Welcome to our Customer Knowledge page…



This page is designed as a Customer Knowledge Center to provide information on Contracting and Building Processes. It will help to clarify and define various types of Construction Estimating, Contracts, Building Processes and help  Customers to make educated decisions.


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Types of Contractors

Construction companies operate many different ways. To simplify this we have listed and defined the predominate types of firms:

General Contractor
Custom Home Builder
Speculative Builder
Design Build Contractor
Commercial Contractor
Restoration/Recovery Contractor
Independent Contractor
Skilled Trade Contractor

Calculating a Ball Park Budget for New Homes

(The following prices would include design, structural engineering and construction)

Quality finished Custom home:

Starting at $275.00 per square foot.

This is for heated space and includes a built in 2 car garage.

Very high end Custom Homes: (exclusive features such as pools, elevators etc)

$300.00 to $500.00 per square foot.

Steps to Hiring a Contractor

1. Research, Research, Research.
2. Determine the number years the contractor has been in business.
3. Confirm that the Contractor has a background in the type of construction you are interested in.
4. Ask what type of estimate format they use. Is everything in writing?
5. What type of contract do they use?
6. What are their payment terms. Are they fair to you?
7. How do they handle changes to the work?
8. Are you comfortable with this person? Do you trust them?
9. How has their communication been?
10. Avoid paying with cash.

New Home Construction Process

We provide regular project reports to advise our clients of the work performed, the work to follow and any items or decisions that are required by the Owner.

We provide a Detailed Schedule and advise clients if the schedule changes.

We always provide detailed estimates.

Contractor Liability Insurance

It is critical that you confirm the contractor has Construction Liability Insurance for their company. Blue Ocean Construction Inc. carries 5 million dollars of Liability insurance. This covers the Builder and the Owner in the event of a “Construction caused” failure during the project. This does not cover damages to the construction project should it be caused by non-construction events. For example, weather, vandalism, acts of god etc.

WCB (Worksafe BC)

By law, all General Contractors and Trades must be registered with Work Safe BC. for their respective province. It is a simple process to confirm whether or not your contractor is registered… Contact WorkSafe BC and search for a Clearance Letter. This will tell you if the contractor is current or delinquent.
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Types of Contracts

We offer several contract formats to suit each client. As follows;

Fixed Cost Contract: Where by the contract is based on fixed prices, identifying all finishes and details. For this type of contract the plans are more detailed and a list of specifications are provided.

Fixed and Allowance Contract: Where by the costs are a combination of both Fixed prices and Allowance items.

Cost Plus: Where all costs are submitted to the Client by the contractor, with back up documentation, on a monthly basis. The Clients pays for the actual costs plus a management fee.

Management Fee: Where we act only as a construction manager and are paid a monthly management fee. In this case the owner is the General Contractor (Owner) who assumes the warranty, and payment to the sub-contractors and suppliers.

Our Customer Guide Book

We provide our clients with a 90 page Guide Book and a Project Work Book. These books are educational, helpful and exclusive to our clients. They were created by Blue Ocean to prepare the Owner for a construction relationship, perhaps never before experienced. They provide an explanation of general procedures, documentation, suggestions and Owner To Do Lists during the project.

Pricing - General

The following prices would include design, structural engineering and construction costs:

Quality finished Custom home:

Starting at $275.00 per square foot.

Very high end Custom Homes (exclusive features such as pools, elevators etc).

$300.00 to $500.00 per square foot.

Residential renovation/addition:

$250.00 – $300.00 per square foot.

Warehouses (wood framed):

$175.00 per square foot plus tenant improvements.

Retail (tenant improvements):

$75.00 and up per square foot.

Course of Construction Insurance (COC)

This type insurance is critical for any Owner to have, as it covers damages to the construction project should it be caused by non-construction events. For example, weather, vandalism, acts of god etc. Contact you Insurance Broker to ensure you are covered.

Payment Schedules

Construction projects are financed and paid several different ways. Payment schedules need to be agreed on and included in the construction contracts, prior to work commencing. Here are a few common methods of payment:
a. Milestones: This method, which we commonly use, is based on construction milestones rather than percentage complete. This is an easy way to determine a completion point. (I.E… payment will be made after Framing is complete).

b. Percentage complete: The contractor takes payment at project percentage complete stages (I.E…15% complete). You must understand construction processes and evaluations or have a consultant confirm the percentage is fair.

c. Bank financed structure: Often the bank determines at which stage of construction they will release draws to the owner. In this case the contractor needs to determine if they can work within the proposed payment structure.

d. Labour Only: If your contract is labour only, then payments may be made weekly or bi-weekly to the contractor. A smaller deposit (if any) is also needed, as there are no materials provided.

e. Monthly: Often this method is used with Cost-Plus contracts. Contractors provide a monthly summary of labour costs and material receipts along with the agreed management fee.

The 2/5/10 Warranty

The 2/5/10 Warranty applies to New Homes and Multi-family units which received substantial improvements. This is a Provincially mandated requirement. Only a Licensed Builder or Developer may apply for the warranty coverage. The Warranty is underwritten by designated Insurance companies. The city will not issue a building permit until this is in place.

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