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

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!

Main Level Living in a Rancher

Designing a home for main level living makes practical sense as we transition into the empty nest years.  A well designed rancher will accommodate many years of comfort and ensures a safe living environment in the event mobility needs change.

Why Build a Rancher?

We are frequently asked to build ranchers – homes in which every day living can take place all on the main level.  Our homes typically include generous kitchen spaces for entertaining guests, a master bedroom and spacious ensuite, and a well-equipped laundry room with lots of storage.  These rooms are often all on one level along with other spaces usually found on a main level.  All of your everyday living can be done without needing to use stairs.

My Story

Ranchers became uniquely special to me as I watched my father-in-law transition in his later years from a strong, vibrant individual, to someone who struggled to walk and care for himself adequately.  He desperately wished to live at home.  I am fortunate that he was able to spend his final year of life in his home that did have the space and design necessary to support his changing his mobility needs.  The experience of assisting my aging father reinforced in my mind the importance of designing homes to suit current and future needs.

If you are considering a rancher, a beautiful, well designed home that supports one level living and an active lifestyle at the same time, give us a call at (604) 626-4688 or contact us through our website.

Be sure to check out Our Portfolio page to see some of the ranchers we have designed and built.  And finally, visit our Aging in Place webpage!

Thanks for reading!

A Langley Home Teardown

Tear Down and Build New

As housing prices continue to rise in the Fraser Valley and the cost of land increases, there is growing interest among homeowners to tear down the home they currently live in and build a new home on the same land.  A common question when thinking about tearing down the home you currently live in – is this a good idea or not?

Identifying a Teardown

Older homes with structural issues, homes with outdated kitchens or limited bathrooms, and homes that incur increasingly high energy bills are often identified as homes to demolition.  Structural concerns can be expensive to repair and frequently these repairs do not add extensively to the value of the home were you to consider selling.  Whole house renovations involving changing room sizes, updating finishes, and adding more rooms can be expensive.  There are times when demolishing the home and building new may not be that much more than a renovation.

How Do I Decide Between a Renovation and a Teardown?

Sometimes the cost to repair an older home is just not worth it.  An abundance of mold, a damaged foundation, extensive rot in the structure – problems can lead to surprisingly expensive repair costs.  Unhealthy indoor air, hazardous older materials, wet basements. These concerns need to be addressed to ensure the home is safe to live in.

Does the home need new windows, updated electrical wiring, and a new roof?  Does the existing layout make sense for your family or would a renovation include extensive floorplan changes?  Demolishing the home and building new may be the best option if the cost of a renovation is high.

What Is the Cost to Tear down a Home?

Tearing down a home can vary in cost.  Prices can depend on the size of the home, the location of the site, and what hazardous materials are found in the home.

What Permits Do I Need?

Your local municipality will be able to determine what permits are needed for your specific home.  Every home is different and each municipality has its own requirements before a demolition can be done.

What is a Hazmat Report?

Worksafe BC will require a “Hazardous Materials” report before a teardown can begin.  This report will identify what hazardous materials are in the home.  Some materials may need to be removed prior to demolition.

How Much Will a Hazmat Report Cost?

Depending on the size and age of the home, a hazmat report can start at around $500.

How Long Will a Demolition Take?

A home can be torn down in just a few days once reports and permits are in place.

If you like your neighbours and want to keep your kids in the same school but find that your home just isn’t suitable for your changing needs, consider tearing down your home and building a new one.  I’m sure you have many questions and we’d like to help answer them.  Contact us today.  We are happy to chat!

Building a Carriage House

A carriage house, also known as a coach house, is a second house located on a residential property.  As housing prices go up in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, including the Fraser Valley, building a carriage home can be a practical solution for accommodating college aged family members or aging parents.  Carriage houses are also a great way to bring in some residual rental income.

One of our current design projects is a carriage home.  This eco-friendly house will have plenty of storage, boutique style living quarters, and a generous workshop.  Our client is going to be installing a residential rainwater harvesting system as well.  We are excited to be designing this coach home!

We are also in the finishing stages of building an energy efficient coach house in the Fraser Valley.  This home is using solar, geo exchange, rainwater collection, and other energy saving technologies.

Are you thinking of adding a coach house to your existing property?  We are experienced in both the design and construction of these homes.  Call us today!

Sonbuilt Home in Langley

A Happy Customer

The best moments in the life of a custom home builder often take place when the keys are handed over to an excited, happy customer.  We had one of those moments this week.

We met our client over two years ago.  A fire had resulted in the loss of a home and a life.  Six weeks after this tragic event our client contacted us for the first time.  At our initial meeting we listened.  We listened a lot. It was difficult for us to comprehend the sadness our client was facing.   At times we really didn’t know what to say.  Sometimes saying “I’m really sorry” seems so inadequate.

Our client was determined to move forward.  Working through the insurance process wasn’t always easy and at times it was frustrating.  So many decisions to make.  Moving on can be a difficult road when a variety of emotions are tangled in the process.

Keeping busy, thinking about designing and building, and considering what a new home could look like proved to be a healer in this case.  And finally, almost a year and a half after starting the process, construction began!

It was a pleasure to build for this client!  The goal was to achieve an energy efficient rancher, complete with a finished walk out basement suite.   During the design phase we ensured many “aging-in-place” features were incorporated into the layout allowing our client to remain in this new home for many years to come.    This R-2000 custom home in Langley is ideally designed for anyone in the “empty nester” years who wish to remain busy entertaining friends, family, and active grandchildren.

To our client – you have been a joy to work for.  We admire your determination and perseverance.  Thank you for choosing Sonbuilt Custom Homes!  If you don’t mind, we’ll be stopping by sometimes to visit!

Welcome home!

Conduit for Future Wiring

Fishing a new cable or wire behind walls can be quite a process after a home is built.  It can be expensive too, especially if drywall repairs and fresh paint are involved.

We generally install several lengths of conduit in various locations during the construction of a new home.  Conduits can be buried in the ground, behind the drywall, or in the attic.

By installing conduit, you are free to change or upgrade wiring long after your home is done.

Conduit for future wiring
Conduit for future wiring