Carriage House

Building a Coach House

A Coach House is a Practical Home!

As summer warms up we’ve been busy building a coach house for a local family here in the Fraser Valley.  The trusses have been installed and we are working on framing while the sun shines!  This coach house is designed to be both energy efficient and practical for our clients.  We are excited to see the finished product and we know they are too!

There are a number of good reasons to consider building a coach house on your property.  Of course, you do need to ensure the zoning in your local municipality will permit this on the size of property you own.  A call to city hall should provide you with the answer.

Here are a few reasons to consider building a coach house on your land:

  1. A coach house, also known as a carriage house, will increase your property value.

While it is an expense up front, additional living space will make your property more valuable down the road when you are thinking of selling.

  1. Keep your family close together

Aging parents or adult children who can’t afford to leave just yet.  A private suite in the backyard keeps family close to home. 

  1. Monthly income

Renting out a coach house can bring in valuable residual income, especially now with the cost of rent being as high as it is.  You may find the monthly payments to finance a coach house could be a lot lower than the rental income you can bring in. 

Is a Coach House in my budget?

One of the first questions we are usually asked by prospective clients who wish to build a coach house is regarding cost.  As you can imagine, coach houses vary in a big way when it comes to size and finishes.  There is no set “per square foot” cost when it comes to building anything custom these days.  The best way to begin determining the cost is to sit down with a builder you trust and share your thoughts on what you want.  An initial meeting should confirm whether what you hope to build is within your budget.

Contact Us!

As zoning and bylaws change it’s becoming more common for families to keep the property they own and build a coach house to accommodate changing family needs.  Contact us today if you are considering a coach house on your property!

Rainwater Harvesting in Abbotsford!

Water Conservation in Abbotsford

With the forecast showing upcoming days of sunshine, we are forging ahead on our Abbotsford project!  This energy efficient custom build contains plenty of workshop and storage space with cozy, practical living quarters.

These Fraser Valley homeowners are all about water conservation so they recently installed 3 Graf Carat rainwater harvesting tanks beside their future home.

Using a Telebelt

We called in Marshall Brothers to provide the services of their telebelt conveyor to assist in the placement of material around those tanks.  By using a telebelt, we can quickly and economically convey and place bulk materials such as sand, gravel, and crushed rock.  A great big “thank you” to Jim Smith from Marshall Brothers!

Rainwater Harvesting Tanks

Each Graf Carat rainwater harvesting  tank, supplied by Barr Plastics in Abbotsford, can hold up to 1,700 US gallons of harvested water.  This water can be used for toilet flushing, running laundry, washing vehicles, and irrigation.  A great way to save water and keep that municipal water bill extremely low!

Several years ago we installed Graf’s largest rainwater harvesting system in Canada!  Read up on the story here on the Barr Plastics website.

Today’s video on New Homes Built Right talks about the use of the telebelt.

Window and Door Bucks

Window and Door Bucks – Building Them Right!

Our Project in Abbotsford

Our Abbotsford project in the Fraser Valley is coming along nicely.  We are fortunate to have some nicer weather lately and this has made our job just a bit easier!

Known for Quality Built Homes

We are known for quality built homes.  We don’t cut corners.  We build our foundations with ICF, also known as insulated concrete forms.  An ICF foundation makes a home more energy efficient, durable, and comfortable.  Damp basements and random cold rooms are eliminated when living in a home with an ICF foundation.

The walls on this particular home in Abbotsford are ICF as well.  As a result, this home will have a lower appetite for energy and vastly improved comfort inside the home due to more consistent temperatures, lack of drafts, and superior sound absorption.

A Home with ICF Walls

When your home has ICF walls, we work to ensure the window and door openings are sealed for  minimal air leakage.  A window or door buck is a wood, metal or plastic element used in conventional or icf concrete forming.  It can be removed after concrete is cured or left in place as a permanent attachment point for windows, doors, or other finishes.

New Homes Built Right

Today’s vlog New Homes Built Right shows how we build our window and door bucks to keep your home durable and well constructed.

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Mike Holmes and Team

A Visit from Mike Holmes!

Mike Holmes Visit to Abbotsford!

Last Friday we hosted a fabulous meet and greet with Mike Holmes at our office, right here in Abbotsford!   He was here to shoot Sonbuilt’s latest promotional video showcasing the building practices and products that we use. We introduced him to our trade workers, suppliers as well as a few friends, but were especially excited to be able to invite some of our past, present and future clients whom are the heart of our business!

Those who attended learned more about building healthy and energy efficient homes. We displayed information and samples on all kinds of both sustainable and energy efficient technologies including rainwater harvesting, insulated concrete forms, solar power, and geo exchange.

Holmes Approved Homes

Sonbuilt Custom Homes is an accredited partner in the Holmes Approved Homes builder program. This is an invitation only program where the builder and Holmes Approved Homes agree upon the specifications to build to and also allows for a minimum of 3 staged third party inspections by Mike Holmes Inspections. After each inspection of their new home, the client will receive a report with photos. That is value added to the home right there!

When you build with Sonbuilt, we commit to building homes to a high standard in energy efficiency, durability, and practicality. That’s why Mike Holmes selected us as a partner, we are very good at what we do.

 

Peace of Mind

Building with a Holmes Approved Homes builder provides peace of mind that your home is going to be built right.  Each builder across Canada in this program is recognized for their commitment to quality and better building.

THANK YOU!

We want to say a big “thank you” to everyone who came out on Friday for our event.  We truly hope you enjoyed your time!  We had fun and Mike did too! 

We also want to express our gratitude to Mike Holmes and the team he brought along, Seth, Jon & Michael.  Our partnership with you means a lot to us!

