects to come online!