“Living in Toronto, it was extra important we chose a contractor we could trust. … Mark is the ultimate trustworthy professional.”
Highmark Custom Home Builders Ltd. was one of three contractors our real estate agent recommended we contact for quotes to build our four season cottage and garage/loft. Consistent with past similar experiences, we placed significant importance on the recommendations of others to make our choice.
After we ‘got the keys’ in a little over a year, we re-read the testimonials on Highmark’s website and were struck by how complete and accurate others’ descriptions of Mark’s attributes were compared with our experience.
For the sake only of being brief herein we’ll not be repetitive. Our experience is he is what you read in the testimonials. However, we do want to add one aspect our circumstance not described elsewhere. Living in Toronto, it was extra important we chose a contractor we could trust. Our budget included cash for trips to the HRM to sort out in person ‘the inevitable issues that arise during the construction of a house’. It was not necessary to make any such trip! Apart from feeling the real-time excitement seeing our cottage and garage ‘rise from the ground’, the scores of photos Mark regularly emailed us documenting each aspect of the build not only provided the bases of communication to remotely resolve each and every issue that arose but also has created a library of photos for any required future reference.
Mark is the ultimate trustworthy professional.
We’d be happy to speak at more length with anyone who would like more detail.
~ Anne and Bob
“…true to his word and will do everything in his power to ensure that your build is completed on time and on budget.”
Just a few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of moving into our new home built by Mark Manuel of Highmark Custom Homes and we couldn’t imagine being any happier.
From our initial encounter with Mark, we knew that we would be in good hands. Mark is a straightforward, trustworthy person with an admirable work ethic. His attention to detail is obvious and he treats your home as if it were his own. He is true to his word and will do everything in his power to ensure that your build is completed on time and on budget. That said, he also has an eye for style and he always wants things to look right.
Our new home came in on budget and we are impressed with the quality of the construction. It was completed not only on time but a few days early which is really impressive considering it was the Christmas season!
Overall, we would highly recommend Highmark Custom Homes for your construction project. You will be not only impressed with the quality work provided but also with Mark’s accessibility and integrity throughout the entire project and even after it has been completed.
We consider ourselves lucky to have had the pleasure of building our new home with Mark and would not hesitate to work with him again in the future.
~ Blair and Geri H
“I feel 100% confident that if you choose to work with Mark on any project you absolutely will not be disappointed.”
After building our first home with a well-known large scale builder we were weary to step into the fire for a second time and build our dream home. They say first impressions are everything and from the very first moment I spoke with Mark I was astounded first and foremost by his professionalism and secondly by his overall know how in every aspect of the building process. After a few months of back and forth we finally settled on the details and set forth on what I like to say was one of the easiest and most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in life.
What you can expect from Mark; Professionalism, reliability, trust, honesty, promptness, fairness, kindness, high quality, timeliness.
Mark runs a tight ship and his perfectionistic personality only works well for the client! Not once in our time working together did I ever second guess Mark in any way and I always felt he was working toward creating our vision. He doesn’t cut corners and his reputation is everything to him and his name. You won’t get that when you build with the higher volume builders. Mark is very fussy when it comes to the subcontracting aspects of the build and he only works with companies that will also provide a quality job. He also doesn’t have time for any foolishness in any regard so you can be assured he will keep things running smoothly and on time. I feel 100% confident that if you choose to work with Mark on any project you absolutely will not be disappointed. He is truly a diamond in the rough and if the time ever comes to build again Highmark Homes will be building it!
~ Carly Baker
“We’re so happy we chose Highmark Homes to make our dream home a reality.”
My wife and I have waited a long time to build our dream home. We skipped the starter and when all our friends were buying their first homes we were busy saving up. We knew what we wanted and spent countless hours scrutinizing plans and nailing down the details that would take our home from average to “the perfect home for us”. Once we figured out what we wanted we went to quote. As first time builders this was very confusing, and stressful. The costs were difficult to understand and there was so much variation between contractors. Lucky for us we met Mark. Immediately we were put at ease by how down to earth and easy he was to talk to. He explained his quote to us, was transparent with his costs, and was willing to help us adjust our plans so that we could still get the house we dreamt of at a cost that was affordable. Plus he spent time showing us some of his other builds under different stages of construction so that we could get an understanding of the quality we could expect. We weren’t disappointed!
Through the build process, Mark was there every step of the way answering any questions and fielding concerns we had. He helped to educate us on all of the different options available from heating, to flooring, to lighting. The learning curve is steep and he made two first time builders feel comfortable and confident in their decisions.
As expected we were very impressed with the overall build quality of the home and the finishing touches. We’re so happy we chose Highmark Homes to make our dream home a reality. We would highly recommend Mark to anyone looking to build or renovate.
