Custom homes without the custom price – This is where Avanti excels.
A partner of Randall Homes, Avanti Custom Homes benefits from the expertise, creativity, service and skill of Randall Homes' 30+ years of experience in the Winnipeg home building industry.
New show home makes solid first impression
Avanti Custom Homes newest show home – located at 32 Big Sky Drive, in Oak Bluff West – dawning the cover and featured in Winnipeg Free Press' Homes – Saturday, July 23, 2016 edition. Article written by Todd Lewys.
ANYTIME a builder unveils a new home design, they tend to hold their breath. That's because no matter how much thought is put into the design, you never know how it will be received until it undergoes scrutiny from a fickle public.
So far, so good for a newly-minted design by Avanti Custom Homes found at 32 Big Sky Dr. in Oak Bluff West, said Avanti Homes' sales representative, Coldwell Banker Preferred Real Estate's T.J. Stroud. "We've been open less than a week and we already have two to three people looking to build this home," he reported. "Everyone just loves the design."
The stylish yet functional design begins the moment you walk in the front door, said Stroud. "Your first impression of the home is a good one," he said. "The foyer is generous, with a high (10.3-foot) ceiling overhead. Then, you see the open-concept great room with its monster fireplace, huge island and a wall of windows at the rear of the home."
That wall of windows is all the more extensive thanks to another subtle but significant design feature: a vaulted ceiling. "Because the ceiling is 14.6 feet high at the peak of its vault, that allowed for Avanti's designers to put in a series of oversize transom windows up high. As a result, the back of the home is filled with glass, making for an exceptionally bright great room. At the same time, the vaulted ceiling makes a big space feel even bigger."
At 1,763 sq. ft., the bungalow isn't exactly small. That said, it feels even bigger because of the way it was laid out. The great room is smack in the centre, with bedroom wings situated smartly on either side. Everything has its place. And even though the great room is wide-open, that doesn't mean that it's a random collection of spaces.
Quite the contrary, said Stroud. "While everybody has loved the wide-open design of the great room – it's ideal for entertaining, with all the spaces being so accessible – each space is nicely defined.
The kitchen is defined by a 10-foot (angled) island, the family room is set off to the side with plenty of space between it and the kitchen, and the dining area – which you can easily put an eight-foot dining table in – is set off in a spacious area adjacent to the kitchen next to patio doors and a big window."
Just as flow from space to space is impressive, so to is the great room's finishing quality. Because the great room is so bright, it was imperative that finishes offset all the light with a palpable warmth. Avanti's design team got the balance just right with medium-brown engineered hardwoods, a wealth of slate maple cabinets, island with slate base and a taupe glass tile backsplash.
The great room's focal point – the monster fireplace – then adds additional substance to the design mix, said Stroud. "Its huge (taupe) cultured stone surround adds a rich feel and extra element of texture (which complements the textured engineered hardwoods), while its simple (slate) maple entertainment (next to a generous TV niche) goes with the cabinets in the kitchen. The balance of light, space, warmth and texture in the great room is ideal."
While the great room was designed for entertaining and accommodate the frenetic activity of daily life, the separate bedroom areas were designed to promote privacy. Two big bedrooms with vaulted ceilings and a four-piece bath were set on one side of the home, while the master suite was set on the opposite side. If a family were to purchase the home, parents would enjoy complete privacy in their section of the home; should empty nesters acquire the home, the two bedrooms could be used as a guest bedroom and den, respectively.
In either case, the master suite would serve as the home's crown jewel, said Stroud. "It's a huge space that features a vaulted ceiling, which again allowed for transom windows to be placed over its (large) picture window to inject more natural light into the area," he said. "The ensuite is a beautiful space that features a heated tile floor (an upgrade), standard glass/tile shower and slate maple vanity with dual sinks set in a (beige/taupe) Cambria quartz countertop. There's also a spacious walk-in closet with tons of built-in storage."
Meanwhile, another 1,500-plus sq. ft. of livable space awaits downstairs in a massive basement, he added. "It's already framed, and has been designed to hold two more bedrooms, a rec room, theatre, gym, bathroom and storage. With a finishes lower level, the home would come close to 3,300 sq. ft. of total livable space."
Then, there's the price of the sprawling bungalow – $669,900 including lot, net GST, appliances and more.
"The home also comes with a Control 4 system (operated via a wall-mounted iPad), attached triple garage, a huge mud/laundry room with wash sink that people really appreciate plus features such as pot lights, and even standard USB outlets in the kitchen to charge your smartphone or tablet," Stroud said. "Little wonder so many people love this home. It's stylish, practical and spacious, and delivers incredible value for the price."