For more information on Sonbuilt and the Holmes Approved Homes program, CLICK HERE.

 

Underslab Preparation

Introducing Our Video Series – New Homes Built Right

A Sonbuilt home is a well built home, even in the places you don’t see.

Today we are discussing underslab preparation.  We’ve put clear crush rock under the footings and the slab of this new home. Prior to placing the footings, we sloped the excavation to one corner where the water will drain away from the foundation.

By doing this, the water will drain away from the under the slab and from under the footings.  The result – the footings won’t be sitting in water.

Fixed Price or Cost Plus?

“What’s the difference between a fixed price agreement and a cost plus agreement?”

We are frequently asked this question.

Fixed Price Agreements

Our Construction Agreements are typically based on a “fixed price”, which means we set the total cost of building your new home prior to construction.  In our Agreement, we show the total cost to build, but not the breakdown of the various levels of construction.  This gives customers the comfort of knowing the final price of their new home.  The cost we quote you to build will be the final cost, unless you change your mind.  If you do, we will carefully cost out the change and let you know what the cost of the change will be before we proceed with a Change Work Order.  If no changes are made throughout the construction process, your cost to build remains the same.

Cost Plus Agreements

If a customer desires the flexibility of decision making and feels a number of changes could take place during the construction process, we also offer a “cost plus” Construction Agreement.  This method is far more detailed than a fixed price budget and will itemize various levels of the construction process.  The cost to build your home is based on our actual costs for building plus our management fee.  Throughout the construction of your home you will be updated regularly on the actual budget numbers and will play a large role in budget decisions.

We are happy to accommodate both types of Agreements and will help you determine which will suit you best.

Relax with Healthy Indoor Air Quality

Is Your Home Making You Sick?

Have you ever wondered if your home is making you sick?  Did you know that the air in the average home is more polluted than the air outside? There has been a strong push in the last few decades to build homes more airtight to conserve on energy.  However, if the home cannot breathe the air will become stagnant.

Poor indoor air quality has been linked to a multitude of conditions including:

  • Eye, nose, throat and skin irritation
  • Respiratory tract infections: bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections
  • Increased severity and frequency of asthma episodes
  • Dizziness, fatigue and lethargy
  • Digestive problems
  • Damage to liver, kidneys, and central nervous system
  • Chronic health conditions including heart disease, cancer and infertility

Healthy Indoor Air Quality with an HRV

Ventilation is needed to ensure healthy indoor air quality.  As homes in Canada become more airtight, the need to ventilate the home increases to ensure the health of you and your family.

An HRV, or heat recovery ventilator, will remove stale air from a home and replace it with fresh air.  Not only will an HRV help maintain a healthy indoor living environment, it will also help keep energy bills down.

In the process of removing stale air from a home, an HRV will use the heat from the indoor air to reheat the incoming outdoor air.  Heat recovery ventilators typically have heat recovery efficiencies of 60% to 80%.  Maintaining an hrv is important and should be done regularly.

hrv
A Typical HRV System

An hrv ensures the delivery, distribution and circulation of healthy fresh outdoor air throughout the house.  It will control indoor air humidity levels to prevent moisture problems such as condensation on windows and mold growth.

Owing a healthy home can literally change your life and the lives of your family.

Contact us today for more information.

Holmes Approved Homes Builder

For Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley

We’re proud to say that Sonbuilt Custom Homes has been chosen by Mike Holmes as the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley exclusive Holmes Approved Homes builder.

Partnering with Mike Holmes

Our clients know that a Sonbuilt home is comfortable, well built, durable, and designed to last. Now our approach has been validated by Canada’s most-trusted contractor, Mike Holmes. Through his HOLMES Approved Homes Program, Mike is partnering with industry-leading builders to ensure buyers get a home that’s built to his standards.

Protecting Your Investment

According to Mike Holmes, “Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. The HOLMES Approved Homes Program is about protecting that investment and building it right the first time.”

Holmes Approved Certification

Homes certified under the HOLMES Approved Homes Program receive a certificate along with the inspection report and a label on the electrical panel to verify the home. When it comes time to sell your Holmes Approved Home, certificates are fully transferable to the new owner, providing you with a unique selling feature!

Chilliwack Custom Home Update

We are excited to be getting ready for drywall on our Chilliwack custom home.

Healthy Home Design

This two story home, designed by Sonbuilt Custom Homes, is for a young family with fun, active children!  It is being built to the R-2000 Standard featuring durability, healthy indoor air quality, and comfort.  For more information on the certified homes we build, click here.

Mike Holmes Approved Home

This Chilliwack home is a Mike Holmes Approved Home.  The custom home will undergo a series of home inspections, including onsite field reviews by approved Mike Holmes Inspectors, providing our client with a transparent record of the quality and value that exists behind the walls.

Built Above Building Code Standard

Local municipal inspectors provide inspections ensuring the minimum building code is being met.  A Mike Holmes inspector will be looking for proof that we are following through with our promise to build a custom home that exceeds the building code.

Be sure to visit our websiteFacebook, or Instagram page for updates!

Move to the Fraser Valley!

Considering a move to the Fraser Valley in British Columbia?

The Fraser Valley is becoming a popular home for many families who wish to live outside of the big city, yet remain close to many shopping options, entertainment venues, boutique-style wineries, locally grown produce, and recreational experiences.

There is a growing interest among many families to relocate to the Fraser Valley.  Improved transportation from Vancouver to the Valley has significantly changed the commute times.  As well, housing is generally more affordable in the Fraser Valley than in Vancouver.

Are you considering a new home in the Fraser Valley?  Be sure to visit our website and contact us today.  We would love to chat!