News, Blog Features & Design Build Insights
- By novelladmin
Our Parker Street infill home is currently in construction in East Vancouver, with completion set for early 2022. We’ve added some background and construction images to our portfolio, and we’re looking forward to sharing more images over the coming weeks!
What’s an infill home?
An infill home is a smaller detached home typically located in the rear yard where the garage would normally go on a single-family lot. It can either be rented out or strata-titled, depending on the project attributes and qualifications. Infill homes have most recently gained a lot of attention and traction alongside the Character House Program in Vancouver. In addition to the potential ownership opportunities, infills are typically larger than laneways. Here in Vancouver, infill homes are used as an incentive for homeowners to densify their property, while still retaining the existing character merit of their principal home.
A Solution for Multi-Generational Living
Early in this project, we were featured on the front page of The Province for sharing our perspective as builders on housing needs in Vancouver. Infill homes and laneways homes have been on the rise in Vancouver for years, and the trends have continued; nearly every family we connect with is looking to accommodate multi-generational living at home.
Front Entrance and Layout
The front entrance features a vaulted ceiling with a modern chandelier. The stairs lead to the home’s upstairs bedrooms, bathroom, patio and lounging space. Walking through the hallway, we arrive at a powder room, closet, kitchen, dining and living area.
Exterior Design and Custom Rooflines
The original concept for this home was brought to us as a gingerbread model, made by our talented homeowners themselves! Over the course of our design development and permitting stages, the main turret and rooflines were transformed into a multi-sloped roof, with two classic dormers and a curved, circular dormer.
Landscaping and Outdoor Living
As part of our site plan, we made it a priority to preserve the Saskatoon Berry Bush on the property. Our homeowner is an avid baker and chef and looks forward to her backyard berry harvest every year. Even though Saskatoon Berry Bushes aren’t native to BC, this bush has been thriving here for years! It’s so tall, we’d venture to say it’s now berry tree. We relocated this beautiful bush/tree and were able to enjoy its berries halfway through our Rough Framing phase.
- By novelladmin
Work with NOVELL DESIGN BUILD
We currently have 5 job opportunities:
- Project Coordinator * hiring immediately
- (Junior or Intermediate) Residential Designer/Architectural Technician
- Senior Interior Designer
- Skilled Labourer * hiring immediately
- General Labourer * hiring immediately
We are an industry-leading Design Build firm, growing tremendously in our 15th year of business. We offer growth potential – yours and ours. We believe in personal and professional growth for our team members, with a culture of internal promotions. Over the last 15 years, we have cultivated an extensive professional network and have recently expanded with a sister company, Novella Outdoors.
Novell Design Build is a HAVAN member, BBB member, RenoMark Renovators and a BC Builders Code signatory. Our Director Laurel James is the first chair of HAVAN’s Women’s Council. Our team offers a positive, professional and inclusive environment, a tight-knit team, competitive remuneration, benefits and the opportunity to grow.
Here’s a quick summary of our Project Coordinator and Residential Designer/Architectural Technician positions available. Visit Novell Design Build’s Careers Page to learn more.
Full Time, Permanent * Hiring Immediately
Application deadline: 2021-09-13
- Estimating– scope creation, bid creation, vendor bid evaluation, purchasing and bid awards
- Budget Coordination , once the work is underway, working alongside Project Manager and Accounting team to track and report on budget updates.
- Schedule Coordination – collaboratively work the schedule, coordinating components and driving progress through the construction workflow
- Design Coordination – drawing and specification interpretation, scope of work creation & work collaboratively throughout the construction workflow.
- Vendor Management – prequalify new vendors, negotiate vendor subcontracts and work collaboratively throughout the construction workflow.
- Quality Control – play a role in receiving, verification of goods and services
Residential Designer/Architectural Technician
Full Time, Permanent
- Produce Drawing Deliverables – Assist in producing residential design drawings for permit and presentation using a combination of Vectorworks CAD, Vectorworks 3D and hand-produced work.
- Develop Design Selections – Assist in developing material and product selections, sourcing the market for solutions and integrating specifications/instructions into design drawings accordingly.
- Coordinate Design During Construction – Assist in producing and administrating supportive materials through construction, including: door/window schedules, site directions, change orders, responding to RFIs, or similar.
- Meet occasionally with suppliers, subconsultants, product and service providers to broaden our knowledge base.
- Assist with estimating the cost of projects from a design selections perspective.
- Assist with the research, development and organization of our product and vendor libraries.