Avanti Custom Homes receives the attention of the Home Builder Canada magazine. A custom home without the custom price – Winnipeg's Randall Homes launches Avanti Custom Homes
The magazine sits down and discusses everything from the beginning of Randall Homes, the challenges faced starting Avanti Custom Homes, the importance of customization to their customers, and why one of Winnipeg's leading production builders entered the custom space with Vice-President of Randall Homes, Jason Jaquet.
A partner of Randall Homes, a family-owned builder since 1983 in the Winnipeg home building industry, Avanti Custom Homes launched in September 2015 with a 1,722-square foot bungalow in the Oak Bluff West subdivision on the outskirts of Winnipeg.
The neighbourhood offers lot sizes ranging from 70' to 84' wide. There are plans already in place to build in other communities in Winnipeg. Why did a production builder enter the custom build space? We sat down with Jason Jaquet, the company's Vice President, to find out.
HBM: Let's start by finding out a bit about Randall Homes.
JJ: Randall Homes was established in 1983 by my father, Randy Jaquet. The first year we were in business we sold 35 homes, the next year we sold over 70 and we've grown ever since. The company now sells over 220 homes annually, and has won numerous awards over the years for our innovative designs. Our philosophy is that we don't build homes to win awards; we
build them for our customers. The emphasis has always been creating a comfortable living space. The key to our success is the long term relationships built along the way – from developers and tradespeople to the bank and accounting firm to the staff and the Jaquet family. More than a home builder, we are a relationship builder.
HBM: Clearly the company has been successful. What prompted the decision to enter the custom home market, and what changes were required to do so?
“ The home buyer can request anything they want, from small tweaks to drawing completely new plans from scratch. ”
JJ: Randall Homes has been a company that is always pushing the envelope with awarding winning design ideas and standard features added into our homes. As a result, we wanted to set up a custom home company that would be able to offer a custom home without the custom price tag. Giving them Choice, Value and Service (a key element of the Randall Homes philosophy in the house market), coming up with new concepts and new designs at an affordable price point in custom market.
HBM: It's early days for Avanti Custom Homes. What has been your biggest challenge to date, and how does that compare to your experience as a production builder?
JJ: The biggest challenge we faced was getting the Avanti Custom Homes name out in the Winnipeg marketplace. Since Randall Homes was already an established builder in Winnipeg, as a new custom builder in an already competitive custom market we used social media and print ads to brand the Avanti Custom Homes name and get people talking before we started any projects.
HBM: The pricing structure for an Avanti home is fixed vs. the more traditional cash allowance route. What are the advantages for the customer and the builder in using this method?
JJ: The buyer knows exactly what they are going to get and at what cost:
Cash allowances can leave the client with some uncertainties that can be really stressful (will the allowance convert what we think it will?)
We are upfront with all costs so the client knows what they are getting and at what they cost. No $40,000 + surprises in the end when they realize that the allowances didn't cover everything they wanted.
As a builder, fixed pricing means we don't need to estimate because we know what it is going to cost. It also allows us to give the best price upfront.
“ As a builder, fixed pricing means we don't need to estimate because we know what it is going to cost. It also allows us to give the best price upfront. ”
HBM: Beyond the years of experience in the Winnipeg market, what other advantages does the production builder background bring?
JJ: As a custom builder, being partnered with a large established builder like Randall Homes allows us to have an in-house design centre. This allows clients to finalize finishes and design choices—without having to drive around the city and/or be pressured by each retailer to push their allowance.
We are also able to bring tried and true best practices from a serious volume of building to each custom home that a typical custom builder building 10-20 homes a year simply does not have.
Another serious advantage is our integrated service department; our combined volume again allows us to staff service crews that can move quickly and efficiently to handle any service needs.
HBM: You are currently offering customizable plans of bungalows and two-storey home models. Will you expand upon this, and what sort of customization can the home buyer request?
JJ: The home buyer can request anything they want, from small tweaks to drawing completely new plans from scratch. We are only limited by their budget and the development's guidelines for designs and site plans.
HBM: What's next for Avanti Homes?
JJ: We will be expanding into more subdivisions for 2016, which will allow Avanti Custom Homes to offer additional choices to home buyers and to continue to expand our philosophy: A Custom Home Without the Custom Price.
