Whole Home Surge Protection

Protect Your Investment with Whole Home Surge Protection

Protecting your entire home from power surges is an important step in keeping your home safe, especially during seasons of high winds and ice storms.  We’ve had some interesting weather this winter resulting in several days of power outages and very cold temperatures.  I heard of several homes encountering devastating power surges leaving home electronics destroyed and unsafe.

A Holmes Approved Product

This past January we visited the International Builder’s Show in Orlando with Mike Holmes and his son, Mike Holmes Jr. and daughter Sherry Holmes.   One of the booths we stopped by at was the Eaton booth.  Eaton sells a small, cost effective device that provides whole home surge protection.  This is a  Mike Holmes approved product and offers a smart way to keep your home safe from potential power surges.

Install One In Your Next Home

As a Holmes Approved Home builder, Sonbuilt Custom Homes installs this surge protection device in the homes we build.  Just another step we take to build new homes right!

Jonathan Carmen Zerkee

Best Certified Home!

Winner!  Best Certified Home!

One of our custom homes recently won a Special Achievement Award for “Best Certified Home” at the Housing Awards of Excellence Gala by the Canadian Home Builders of the Fraser Valley.  The Drysdale is a home we designed and built for a family living in Chilliwack.

A High Performance Home

This high performance home is certified R-2000 and received an air test of 0.57 air changes per hour.  It has an ICF (insulated concrete forms) foundation, triple glazed windows, airtight drywall, navien hot water tank, low flow toilets, and a heat recovery ventilator for regular fresh air.

Building this home was a great experience and working with this family was pure fun!  The site is located in the midst of beautiful mountains and sheep farms.  There were some days we felt a little guilty for disturbing this peaceful setting with our power tools!

Thank you CHBA FV!

We want to say a big “thank you” to the Canadian Home Builders Association of the Fraser Valley for awarding us this honour!

Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo

Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo – February 9 – 11, 2018

We are very excited to be in the Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo in Abbotsford at Tradex on February 9 – 11!  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.

Main Stage Speakers!

As well, both Jonathan and Carmen Zerkee of Sonbuilt Custom Homes are very pleased to be guest speakers on the Main Stage at the show.  We are speaking Friday at 2:30pm, Saturday at 11am and 2:45pm, and Sunday at 11am.  Come hear our presentation “Step Up to One Level Living”.

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

Show Times:

Friday:  1pm – 9pm

Saturday:  10am – 6pm

Sunday:  10am – 4pm

Click here for admission prices and show info.

See you at the show!

Introducing “THE VINE” at Pepin Brook!


We are very excited to introduce you to THE VINE at Pepin Brook!  This 16 lot development featuring upscale high performance homes is coming to the West Abbotsford area of the Fraser Valley in 2018.  Each home will be minimum ENERGY STAR qualified resulting in lower energy bills, better home comfort, and healthier indoor air quality.  These homes will be, simply put, better to live in.

Standards Approved by Mike Holmes

As an added bonus, each home will be built to standards approved by the Holmes Approved Homes program.  This program integrates proper building practices with quality products to build homes that go above and beyond residential standards from construction to final inspection.  Sonbuilt Custom Homes is a Mike Holmes approved builder.  We will go above and beyond industry standards to give you the best home building experience we can.

Webpage is Up and Running!

While we are in the initial stages of launching our marketing, we have set up a webpage THE VINE to give information on where and what THE VINE is.  Please visit this page for more information.  In the coming weeks we’ll be adding floor plans and additional information.


Interested?  We thought you would be!  Check out THE VINE webpage and put your name on our INTEREST LIST.  These 16 homes will sell quickly!

Stay tuned for our social media advertising!  It’s all coming soon!

Sonbuilt Announcement

Announcement coming in 2018!

Announcement Coming in January 2018!

You may have noticed we’ve been a little quiet here on our blog.  We’ve been busy.  Very busy, actually.  Over the past number of months we’ve been working on a new project.  While we aren’t quite ready to reveal the details of what we have been working on, we are pretty close.

What We Can Share NOW!

For now, we can tell you that our announcement will be shared early in January 2018 here on our blog, on our Facebook page, on Instagram, and on our LinkedIn company page.  We’ll be adding several pages to our website to keep you up to date on progress and news.

We Are Excited!

We are really excited to get this new project rolling!  It’s been a busy season getting everything ready and we still have a bit more work to do.   But we are close.  Very close!

For Now …

As 2017 comes to a close we want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!  Our office will be closed between Christmas and New Years Day.  We’ll be back again the first week in January!

Please don’t hesitate to CONTACT US if you have any questions about building a home next year!

Tried and Tested in Chilliwack

Tried and Tested in Chilliwack

Sonbuilt was recently featured by BC Hydro as part of their “Buildings We Love” series.  The article, entitled “Tried, tested (and truly comfortable) in Chilliwack” is about a home we built last year for a young family with twin daughters.  It is an honour for us to be recognized by BC Hydro in this way!

