Seasonal Information

Seasonal Information

Please view our seasonal information videos below, as well as an explanation of some common seasonal tasks.

Dear Homeowner:

Five to six months every year our province is covered with snow and ice, and has temperatures around or below zero degrees. This limits our ability to complete some exterior tasks that are weather dependent. We call these “Seasonal Tasks” and they include the following:

  • Concrete Driveways, Sidewalks, Rear Parking Pads
  • Deck Stairs & Skirting
  • Exterior Painting
  • Parging
  • Rough Grading
  • Landscaping & Fencing (only by Pacesetter if included in contract)
  • Deposit Returns

The window of opportunity to complete seasonal work is typically between the months of May to October. During the winter months, a backlog is created of all jobs requiring work to be completed. Once the weather allows us to start these tasks, we send out our crews. They cannot be everywhere at once so your patience is appreciated while we get this work completed. The following information will explain more about each task and what you can expect along the way.

Concrete Work:

Driveways, sidewalks and rear parking pads (if applicable).
Concrete work cannot start until frost in the ground has completely thawed and the ground is dry and firm. Lack of snow is not an indication of frost thaw. Most years, the ground conditions allow us to start seasonal work by the end of May – but it could be earlier or later depending on the direction the lot faces and the soil conditions of the area. Due to the large amount of backlog from the winter months, it is most efficient for us to move a crew into a subdivision and complete as much work as possible, then move on to the next subdivision. Delays can be expected due to rain and other unforeseen factors. We appreciate your patience as we work through the backlog.

Deck Stairs & Skirting:

Front entry exterior stairs.
The installation of the permanent stairs and the front deck skirting cannot be completed until the front concrete driveway and sidewalk are finished. Our contractors will arrive without notice to complete the job. Please note that the workers will need to plug into your external power outlet to complete their tasks. A temporary stair will remain on the front of the home until the contractors return to install the permanent one. Please note that the temporary stair and sidewalks may need adjustment before the permanent ones are in place. Contact the seasonal department at seasonal@yourpacesetter.com if you need adjustment to the temporary front stair or sidewalks at any time.

Exterior Painting:

Front entry deck rails and trim.
The exterior painting of your home will occur after the front stair and skirting is installed. There are multiple crews that work area by area. The painters will show up without notice, and may need to use a man-lift to safely reach upper areas of the home. Please note that we do not paint surface deck boards or pressure treated rear railings.

Parging:

Parging is a grey concrete texture that is applied to the visible concrete foundation below the siding around the home. This work can take place any time during the season, and the crews will go area by area until the work is completed. Please be aware that the workers will need access to your water hose connection to clean the foundation prior to applying the parging, to mix their material and clean up after.

Rough Grading Process:

Getting ready for topsoil.
Rough grading shapes the lot, packing the soil to conform to the design of the approved lot grading plan. It also ensures your lot is sloped appropriately for water runoff as per requirements. Some lots may require swales to direct surface water appropriately.

Rough grading may begin when the frost has left the ground and the soil has firmed up enough to support heavy equipment such as trucks and bobcats. All necessary concrete must be completed before grading can start.

We ask that you hold off on any fencing, deck building, and tree/shrub planting until the grading has been completed and approval documents from the municipality are sent to you. Weather plays a very large part in this schedule – if it rains, no work can proceed until the ground is dry and firm enough to continue. We appreciate your patience with weather delays as they are beyond our control.

Steps involved in obtaining an approved rough grade include:

  • The grading contractor will survey the lot and install stakes along the property line to ensure the dirt is brought up or down to the appropriate elevation and proper slope. Please ensure all stakes are left untouched in order for accurate grading to occur.
  • When your rough grading has been completed, it will be surveyed again to ensure the grading is completed according to the lot requirements. The survey company will then issue a Rough Grade Certificate, subject to acceptance by the municipality. If there is a deficiency with the grading, the surveyor will not issue the certificate and the grading company will be required to return and correct the deficiency.
  • When the Rough Grade Certificate has been approved, we can now apply for a Rough Grade Inspection by the municipality. An Inspector will come out and do a visual inspection of the property.  If there is a deficiency with the grading, the inspector will not pass the inspection until the minor corrections are completed by the grading company. A municipal re-inspection will be required.
  • Once the Rough Grade Inspection has been passed, Pacesetter Homes will email you a copy of the Lot Grading Certificate and Lot Grading Inspection. You may then proceed with your topsoil and landscaping.
  • Obtaining the Final Grade Certificate (following topsoil) is the responsibility of the homeowner and their chosen contractor unless landscaping was included in the home purchase contract.

