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How to work with a home builder for the exterior of your new home


You’ve worked with your home builder, you’ve found the perfect lot, an amazing floor plan and you’ve decided this will be your new home. You’ve gone through the purchase agreement, and you’re happy to say you’ve made your decisions wisely for your new home.

Congratulations! Now, you must determine items about the exterior of your new home.

How do you see people visiting your home? What kind of style do you want to convey? What styles does the neighborhood allow? These questions, and quite a few more will be answered in the next step of the home building process in the stage, that we call, exterior selections.

There are three main parts of this process, and we’ve detailed them here to answer many of the questions you might have.


Community Guidelines 

Each new community is designed to convey a certain look. Some are more modern, some are more traditional. There may be a more contemporary home style in a specific community. Some have homes with lots of colours, and many delightful details. Others, are more subtle, with key colours highlighting design cues. There’s no wrong way that a community can be designed. They are just different, conveying different values.

With each community, the land developer will work with an architectural firm to develop the Architectural Guidelines. This is given to the home builders, like Kanvi Homes, and we immerse ourselves in it so we understand what we’re allowed to do. The Architectural Guidelines typically include details about colours, materials, roof pitches, soffits, roofing, landscaping and a lot more.

At this point, you’ll be asking yourself “Why do the land developers do this?”

The answer is as simple as the question; they do this to ensure the street looks beautiful and maximizes the value of the homes built on that street. Imagine you’ve picked your dream home, it has great designed details. Your landscaping is perfect, and when you get home every day, it welcomes you with a sense of feeling at home. Now, the home beside you is begins construction, and it’s nowhere near as enticing as your exterior. This would cause your property value and everyone in the neighbourhood’s home value to go down.

When you’ve decide on your home builder in Edmonton or St.Albert, make sure you have the discussion with them regarding the Architectural Guidelines.




Elevations and Styles 

When you’re working with you home builder in Edmonton, you will discuss elevations. The elevation is the industry term for the plan for your unique exterior design of your home.  Typically, it’s designed in two dimensions, so you see a flat image, like the one above on the right. 

With the elevations, you’ll need to pick a style of exterior you would like. Do you want a really steep roof, with lots of little delicate details? How about a flat roof, with stucco and long board? What’s allowed in your new community?

Each new community will have a selection of styles to pick. For this blog post, we will talk about the Jagare Ridge Community in Edmonton. For Jagare Ridge home builders, the Architectural Guidelines allows us to use Prairie, Craftsman, Tudor, Contemporary International, Modern Contemporary, French Country and Georgian exterior styles.


Each of these styles convey very different emotions. Now comes the fun part! Picking all the colours and materials. Tell the designer you’re working with what style you’re looking for, what materials you like and bring examples of exteriors you love. They will take your inspiration and return what they believe will fit in the budget, the guidelines and what will make the house look amazing.

The guidelines also mandate that the styles can’t repeat too often, that way a range of styles is present in the community.

Since this step in the process can affect the final cost of your new home, make sure the home builder you’re working with details this in the purchase agreement.





Now, you’ve picked your colours, your elevation and style. At this point, the home builder will submit the elevation and materials to the architectural firm for approval.

“What does getting my new home’s exterior approved entail?”

Like we talked about in the community guidelines section, the street needs to look beautiful and maximize the value of the homes built in that community. Since the home builder wouldn’t know what other homes are also being developed, or what is currently approved, we need to submit it to the architectural firm to make sure we're not duplicating styles or colours.

When submitting for approval, things might have to change. We might need to change a few details or none at all. If the lot is a ‘high visibility’ lot (located on a corner, a walkout of backing onto a park or path) we need to pay special attention to the side design and the rear design of the elevation.

This part can sometimes be frustrating, as compromises might have to be made. We’re here to represent you to the best of our abilities. Make sure to discuss this with us or any other home builder in Edmonton so there’s no surprises at this point in the process.

Depending on the community, the process could take from one week to one month. Once we have Architectural Approval we can submit for development permit and building permit for your new home.


To summarize, there’s quite a few details that you should be aware of regarding the exterior design of your new home. Make sure you discuss the community guidelines, elevations and styles and the approvals for your new home with the home builder you choose.

At Kanvi Homes, we create contemporary homes that our clients love. Visit one of our show homes or download on of our look books today to see the Kanvi Style of building a home. 


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