~ Colin & Mindy
“From the very beginning, we knew we were in good hands with Mark.”
To Whom It May Concern,
We are writing this letter to express our enthusiastic support for Mark Manuel, who recently completed building our dream home. Mark exceeded every one of our expectations and we strongly recommend his services to anyone wanting a beautiful, well built home.
Before building our home, we heard our fair share of horror stories from friends and family who vowed never to embark on such a stressful process again. Even those who were generally pleased with their builders had plenty of advice about ‘what not to do’ during the building process. We knew that Mark came highly recommended, but we were still prepared for some bumps along the way. We never expected the process to run as smoothly and as stress-free as we experienced with Mark.
From the very beginning, we knew we were in good hands with Mark. Even before we had even designed our home, Mark accompanied us to vacant lots and offered his advice regarding the suitability of each lot for various types of homes. He was always punctual, prepared and patient, answering all of our questions even before we had committed to choosing him.
When we finally purchased our lot, Mark assisted us throughout the entire design process. It became very quickly apparent to us that Mark is incredibly knowledgeable and takes great pride in his work. He encouraged us to design the home that we wanted to live in, always willing to offer his insight and advice but always supportive of our own vision.
Before we even started building, we knew that Mark understood our vision for our home. He is not only an extremely skilled and capable builder, but also has a keen eye for design. We came to Mark with a binder full of magazine clippings and photos, and we could always see the spark in his eye when he came upon a new idea. He clearly enjoyed the challenge of building something unique and never hesitated to take on work that would be difficult or unusual.
While negotiating our building contract, Mark met with us on numerous occasions – including in his own beautiful home – to ensure that he clearly understood our expectations and desires. Through this extensive communication, he was able to provide us with realistic estimates and allowances so that our final bill was just as we expected it would be.
Communicating with Mark is easy because he is extremely personable. He is friendly, honest, open, sincere, often funny and extremely likeable. Through the building process, we gained not just a beautiful home but a friend. Mark and his family will always be welcome in our home.
Despite all of the warnings we heard from friends and family about the stressful process of home building, we can honestly reflect on a process that was not only stress-free but also fun. The process was stress-free because Mark treated our home as if it was his own. Mark is a perfectionist, often making “repairs” and improvements that we didn’t even ask for. On several occasions, Mark advised us that he had arranged for contractors to return to fix a window or door or wall that we thought was perfect already. There was nothing to be fixed or improved we could possibly identify that Mark had not already identified himself. It almost became a fun challenge to spot a problem that Mark hadn’t already arranged to be remedied. The slightest dent or smudge – Mark was always ten steps ahead of us.
Mark’s perfectionism is clearly evident in his work. Every person who has passed through our home – including contractors and woodworkers – have remarked at the quality of Mark’s work. Every surface is finished impeccably. Looking at each and every corner of our home, there is no doubt that Mark takes extreme pride in his work. That pride is well warranted as we can honestly say that we have never seen a home more beautiful than the one Mark built for us.
Mark clearly has a passion for his work. He would often show up at the building site with a newspaper or magazine clipping of his own, excited about a new idea for our home. So excited in fact that Mark made several improvements to our design at his own expense. Our home was clearly a labour of love for Mark. He consistently went the extra mile to ensure that our dream home became a reality.
Mark promptly responded to every phone call and every email. If he didn’t know the answer to our question, which was rare, he was always quick to find out. He also demonstrated incredible patience throughout the entire process – even when we badgered him relentlessly with question after question, or changed our minds for the tenth time. Mark always responded with a smile and helpful advice.
Even after our home was complete and the final bill was officially paid, Mark ensured that things were running smoothly for us. When we dented our ceiling moving our furniture into the house, Mark offered to repair the ceiling at his cost. We feel so comfortable knowing that Mark is there for us, even after the building process is over. From day one, he has treated us with the care and consideration his own friends and family would expect of him. He was with us every step of the way.
Words cannot truly express how grateful we are to Mark or how happy we are to recommend him to anyone thinking of building. With Mark, we have no doubt that you will receive the expert, personalized service that we received from an absolutely wonderful person. We would be happy to speak to anyone who would like to hear more about our building experience.
~ Darrell & Sarah Kyte
“Mark Manuel went above and beyond any expectations we had; the organization of the entire process was flawless…”
To Whom It May Concern,
As a young couple fresh out of school and beginning our careers, the next logical step in our life was to purchase a home of our own. The decision to purchase land was not one made lightly, but it was certainly made with confidence after Mark Manuel of Highmark Custom Home Builders took spare time from his schedule to walk plots with us and informed us of what we could expect for each one. Mark did this without guarantee that we would choose him as our builder; he did this from his own generosity to help the inexperienced couple and make sure they knew what to expect throughout the process.
