Tag Archives: martell home builders

Neighbourhood Profile: Brookside West, Fredericton

Brookside West

Located on the north side of Fredericton off Brookside Drive is Brookside West, a beautiful, fast growing, family neighborhood. This prime development is within close proximity to all local amenities (Two Nations Crossing, Brookside Mall, Willie O’Ree Arena, West Hills Golf), schools and minutes from downtown Fredericton.


•             Wooded lots available
•             Quiet Atmosphere
•             Restrictive covenants to protect your investment
•             Court lots available
•             Near the new West Hills Golf Course


•             Kindergarten to Grade 5: Nashwaaksis Memorial School
•             Grade 6 to 8: Nashwaaksis Middle School
•             Grade 9 to 12: Leo Hayes High School

Lot Prices:

Single Family Lots start at $67,000.00

To book a Discovery Session and start planning your new home in Brookside West, call Jason today at 506-292-2169 or email jhaines@themartellexperience.com.

Neighborhood Profile: Notre-Dame Estates, Dieppe, NB

Notre Dame Estates map

Nestled in the heart of the city of Dieppe, you’ll find Notre-Dame Estates. This prestigious development is in a prime location with close proximity to local amenities, schools, Rotary St-Anselme Park, Arthur J. LeBlanc Centre (Arena) and the Dieppe Aquatic and Sports Centre. Notre-Dame Estates is an outstanding family community to call home.

• Wooded lots available
• Restrictive covenants to protect your investment
• Prime court lots available
• Fox Creek Golf Course nearby
• 3 acres of natural park

Kindergarten to Grade 5: Lou MacNarin
Grades 6 to Grade 8: Lewisville Middle School
Grades 8 through 12: Moncton High School

M – 5e année : École Anna-Malenfant
6e – 8e année : École Carrefour de l’Acadie
9e – 12e année : École Mathieu Martin

Lot Prices:
Single Family Lots ranging between $59,900 and $84,900

Notre Dame Map#2

To book a Discovery Session and start planning your new home in Notre-Dame Estates, call Pierre today at (506) 871-5237 or email at pierre@themartellexperience.com.

Building Hope in Uganda (And How We Need Your Help)…

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 9.29.13 AM

It’s been a whirlwind few months at Martell Home Builders and we couldn’t be happier.  Our founder Pierre Martell & his fiancee Jess Boudreau have been busy expanding the Martell Home Builders family, by 17 people!  Have a look at what they’ve been up to:

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One of the best parts of the CHAT program, beyond the lives that they’re saving in Uganda, is the way that they’re impacting the lives of Canadian kids.  Literally, we are raising a generation of Canadian kids who are global activitists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists.  The future is BRIGHT for these kids!

Obviously, we’ve got a big job ahead of us in raising the finds required to DOUBLE the amount of children whose lives are saved by CHAT to the Future!

How you can help? Teachers/parents: is your school a CHAT school yet?  http://www.chattothefuture.org/teachers/

Everyone else: we can’t start construction until we’ve hit our funding goal….We need to raise some funds and we need everyone to see this video!

1. PLEASE SHARE this with your network and as many people as you can!

2. Please, please, please consider opening your heart (and wallet) to this amazing organization and help us impact that many more children: http://www.chattothefuture.org/invest/ (Click Build)

How are you giving back this Holiday Season?

Neighborhood Feature: White Birch Estates, Lower Coverdale

Screen shot 2014-04-16 at 9.28.13 AMA foundation being poured in White Birch Estates, Lower Coverdale, NB

We just finished putting pen to paper on a home in the next phase of White Birch Estates & thought that it was about time we did a neighborhood feature on this unbelievable development.  White Birch Estates is a fantastic spot for people who are looking for the best of both worlds.  Lots are treed and over an acre in size while offering a neighborhood feeling for families.  Located in Lower Coverdale, NB., this development is literally just minutes from downtown Moncton and offers tremendous value for money.

