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!

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.

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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.

 

Langley Spring Home Expo

Visit Us This Weekend in Langley!

We are going to be in the Langley Spring Home Expo this coming weekend.  Here are the details!

 

Dates/Times:

Friday                    April 7   5pm to 9pm

Saturday              April 8   9:30am – 5:30pm

Sunday                 April 9  10am – 4pm

 

Location:              George Preston Rec Centre @ 20699 – 42nd Avenue, Langley

Cost:                      Free

 

Come out to see us and be sure to say “Hello!”

ICF Foundation

Abbotsford Custom Home

Welcome Spring!

Spring is here and we are happy and excited to be busy working on this Abbotsford custom home!

This Abbotsford home is currently in the foundation stage and like all of our custom projects, this home has an ICF foundation.  ICF, or insulated concrete forms, 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.

A High Performance Home

In each high performance home we build we use materials that respect the environment and ensure lower energy bills, improved comfort, and clean indoor air quality.  Some of these materials include insulation upgrades, higher-performance, Low-E Argon windows, more efficient heating with a complete HRV system and sealed ducts for better air distribution.

This home will have considerably lower monthly energy bills compared to a conventionally built home.  While building a high performance home will cost a little more upfront, our client will save monthly on energy bills and maintenance.

Happy Client, Happy Builder!

Our client is thrilled and so are we!  Contact us today if you are interested in talking to us about your future dream home!

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.

Underslab Preparation

Introducing Our Video Series – New Homes Built Right

A Sonbuilt home is a well built home, even in the places you don’t see.

Today we are discussing underslab preparation.  We’ve put clear crush rock under the footings and the slab of this new home. Prior to placing the footings, we sloped the excavation to one corner where the water will drain away from the foundation.

By doing this, the water will drain away from the under the slab and from under the footings.  The result – the footings won’t be sitting in water.

Houzz 2017

Best of Houzz 2017!!

Houzz Winner!

For the fifth year in a row we are honoured to received a Best of Houzz award for 2017.  Visit our Houzz page here.  We’ve updated the look, projects and photos on our Houzz page and it’s worth a look.

Our work won in the Design category.  Our portfolio includes some of the most popular images on Houzz.

Visit our Houzz page!

Houzz has become a very popular website for ideas on home décor and design.  For the past few years we have won various design and customer service awards through Houzz.  We often encourage clients to visit our page for ideas.

If you are interested in seeing pictures of past projects, visit our Houzz page today.