Click here to read the article.

The Drysdale

We named this home the “Drysdale”.  It is located in a beautiful part of the Fraser Valley surrounding by mountains and truly stunning views.  And the sheep!  They were everywhere and at times we could hear the sheep calling in our sleep at night.   Building this home in such a peaceful setting was an outstanding experience.

Our clients are parents of twin daughters and they wanted a healthy home environment for their family to grow up in.  We designed this high performance to the R-2000 Standard.  The ICF foundation ensures the basement maintains a comfortable temperature all year long.  The heat recovery ventilator keeps fresh air circulating in this well sealed house reducing the risk of mold and environmental allergies.

A Holmes Approved Home

This home is a Holmes Approved Home and was inspected throughout the construction process by a Mike Holmes inspector.  Our promise of building the home to a durable, quality level was documented and confirmed for our client by a Mike Holmes qualified inspector.  Upon completion of the home, our client received a full package with photos and valuable information from the Holmes Approved Homes program regarding their own home.

Thank you!

We wish to express our thanks to BC Hydro for featuring this home in their series.  We also wish to say a huge “thank you” to our client and family for allowing us into their lives and trusting us to build their home.  It was a pleasure to build for you!

Air Sealing an Energy Efficient Home

Air Sealing an Energy Efficient Home

Is your home leaking?  A leaky home can result in high energy bills.  Air leakage takes place when outside air enters a home and warm indoor air leaves the home uncontrollably through small cracks and openings throughout a home.

Where Can Air Leak From?

There are many areas where air can escape:

  • Electrical outlets
  • Door and window frames
  • Electrical and gas service locations
  • Under exterior walls
  • Weather stripping around doors
  • Attic hatches
  • Cable or phone lines
  • Dryer and hood fan locations

Air can also escape around pipes, wires, foundation seals, and mail slots.  To heat and cool a leaky home can be very expensive.

Air Sealing a New Home

Reducing the amount of air that leaks uncontrollably in and out of a house is a key part of building an energy efficient home.   It’s also an important part to controlling moisture and mold in a home.

When building a new home, the best time to air seal a home is at the framing stage.  Sealing takes place around the electrical and plumbing locations as well as all penetrations that enter and exit the home.  The minimal cost in materials and labour is worth it when you consider that air leakage amounts to 25% to 40% of the average heat loss in winter and cool air loss in the summer.

Sealing an R-2000 Home

An R-2000 home is a home built to standards that make the home on average 50% more energy efficient than homes built to the standard BC Building Code.  R-2000 homes are better sealed than a standard new home resulting in reduced drafts, cold spots, dust, pollen, pests, and noise.

The Blower Door Test

The Blower Door Test

What is a blower door test?

A blower door test locates air leaks by using a special fan to depressurize a house.  Blower door tests are usually performed before and after air sealing to measure the effectiveness of the home sealing.

A blower door is a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door located on the home. The fan removes air out of the house, and lowers the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings. A smoke pencil is used to detect air leaks. These tests determine the air infiltration rate of a building.

Blower doors consist of a frame and flexible panel that fit in a doorway, a variable-speed fan, a pressure gauge to measure the pressure differences inside and outside the home, and an airflow manometer and hoses for measuring airflow.

Who needs a blower door test?

Blower-door testing is useful for both new construction and existing homes. By testing a new home, we can determine whether a certain air tightness target has been achieved.  This is especially important when building an ENERGY STAR home or an R-2000 home.  The results of the blower door test are required for certification of the home.

Why is an airtight home important?

  • Energy consumption due to air leakage is reduced
  • Moisture condensation problems are avoided
  • Uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking in from the outdoors are eliminated

We have been performing blower door tests on our homes for over 10 years.  It’s our way of showing our customers we stand behind our promise of building quality into our homes.

Foundation Finishing

Transitioning from an ICF Foundation

Our foundation finishing details are an important part of keeping our homes dry and comfortable.  We use several different waterproof products to transition from our ICF (insulated concrete form) foundations to our exterior cladding.  Using these products ensure our foundations stay protected from water and dampness.

1.  Colphene

The first product we use is called Colphene, by Soprema.  Colphene is specifically designed to waterproof an ICF foundation.

2.  Delta Drain

We also use Delta Drain.  Delta Drain is an effective method to control the flow of damaging soil moisture and hydrostatic pressure through cracks and gaps in below grade structures. It is an essential element of a complete waterproofing system.

3.  TuffX

The final product we use is TuffX.  We use TuffX as a transition strip between the ground level and the exterior cladding.  TuffX is extremely durable and tough.

ICF foundations are known for reducing cold spots and drafts in basements.  By waterproofing our foundations we limit the potential for moisture to seep in through the foundation and fuel mold and mildew growth within interior finished basement walls.

For more information contact us!

Foundation Finishing

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!