- Learn to evaluate projects from a zoning, code and/or building performance perspective.
- Learn to flex different design muscles in response to the client’s vision.
- Maintain a positive working relationship with our sub-trades, suppliers and clients.
Please send your resume to “careers [ at ] novelldesignbuild.com”
While we appreciate all applications, only a shortlist of applicants will be contacted for interviews.
We’re always on the lookout for talented, hard-working, like-minded individuals. If you don’t see the role you’re looking for but are certain you’d make a great addition to our team, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
- By London Camaclang
We were recently featured by Redfin with some advice for elevating your kitchen cabinets. As the largest feature in most kitchens, cabinetry is always one of our top considerations!
Here was our top tip for homeowners:
“To upgrade your kitchen cabinets, consider requesting all visible end panels match the finish on your door fronts – these are called gable ends. Often millworkers will have a standard flat profile for end panels. The additional cost is worth the added visual interest it brings to the space.”Novell Design Studio
Our Kitsilano Residence is a great example of these gable end panels in a modern, eclectic home. For this family, the kitchen, dining and gardens were key gathering spaces in their home. We’ve designed these spaces with this in mind, and added details to keep them visually tethered. With gable end panels, and with storage wrapping around the corners of the kitchen, these cabinets maximized space while creating a soft transition between rooms.
Read the full list of tips on Redfin here:
- By Laurel James
As we look back on the previous year, one thing is for certain. It has been a brighter, and more joyous year thanks to our clients!
I’d like to share a heartfelt thank you on behalf of our team to our new, continuing and returning clients for promoting kindness and creativity during such a uniquely unprecedented year. The world opening up again, slowly, but for us, our network has been full of reconnections.
We’ve had an unprecedented number of returning clients this year. Some are embarking on their next home and have asked us to help find the right development opportunity; many are installing home workstations, doing renovations to their home, repairing decks, and installing new tech for their home, like car lifts and new garage doors.
It has been a joy to know that these homes have grown alongside families and that they’d trust us again with their next projects. We’ve been so happy to provide services again — and even more excited to touch base with these families again!
It can feel daunting to set goals and plan for the future when 2020 was such a tumultuous year. Our relationship with our homes and our families has changed. There is a renewed need for beauty, calm, and purpose in our home – perhaps now, more than ever.
Ironically, this past year was going to be the year that Angelito and myself planned to travel. We downsized our home to an apartment downtown and planned to take more adventures. Instead of plane trips to new places, we’ve instead found new ways to explore BC, and have had the opportunity to revisit many homes from Novell’s past!
There is some light ahead as we all stretch and stumble back into familiar routines. The cycles of work and rest are carved deep into us, but we can be a little more flexible as well. We’re looking forward to continuing our design build work to make this possible within your homes.
- By London Camaclang
Welcome to Felicity
Felicity is a personal office studio and creative space located in the Dunbar-Southlands Neighbourhood in Vancouver. We design-built this Signature Shed with Novella Outdoors in 2020 and are now opening the space to Vancouver’s local creative community.
Felicity provides some much-needed flexible space for artists, writers, remote workers, students and independent creators. In exchange for free creative space, we will ask for your feedback on Felicity, on Google Reviews or Houzz Reviews and for your participation:
Visitors will be featured in an artist profile, writer’s spotlight, or visitor’s profile, and will have the opportunity to connect digitally with other visitors. We hope to provide a platform for visitors to share stories, connect with each other and support other local creators.
We look forward to hosting you!
Features and Amenities
- Private workstation in Felicity
- Access to the garden and green space
- Covered, outdoor table in the backyard
- Eight electrical outlets
- Dimmable ambient lighting
- Built-in floating table
- Storage bench with cushion
- Work chair and small seating poof
- Electric heater with thermostatic control
- Openable windows and skylight
- Lockable door from the interior
- Natural light and green surroundings
- Lush garden surroundings
- Outdoor table under cover
- Water station
- No wifi
- No washrooms on site
There is no cost to visiting Felicity. In exchange for a free shared space for creators, we ask visitors to:
- Respect the space, and follow our general site rules
- Provide feedback on Felicity via Google Reviews or Houzz Reviews
- Participate by providing some information for your artist’s profile, writer’s spotlight or visitor’s profile. This profile allows visitors to connect with each other, share their work, their thoughts and stories. More guidelines for respectful content will be shared upon your visitor’s confirmation.
Felicity is available for single-day booking requests, with 1-2 people per booking. After receiving approval, visitors will be given the exact address of Felicity. Visitors are free to arrive and leave within that day, as long as they follow our general guidelines.