There was never a doubt to who we wanted to build with, but as this was our first home, we took the time to meet other builders to discuss with them our expectations and receive quotes. While there was nothing negative to say about any of the contractors we met, it was very clear to us that not only was Mark competitively priced, but the quality of his work was superior to that of his competition.
We had prepared ourselves prior to building that there would be high stress levels and hard decisions. Building a home was stressful, but never was it caused by Highmark Custom Home Builders. Mark Manuel went above and beyond any expectations we had; the organization of the entire process was flawless and Mark was available to answer our questions or concerns at any given time, whether through phone or even email. He made certain that we were happy with the outcome during the entire process.
Not only does Mark Manuel build quality, but the speed of the entire process was amazing. It soon became a nightly enjoyment for us to visit the construction site and excitedly look over everything Mark’s team had accomplished during the day. When we stopped by and a group of his workers were there they only had the highest of praises for Mark and his work each time.
We strongly recommend Highmark Custom Home Builders to anyone considering building. Not only are you purchasing quality workmanship, but the level of service provided is impressive, and your contractor will be accessible to you at anytime. If we ever have the need to build or renovate in the future, without a doubt we will be calling Mark Manuel.
~ Curtis Edgett & Rachel Mason
“…Highmark Custom Homes will satisfy your needs for a contractor and beyond!”
In the Summer of 2011 My wife and I married after having met ten years prior as high school sweethearts. We have great pride in our relationship and marriage and knew our first home would not be any different. We selected a very nice country style lot in the Enfield area just outside Halifax and knew our home had to be exactly what we wanted for our dream property.
We found many, many builders and contractors on the internet and even booked appointments and walk-throughs. We received quotes, and looked at hundreds, if not thousands, of home plans. We tossed between per-fabricated homes and everything in between. Eventually we came across Mark Manuel and Highmark Custom Homes. The looking had finally come to a stop.
Mark Manuel started the process by truly listening to our needs and wants. We discussed an affordable budget before quickly moving into the planning stage. Mark supplied us with three sets of plans which met our requests for every facet of our needs as well as our budget. We decided on a beautiful two-storey starter home with plenty of space. The home has Two levels finished (upper and lower) with an un-finished basement. We loved the idea of family living keeping the bedrooms upstairs and main level for living and entertaining. Planning however would be Marks first challenge in dealing with a ‘perfectionist’ in myself. My wife and I decided to make a few changes to best suit our needs and Mark was quick to help and offer his advice. Even at the planning stage Mark Manuel was carrying much of the stress albeit making our experience that much more enjoyable for first time builders. After planning we started by walking the property and discussed land grading, home location and other details, both specific and general.
Construction started and my wife and I could hardly stand the excitement. We would visit the work site with joy and snap as many photographs as our camera would allow as we walked our framed in bedrooms and hallways. Mark always encouraged My wife and I to visit and discuss the construction phases and inspect the progress. It became a ritual to have a quick supper and make the drive throughout the summer days visiting Mark on site. My wife and I found we did not have any hassle at all. We never had to worry about timelines or issues with banks and lawyers because Mark was always in check with things on his end.. The entire build remained consistent and was effortless on our behalf.
My wife and I would like to refer Mark Manuel and Highmark Custom Homes knowing the customer will receive extremely high-quality work, affordable prices, and impeccable customer service. We have experienced this first hand and truly believe Highmark Custom Homes will satisfy your needs for a contractor and beyond!
~ Brian & Aimee Pothier
“The attention to detail and utilization of space is exceptional…”
My wife and I purchased a home built by Highmark Custom Homes and are thoroughly satisfied with our purchase. The design and layout of the home fits our needs and will allow for room to grow. The attention to detail and utilization of space is exceptional as is the level of service we received from Mark. We would certainly enlist the help of Highmark Custom Home Builders Ltd. when it is time for our next home.
~ Mark & Natalie Lockhart
“The quality of our home that you built was beyond our expectations.”
The purpose of this letter is to tell you how pleased that my husband and I are that we selected Highmark to build our home. We have enjoyed our experience with all of your sub-contractors as well. The quality of our home that you built was beyond our expectations. I have always appreciated attention to detail and your consistent follow through on all items affecting our new home was above and beyond. Mark Manuel was very diligent, thorough and accommodative even with some “last minute” changes on our part! Not only that, it is obvious from the quality of the trades that worked on the site that Highmark expects and attracts the very best. We would highly recommend Highmark to anyone looking to build.
Thanks again for a job well done!
~ S. Tanner
“I could not be more pleased with the professionalism, personal service, and most of all, the result.”