Screen shot 2014-04-16 at 9.09.07 AM Image courtesy of: www.white-birch.com

Welcome to The Fairways at the Moncton Golf & Country Club.  This prestigious, master planned community is carefully designed to maintain the gorgeous natural surrounding landscape as well as the value of the homes within the neighborhood.



·      K-5: Frank L. Bowser

·      Middle: Riverview Middle School

·      High School:  Riverview High School



·      Golf Course lots available

·      Walkable community – trails connecting to the Gunningsville Trail

·      Amenities: shopping, schools, banking, medical centers & entertainment

Lot Prices:

·      50’ lots starting at $42,000.00

·      70’ lots starting at $60,500.00

·      80’ golf course lots starting at $72,500.00


To book a Discovery Session and start planning your new home in The Fairways, call Natalie today at 506-232-1276 or by email natalie@themartellexperience.com.

– See more at: http://martellcustomhomes.com/2013/06/23/neighborhood-feature-the-fairways-riverview-nb/#sthash.kwtoxt0t.dpuf

Location: Niagara Rd & Coverdale Rd


School: Riverview East & Riverview High School


  • Quiet atmosphere
  • Natural Setting
  • Large, private lots- you won’t see your neighbors from your house
  • Close to Riverview
  • Lots starting at $34,500.00


To book a Discovery Session and start planning your new home in White Birch Estates, call Pierre today at 506-871-5237 or email pierre@themartellexperience.com.


Don’t Believe The Hype: Homebuilding Myths Debunked


Myth 1:” It is always stressful to design & build a custom home.

It’s no secret that building your dream home CAN be stressful.  Let’s face it… we all have that friend who experienced a horrific homebuild.  Some of the stories we’ve heard are enough to make anyone want to bury their head in the sand and forget the whole idea.  That said, while homebuilding can be stressful- it doesn’t HAVE to be.

In anything, a team is only as strong as it’s weakest link.  So you need to think long & hard about your design/build team and make sure that they are not your weak link.  You’re the client & you don’t build homes for a living.  YOU should be the weak link!  You cannot compromise when it comes to hiring your builder….

Are they organized or is their truck piled with papers and files on the floor?

Are they taking notes on their burger wrapper? Do they respond to your questions in a timely manner or do they wait until you’re ready to file a missing person’s report before getting back to you?

And. most importantly, are they stressed out and out-of-control?  If they are, it’s likely that your build will be too! Your experience will only  be as great as the people that you trust to manage it.  This is the single most important choice you will make throughout the entire build.

Myth 2:” It takes too long to build a custom home.

Before buying into this myth, you have to ask yourself WHY you want to build a custom home.  Really, WHY?  Building a custom home means expressing all of your ideas, dreams and passions and watching them literally grow into the absolute perfect home for you!  If that doesn’t excite you, then you may be better suited to buy resale and be on with it.  Building a custom home will take anywhere from 4-7 months in Atlantic Canada depending on a few variables.  Consider how long you’ve spent planning and thinking about  your dream house… for some of people (*cough* me *cough*), planning started when they were just a kid! A custom home is more than just a house… it’s already a home- before it’s even started.  Isn’t that worth a few months of your time?

Myth 3:” You will go over budget by 20-30%.

Dr Evil "On Budget"

Ahh, yes. The classic over-budget myth.  Last month, we wrote a post titled 4 Signs That Your New Build Will Go Over Budget
because we know that it IS possible to stay on budget.  In fact, there are builders out there who do not go over budget at all- the trick is finding them.  Builders who stay on budget accurately price the house in the first place.  They ask you questions about specific items in the home (Think: doorknobs vs. levers) & they “get” your vision.  If you’re thinking “Four Seasons” and your builder is thinking “Holiday Inn”, you will go over budget.  That’s why it’s a MUST that you and your builder/designer are on the same page from Day 1.

Myth 4:” Your home will not close on time.


