Local builder brings personal touch to custom home building

Larren Monti of Atlas Premium Home Development stands by some of the custom design work in his new 100 Street office. The company’s focus is custom built homes. -Stephen Dafoe

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Sitting behind the desk at his new Morinville office, home builder Larren Monti looks at a complete 3D rendering of what a client’s home will look like before a shovel is ever put in the ground. Monti is the owner of Atlas Premium Home Development Ltd. The company specializes in custom homes and recently opened a new office at 113 – 9918 100 Street in the Morinville Centre.

Monti, who has been in the business for 10 years, almost two of those focused on custom home building, said his 3D system is superior to conventional blueprinting because it lets his custom home customers see exactly what their new home will look like. Using the software to create a three-dimensional, video game-like walk through, Monti is able to plot a queen-size bed in the master bedroom to let his clients see how much room will be left. The same system allows him to put different textures, including stone and wood on walls and surfaces to give a visual representation of how the new living spaces will look.

“I can show them exactly what the stone will look like on that wall,” he said. “I can give them a price on it based on square footage. It is complete customization and it lets the client know because a lot of people have a very hard time looking at a set of blueprints of pictures and trying to imagine that. It’s a huge investment, the biggest most people will make in their life. So it gives them an opportunity to see exactly what they’re getting before they give me any money whatsoever.”

Although the 3D technology is common today and can even be acquired as a basic program for home use, Monti said there are not a lot of builders using the technology for their clients. “The first two houses I built were made strictly off of plans I made with this program,” he said, adding the program works well when one has the knowledge to know where load bearing walls and plumbing lines need to go. “I do all of it with this program. It is an effective tool for that as well.”

But there is more to the system than offering visual aids to client. Monti said it allows him to more accurately quote a project, a situation that the builder says allows him to build a completely custom home for what people would pay for a spec home.

The builder encourages his clients to work with him, sending pictures and ideas to get the custom home they want. “Ask me as many questions as you want so that in the end you are 100 per cent happy with your investment,” he said. “There is no stupid question. Ask me, ask me, ask me.

For Atlas, the focus is on a more personal way of home building. “You always hear real estate agents say if you find a house that has 90 per cent of what you want, buy it because you are never going to find a house with everything you want,” he said. “That’s what I’m offering. For the same price as buying a spec house, I can build you a custom house – 100 per cent the way you want it, start to finish.”

Many years in the trade

Building a custom home is more than the latest in visual software or listening to what a client wants. It takes knowledge and experience, attributes Atlas has in considerable supply. Monti entered the carpenter’s profession at the age of 17, pausing briefly to work the rigs for a couple years at the age of 20. The change made him appreciate how much he enjoyed carpentry and he returned to it to make it his career. Five years later he started his own company, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year. “I’ve never slowed down since,” he said. “I’ve been very fortunate.”

Monti and his family moved to Morinville after he built some houses here and began to fall in love with the community. “We love it here,” he said. “After we built that house, we decided to build another one and stay here. We had the option to go to St. Albert. We had the option to go anywhere. We chose to stay here because of the community. Now that I have a one-year-old son, it makes me appreciate it all that much more.”

Custom homes and more

Although Atlas Premium Home Development’s focus is on new custom home construction, the company also does large-scale renovation projects.

Monti said the company looks to do five to 10 custom homes each year, a number where he feels each home can be given the attention it needs.

For more information on Atlas Premium Home Development visit their website at atlaspremiumhomes.ca.

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