Landscaping Process:

Topsoil, sod, trees, shrubs and fencing.
If you purchased landscaping and/or fencing with Pacesetter, please see “Landscaping by Pacesetter” in the next section.

Landscaping by Homeowner (or chosen contractor):

  • Following the rough grade approval, a copy of the rough grade municipal approval and surveyor approval will be available to you in your Homeowner Portal or may be requested by emailing seasonal@yourpacesetter.com. Once you receive these rough grade documents, you are free to begin your final grading (topsoil), landscaping and fencing. Please remember, as per the municipality’s requirements, surface drainage (final grading) must be completed within one year of the rough grade completion. To be eligible to receive your deposit back, you must complete all landscaping items and have it approved by the developer within one year of the rough grade completion.
  • It is the homeowner’s (or their chosen landscaping contractor’s) responsibility to obtain a Final Grade Survey and Final Lot Grading municipal inspection approval. All costs associated with this are the homeowner’s responsibility.
  • Once topsoil has been completed, it is required that the homeowner requests a final grade certificate from a qualified land surveyor. Once received, the homeowner must request a municipal inspection to obtain approval of final grade.
  • Once the Final Grade has been approved by the municipality, the homeowner can now commence with sod, trees, shrubs and rock beds etc, to meet developer landscaping requirements. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure they understand and follow all developer and municipal landscape requirements. Pay particular attention to the type and size of tree required. Further assistance on the requirements can be found on your Conasys portal or the developer website. If you have questions, please do contact us by email at seasonal@yourpacesetter.com
  • Fencing is to be installed by the homeowner and it is recommended that a qualified surveyor is contracted by the homeowner to mark out your property lines prior to beginning this process. Please ensure that you follow the developer requirements for your subdivision on fencing color, structure and design to ensure that your deposit is able to be returned to you.

Landscaping by Pacesetter:

  • Following the rough grade completion, Pacesetter crews will complete the final grade and landscaping.
  • Landscaping is only completed by Pacesetter if it was specified as included in your home purchase contract. The landscaping will be completed to meet the guidelines that are set by the developer of the community you live in. It will typically include topsoil, sod, and an edged shrub bed. If Pacesetter is completing your landscaping, we will proceed with it as soon as the rough grading is approved in an effort to complete your landscaping as soon as possible.
  • Please note that our contractor will only water immediately following the initial install of the landscaping, but after that initial watering, it is the complete responsibility of the homeowner to water and maintain all aspects of the finished landscaping. There will be no warranty on neglected sod, trees or shrubs.
  • If fencing is being installed by Pacesetter, it will be done during the landscaping process.

Deposit Returns:

Once you have completed your landscaping (and fencing in required subdivisions) to the Developer requirements and have passed the Final Grade Certificate and Inspection process, you can now apply to have your deposit returned to you. It is important for homeowners to ensure that NO CHANGES are made to their landscaping, fencing or anything required by the developer for architectural compliance until after the developer has inspected and approved all items. This includes colors and styles on your home such as trim, front door and garage door.

Where the Builder has completed the landscaping, the deposit is intended to ensure no changes are made to the exterior of the home by the Purchaser prior to the Developer inspection. The deposit shall be refunded once the Developer has inspected the property and approved the release of the deposit.

To request your deposit return, email the Seasonal department at seasonal@yourpacesetter.com. You must include copies of the Final Grade Certificate and Final Grade Inspection. Once we receive your request and required documents, we will forward them to the developer so they can schedule their own inspection. During the busy summer months, it may take up to 6-8 weeks for inspection and approval. Upon approval from the developer, Pacesetter will release the deposit and mail you a cheque for the deposit amount. If the landscaping does not meet the Developer requirements, the inspection will not get approved and you will then need to make the appropriate corrections and re-apply for approval. A re-inspection fee may apply and if required by the developer, it will be deducted from your deposit, so please follow the area landscaping requirements closely. Developer landscaping inspections are conducted only during the summer months and it is at the discretion of the developer what they determine is the last date for inspections for the season.