Closing is important.  After all, who wants to show up with a moving truck and find their new home unfinished?  Delayed moves, extra costs, stress and safety are just some of the possible outcomes of not finishing the new home on time.  That said, closing a new home on time does not require the Delorean… The requirements to closing on time include “fancy” things like a scheduling system for tradespeople, an experienced project manager who can solve problems on the spot and an organized, clear communication system.  Not sure if you’re builder has these systems in place?  Then ask for references!  Past clients are often more than eager to share their experience with you (good or bad).

What else have you heard about home building? Let us know- we LIVE to show people that bad practice in our industry doesn’t have to be the norm! Comment below or tweet us @martellhomes.




4 Signs That Your New Build Will Go Over Budget

Nobody wants their new home build to go over budget.

You hire a builder, they quote you a price, they build the house, final bill comes in… Notwithstanding new items that you chose to add or upgrade along the way, the final cost should be the same as the contract price.

Should be. A home-builder, after all, does this for a living.  You, the client, have likely never priced a home in your life and you’re trusting your builder to do it for you- accurately and without surprises.

But we’ve all heard the stories.  You have that friend, cousin, workmate that built a house and ended up paying way more than they were quoted.  This happens all of the time and it shouldn’t… going over budget is avoidable and should be a focus of any solid home builder worth working with.

If you’re about to get into a contract with a builder, make sure that you look for the following signs to ensure that your home will cost what you’re builder says that it will.

4 Signs That Your New Build Will Go Over Budget

Your Builder Is The Cheapest

You’ve done your homework & met with multiple builders.  You’ve probably narrowed it down to 3 or 4 builders that you like/trust and had them price the home.  So where did the pricing come in?

I’m going to let you in on an industry secret… if the builders priced the exact same quality of materials and finishes, their prices should be extremely close.  Extremely.  After all, they’re sourcing material and labor from the same region.

If you’re finding that one builder is significantly cheaper than the others, chances are very good that they are planning on using cheaper materials.  There’s nothing wrong with that, you think, until you find out that your kitchen allowance will not cover that “painted, cabinets-to-the-ceiling” dream you’ve been coveting on Houzz.

Your Builder Doesn’t “Get” Your Vision

You’re planning 10 foot ceilings, a double-sided fireplace and custom woodwork throughout.  Is your builder thinking 8 foot ceilings, non-existent fireplace and mini-baseboards? Communication is key and it is impossible for the builder to price something that you’ve never discussed.

Prior to pricing your plan, your builder should be asking you extremely detailed questions about the finish that you want in the home.  If they don’t include these items when pricing upfront, these items will become upgrades and will drive you over budget in no-time at all.

Your Builder Only Builds “A Few Homes Per Year”

Maybe they told you that you will get a more custom experience because you’re 1 of 3 projects… Perhaps, the owner of the company himself will be able to be on the job-site every day… Heck, he may even do the finish work himself! Great…. or, is it?

First, there’s buying power… Obviously, Wal*Mart buys better than Joe’s Convenience.  Shocker.  Similarly, home-builders are rewarded by vendors based on volume.  The builder who builds 3 homes a year is simply not getting the same pricing as the builder who builds 50.

Next comes the issue of limited experience.  20 years of home-building experience, building 3 homes/year = 60 homes built.  10 years experience at 50 homes/year= 500 homes built.  The builder that is more active is much more likely to be current on trends and customer wants (aka. more likely to know that you want an open-concept floor plan instead of the halls & walls of yesteryear).

Your Builder Did Not Give You A Detailed List Of What They Priced

Whether your builder is a relative stranger or your second cousin, you need to get a detailed list of what’s included in a quoted price.  This is not negotiable.  Not requiring this level of detail of your builder is giving up too much control and allows the builder to decide what is (or isn’t) included on whim.

Having a detailed list of inclusions creates accountability.  Always ensure that the inclusions are added to your contract, making them part of a legally binding document.