With regards to my garage built by Mark Manuel and his “only the best will do” attitude, it will be a pleasure to speak of my experience.
I was told about Mark and his ability to produce quality building products, whether it would be a home or garage, through word of mouth from a fellow ball player. After contacting and meeting with two other builders, who did not leave me with a good feeling, I met with Mark at an agreed time on my property. I explained what I was looking for, where I wanted it built, and what I had in mind for a price. He was extremely personable and spoke to me knowing I am not in the building business and used terms I was more familiar with.
He handled everything from permits to final inspections. Mark even produced a drawing very similar to the one I had in mind and within two weeks the project had begun. He checked on production often, making sure I was informed of all progress. His builders were all very professional and worked extremely diligently when weather permitted.
The final product was magnificent in structure value and quality finish. It was completed on time and within the cost we discussed. I could not be more pleased with the professionalism, personal service, and most of all, the result. I would highly recommend Highmark Custom Home Builders Ltd for any project worthy of placing his name on it. It was a complete pleasure doing business with Mark. When another project comes up, he will be the one I call.
~ T.J. Critch
“We learnt very quickly into the project to trust his judgement and we have not had one regret.”
First let me congratulate you because if you are considering building a home, you’ve almost made the best decision of your life by considering Mark Manuel to build your home. The best decision of you’re life will be when you make the definite decision to trust Mark and let him do his thing!
And that is what you need to do, trust him! With over 20 years experience, he knows how to build a strong and solid, beautiful, and unique home along with his special touches so it doesn’t look like the one down the street. He oversees every detail and is on site checking each step of the way to ensure everything is done to his expectations. Every suggestion he made from an extension to our dining room to a light in our master en suite shower (and many others in between), we agreed to and are love each and every modification he recommended. We learnt very quickly into the project to trust his judgement and we have not had one regret. It gave us so much peace of mind and since we were preparing and selling two other homes, we were able to focus on these knowing our new home was in good hands.
During the construction, we often dropped by to see what had been done in the last couple of days and had many opportunities to speak to his sub-contractors. We consistently heard how they enjoy working with Mark because of the exceptional standards of his projects and quality of the workmanship he brings together to finish a home. He is very particular almost to his detriment but it is because he builds each home like it would be his own and will never accept anything less. He takes exceptional pride in his work and gets as excited as you as the project progresses.
As we went through the process, if we had a question or didn’t understand something, he took the time to explain it to us. He was also always willing and able to meet us at the site and offered each and every time in order to ensure we were comfortable and happy with what was going on. He was always very accommodating and this openness helped avoid a couple of potential issues and he reaffirmed that is why he is always available because sometimes we can have different perceptions of how it will look. Ensuring everyone is clear and understands makes things so much easier. He kept on schedule and on budget. This was very important because we went with the construction mortgage. Our bank representatives commented they had never worked with such an organized and professional contractor nor had they ever had a construction mortgage go so smoothly. Even our lawyer was so impressed she said, “I know who will build my next home”.
We have our dream home and we, by sheer good fortune, met Mark through a real estate agent we met looking at homes. We merged two families consisting of four grown teenagers, a dog and two cats, and two adults; and, we are all very happy and very much at home in our new home and a home it definitely is. When someone asks me what is my favorite aspect, honestly I can’t say because I love every angle and every extra special thing he suggested or did. We have an amazing and beautiful home that we will enjoy for many, many years, and we owe everything to Mark for giving it to us and being a part of our new beginning.
Our gratitude and appreciation for Mark’s integrity and demand for quality workmanship is like no other and we can guarantee you, you will never regret it.
~ Gena Leger & Andre Gendron
“Mark’s attention to detail and his unique style really made buying this home an easy decision for me.”
I recently purchased a home constructed by Mark Manual of Highmark Custom Homes. The experience from the very first contact that I made with Mark Manual was very positive. Mark took the time to listen to my needs and really wanted to get to know me a as a home buyer.
Mark walked me through a beautiful 2 story home in Halliburton Heights recently constructed by his professional team. I asked many questions and Mark answered every one of them with a very positive attitude and in a professional manner. Mark’s attention to detail and his unique style really made buying this home an easy decision for me. Mark explained everything to me related to the heating system, drilled well and septic system. I knew that I was buying quality and that Mark would be there to assist or answer any questions once I purchased the home.
I was always very impressed with Mark’s availability and quick response time to my questions once I decided to purchase the home. Mark would always return my phone calls in a timely and professional manner. Now that I have moved into this home which I believe was fairly priced, I know that I made the right decision and Mark made this an easy process for me.
I would certainly recommend Mark for any new home construction or future renovations. Mark truly understands customer service and will not disappoint you when deciding to build your new home.
~ Graham Fry