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.

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!

The Vine at Pepin Brook

Update on THE VINE!

It’s a busy season here at Sonbuilt Custom Homes!  We are working with Marv’s Excavating on the site services for THE VINE at Pepin Brook in Abbotsford.  Things really got rolling back in August.

Road Work

We closed down a section of Merlot Boulevard in Pepin Brook to install the services for the 3 lots that front onto Merlot.  A big thank you to all of our Pepin Brook neighbours for your patience in choosing a different way around the subdivision!  We are so thankful for the smooth process of closing that road.  Right now, a section of Merlot is patched up with black top.   It won’t be too much longer and the road with be repaved and looking new again.

Corvina Court

Abbotsford’s newest road, a cul-de-sac called Corvina Court, is in the process of being completed.  This street will be the front for 13 of the lots at THE VINE.   Marv’s Excavating is currently in the final stages of smoothing out the gravel road and paving should take place soon.  Curbs are scheduled for this week.  We are so VERY fortunate to have such beautiful weather to work in!

Screening Soil

We were able to screen much of the dirt we have dug on the site.  By screening the dirt, we are able to remove the waste material like pieces of stumps and concrete, and reuse the dirt that actually makes it through the screen.  View a video we made HERE to see how the screener actually works.  Using this screener has probably been our favorite part of the process so far!

If you drive past the site (located at the corner of Ross Road and Simpson) you will probably get an idea of the lot sizes and overall layout.  In the coming weeks it will become more obvious.  Be prepared to see some actual real estate signs in the next month or so!

Sales at THE VINE

Speaking of sales, we are now selling homes for THE VINE at Pepin Brook.  Whether you are looking for a rancher, a two story, or a fully custom design, we are able to accommodate your dream home.  Contact us today with your questions!

View FLOOR PLANS here!

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!

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.