Understanding Radon

Understanding Radon

What is Radon Gas?

Radon gas is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas found in many, many homes.  There are an estimated 3,300 radon-induced lung cancer deaths per year in Canada.  It is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

Where does Radon come from? 

Radon comes from the decay of uranium minerals found in rock, soil, and water.  It does not naturally occur indoors, however, radon can get into your home anywhere it finds an opening where your home contacts soil.  For example, cracks in foundation walls and floor slabs, construction joints, gaps around service pipes and support posts, floor drains and sumps, and water supply.

Why is Radon so dangerous?

Radon itself is radioactive.  When outdoors, radon mixes with the open air and dilutes it.  However, indoors, it is trapped.  It becomes concentrated resulting in serious health risks, especially lung cancer.

To find out if your home has a radon problem you have to measure the radon concentration inside of it.

How Do I Test My Home for Radon?

To find out if your home has a radon problem you have to measure the radon concentration inside of it.

Health Canada recommends you test for radon every two years.  Radon is volatile and it is normal for levels of radon to change regularly 

There are radon professionals in the Greater Vancouver area like Radon Environmental who can work with you to test your home.  They provide radon mitigation solutions for residential homes and workplaces.

Radon Mitigation Products

As a builder, we use radon mitigation products in the construction of your home to decrease the amount of radon gas capable of seeping into the home.   By doing so, we ensure your new home is safe and free from harmful levels of radon gas.

Health and safety is one of our top priorities, which is why radon mitigation is an important aspect to every one of our new homes.  We urge you to look into what you can do to keep your family safe.

Concrete Window Wells

Maintenance Free Window Wells

What is a Window Well?

If your home has a basement with windows you probably have window wells too.  Window wells are the openings in the ground that allow light to come into the basement.  Often, window wells are made from metal, plastic, wood, or concrete blocks to support the surrounding earth.  Window wells must be properly installed to ensure excess rainwater drains away from your foundation.  They can become a high maintenance item if not properly built and cared for.

Why Concrete?

Our solution is a maintenance free stamped concrete window well.  Why concrete?  Pressure treated wood will last between 5 to 10 years.  Corrugated metal will start to rust and break down between 10 and 15 years after installation.  If improperly installed, both of these products can become a concern for the homeowner.  They can cave in or become misaligned with the foundation causing expensive repair bills.

How Long Does a Concrete Window Well Last?

A concrete window well installed directly onto the concrete footing of your home will never move and can last indefinitely.  They are strong, durable, and virtually maintenance free.  A well built concrete window well will go a long way in preventing future water damage in the basement of your home.

Check out our video below! For more videos on how we build new homes built, click here.

Maintenance Free Concrete Window Wells
ICF Foundation

ICF – Starting with a Better Foundation

This week we started the foundation on the “Woodside” home at the Vine at Pepin Brook.  If you drive be the site, you will notice we are building the foundation out of Quadlock ICF, also known as “Insulated Concrete Forms”.   These large foam panels are easy to assemble, almost like building with lego, and contribute to our High Performance Wall system.  Once the concrete for the foundation has been poured, the icf panels remain in place, not stripped away like form panels of a conventional foundation.

Why Do We Use Insulated Concrete Forms?

We believe achieving the best living environment starts with a solid foundation.  We use ICF (insulated concrete forms) to produce a more comfortable, quiet, and energy-efficient home than those built with traditional construction methods. Homes built with ICF foundations retain heat more effectively.  Basements feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  Homes have a more even temperature, fewer drafts, and fewer hot and cold spots.

Building for Comfort

As a builder, we keep comfort in mind when we build a home.  Both thermal comfort and sound-wise comfort.  We find ICFs are ideal for both.   A comfortable environment offers a better quality of home life for families and their guests.

Saving on Energy

An ICF foundation provides greater insulation performance ratings, resulting in better energy efficiency.   These high-performing foundations contribute to lower energy bills and less wear and tear on the home mechanicals.

Good Air Quality

Indoor air quality is something we often don’t think about until it becomes a concern.  Maintaining a healthy environment is important in any indoor space, especially your home.  An ICF foundation, combined with the Sonbuilt High Performance Wall system and a heat recovery ventilator, will keep humidity levels in a healthy range and provide filtered, unpolluted air for everyone in the home.  The risk of mold is greatly reduced and indoor air is filtered and fresh.

Are you interested in owning this rancher, the “Woodside” and benefiting from living in a better built home?  Contact us today!  Let’s talk!

Lot 6 the Vine

Home Construction at THE VINE!

Construction has BEGUN!

It’s a very busy season here at Sonbuilt as we begin home construction at THE VINE at Pepin Brook!  Our site team is in the process of digging the hole for the home on Lot 6 and within a week or so, you will start to see the insulated concrete forms (icf) assembled for the foundation. 

What Are We Building?

This first home is a rancher we call the Woodside. View the home and floor plan here. It’s a 3 bedroom design with Master and on the Main and a fully completed basement.  We are incorporating several significant Aging in Place features into this home including a level entry, wider doorways, minimal steps from garage to house, and low threshold shower.  It has a walk in pantry by the kitchen too.  This beautiful design has all the comforts you need to live in your home safe and securely.

A High Performance Home with Solar Panels!

We are proud of this Sonbuilt High Performance Home!  The array of solar panels on the roof will ensure your energy bills are kept to a minimum each month.  Our high performance walls are insulated on both the inside and the outside using continuous insulation that dramatically decreases heat loss and prevents the risk of moisture and mold.  The ICF foundation will ensure the basement of this home will be dry and comfortable with no musty smell over time.

Choose Your Finishes!

