Part of Pacesetter’s construction process is arranging the completion of exterior items for your home. Alberta is known for having long, cold winters, and the window of opportunity to complete exterior work on your home is about 6 months. For this reason, we call these “Seasonal Tasks” and they include the following:
- Driveways, Sidewalks & Rear Parking Pads
- Deck Stairs & Skirting
- Exterior Painting
- Rough Grading
- Developer Inspection
Seasonal work generally takes place between May and October. Once the weather allows us to start these tasks, the assigned trades are scheduled to begin work. To ensure maximum efficiency during the summer, some of these tasks will be carried out area by area, rather than by possession dates.
The Seasonal Process
Driveways, Sidewalks & Rear Parking Pads (Concrete Work)
Concrete crews will begin work once all frost in the ground has completely thawed, and the area has dried out. A lack of snow alone is not a sign of a site being ready for work to take place. Due to job backlog over the winter months, it is more efficient for concrete crews to complete all the work in a single subdivision, then move on to the next. We appreciate your patience during this area-by-area process. Any rain or other unforeseen factors can also cause delays on concrete work.
Deck Stairs & Skirting
Temporary stairs are placed on the front deck and will remain in place until front concrete is poured (note that temporary stairs will be removed for a short period while concrete work is under way), at which point permanent stairs will be scheduled for installation. Our decking contractor will arrive without prior notice and will need to plug into your external power outlet to complete their work. Please contact our Seasonal Department if you need any adjustments to the temporary front stair or metal walkways.
Exterior painting will take place after the permanent stairs and skirting is installed. Our contractors have multiple crews that make continuous rounds in our communities to ensure all painting is attended to. They may leave your area for a period in time, but you can rest assured that the work is scheduled for your first summer in your new home. Painters will show up without prior notice and may need to use a man-lift to safely reach upper areas of your home. Please note that we do not paint the surface of deck boards or pressure treated rear railings.
Parging is the textured cement that is applied to the visible concrete foundation (below the siding) around your home. This work can take place at any time during the season, and the crews will work area-by-area until the work is finished. Please note, workers will need access to your water hose connection to clean the foundation prior to applying parging, to mix their material, and clean up after work has been completed.
Once your concrete is poured, the rough grade will then be scheduled. Rough grading shapes the lot by packing down soil to adhere to the lot grading plan as per municipality requirements. It ensures your property is sloped for surface drainage and directs water toward a lane or street. Grading work only begins once all frost has left the ground and the soil has firmed up enough to support heavy equipment such as trucks and bobcats. All items must be moved from your lot to prevent any interference with grading. Once the rough grade is complete, your lot will be issued a surveyor certificate which is then sent to your municipality for their inspection/approval. As soon as approval documents are issued, a notification email will be sent to you. We kindly request that you hold off on any projects that would interfere with the rough grade (fencing, decks, sheds, or landscaping) until we have received a surveyor certificate and gained approval from the municipality.
Landscaping (Topsoil, Sod, Trees and Shrubs)
If landscaping is included in your Sales Agreement, our contractors will begin work on adding topsoil, sod, trees, and shrubs. Your landscaping plan is determined by community guidelines set by the developer as well as any municipality requirements. We will provide you with a final grade surveyor certificate and city approval at the end of this process.
If you are handling landscaping yourself, you will need to wait until you receive a notification email confirming that your rough grade has been approved before continuing. If you fail to do so, Pacesetter will no longer be responsible for drainage requirements. We recommend requesting a final grade surveyor certificate and municipality inspection on topsoil, but this can also be done after sod is placed. Any costs associated with surveyors or municipality inspections are the responsibility of the homeowner. Landscaping is to be completed within one year of rough grade approval, or, extension arrangements should be requested through the Seasonal Department. Please ensure that you are aware of the developer/municipality requirements before you prepare for trees, shrub beds, and/or fencing (detailed information is provided in your Homeowner Portal).
Home owner security deposit
Following the completion of landscaping, and once final grade documents have been issued, a developer inspection should be requested to trigger the release of the security deposit. If you have completed landscaping yourself, please email the Seasonal Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the final grade surveyor certificate, final grade municipality approval, and current pictures of the front landscaping. We will then forward to the developer for approval. Once approved, a cheque will be mailed out to you. Should the inspection fail, you will be notified of the items for correction and will be asked to contact us for a re-inspection when ready. Please note, a third inspection may incur a fee which is automatically deducted from the security deposit. The developer will decide start and end dates of their inspections for the season, with typical inspections occurring from April to September. The inspection and processing of deposit may take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the current volume of requests. The deposit is intended to ensure that no changes are made to the exterior of the home by the homeowner prior to the required developer inspection.
