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Editorial Archives - Novell Design Build



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.



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!



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.



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.




Colourful Accents

  • By novelladmin
We’ve been featured in a Houzz Article:

In the bathroom and kitchen: accents with colorful fittings



Creating Meaningful Space

  • By novelladmin

Creating meaningful space through thoughtful design gets us excited.


As humans, we are complex organisms with creature needs, habits, cultural behaviours, and social requirements.

Our homes are personally reflective of these complexities. Whether intentional or not, they are an extension of ourselves, becoming intricately intertwined with our daily experiences.

Our home physiologically influences our behaviour, emotions, and overall mental health. The question then becomes: How does one insert intention and meaning into that equation?

As designers, we plan a home around universal needs such as gathering, and relaxing. We employ our technical expertise in building science, vet our work through constructability reviews, and we follow laws of good proportion, balance and rhythm through our aesthetic approach. We continually learn and look for better ways to build and better ways to create.

But that isn’t enough. We feel that in order to design well, we must go further and find out how to make space matter and how to make it matter to you. Creating meaningful space that is intended for your desired experiences is what gets us excited.  We became designers out of an interest in the psychology of space.

Any one of a thousand variables in a space can affect one’s psychology. The volume, light, material, smells, views, connections, and number of steps between experiences all shape whether a space will decompress you, excite you, relax you, facilitate gathering, facilitate retreat, or facilitate memories.

An event is a continual set of exchanges between you and your surroundings. The rooms and buildings we occupy shape us as much as we shape them.

It is incredibly rewarding to combine thoughtful and responsive attention to human needs while creatively shaping space for optimal living experiences that are important to you.

So what’s important to you?

Contact us now for your free consultation.