Fresh designer home in Oak Bluff West loaded with features
When you're the new kid on the block — in this case as a custom home builder — it's critical to establish your presence as quickly as possible. With that in mind, Avanti Custom Homes — which has been building homes in the Winnipeg market for a little less than a year in affiliation with Randall Homes — decided to go the extra-value route, said T.J. Stroud, Avanti's sales representative for 35 Big Sky Drive in Oak Bluff West.
With this home, we've included a lot of standard features that are typically upgrades in other homes," said Stroud, while standing in the expansive great room of the 1,722 square-foot bungalow, situated on an oversized 74 by 140-foot lot. "We wanted to offer buyers exceptional value, and I think our standard features accomplished that."
Those features include light fixtures such as stylish pendant lights over the kitchen's island, lacquered aspen baseboards, an insulated garage door and more.
"The style is there, but so are all the important little details," said Stroud. "You get the style with the pendant lights at no extra cost, the aspen baseboards look nicer and will last far longer than soft, painted MDF baseboards, and if you decide to insulate the garage, you won't have to get a new door. All those little details matter because they can really add up."
Not only do those little details matter from a financial standpoint, but they also matter from a functionality standpoint. Although 35 Big Sky isn't a small home at just over 1,700 sq. ft., it feels a good deal larger than it is thanks to a key design detail.
"A vaulted ceiling runs through the entire main floor, and everyone who's gone through the home just loves the airy feel it creates," he said. "The moment you step inside the home, you're surrounded by space and light. Each space (from the foyer to the flex room to the left of the foyer to the kitchen, dinette area and family room in the great room) is big and bright."
As fashionable and functional as each space in the main living area is, its piece de resistance is unquestionably the family room. "The vaulted ceiling really gives it a more dramatic look, as it allows for the cultured stone stack that frames the gas fireplace to go up to a height of 11 feet. Then, you've got a huge picture window on the family room's rear wall with an extra window above that lets in even more natural light."
Meanwhile, next to the family room is the expansive dinette area, which is also privy to a heaping helping of glass along its back and side walls. "There's a window directly behind it, one in the corner and a door that leads to a back yard deck," Stroud said. "That makes for a naturally bright space that has more than enough room for a table for six or more. The light-coloured engineered oak floors that run through the entire great room add texture and temper all that natural light that floods in from all the (Jeld-Wen) windows."
Then there's the kitchen, with an oversized island. "It's about eight feet by six feet and comes outfitted with a double sink and eating nook for two to three. The show home features the upgraded version of the kitchen — off-white quartz countertops, stained maple cabinets and (taupe/mocha/chocolate brown) glass-tile backsplash," he said. "A two-third wall at the rear allows light to flow from the front of the home into the kitchen."
Turns out, the home's front portion is just as functional as its rear portion. To the left of the generous foyer is a flex space; to the right, a bedroom/den. Further up to the right is a private, unobtrusive bedroom wing.
"Again, it's all about the little details," said Stroud. "The flex space could be used as a dining room, office or play room, while the bedroom could be an office or in-law suite. Because we're a custom builder, we could change the configuration of the spaces to suit your lifestyle needs."
Another small but significant design feature is a subtly-angled wall that leads you stylishly into the bedroom wing. Once inside its private confines, you encounter three bedrooms, a four-piece bath with extra-deep soaker tub and laundry/mudroom with huge window that provides access to the triple detached garage.
As is the case in the home's main living area, each space benefits from a vaulted ceiling and oversized window. Space, light and function abounds, and those three qualities coalesce beautifully in the secluded master suite.
"It's got everything you want — space, a huge picture window, ensuite with heated vinyl tile floor, five-foot glass/tile shower and his/her sinks on either side of a centre sink on a maple vanity," said Stroud. "And the angled walk-in closet next to the entrance has wooden shelving, not wire shelving — another nice touch."
Add in the framed lower level with its oversized windows and 1,300 sq. ft. of livable space (two bedrooms, rec room, bathroom, storage) and 35 Big Sky's total square footage comes to 3,000-plus.
"This is a beautifully-designed home that we can get a big family into with basic finishes (which includes natural maple cabinets) for just over $500,000," said Stroud. "This home delivers great value and function in every area."
Avanti Custom Homes offers top-notch value
What you see is what you get with Avanti Custom Homes
Home buyers can rest easy knowing there are no hidden costs or surprises with this new company, which offers a custom home without the custom price.
As an added advantage, Avanti Custom Homes benefits from the expertise and creativity of its partner Randall Homes, which has more than 30 years of building experience in Winnipeg.