If your home builder is demonstrating these signs, talk to him about budget & share your concerns.  Cross-reference your wishlist with the pricing specs.  Ask for past references and find out what their experience was like.  Only when your builder demonstrates to you that these items are taken care of, should you move forward with a contract.

If you have any questions about staying on budget throughout your build, shoot us an email to natalie@themartellexperience.com.  We’d be happy to help out!

Insulation 101: What Every Home Owner Should Know

A great insulation job on one of our job sites.

A great insulation job on one of our job sites.

With the arrival of winter, you may be more concerned with your Christmas list than your R-Value but you shouldn’t be.  If your home is inadequately or improperly insulated, you could literally be throwing away hundreds of dollars that could be much better spent Christmas shopping- or maybe on a vacation down South!!  This month’s column covers what you need to know about insulation. Whether your home is old or new, every homeowner should have a basic understanding of what is inside their walls.

1.     Batt Insulation:  A very common insulation, batt insulation is usually placed in the walls of the home and has a cotton-like appearance.  The insulation is positioned in the cavity between the studs of the walls.  Because batt insulation traps air in the fiberglass to add R-Value, it is imperative not to crush or squeeze the insulation into the cavity or you will lose insulation value.  We highly recommend an experienced installer to ensure that you are maximizing the efficiency of your home. The downside to batt insulation is that you usually have exposed studs remaining which creates cold spots that allow heat/cold to transfer easily.

2.     Blown-In Insulation: Blown-In insulation is available in a variety of materials however, cellulose (fire-retardant paper fiber) is our favorite product due to its ability to fill different sizes & shapes of cavities.  It is essential that your blown-in insulation is applied at the same depth across your space to maximize your R-Value.  Any low spots will create weak points for your insulation.  Also, it is essential that you do not cover your ventilation system to avoid future potential roof problems.  While blown-in insulation can be used inside wall cavities, it can be prone to settlement and compaction.  We recommend batt insulation in the wall cavities over blown-in.

3.     Rigid Foam: Rigid foam is available in solid sheets and is a strong material that does not get crushed thereby diminishing your R-Value.  We are big fans of applying Rigid foam on the exterior of our new homes, under the siding, to minimize thermal bridging- the heat loss through wood studs.   And a bonus feature of Rigid foam is that it does not mould.  Other applications of Rigid foam include under a floor slab during construction or inside basement walls.  When we use Rigid foam in conjunction with Batt insulation, we are able to obtain an R-Value that is superior to ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) construction.

If you’re looking for a new home and want to learn more about the options available for insulation & energy efficiency, please give us a call!  If you’re looking to increase the R-Value of your existing home, we highly recommend that you connect with one of the many qualified insulators around town to ensure you get the best bang for your insulation buck.

Martell Home Builders Gets The Thrill Of A Lifetime: Giving Away 35 Holland!


John & The MHB/XL96 Teams

Thanks to our friends at XL96 Country, the generosity of our vendors and tons of hard work and planning, the MHB team got to experience the thrill of a lifetime last Saturday.  This thrill? Giving away a Martell Home- free and clear- to John Baxter & his family, of Lower Coverdale, NB.  Not to mention also pulling off the largest radio giveaway ever, east of Calgary!

Months ago, the idea was born.  It all started with a bet between morning hosts Scotty Horsman & Tony Smith… could Tony quit bacon for a week?  They called it #bacation.  Tension ran deep and stakes were high… things seemed to be getting out of hand when Tony bet his new (under-construction) Martell Home.  Imagine his surprise when he lost the bet!  Some said he was set up but rules are rules and he did consume the bacon.

Construction continued and the MHB team could not believe what legs this contest had developed.  Everywhere we went, people were talking about the home giveaway… including the drive-thru girls at Tim’s.  People were ecstatic and the contest was the talk of the town…


Fast forward to Saturday, October 26, 2013.  Eligible contestants had been narrowed down to 46 people and they all stood patiently in line, waiting for their chance to insert their key into the door of 35 Holland and see if they had the only key that would open the lock.  They approached the door one-by-one and the suspense was ridiculous.

