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What is a Specification?

If you’ve walked through a show home in Calgary, you’ve likely heard the word spec or specification. Usually, you just let that word pass you by, but as you go down the path you realize that it’s an important part of the building process. Thinking you probably should’ve looked further into that and now it feels a bit too late to find out, you’re left in the dark. We want to break it down for you so that you are clear on exactly what builders are talking about.

Spec Home vs. Spec/Specification

First, let’s clear this confusing situation up. A “Spec Home” stands for speculative home. It’s a home that has been or is being built to sell to an unknown client. These homes don’t necessarily represent a specification, they are merely homes for sale where decisions have been made without a client involved. A “Spec/Specification” is a document that indicates exactly what your home will be built out of. For example, in Ginger bread house making two specifications might look like these:

“ABC” Gingerbread House Builder Specification $3.00/sqft

6- 6”x6” panels 1” thick made from Sugar Free Gingerbread
1-200ml tube of Sugar Free White Chocolate Icing
10- Gummie Bears
20- Peanut M&Ms

“XYZ” Gingerbread House Builder Specification $2.50/sqft

6- 6”x6” panels 1/2” thick made from Gluten Free Gingerbread
1-100ml tube of Vanilla Icing
5- Swedish Fish
15- Chocolate Chips

As you can see they’re both going to create delicious Gingerbread homes, but there may be certain things that have been included that you value from one specification over another. On one hand, you might want sugar free options, on the other, you might like the price of the XYZ Builder. If you don’t understand the specification you may be unclear on what you’re paying for and what’s included in your new home.

Lighthouse uses our specification as a starting point to help begin the pricing discussions. We customize every specification to match the home that we are building. When we present pricing it will match the exact amount of doors, windows, and bathrooms that are on the plan. There are no surprises this way. Having a specification that only includes 3 bathrooms when you have 4 on the plan, will have you paying more after contract. We include all four so there are no surprises after contract. It’s so important to know exactly what is included when comparing builders and specifications. If you need help comparing apples to apples, we’re always happy to put a sheet together highlighting the differences. Looking at specifications regularly makes it easy for us to spot the differences. We will go through them with you so you can determine what’s important to you in your new home.

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