- By London Camaclang
This year, a whole new market for working at home has emerged. The world has experienced an unprecedented rise in people working from home (WFH). And as our lifestyles have changed, we’ve been asking our homes to adapt with us. There is a universal need for beauty, calm, and purpose in our home – now, more than ever.
It’s time to invest in long-term solutions. If your WFH setting isn’t a dedicated space, it’s going to be difficult to get any work done, let alone your best work. This is when frustration sets in, and the idea of working from home is abandoned. Whether you are working remotely, a student at school, or a budding entrepreneur, it’s important to invest in your space. We shouldn’t have to compromise our well-being or personal space in order to achieve our goals!
Featuring the Chickadee 206 Office Studio
The Chickadee 206 Office Studio is the first Signature Shed from the Novella collection to be released. It is design-built to provide the calm, comfort and practically organized space that a work-from-home day requires.
While we love to see our homes adapt over time, renovations and additions aren’t always realistically possible. We’ve found that walking a few steps across your garden to a dedicated space is the best way to start your day.
Invest and add property value to your home.
Pre-pandemic, sheds were valued for their utility. Now, they’re one of the smartest investments you can add to your property. A Novella is an extension of your home — long-lasting, beautiful, the easiest way to add square footage to your home.
If you’re in the housing market right now, our two-week installation timeline could be the extra boost your property needs. Our simple construction process and prefabricated elements ease the experience of adding to your home. Depending on your zoning, you may be eligible to add an additional 60-100 square feet to your property without a building permit. Contact us for a complimentary site evaluation.
If you have a work-from-home job, new studies, or professional endeavours coming up, your investment may be tax-deductible, as well.
The Chickadee 206 Office Studio, and our Chickadee 206 Base Model are currently available for summer 2021 installations. Contact us to book your installation date, or talk to us at our contactless open house! Appointments are open in the Dunbar neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC.
With Novella Outdoors, we can now provide full home and outdoor services, including general and custom landscape services. Explore the full collection at Novella Outdoors, and discover what’s possible in your backyard.
- By London Camaclang
Inspiration for this Vancouver infill arrived in gingerbread form.
We fell in love with the idea of a turret …. and not just because it was covered in icing! Throughout our Design Build process, the turret has changed in location and size. The final design is a charming, custom curved dormer.
Framing this roof has been so rewarding and we wanted to share the process so far. We can’t wait to see this spectacular space completed.
This Vancouver infill is a laneway home that benefits from an additional boost in square footage. We’ve framed the custom roof to include varying slopes, custom curves, and vaulted height above the entrance and main staircase. Stay tuned for updates as our team moves into the next phases of this construction!
- By London Camaclang
We are committed to being a positive force in this industry for equal gender opportunity. This effort includes engaging with our community, professional associations, encouraging more women into residential home building, and empowering women to excel when they join.
We are proud to have a female founding director, Laurel James, who leads our diverse team. We have over 45% of staff represented by women, and know that every member is here on their merits, not because of their preferred gender.
Women in construction include a variety of professions. We are proud to say this represents every department and level of our Novell Design Build.
Laurel James is our Director and the first chair of HAVAN’s Women’s Council. She has strong feelings about the idea of a gender-balanced team.
For all her volunteerism and leadership for equality in our industry, Laurel believes that the best person for the job should be employed and supported. Women will rise to challenges and can prove their skills if presented the opportunity. While Novell Design Build doesn’t hire based on gender, it isn’t a coincidence that we’ve achieved near-gender parity on our team. Laurel and the rest of our team invite women into construction conversations often and encourage them to apply when a job opportunity arises.
Complacency, when it comes to gender hiring practices, simply isn’t an option and definitely isn’t a pseudo-solution.
The result of Laurel’s work is that we find women in construction, in all trades and professions, who believe that they are alone in their work. Women in construction aren’t alone, but our numbers are not rising at the rate we need. We need to do better.
“Women in British Columbia represent only about 4.5% of the skilled trades and that number has barely moved in decades.” reports the BC Centre for Women in the Trades.
If we could attract just 5% more women in BC, the massive labour shortage would be filled.
This week, we celebrated each other’s achievements. Five of our female team members shared their experiences and challenges with the residential design build industry. They represent a future where it’s not strange to see a woman accomplishing skilled labour, managing an office, designing a home, managing a construction project, or running a company.
We #ChoosetoToChallenge by being really good at what we do. A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
See more on Instagram @NovellDB.