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And finally, John Baxter and his granddaughter approached the house with Key #17.  And well, you should probably watch it for yourself:

To everyone who helped make this promotion a reality, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.  This was truly the highlight of our year (or more) and we are so grateful that we were able to be a part of this.  To the Baxters, we hope you enjoy the home as much as we loved building it!



Meet the Team: Jim


Many of you would’ve met this musical, artistic, well-traveled Beatles fan at our last customer appreciation party at the Chocolate River Station in Riverview. Even though he wasn’t permitted on the bouncy castle, our warranty man rocked your socks off with his music. Although he plays semi-professionally in an Elvis tribute band, it wasn’t the King that sparked Jim’s interest in music. At 16, he decided he wanted to be John Lennon. Lucky for us (and all you new home owners) that didn’t happen!

Jim Ledgerwood is the man who shows up to inspect your house after the 10 month warranty period ends to ensure that your house is still up to our standards. He has a list of areas to inspect, but also reviews everything you are concerned about.

Since finishing up at Queen’s University, Jim has owned 4 homes and has flipped a few houses. He’s seen a wide array of homes–some built correctly, some not. He never planned on being a warranty man, but after seeing so many construction problems, Jim began managing a small construction company contract in Moncton and eventually ended up on our team!  His eye for detail–from guitars to oil painting to car restoration and home building–is invaluable and makes us feel at ease, knowing our projects will stand the test of time.

Jim L.

Fun Facts about Jim Ledgerwood:

1- Jim restores European cars as a hobby. One of his favourite projects was an Original Mini. He’s also restored a 68′ Jaguar and currently drives the Austin Power’s car. He’s very tempted to paint the British Flag on it.


2-He has travelled to England 6 times. During his first trip, he was trying to nail down a music publisher and met the Beatles first manager, Allan Williams! He hung around Allan for quite awhile. Later on, he returned to England and stayed with the manager for a week to play at a festival. Jim ended up moving to the country for a bit to publish some tracks!



3- Jim Ledgerwood has recorded 4 albums, but nothing lately. However, he is still writing music.

4- He has been married to the same wife for 30 years! They are the parents of two children and 1 dog (so basically 3 kids!).

5- His favourite restaurant in Dieppe is St. James Gate and  he usually orders fish and chips, salad and a side order of escargot.

HomeBuilding Horror Stories: Avoid Becoming The Main Character

If you’ve got a ton of questions about buying your first home, you’re not alone. Join @RBC_Canada and a panel of 5 experts for the #FirstHome Twitter chat, on June 26 from 9- 10 pm EST. Get answers to your most confusing questions and a chance to win RBC Visa Gift Cards.

Blog Image Homebuilding Horror Stories

Trust us when we say, we’ve heard it all when it comes to homebuilding. Today, we’re sharing two stories of first time home buyers with you to help you avoid finding yourself as the star character in your own first time home building horror story.

Sarah & Luke:
Sarah & Luke were not your conventional first time buyers. Instead of buying a starter home, they decided to live with their parents and save a larger down payment. They wanted their first home to be their “forever” home. To them, a temporary living arrangement was a sacrifice worth making. Sarah worked a second part-time job and Luke picked up overtime whenever possible to continue to build up their house fund. They meticulously reviewed house plans and inspiration photos until they could literally imagine themselves living in their dream home.

When they chose a builder, Sarah & Luke truly believed that they had done their homework. They met with a few builders & visited their model homes. They called references and most of all, they trusted their gut… the builder that they chose in the end was a really nice guy!

What Sarah & Luke did not know, was that the builder was in trouble financially… as in, “verge-of-bankruptcy-trouble”. This was not something that they had even thought of when they excitedly signed over their large building deposit. After all, there was a signed contract to protect them.