This early in construction there is still the opportunity to customize many aspects of this home including interior and exterior finishes.  At this stage our in house design team can still take care of modifications to various aspects of the design to accommodate specific furniture sizes.

Contact Our Real Estate Team

Need more information?  Call the team at Elevation Real Estate Group at (604) 755-3979 or email them at info@thevineliving.ca.  As your builder, we at Sonbuilt can also answer questions you may have regarding specific details in the construction of a High Performance Home and process of building.  You are welcome to contact us here.

Stay tuned for photos and updates as construction at THE VINE at Pepin Brook gets under way!

Barrow Family

The Barrow Home, Two Years Later

A few days ago we stopped in to visit Wil and Sara and their twin daughters, Marlee and Paige.  We first met this family back in 2014.  At that time they were excited to build their dream home in Ryder Lake near Chilliwack, BC.   They really wanted to build a High Performance Home.  Clean, fresh indoor air was a high priority for them as allergies were a concern in their family.

Building a Family’s Dream Home

We designed and built a two story home with a basement.  The large open kitchen and great room are ideal for sharing meals together and family time.  A spacious laundry room contains a wide bench with plenty of hooks for hanging sports gear, jackets, and back packs.  The girls were thrilled to have their own bedrooms and were allowed to choose the paint colours.  The open space in the basement has space for indoor sports and lots of storage.

Energy Efficient and Low Cost to Operate

Their home is very energy efficient!  It is built to the R-2000 Standard making it 50% more efficient than homes built to the standard BC Building Code.  In the winter, the warm air stays in the home and in the summer, the home is cool and comfortable.  Wil and Sara shared a story about a power outage that took place a few months after they moved into the home.  It was below freezing outdoors and after several days of no power, the home dropped one degree!  They are very pleased with how cost effective the home is to heat and cool.

We completed their home in 2016 and it was fun to catch up with them at their home to see how they are doing.

ReUse, RePurpose, ReCycle

This latest Sonbuilt Fraser Valley project is all about doing a demolition responsibly. We are re-purposing as items in the home as possible by reusing many materials in the new build and recycling the items we don’t use to ensure they don’t end up in a landfill.

Reducing Waste

As a team, we are tackling this home as a “dismantling” project, rather than attack and destroy. Each item is carefully uninstalled and analyzed. If it can be reused in the future home, we will wrap it for storage. Some items are being donated to charity. Others are being sold on social media. Recyclable materials will be sorted through responsibly. As much as possible, we are avoiding the garbage bin.

We are enjoying this challenge! Stay tuned for updates and photos!

Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo

We are very excited to be in the Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo in Abbotsford at Tradex on February 8 – 10!  Come visit us at booths 212, 213, and 214.

This Fraser Valley based show has a vast array of both interior and exterior products for your home and features a number of landscaping, remodeling, interior design, and home construction companies from areas throughout Greater Vancouver.

When and Where:

Show Location:  Tradex, 1190 Cornell Street, Abbotsford, BC

Show Times:

                Friday, February 8:  1pm – 9pm

                Saturday, February 9:  10am – 6pm

                Sunday, February 10:  10am – 4pm

 Click here for admission prices and show info.

See you at the show!

Merry Christmas from Sonbuilt

Merry Christmas from Sonbuilt!

Merry Christmas!

We at Sonbuilt Custom Homes would like to take a moment to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

2019 is already shaping up to be a busy year for Sonbuilt!  This past fall we have worked diligently at completing the site services at THE VINE at Pepin Brook.   We are excited to be starting construction in the Spring.   If you are looking to have a home designed and built, be sure to contact us early in the New Year.

All the best this Holiday season!  And … a big thank you to all of our customers, staff, trades and suppliers!  We couldn’t do this without you!

Building a Rancher

Yes, We Build Ranchers!

Do You Build Ranchers?

It’s the most common question we are asked.  A classic Rancher floor plan combines the kitchen, great room, 1 or 2 bedrooms, laundry room, and all other essentials spaces for daily living on a single level.  The home may include a basement below, or a games room above.

Ranchers are ideal for those ready to downsize after the kids have left home.  Perfect for one level living, yet still maintaining plenty of usable space for visiting grandchildren, entertaining friends, and weekly family dinners.

Several years ago we won 2nd place in a Canada wide competition for accessible housing.  This home, the Panama, was designed and built specifically for a “young at heart” couple who planned to live in their Sonbuilt home as long as possible.  It was their final home.   To see photos of this home, click here.

Do You Want to Live in a Rancher?

Are you thinking about downsizing and plan to make your next home your “final” home?  If so, let’s make that home a place where you can live independently and safely as long as possible.  We call this “Aging in Place”.  Click here to find out more information on what we design into our homes to ensure the home is safe and smart for long term living.

YES!  We do build ranchers!  Contact us today for more information!

Healthy Home

Quick Tips For a Healthy Home

If you already own a home, here are some easy tips to follow to keep your home environment healthy:

Ventilation

Make sure you have fresh air circulating in your home.

Use Eco-Friendly Products

Keep air fresher and cleaner using toxin and pollutant free products

Choose Hardwood Flooring

Carpets can hide dust, pet hair, fungus, and other harmful particles

Unplug

Switch any technological devices not in use

Remove Your Shoes

Shoes can carry pollen, dirt, and soil from the outdoors into your home

Get It Tested

Ensure your home is radon free by getting it tested

Ensure Paint is Dry and Cured

While it’s exciting to set up a freshly painted room, ensure that paint is dry and cured before using it.

Change That Shower Curtain

Rotate your shower curtain regularly and avoid ones made from vinyl as they do become moldy quickly.

Visit our webpage on the High Performance Home to learn about building a healthy, energy efficient home.