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Vancouver’s Best Laneways | Montecristo Magazine

  • By novelladmin

Our Grandview Lanway Residence is still one of Vancouver’s best laneway designs! This week, its custom features caught the eye of Montecristo Magazine’s design team:

Inside 9 of Vancouver’s Coolest Laneway Houses | Montecristo Magazine

A living green roof and a 360-degree, floor-to-ceiling bookcase are highlights of this dreamy Grandview laneway residence by Novell Design Build.

Katie Nanton |Montecristo Magazine

Take a peek inside some of our favourite building features:

  • The bedrooms downstairs are designed for comfort and relaxation, while the upstairs kitchen, living and south-facing patio allows for sunlight-filled entertainment.
  • The vaulted, 12 foot high ceilings and the 360-degree custom shelving for beautiful CD storage.
  • Hidden drawers and convertible closets make for hassle-free storage.
  • The mechanical room is suspended horizontally and accessible from the deck.
  • It features an eco-friendly and cost-effective living green roof.

Most of all, a beautiful space is best when it provides an abundance of joy!

Multigenerational Design Build houses are the future of Vancouver’s residential growth. Hidden density can be accomplished without demolition, or losing the character of our neighbourhoods.

Source: Montecristo Magazine. Katie Nanton. Inside 9 of Vancouver’s Coolest Laneway Houses. June 23, 2020.



Expert home reno and building advice at the B.C. Home + Garden Show | Vancouver Courier

  • By novelladmin

“…It can be a little daunting to tackle a home renovation, and downright terrifying to tackle a home build, without having the know-how to give you the confidence you need.

Fortunately help is at hand – for free – at the B.C. Home + Garden Show on February 19-23, thanks to the experts from Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN)…”

….Including Novell’s very own Laurel James ~ Friday February 21, 2020 @ 7pm on the Main Stage !

Source: Expert home reno and building advice at the B.C. Home + Garden Show | Vancouver Courier



3 Important Questions to Consider Before Starting Your Home Renovation

  • By novelladmin

The day has come. Maybe the years of saving up have now paid off, or maybe you just can’t look at that old tile any longer. No matter how you got here, renovating is exciting. And while you may be tempted to dive right in and take a sledgehammer to that bathroom, here are a few things to consider when planning a renovation.

What’s my real budget?

On the surface your budget might seem simple – it’s the amount of money you can spend on the project. Right? Well, while that may be technically correct, we advise breaking things down a little further to make sure you are covered in case of the unknown.

Unexpected costs happen, trades can be delayed. Even with the most meticulous planning most projects sees some sort of surprise expense – be it in dollars or in time. For this reason, we recommend building a contingency into your budget – 10-15% of the estimate from your contractor, set aside for those unexpected costs.

You should also be considering the budget of time you have for your project. With major renovations, it’s often best to temporarily move out of the home – which could mean renting or staying with others. Be sure to communicate often with your contractor about your project’s schedule and any proposed move in date. While moving in as soon as possible might seem like the best case scenario, your presence in the home may actually slow work down and cost more in the long term than an extra month of renting.

Your contractor should also have some insight and advice about how much contingency you should carry in your budget based on your contract, specific project’s scope, and possible unknown elements.

Am I renovating for me, or for a future buyer?

This may seem like a fairly simple answer, but think a bit longer term. Do you plan to stay in this home for 5 years, 10 years, or is this your forever home?

For example, elements like aging in place might not be a consideration for you right now, but may come to use for you one day, or potentially be attractive to a future buyer. Understanding your longer term plan for the property can help you narrow down what’s important to you in this renovation.

And just because you plan to sell your home eventually doesn’t mean you should make all your decisions based on that future plan – surface elements like fixtures and paint are easily replaced down the line, so go ahead and go for that gorgeous matte black faucet!

What should I do as a homeowner to make sure the project stays on budget and schedule?

After you’ve turned over your home to your Design Build team you may be left wondering, “what’s my part in this”? While we don’t anticipate homeowners to be swinging hammers, it is important to discuss your role in the project with your team. There is a fine balance between staying informed and making timely decisions and having the project become your second job. You hired a team for a reason, they should do the heavy lifting, not you,.