As the build progressed, Sarah & Luke noticed their builder became more distant and difficult to reach. They felt like he was avoiding their calls and that their project was less and less of a priority. They started to feel it in their gut… something was wrong.

As their home was about 80% complete, their builder requested a draw- Luke & Sarah had their bank advance the funds. Within days, it became public knowledge that their builder was out of business. Worse yet, he had not been paying the trades that were building the home. Luke and Sarah found themselves with a house that was incomplete, tens of thousands of dollars owed to trades people and financial and legal issues they were totally unprepared for. What a nightmare.

Mike & Christine:

Mike & Christine could not have been more excited to build their first home and quit renting! This was the next step in the future that they were planning together. Instead of purchasing resale, they decided that they would build a new construction home. A new home would guarantee less maintenance for these newbie homeowners.

Mike wanted the perfect neighborhood- close to his parents and Christine’s work. They were thrilled when they found a builder who was developing exactly where they wanted to be.

Having signed a purchase contract, they proceeded to choose everything from siding to cabinets to flooring. Christine clipped magazines and watched design shows- she was certain that her new home would be perfect.
Driving by the jobsite every day for months, Mike & Christine got more and more excited about their upcoming closing date. They watched their home come together and it looked more beautiful than they could have imagined.

Finally, it was time for their pre-closing inspection… where they would get to see the finished interior of their home for the first time. Anticipation filled their veins as Mike & Christine approached their front door for the very first time. As they entered their home for the first time, they were thrilled to see their selections and choices come together beautifully.

The excitement was almost enough to make them miss the first warning sign… the trim at the top of their doors was visibly not level. They started to look closer and the trim on the hardwood staircase was uneven & the grout lines of their tiles were not inline with the walls. The closer they looked, the more obvious the flaws became. The feeling of excitement and anticipation was replaced with shock and disappointment.

They immediately voiced their concern to their builder who dismissed their thoughts, and told them that the house was built to code and that, in his opinion, nothing was wrong. Mike & Christine found themselves with a home that looked like a nightmare and there was nothing that they could do about it. It turned out that their builder made his profits by hiring the cheapest labor possible instead of specialists in their respective fields. The result was shoddy construction quality and extremely disappointed clients.

How could this have been avoided?
Many people interview client references for their builder. And while that is important, they should also be interviewing the trades that work with the builder, and local real estate agents. Ask your builder for 3-4 contacts that work for them and be sure to ask the following questions:


1. How long have you been working with ABC Home Builders?

Most buyers would not think to ask this question but, the answer can reveal a lot about your homebuilder. If the relationship between trades and builder is longstanding, then it is likely that two things are happening. First, the trades are more likely to be performing quality work since the builder is keeping them around. Secondly, the builder is likely treating the trade fairly well.

Beware of builders who have a revolving door of trades people working for them as this is more likely to result in sub-par quality and lack of pride in the work provided.


2. How does ABC Home Builders check the quality of your work?

Another great question, this is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re getting a well built home. Every builder should have a quality control program in place and should be checking every single component of every home! At Martell Home Builders, we require trades to submit a quality control checklist with their invoices for every job. Also, our project managers visit every jobsite, between trades, with their own quality control checklists.

The trades that are building the homes will be able to tell you how your builder monitors quality.


3. Do you have any issues receiving payment for your work in a prompt manner?

Let’s face it… the trades work hard for their money! And they won’t stay with a builder who doesn’t pay them on time. As Luke & Sarah found out, this is one of the first ways to evaluate your builder’s financial strength. Had they interviewed a few trades people, they would have found out that invoices were going unpaid… RED FLAG!

Make sure that your builder is paying trades on-time and treating them well… after all, they are the people who should be on their game when your home is being built.

What homebuilding horror stories have you heard?

Could these have been avoided with proper research & planning?
This post content is sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, however the views and opinions expressed herein represent my own and not those of Royal Bank of Canada or any other party and do not constitute financial, legal or other advice.