PAstoral Farmhouse award-winning renovator of the year

Made to Last is the most sought-after custom home builder in the Cowichan Valley. To give you more information about what it means to build with us, we have answered some frequently asked questions below. We look forward to answering your specific questions with a phone call or in-person meeting, so please contact us today.

One of our most frequently asked questions during the initial stages is “What is the cost per square foot to build a custom home in the Cowichan Valley.” As this is a large question with many variables, we have dedicated a separate article to answer this question. You can read it here.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long have we been building luxury custom homes?

Our primary Owner (who built in Alberta previously) and a number of our team members have been doing so for decades, but Made to Last itself has been doing so for nearing 10 years.


What separates our general contracting company from our competitors?

We have been winning awards for the last few years and have quickly become the most sought-after builder in the area. We receive a high number of referrals from our previous clients and local realtors who end up seeing our homes. Our emphasis on quality, transparency and communication has built us a great local reputation. Our commitment to pay our trades and treat them with respect while setting clear expectations for quality and timeliness has allowed us to utilize the best trades in the Valley.


Will the owner of the home building company be personally involved with my project?

Our primary Owner tours our job sites about 1-4 times/month and helps to ensure quality and staff are up to his standards, but he does not get personally involved with clients. He is a carpenter by trade and started building custom homes in Alberta about 20 years ago, where he moved from being on the tools to owning his own company (and still being on the tools) within 5 years or so. When he started Made to Last out here, he was on the tools as well, but he quickly grew to just project managing, and then eventually running the company and overseeing everything. We assign a Project Manager (PM) to your job who is on-site daily through most of the build. We also have a Construction Manager who is a Red Seal Carpenter with 10+ years of PM experience who helps oversee the PMs and carpenters through division of labour, on-site weekly inspections, training, and problem-solving. 


Are we licensed and what national accreditations have we earned?

We are fully licensed with BC Housing as a homebuilder in BC. We have been certified as a Net Zero Home builder (higher energy efficiency standard) with NRCan and the Canadian Home Builder’s Association (CHBA). We are the only Cowichan Valley builder with this certification. We recently were finalists for a national award with the CHBA, after winning 3 provincial awards this year.


Can we share our home portfolio and references?

Yes, we can send our references to you separately. Our Portfolio is best viewed on our website here.


Do we belong to any professional associations and if so, which ones?

Yes, the Victoria Residential Builder’s Association, and each of the branches of the CHBA: our local Vancouver Island one, the CHBA-BC, and the national association.


Do we have liability insurance and carry workman’s comp insurance for our employees?

Yes, we carry liability insurance with up to $3 million per occurrence and we have a great up-to-date record with WorksafeBC.


Does Made to Last have insurance in case something in my home gets broken in the renovation and/or construction process?

Yes, our insurance covers your home and materials and tools. However, one of the requirements that our insurance company and lawyers set out is that you also have to get Course of Construction insurance during the build process. It isn’t that expensive, but basically it means that our insurance companies can battle as to what happened, who is liable, and likely end up paying only 50% each for the losses. We’ve never had a claim for any of our home builds during our company history.


What is our process for bidding completed design plans?

We prefer to send out your plans to our various suppliers and sub trades…about 50-70 per build. Some of these are competitive quotes, as we want to make sure we get the best price for you as the client. We then gather everything back (we usually give each person 2 weeks to submit), and put together an overall Estimate for your home. Obviously there are a lot of variables and allowances included, as you will direct the selections since it’s a custom home. These selections include everything from windows to flooring to trim details to siding materials to colours, etc.


Do we provide design-build new home construction services?

Yes, we can design in house, bring in a gifted designer that we partner with, or work with a design that you bring to us. We are flexible and can give you advice on what we think fits your schedule and budget best.


Are you willing to engage in the following contract agreements;

a) Fixed Lump Sum contract? Custom building does not allow for it.

b) Cost Plus contract? Yes, this is our norm.

c) Competitive Bid Services contract? This is not something that we have done for residential.

d) Construction Management contract? Not usually, but we are open to discuss if you are eager and want to make an offer. Our experience is that we only can do this for very-high end expensive jobs, and the client is paying more overall than a normal cost-plus contract for management, but that part is more controlled and it allows for more expensive finishing choices at no additional costs beyond the cost of materials/install.

e) Time and Materials contract? Not at this time.


How often do we finish a project in the anticipated time schedule?

New home builds meet schedule 90+% of the time. There’s often something small that is delayed, but it doesn’t stop our occupancy goals. The biggest concern is groundwork throwing us surprises that can add weeks, but that is known early on, and rarely happens. This year may pose a risk to schedules, with current material availability issues. However, we can almost always find ways to stick to the overall end target.


Get Your Free Homebuilding Resource Guide