Home Buyer Resources | Trico Homes | New Home Builder in Calgary Alberta. New Houses, Townhomes and Condos

Home Buyer Resources


Terminology and phrases utilized throughout the building process may not be familiar to you. We have listed common terms and phrases for your reference. If you require additional information or clarification, please contact your Area Manager, as they will be with you throughout the building process to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

Architectural Controls (A/C's)

These are the land developer's regulations or guidelines for the placement of homes on lots, the overall exterior design details, types ofexterior finishes, colours, etc. Developers create these architectural controls to ensure that communities are appealing and tasteful. They add value to your home and community and can add costs due to the choice of exterior finishes and/or materials that the developer requires for your community. All exterior elevations have to be submitted to the community developer by trico homes for approval and may requireadditional revisions before final approval is given.


A person or company that builds homes.

Builder Performance Protection

The Alberta new home warranty program safeguards the construction process by providing up to $30,000 towards completion costs or the discharge of builders' liens. This includes up to $3000 in excess legal fees that may be incurred by the purchaser.

Building Permit

A certificate, which must be obtained from the municipality by the property owner or contractor before a building can be erected or repaired. It must be posted in a conspicuous place until the job is completed and approved by a municipal building inspector.


An overhang, where one floor extends beyond and over a foundation wall (e.G., at a fireplace location or bay window cantilever.) normally, not extending over 2 feet.

Closing Costs

Costs in addition to the purchase price of the home, such as legal fees, transfer fees, utilities, interest adjustments, taxes, disbursements that are payable on the closing date.

Closing Date

The contractual date on which the sale of a property becomes final and the new owner takes possession.

Commitment Letter/mortgage Approval Letter

Written notification from the mortgage lender to the borrower approving the advancement of a specific amount of mortgage funds under specified conditions.

Conditional Offer/conditions Of Sale

A purchase agreement that is subject to specified conditions, such as, the arranging of a mortgage. There is usually a stipulated time period within which the conditions must be met.

Condominium (or Strata)

You own the unit you live in (e.G., high-rise, low-rise, or townhouse) and share ownership rights for the common areas of the building along with the development's other owners.

Construction Schedule

An outline of construction activity that guides sub-trades and suppliers in planning and coordinating their work throughout the four main stages of construction: excavation and foundation, framing to lock up, drywall and finishing.


A person responsible for overall construction of a home, including buying, scheduling, workmanship, and management of subcontractors and suppliers.

Curb Appeal

How attractive the home looks from the street. A home with good curb appeal will have attractive landscaping and a well-maintained exterior.

Customer Orientation

A meeting between the purchaser and the builder to review and confirm that work on your home is complete and satisfactory. It is also a period of orientation for your new home and its features. It may include detailed demonstrations of equipment as well as useful information on maintenance and upkeep.


A metal "door" placed within the fireplace chimney. Normally closed when the fireplace is not in use. Also used in heating systems to balance duct work. 


Items on the contract that have not been completed at the time of inspection. Seasonal deficiencies are the most common type, where weather and climate factors make it inadvisable to complete certain kinds of exterior work.


A sum of money provided by the purchaser to the builder as a means of binding a contract for the purchase and sale of a house.


An opening in a sloping roof, the framing of which projects out to form a vertical wall suitable for windows or other openings.


A home for one family, attached to another building on one side. Also semi-attached or semi-detached.  

Easements - a right of access across your property to repair, replace or install utilities. Permanent structures cannot be locatedon easements.


A rain gutter, or narrow channel, or trough, forming the component of a roof system which collects and diverts rainwater shed by the roof.it is also known as an eaves channel, guttering or simply as a gutter. 


The process of calculating the cost of a project. This can be a formal and exact process or a quick and imprecise process.

Exposed Aggregate Finish

A method of finishing concrete that washes the cement/sand mixture off the top layer of the aggregate, usually gravel. Often used indriveways, patios and other exterior surfaces.

Exterior Elevations

Detailed, scaled and dimensional drawings of the roof and the exterior walls of your home. They show your home's profile (front, sides and rear), and indicate the location and types of exterior finishing materials to be used. 

Exterior/interior Finish Schedule

A detailed and specific listing of your choices of materials, colors, styles and models. This forms part of your contract.


An architectural term for a frieze or band running horizontally and situated vertically under a roof edge, or which forms the outer surface of a cornice, visible to an observer. Typically consisting of a wooden board or sheet metal.

First Year Material And Workmanship Protection

Coverage provided by the alberta new home warranty program if a builder does not perform. It provides up to $60,000 for the repair of defects in materials and workmanship during the first year of owner occupancy.


A freehold title is an interest in land that gives the holder full and exclusive ownership of the land and building for an indefinite period.a leasehold title is an interest in land that gives the holder the right to use and occupy the land and building for a defined period.


A specified amount that pertains to an unfinished item that the lawyer will hold upon completion.


An abbreviation for heat, ventilation, and air conditioning.

Interior Floorplans

A scaled down overview for each level of the home including the basement.


A joist is one of the horizontal supporting members that run between foundations, walls, or beams to support a ceiling or floor. They may be made of wood, engineered wood, steel, or concrete. Typically, a beam is bigger than a joist and joists are often supported by beams laid out in repetitive patterns.