Should have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us by email at seasonal@yourpacesetter.com  or refer to our website https://yourpacesetter.com where we have more information. We endeavor to respond to your emails as quickly as possible, however during peak times, responses may be delayed.

Sincerely,
Pacesetter Homes Seasonal Department

Sod, Trees & Shrubs, Homeowner Responsibilities:

Sod Maintenance:

Watering:
The first 12 hours after new sod has been laid down is when it is most vulnerable to drying out. This also applies to sod that is laid in late fall. We recommend watering right up until snowfall.

Be prepared by having enough garden hose to reach all corners of your yard.

A good sprinkler is also necessary to ensure proper watering of the entire yard. Do not water by hand because by doing so, the distribution of water is not even.

New sod should be watered to the point that the soil is soft when stepping on it. This is approximately 30 – 40 minutes per area.

Water every day for 7 days, and then cut back to once every 2 days. Discretion is required; if days are hot and dry, water more often. If it is moist from rain or snow, water less.

Keep in mind that you cannot over water sod. Under watering will kill your sod.

If gaps start to appear between rows of new sod, this is an indication your sod is drying out.

Do not water between the hours of 8 AM and 6 PM. During those hours, the water acts like a magnifying glass and will burn your new sod. Early morning or late evening is best.

Try to keep traffic off your new sod as much as possible except to water your grass; walking on your freshly watered sod can create uneven grass and low spots on your property.

Lawn Cutting:
Your first cutting of new sod should be when the grass reaches 6 inches long. This should take about 2 weeks depending on the weather.

Fertilizer:
In early fall we recommend a fall fertilizer application to your lawn.

Warranty:
Sod is not warrantied. If there is an issue, the site will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as it depends on whether the homeowner is following our sod maintenance guidelines. Please note that settlement on your property is not warrantied. Should you have any questions or concerns, please email seasonal@yourpacesetter.com and we will address them.

Tree & Shrub Maintenance:

Watering:
Your trees and shrubs were watered when they were installed. This is to ensure they survive the first days.
In order to keep your trees and shrubs alive and healthy, there is some maintenance involved. For the first year or two, your trees and shrubs will require water and nutrients that you will be responsible to supply. Although every tree is different and therefore they have different needs, these are some basic tips to encourage the successful life of your trees and shrubs.

Trees and shrubs should stay on the same watering schedule as the sod.

Unlike sod, they can be over watered. The leaves on trees and shrubs will turn yellow from over watering and brown if not watered enough. Discretion is required throughout the season to determine how much, and when to water.

Do not put landscape fabric, rock or mulch around trees and shrubs unless you leave a hole in the fabric large enough to provide good aeration around the base of tree or shrub. Fabric holds moisture in the ground and can cause root rot.

Do not pile excess dirt around the base of your trees and shrubs, as this could cause root rot.
In the late fall, water your trees and shrubs very well. This will help ensure premature budding in the spring.

If we receive warm weather during the winter, we recommend watering your trees and shrubs to help ensure premature thawing.

Fertilizer:
We recommend that you do not fertilize your trees or shrubs during the first growing season.

Warranty:
Trees and Shrubs are guaranteed for 1 year.
*Trees and shrubs that show lack of maintenance will not be covered under warranty
*Trees that have had mulch installed around them are not covered under warranty, as mulch that is placed incorrectly can cause harm to your new tree.

Fall & Regular Maintenance Tips:

Mow your lawn in fall (final cut) to approximately 1¼ Inches. Disease has a harder time with short grass. This will also eliminate pests (field mice and other burrowing animals) that want a warm place to sleep.
Most lawns need water whenever it is dry, no matter what season.
Remove the fallen leaves on your lawn by raking or mulching with your mower as excess leaves may smother your grass.

Keep lawn clear of debris (pet toys, lawn furniture). Objects left on grass can create dead spots. Dog urine can damage your lawn as well.

Once your tree, shrubs and perennials are established, maintaining them is the key to ensure healthy growth. Part of the regular maintenance is pruning. No matter what type of trees and shrubs you are growing, it is a good idea to prune out any dead or damaged branches. This helps with plant beauty and growth. Dead stems attract insects and invites disease to develop. Prune most flowering shrubs (ie: Spireas, Potentilla) in early winter while dormant or early spring before they push out new growth.
Ensure that all of your tree and shrubs are moist when the ground begins to freeze (approximately early November).

Sincerely,

The Pacesetter Seasonal Department

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