"At Avanti, we believe that your home should be a complete and true reflection of your self and your lifestyle," Vice President Jason Jaquet explains.
"We specialize in custom homes to fit the homeowners' lifestyles. We have a wide variety of plans that are available to build or we can customize any house that you want to suit what you need."
Currently, Avanti Custom Homes is introducing its model in Oak Bluff West with a show home at 35 Big Sky Drive.
"We're very excited to be in Oak Bluff to launch it off. We're also very excited to be a part of the Winnipeg building industry," Jaquet says.
"We're going to bring out a lot of value-added features and workmanship that people would expect from a partnership with Randall Homes."
What sets Avanti apart from other custom builders is the fact that many upgraded features are included in the base price.
"We want to put a lot of value on the exterior of the home. If you want to add more stone or wood trims, you can do that, but what you see is what you get. That's what it's going to look like when you buy it," Jaquet says.
"There are no hidden extra costs at the end or having to use an allowance without knowing what you're really paying for. We're going to give you the price upfront."
With attention to detail, the homes include tile backsplashes in the kitchens, upgraded lighting packages, acrylic stucco and much more.
"With Avanti Custom Homes, you're getting all the features that other custom builders normally charge for," Jaquet says.
"People won't believe that you can get it at this price point with the value that we're able to give you upfront."
Why We Do What We Do
If you believe your home should be a complete and true reflection of your individual spirit and lifestyles, then we believe what you believe.
The Avanti Advantages
We specialize in customizing homes to fit our homeowners' lifestyles. Avanti Custom Homes has a collection of plans available, that can be personalized to suit each individual homebuyer's needs. We provide value by offering many standard features that are often considered upgrades by other custom builders.
collection of plans, to be used as a starting point
plans are personalized and customized to suit your needs
our standard features are often considered upgrades by others
This incomparable bungalow home offers a wealth of luxurious details and amenities. The foyer entrance has an impressive 10'-3" ceiling and you will appreciate the expansive living space presented under vaulted ceilings. Enjoy your favourite breakfast in the eating area, a part of the country style kitchen which features a walk in pantry and a generous island overlooking the spacious great room and optional wood deck that can be used for entertaining friends or just to relax. The generous master suit features a private bath with duel sinks in vanity, shower and his and hers walk in closets. A second bathroom serves the two secondary bedrooms. The laundry room is conveniently located on the main floor. An optional lower level development is available to maximize valuable living space if needed.
A-1763 Floor Plan
The A-1763 features 1,763 square feet of living space on the main floor. An optional lower level development may be added to the home before construction starts.
A rich exterior featuring a mix of light and dark earth tones incorporating distressed wood trim, bronze cultured stone and chocolate-coloured stucco is a prelude to a luxurious, yet functional home. The wide foyer – which features a double coat closet right and lower level stairs left – is set four steps below the home's main level. Wide-plank espresso luxury vinyl flooring and creates a warm interior ambience, while a vaulted ceiling allows for a collection of huge Jeld-Wen dual-pane low-e argon windows that flood the great room with light. Patio doors off an expandable dining area (it can seat six to 12) lead to a backyard deck, while the island kitchen offers an angled island with double sink with recessed eating nook for two to three, plenty of room to move – plus gorgeous finishes such as smoke-stained maple cabinets, white quartz countertops and a taupe tile backsplash. With its vaulted ceiling, huge picture window and gas fireplace set in a two-tone tile surround, the family room is perfect for entertaining or family life, while a compact wing off the family room to its left leads to a wing with lit display niche, laundry room and bedroom. Meanwhile, a wing to the foyer's right holds a four-piece bath, third bedroom and owner's suite. The owner's suite is a magnificent, space that features a vaulted ceiling, huge picture window, his/hers' walk-in closets – and opulent ensuite with heated tile floor, frameless tempered glass/tile shower, smoke maple vanity with dual sinks and maple-trimmed mirror with tri-colour glass tile trim. Downstairs, the big, bright basement not only contains a direct-vent, high-efficient furnace with HRV that works in perfect tandem with a programmable thermostat to save energy – but there's also ample room for two more bedrooms, a rec room, four-piece bath and storage.
A-1578 Floor Plan
The A-1578 features 1,578 square feet of living space on the main floor. An optional lower level development may be added to the home before construction starts.
This 3 bedroom bungalow has everything you need. Enter into the foyer where you'll appreciate the expansive living space presented under 9' ceilings. Enjoy your favourite breakfast in the eating area, a part of the country style kitchen which features a walk in pantry and generous island overlooking the spacious great room. Always entertain in style in the traditional dining room over looking the entrance. The generous master suite features a private bath, separate shower and spacious walk in closet. A second bathroom serves the two secondary bedrooms.