Lot Grades

The engineering design level (or elevation) of the house on a lot, in relation to the sidewalk, road, laneway and adjacent property. Grades also determine a number of other factors, including the need for window wells and retaining walls, the design of steps, and the profile of the lot after the landscaping. Proper planning of grades is essential to avoid surface water problems that could result in a damp basement.

Lot Plan Grade Slip

The orientation and location of your new home on its lot indicated on a scaled down drawing of the lot. It shows the distance to the home from the front, back and side property lines and positions the home in accordance with municipal bylaws for "setbacks" from property lines and easements. The locations of any easements are indicated along with details of "grades"?.


A vented opening into the home that has a series of horizontal slats and arranged to permit ventilation but to exclude rain, snow, light, insects, or other living creatures.

MLS (Multiple Listing Service)

A multiple listing service that contains descriptions of most of the homes for sale. This computer-based service is used to keep up withproperties that are listed for sale.


A mortgage is a legal security (registered on title) for a loan on a property. It is a financial charge and encumbrance against the property as security for the loan.

Occupancy Inspection/new Home Orientation

A meeting between purchaser and builder to review and confirm that work on your home is complete and satisfactory. It is also a period of orientation for your new home and its features. It may include detailed demonstrations of equipment, as well as useful information onmaintenance and upkeep. 

Possession Certificate/inspection Form

A certificate signed by the purchaser at the end of the possession inspection and orientation which indicates approval of the overall finish of the home, as well as notes any defects and deficiencies.

Pre-Possession Walkthrough

Occurs a few days before, or on the same day as, your occupancy (possession) inspection and addresses the following issues: confirmation that all documents are executed, confirmation that the closing statement is in order, receipt of funds for final closing balance, final questions answered and details clarified and authorization to release keys.

Purchase Agreement

An agreement for the construction of a home and the purchase of land. It is commonly used if the builder is selling both the home andthe lot. The agreement specifies the lot to be accurate and notes details concerning the transfer upon fulfillment of the agreements termsand conditions.

Purchase Price

The agreed upon price of your new home (and lot, if included through a purchase agreement) plus gst, less the applicable gst rebate granted by the federal government to new home buyers. The purchase price also includes the cost of any agreed to changes in the plans and specifications at the time of signing the agreement, as well as adjustments.


"R" refers to the resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. Almost all insulation products have to tell you their R-value - pipe and duct insulation are the only exceptions. (duct wrap is covered.)

Realtor / Real Estate Agent

A person who acts as an intermediary between the seller and the buyer of a property. 

Reserve Fund

A fund required to be set up by a condominium corporation for major repair and replacement of common elements and assets of acorporation. The homeowner sets aside a pre-determined amount on a regular basis so that funds are available for emergency ormajor repairs.

Row House

Also called a townhouse, a row house is one unit of several similar single-family homes, side-by-side, joined by common walls.

Seasonal Deficiencies

Items resulting from a delay in exterior work such as applying paint, parging, stucco and pouring concrete driveways or sidewalks and final grading of the property, usually due to poor weather conditions.

Semi-detached / Semi-attached Home

A home for one family, attached to another building on one side. Also duplex. 

Single-family Attached Home

Freestanding home for one family, not attached to a house on either side, with attached garage (usually at the front). 

Single-family Detached Home

Freestanding home for one family, not attached to a house on either side, with optional detached garage (usually at the rear, with access to lane or alley). 


A "general specification" list that outlines construction, finishing details and schedules. It also includes information regarding the builder's warranty and policies for handling legal arrangements and title transfers. Specifications are an important part of the agreement, and take precedence over working drawings in the case of a discrepancy between working drawings and specifications.

Statement of Adjustments

This final statement of account reflects the financial history of all the transactions and agreements that have occurred between you and trico homes, as well as the normal closing adjustments, including payments and monies due.

Structural Plans

Working drawings that provide cross-sectional views and details of the structural components of your new home. These include foundation footings, basement walls, roof trusses, floor joists and load-bearing beams.


A document that demonstrates the property boundaries and measurements, specifies the location of improvements on the property, and indicates any easements or encroachments. 


A document issued by the alberta land titles office that shows the registered owner(s) of the land subject to any encumbrances, easements, or other changes. The title may be held in freehold, condominium or leasehold. Owners may hold title as joint tenants or as tenants in common.


Also called a row house, a townhouse is one unit of several similar single-family homes, side-by-side, joined by common walls.

Transfer of Title

Instructions from the owner of the land to the land titles office of the transfer of title to new owners in accordance with the purchaseagreement.


A supporting structure or framework composed of beams, girders, or rods commonly of steel or wood lying in a single plane. A truss usually takes the form of a triangle or combination of triangles, since this design ensures the greatest rigidity. Trusses are used for large spans and heavy loads, as in roofs.


An inspection of a home before to look for and document problems that need to be corrected. May be performed at various stages of the home build (i.E., framing, mechanical, finishing, etc.)

Window Well

The clear space created by a soil-retaining structure located immediately below a window whose height is lower than the adjacent ground level. 

Working Drawings

Scaled down, two dimensional drawings containing exterior elevations, interior floorplans, and structural plans that serve a number ofpurposes from receiving municipal building permit approval, to ordering from suppliers, to providing direction for sub-trades.

Zoning Bylaws

Municipal or regional bylaws that specify the use of or restrict land use including setbacks and building types.