Solar Panels

5 Reasons to Go Solar!

A Solar Home in Abbotsford

Back in April we installed a solar panel system at our home in Abbotsford.  A big shout out to Riverside Energy Systems from Kamloops for installing the system on our roof!  Since that day, we have regularly checked our account with BC Hydro to compare our cost of electricity from day to day.  We noticed an immediate drop in our daily cost of power!

Installing a solar panel system is a big decision that more and more people are choosing to make.  There are a number of reasons why we chose to invest in solar for our home.  We know we made the right decision.  Here are five reasons why we believe solar panels should be something a homeowner should consider:

1.  Greatly reduce your energy bills

Electricity can eat up a lot of your monthly income.  While a solar panel system probably won’t produce all of the energy you and your family need, it will drastically reduce your utility bills and save you a lot of money.  Interested in the BC Hydro Net Metering program?  Click here.

2.  Good return on your investment

Solar panel systems are designed to last for many years. While they can lose some efficiency over time, even after 30 years your panels should be 80% efficient.  If you are planning to build your forever home you won’t regret spending some extra money up front to guarantee a lifetime of savings.

3.  Protect yourself from rising energy costs

In the past number of years we have seen a rise in the cost of residential electricity and your future monthly energy bills will continue to increase.  Solar panels protect you and your family from unpredictable increases in electricity costs.

4.  Add to your property value

Homes with solar panels have higher property values.  As prospective home buyers and appraisers  become more educated on the benefits of solar, the demand for homes with solar panel systems will continue to grow.

5.  Protect the environment

Solar is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint.  A typical residential solar panel system will eliminate up to 3 to 4 tons of carbon emissions each year – that’s the equivalent of planting over 100 trees annually!

The benefits of adding solar panels to your home are undeniable.  If you are considering building a home and wish to discuss possibly adding solar panels, contact us!  We are happy to chat!

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.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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.

 

Insulated Concrete Forms

Insulated Concrete Forms – A Better Foundation

We Believe in Building Better.

In a new home, there is no better place to start better building than in the foundation.  We choose to build the foundation of each home we build with insulated concrete forms.

A Better Foundation.

We use ICF (insulated concrete forms) to produce a more comfortable, quiet, durable and energy-efficient home than homes built with a traditional foundation.  For the customer who wants year round energy savings and comfort,  a foundation built with insulated concrete forms is a great benefit!

Today’s video on New Homes Built Right Jonathan discusses icf and some of the materials used to put an icf foundation together.  Don’t miss it!

The Stone Slinger

The Stone Slinger

What is a Stone Slinger?

A stone slinger puts soil, dirt, rocks, and other materials where you need it.  By using this efficient piece of equipment, we can eliminate material handling, reduce construction time and waste, and ultimately, save on the cost to build your home.

Today’s video on New Homes Built Right shows a stone slinger from local Abbotsford company, Slingshot Contracting.  We are adding a layer of clear crush under the slab of this foundation.  Using the stone slinger keeps our labour costs low and ensures we are providing a cost effective method of material distribution for our client.

Best Certified Home Award!

Winner of “Best Certified Home” Award!

We feel truly honoured to win the Special Achievement Award “Best Certified Home” for our custom home “Panama”.  This award was presented on February 4, 2017 at the inaugural Housing Awards of Excellence Gala by the Canadian Home Builders Association of the Fraser Valley.

The Panama is a home we designed and built for a couple in Langley.

Best Certified Home
Winner “Best Certified Home”

We designed this home with wide hallways and doorways, open spacious kitchen, dining area, a great room for entertaining, level front entry with both laundry and master bedroom on the main floor, low threshold shower in the ensuite, and backing in all washrooms for future grab bars.  The home is a beautiful showpiece for entertaining family and friends.

This home is certified R-2000 and received an air test of 0.4 air changes per hour.  It has an ICF foundation, triple glazed windows, airtight drywall, hot water on demand, low flow toilets, and an hrv for fresh air.

Building for this couple was a fabulous experience.  We still enjoy stopping in and visiting every so often.

For more information on the R-2000 Standard, check out this video!

 

Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo

Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo

Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo 2017

We are very excited to be in the Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo in Abbotsford at Tradex next weekend!  Come visit us at booths 212, 213, and 214.

This Fraser Valley based home and garden 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 5:15pm, Saturday at 1:30, and Sunday at 1:30pm.  Come hear our presentation “Live Better:  The High Performance Home”.

Show Details

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

Show Times:

Friday:  1pm – 9pm

Saturday:  10am – 6pm

Sunday:  10am – 4pm

Visit the following link for show admission and additional information.  Fraser-Valley-Full-Page-Ad

See you at the show!

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.