A-1785 Floor Plan
The A-1785 features 1,785 square feet of living space on the main floor. An optional lower level development may be added to the home before construction starts.
This 3 bedroom bungalow has everything you need. The open style floor plan includes a spacious great room with an optional fireplace and wood mantel, a country style kitchen which features a walk-in pantry and a generous island with a raised counter. Always entertain in style in the traditional dining room over looking the entrance. The generous master suite features a private bath and spacious walk-in closet. A second bathroom serves the two secondary bedrooms and a laundry room is conveniently located on the main floor. All under 9'-0" ceilings.
A-1739 Floor Plan
The A-1739 features 1,739 square feet of living space on the main floor. Optional developments include a lower level and ensuite, which may be added to the home before construction starts.
This handsome, 3 bedroom bungalow with nine foot ceilings throughout has everything a contemporary family requires. The open style floor plan includes a spacious great room with an optional fireplace, a country style kitchen which features a walk-in pantry and a generous island overlooking the eating area. Entertain in style in the dining room featuring a large window to view the front yard. A generous master suite includes stunning four piece bathroom and spacious walk-in closet. The main bathroom serves the two secondary bedrooms, one of which may be utilized as a den with optional double doors. A laundry room is conveniently located on the main floor.
A-1602 Floor Plan
The A-1602 features 1,602 square feet of living space on the main floor. An optional lower level development may be added to the home before construction starts.
This beautiful 3 bedroom, open concept style bungalow offers a variety of amenities for the busy family lifestyle. With nine foot ceilings throughout and the main living spaces dividing the master suite from the remaining bedroom areas, this home is sure to please. The large foyer opens up to the great room and contemporary kitchen that offers an island and walk-in pantry and an eating area which is a perfect place to entertain and have family meals. The owner's suite delivers a generous ensuite with a shower and large vanity as well as a roomy walk-in closet. A second 3-piece bathroom serves the identical spacious bedrooms.
A-1540 Floor Plan
The A-1540 features 1,540 square feet of living space on the main floor. An optional lower level development may be added to the home before construction starts.
Style and function come together beautifully in a design that offers a unique and creative environment in every room. The open plan kitchen is sure to be the heart of this home. It features a walk-in pantry, and an island counter ideal for cooking or dining. The kitchen is central to a formal dining room, breakfast nook and a generously designed great room. The owner's suite is splendidly appointed featuring a three piece ensuite bath with a roomy walk in closet. A family bath is convenient to the second bedroom, den, and the laundry room areas.
A-1722 Floor Plan
The A-1722 features 1,722 square feet of living space on the main floor. An optional lower level development may be added to the home before construction starts.
Taylor Farms is Headingley's newest luxury subdivision just minutes west of the City. All of the advantages of country living are here including pedestrian trails, scenic river parks and lush wetland lakes. Taylor farms lies nestled along the Assiniboine River and features generous river lots, exciting walk out opportunities and large traditional lots that will accommodate everyone's dream home.
Enjoy all of the advantages this community offers including vast wildlife, groomed snowmobile trails, Beaudry Park and much more. Headingley is also great for kids as it offers a local K-5 school and is part of the St. James School Division. A short bike ride away from Thunder Rapids Go Carts and Mini Golf Centre – perfect for when school is not in session.
For the adults, there are the active living advantages of the Harte Trail System, golf at Breezy Bend Country Club or John Bloomberg, as well as their slo-pitch and soccer facilities. Taylor Farms has everything you could want and more.
Oak Bluff West is an exciting new community with big lots, stylish homes and beautiful open green spaces. Located just across the Perimeter Highway, the town of Oak Bluff is a well-established community with a population of about 900 that offers quiet and charm while being just minutes from city shopping, entertainment and more.
New homes in the area are constructed on extra wide lots that give homeowners room to breathe, plant gardens, play sports or build large decks in their back yards. Oak Bluff West is a quiet, friendly community with low taxes and easy proximity to work or play in the city.
Oak Bluff features a Kindergarten to Grade 8 school, an established nursery school, a recreation centre and a seniors' club. The town is part of the Red River Valley School Division and the Rural Municipality (RM) of MacDonald, which includes the Fort Whyte area of Winnipeg as well as the towns of Oak Bluff, La Salle, Domain, Osborne, Brunkild, Sanford, and Starbuck.