Where Pacesetter has provided landscaping, the inspection is automatically requested, and the homeowner does not need to arrange anything.
For further clarification on our seasonal process, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions button below. Do not hesitate to contact us by email (email@example.com) or by telephone (780-733-7357) at any time!
The Landscaping Process
SOME QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE ABOUT YOUR NEW LANDSCAPING, GRADING, AND THE DEPOSIT PROCESS…
HOW DO I GET MY SECURITY DEPOSIT BACK?
If you have now completed your landscaping as per the developer guidelines (found on community website link in homeowner central portal), please send our Seasonal Department an email with a copy of your final grade surveyor certificate, municipality approval of final grade and a photo of your front yard. Once we receive these, we can set up the inspection with the developer which triggers the release of your deposit once approved.
MY LANDSCAPING WAS COMPLETED BY PACESETTER A FEW WEEKS AGO, WHY HAVEN'T I RECEIVED BY DEPOSIT YET?
Your deposit has not been released as we may be waiting for final grade documents or the developer inspection report. Developers only conduct inspections during the summer months. Please refer to your DEVELOPER REQUIREMENTS and SECURITY DEPOSIT form that was signed during the Sales Process.
WHY DO DEVELOPER INSPECTIONS FAIL?
If area guidelines are not met, it will result in a Developer failure. The required information to pass the inspection is found in your Homeowner Central Portal or Developer website.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY GRADING SETTLES OR SINKS AFTER IT IS INSPECTED AND PASSED?
It will then be your responsibility to repair any settlements to your lot since the inspector had found the drainage to be correct at the time of the site inspection. For more information, please visit the lot grading on your municipality’s website.
WHY IS MY APPROVED ROUGH GRADE STILL POOLING WATER?
A rough grade that has passed inspection can still pool water in certain areas. Your rough grade is the base for your topsoil and sod. Your finished landscaping will raise the grade and allow water to flow off your lot.
WHY IS WATER COLLECTING AFTER IT RAINS OR WHEN SNOW MELTS?
It’s not uncommon to see water pooling on your lawn after extended rainfall or snowmelt. It may take some time for it to flow off your lot, depending on the drainage pattern for your property.
WHY IS MY NEW GRASS TURNING BROWN?
New grass that appears to be turning brown likely needs more water. A good sprinkler is necessary to ensure proper lawn care. Grass at the side of your home will need extra attention.
WHY ARE GAPS OR SEAMS SHOWING UP ON MY NEW LAWN?
Gaps or seams showing up on a new lawn are an indication your grass is drying out and not receiving enough water. Water new turf to the point that the soil is just soft when stepping on it. You want to keep the sod moist for the first couple of weeks to allow the roots to take hold.
I DON’T WANT TO INSTALL GRASS IN MY FRONT YARD, IS THERE AN OPTION FOR A LOW MAINTENANCE DESIGN WITH ROCK/MULCH AND SHRUBS?
Many developers allow this as an option, however it’s very important that you check their guidelines and submit a proposed landscaping plan, if required.
THERE IS A NEW HOUSE BEING BUILT NEXT TO ME. WHAT IF THERE IS DAMAGE TO MY YARD?
If there is damage to your landscaping or grade because of neighboring construction, it will be that builder’s responsibility to address the situation and arrange for returning your yard to its original state.
WHY IS THE GRADE HIGHER NEXT TO MY SIDEWALK AND DRIVEWAY?
The grade is higher next to your sidewalk/driveway to protect the base under the concrete from being washed away.
WHY IS MY GRASS DEAD ALONG THE EDGES OF MY DRIVEWAY AND SIDEWALK?
Dead sod along driveways and sidewalks is typically from ice melt or salt used in winter to clear ice and snow. This can be an issue even if you do not directly use these products, as City streets and adjacent properties may have de-icing solutions that can be tracked onto your property by vehicles or foot traffic.
IS THERE AN OPTION FOR A LOW MAINTENANCE OR ECO-FRIENDLY LANDSCAPING?
Many developers allow this as an option; however, you must check their guidelines and submit a proposed landscaping plan if required.
WHY DO I NEED TO STAY OFF NEW SOD EXCEPT FOR MOVING SPRINKLERS?
Staying off new sod allows the grass to take root and helps keeps the lawn smooth.
MY TREE LOOKS LIKE IT'S DYING, WHAT HAPPENED TO IT?
There are a few reasons why your tree might be struggling to stay alive. A regular watering schedule should be implemented; however, trees that are over-watered will indicate this by their leaves turning yellow. A protective sleeve should be used if there are signs of animal damage to the base of the trunk.