Step Up to One Level Living

Every Day Living on One Level

As a builder, I have always emphasized to my customers who are enjoying the ‘empty nest’ years the importance of designing a home that encourages ‘one level living’.  A comfortable home that promotes living safely and independently all on one level.

Designing for Accessibility and Flexibility

A good home design will result in a safe and secure environment that is accessible and flexible.  Spaces within the home include room for social entertaining, active grandchildren, and ample storage.  A level entry at the main entrance and minimal steps from the garage into the home.  Master bedroom and laundry room on the main level.  Consider a design that allows everyday living to take place all on one level, yet still has comfortable spaces for visiting grandchildren, overnight guests, and lively evenings watching the game.

As we age, our mobility needs change.  It’s something we may not think about much in our forties and fifties, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan for the possibility when designing a home.  36” doorways as opposed to 30” will allow plenty of space for moving furniture and wheelchair access.  Wider hallways, 43” or more, will feel wider and are less confining.  A specific closet designed with a future elevator shaft in mind will allow for longer term mobility within the home.

A Safer Home

A well lit home is a safer home.  Motion lights conveniently installed into stair steps will ensure lighting is always present in stairwells.  Lights in closets and within cabinetry will enhance work spaces and walkways.

The list goes on.  A well designed home will be attractive, accommodating, and adaptable to all stages of life.  If you are thinking about a new home, consider a design that allows you to do all your every day living on one level.

After all, there is no place like home.

Interested?  Please download our ‘Sonbuilt Aging in Place’ brochure!  And don’t forget to contact us today!

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!

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.

 

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!

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!

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!

 

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.

International Builders Show in Orlando

Last week we attended the International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida.  The show is a huge home show with suppliers from all over the world!  We visited various vendor booths, saw product demos, and learned more about healthy, energy efficient building.  It was a whirlwind trip!

Mike Holmes and Holmes Approved Homes

While in Orlando, we spent one day attending a Holmes Summit.  This Summit is for the builders who are part of the Holmes Approved Homes program.  Our standards of construction and commitment to good building practices have caught the attention of Canada’s well known contractor, Mike Holmes.   Click here for more information on the Holmes Approved Homes program.

In the Coming Months …

In the next few months we will be involved in several trade shows and speaking engagements so be sure to stay tuned for dates and information!