Trust me, your contractor understands (and shares) your excitement. And in order to give you the best result, you need to trust your team will keep you informed with everything you need to know. That’s not to say you shouldn’t ask questions or raise concerns, of course.

The greatest thing you can do for the success of your project is really quite simple. Communicate. Before embarking on your project, sit down with your Design Build team and review expectations. Who is the point of contact on the Design Build side and who is the contact on the homeowner side? How often will you meet in person on site, and what methods of communication will be used between meetings? What is a reasonable response time to questions both from the contractor side and the homeowner side?

Laying out these details at the beginning can help prevent confusion down the line. Likely, your chosen Design Build team already has a structure or idea of how to execute communication, so you can always follow their lead.

Looking for more advice on how to be successful in your renovation? Come see us at the Vancouver Fall Home Show October 24th-27th at the Vancouver Convention Centre and don’t miss our Principal Designer, Laurel at the Ask an Expert Stage Saturday and Sunday!



Vancouver Sun: Multi-generational households drive renovation revolution

  • By novelladmin

…“Our expectations have to shift,” said Laurel James, co-owner of Novell Design Build. “There are tradeoffs we can make to live in Greater Vancouver.”

When James founded the Vancouver-based company with her husband, Angelito Camaclang, 14 years ago, clients wanted open-plan aesthetic upgrades to their main living areas and dream kitchens.

“People wanted to improve their homes to self-actualize, or for the benefit of their immediate family and to fit everyone around the table on special occasions,” she said.

“That has shifted,” she said. “Over 90 per cent of the potential clients that we meet now want to accommodate three-plus generations.”

Multi-generational households are the fastest-growing household type in Canada, according to the most recent federal census. The number of households with at least three generations under the same roof grew by 37.5 per cent between 2001 and 2016.

Read the full story from The Vancouver Sun here:



3 reasons not to miss the BC Home + Garden Show (2 for 1 tickets inside!)

  • By novelladmin

It’s that time of the year again! We are less than a week away from the 2019 BC Home + Garden Show, and our team has been busy preparing and getting ready to meet the thousands of homeowners who will stop by BC Place Feb. 20-24.

If you’re on the fence about whether you should attend (it’s cold out – we get it), keep reading. We’ve put together a list of some of the top reasons to hit up this show!

1) It’s so much more than gardening

While it’s true that this event has a much larger presence of landscapers and outdoor living experts than the Fall Home Show, there are also hundreds of other exhibitors in attendance. From home builders like Novell to the hundreds of products you can purchase and take home from the show, there really is something for everyone. So, even if you don’t have a garden or outdoor living space, you’re still sure to find whatever you need at this show.

2) It’s your chance to talk to experts in a low pressure setting

You may be at the early stages of your project – and looking to learn as much as possible about a company before inviting them to quote on your new home build or major renovation. The BC Home + Garden Show is a great place to introduce yourself to someone you might want to work with, and get a feel for how they communicate and work, before you have them over.

3) You can get 2 for 1 tickets!

If we haven’t convinced you yet, then perhaps this will. Using promo code “Novell” you can get 2 for 1 tickets to enjoy the show!

Novell will be at booth 513, ready to hear what’s important to you! We’ll have lots of zoning info and maps on hand to help you determine the possibilities for your property. And, if you are ready to take that next step, we’ll be booking complimentary phone consultations right from our booth so you can talk in depth with our team.



Constructive Comment: Creative ways to transform spaces

  • By novelladmin

Our Principal Designer, Laurel James, talks transforming spaces in The Province with @GVHBA CEO @rdewit


Following Mortensen’s talk, I reached out to Laurel James, principal designer of Novell Design Build, to learn more about trending designs related to this concept.

To begin, I learned that the great-room concept, which has been trending for some time, is spilling over into the bathroom. James said people don’t want to be confined by the traditional toilet, sink and bath combo.

