Frequently Asked Questions


Our job as your builder, is to help you through the design, planning, and building process. We expect you to have a lot of questions, and because of that, we’ve put together a list of questions that are either asked of us quite often, or that maybe you haven’t even thought to ask yet.

Marcelin Blanchette

Project Manager

You have questions and we have answers

Our job as your builder, is to help you through the design, planning, and building process. We expect you to have a lot of questions, and because of that, we’ve put together a list of questions that are either asked of us quite often, or that maybe you haven’t even thought to ask yet.

For all of the other questions that you have, we are always only one phone call or email away, so don’t be afraid to get in touch.

I have an East Kootenay building project in mind. Can you take it from start to finish for me?

Our experience and expertise includes new construction, renovation, and heritage restoration, both residential and commercial. We’ll manage your project and take you through each step: design; planning; budgeting; building; custom finishing and celebrating!

What about unusual design or unique construction? Challenging locations?

If your potential building site is steep and/or angulated or your design ambitious, we’ll welcome the challenge. We know the terrain. We know the climate. We know local requirements. We have a skilled crew and strong working relationships with a wide range of professionals and local municipalities.

As pictures are worth a thousand words, we invite you to look at our Project Gallery. It should convince you we are not afraid to think and work outside of the box.

What major factors influence building costs?

Rural construction can be more expensive than building in towns like Sparwood or Fernie. This is primarily due to the cost of providing water, power and sewer services.

Renovations typically cost more than comparable new construction. The reasons include demolition and removal, complexities of tying into existing structures, plus unforeseen surprises. Two common examples are mold and asbestos needing removal.

Finally, project costs are largely determined by the finishes you chose. Exterior cladding, window/doors, interior floors, trim, counters, cabinetry and bathroom design/finishes all vary widely in cost and quality. The more you can tell us up front about your vision, the more accurate we can be when developing your building project budget.

Why would I choose LWE?

Our mission is to Create Extraordinary Happy Places:

When working with us, you’ll receive a personal connection – you’ll have a dedicated project manager, who will work with you from beginning to end to achieve your vision. We’re a team of hearts in hard hats and we look to challenge the norm, fuel inspiration and ignite originality.

We build talented people who share the same values and add value to every build fueled by the desire to keep improving with a focus on high performance and sustainability.

We’ll get to know you and value your business, plus we have the breadth and depth to deliver on our promises.

I want to hire you. How do we formalize our agreement and responsibilities?
Great! We’ll prepare a contract called a ‘Construction Management Agreement’. This document outlines roles for both of us – a shared understanding of what is your responsibility and our responsibility is critical to a building project’s success.

The Construction Management Agreement also identifies the deposit and future payment terms. Your deposit is used to secure trades and ensure building supplies are available when required; this helps immensely with project timelines.

I want to make a change to something after it's built. Can I?
Absolutely! We’ll confirm what you want in writing and provide you with a cost estimate. We want you to be 100% happy with the end result.
Say I'm not happy with something you've done. How do we address it?
Our goal is to avoid this situation; be proactive. We start by ensuring our Project Managers develop a good working relationship with you. They’ll work with you to identify and solve potential issues before they happen.

That said, client satisfaction and quality control are very important to us. If you are not happy, we’ll always fix it as efficiently as possible.

How long have you been building in the East Kootenays?

LWE has been building in the East Kootenays since 1999. You’ll find completed LWE projects across the entire Elk Valley, right in the town of Fernie, at the Fernie Alpine Resort base, in the South Country, and on the shores of Lake Koocanusa.

We’ve not only grown as a business in that time, we’ve also expanded our knowledge and experience, as well as developed a thorough understanding of the local building requirements, and sustainable practices and materials.

You can learn more about us here.

Are you professionally accredited? Are you current with new technologies?
The LWE team includes a strong mix of designers, project managers, senior and apprentice carpenters.

LWE are members in good standing with the Canadian Home Builders Association and are a certified Built Green Canada builder.

We regularly bring new technologies into our daily practice while keeping an eye on the quality that comes from old world craftsmanship. We balance environmental benefits, like energy and water savings initiatives, with cost and longevity. Our goal is to build to stand the test of time.

Further to that, LWE is a Registered Builder with BC Housing. This ensures you receive a 10 year warranty, backed by the provincial government, upon completion of any new home construction project.

I need a designer or architect for my project, can you help with that?
Yes, at LWE we have a specialist design team who can transform any vision into a full architectural and interior design plan ready for execution.

Our design team is fully qualified, dedicated, creative and innovative, and experienced in delivering designs that not only meet, but exceed clients’ expectations.

Why should I choose LWE to design my project?
The major advantage of partnering with LWE to design your project is the holistic approach this affords you. Our designers will work closely with our build teams throughout the entirety of the design and build process, ensuring your vision is brought into fruition.

Our highly skilled design team consists of fully qualified designers and draftspeople who employ creativity and flexibility to ensure your project is customized to your vision and dream.