“They want function, but they also the spa-like experience, with the ability to choose how the room is used, creating different experiences for different family members within the singular space.”…

Source: Constructive Comment: Creative ways to transform spaces



3 Reasons to Start a Career in Construction

  • By novelladmin

April is construction and skilled trades month in BC, putting focus on the 59,000 construction jobs anticipated to open up by 2027.  As demand for construction projects grow, so does the need for skilled workers.  At Novell, we don’t just design beautiful homes, we build them. This means we rely heavily on skilled trades to help bring our designs to reality. Have you ever considered starting a career in construction or a skilled trade? Here are a few reasons that might be a great idea:

Earning Potential

Working in construction or a skilled trade can be a financially wise decision. The 2016 BC Construction Industry Survey revealed the average annual salary of a BC construction worker was $56,170. While actual earnings will vary depending on your chosen trade and level of education and experience, there is also a benefit in being able to find work in the construction space. The same survey shows that the unemployment rate in the construction sector for 2016 was only 3.4% (the all sector rate is 5.8%). That combined with the projected 59,000 jobs in the next ten years means the construction industry is booming.

Help Build the Future

When you choose a career in the construction industry not only are you growing your own skills, but you are growing communities and the future of BC. The impact you can have as a skilled tradesperson on the development of our province is huge. Imagine the satisfaction of being able to walk past a home and know that you had a part in building it. Construction careers also go beyond skilled trades. Alongside trades are positions in administration, technology and regulation. Construction is fast growing and constantly adapting to new developments and technology – opening more opportunities by the minute.

Get Support From the Province

You may be convinced that a career in construction is worth exploring, but are not sure where to start. The province is committing to supporting people interested in skilled trades, with the funding to back it up. British Columbia will be directly investing $1.2 billion in the post secondary sector over the next 3 years.  Included in this is funding to support women in the trades. Currently, only 3,600 registered apprentices in BC are women, so the province is committing $1.8 million to support and retain women in the construction industry. More and more post secondary institutions are dedicating programs to trades, and there are many scholarship and funding opportunities available.

To learn more about the province’s initiatives surrounding Construction and Skilled Trades month, and to learn more about educational opportunities in the trades, click here.

Are you already a tradesperson looking to be involved with our exciting upcoming projects? Submit your information through our vendors form to tell us more.  Or, if you are a skilled labourer interested in learning more about opportunities with our projects, see our careers page.




Get started on your new home build at the 2018 BC Home + Garden Show

  • By novelladmin

Deciding to build a new home in Vancouver can feel like an overwhelming process. With so many moving parts, it’s hard to know where to start. The BC Home + Garden Show is a great place to connect with the companies who can build your home and start the process. We’ve gathered a few tips of what to consider if you are in the early stages of planning your new build.

Know Your Zone

Vancouver zoning bylaws are complex to say the least. Different zones come with different considerations for your new custom home.  Our first step as a Design Build team is to identify the zone in which the home will be built. You can look up your zone based on your property address on the City of Vancouver website.

Once you find the zone for your property, write it down and bring it with you to the show. Don’t worry about understanding the guidelines or details of your zone. A knowledgable builder will be able to take your zoning information and with a little research, provide you with your options to build new.

Don’t have time to look up your zone before the show? Let us know your address and our team can do a search at our booth.

Look for Design Build

When you are thinking about a new home, you may first think “I need to find a builder”. While of course your builder is an integral part of the process, don’t forget about the design component. Although you can hire one company to design and another to construct, consider the benefits of Design Build. Increased efficiency, effective problem solving and expert collaboration are just some of the advantages of Design Build.

Many companies advertise as “Design Build”, but true Design Build is when both teams exist under a single company. When talking to firms at the show (especially those who advertise as Design Build) – ask them if their designers and builder are all on staff, or is one side subcontracted? That will give you an indication if you are working with a true Design Build team.

If you’re exploring your options to build new in Vancouver, come see us at the 2018 BC Home and Garden Show at booth 513. The show is happening February 21st – 25th at BC Place. A full schedule and discounted tickets can be found by clicking the link below:

buy bc home and garden show tickets online