Understanding Radon

Understanding Radon

What is Radon Gas?

Radon gas is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas found in many, many homes.  There are an estimated 3,300 radon-induced lung cancer deaths per year in Canada.  It is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

Where does Radon come from? 

Radon comes from the decay of uranium minerals found in rock, soil, and water.  It does not naturally occur indoors, however, radon can get into your home anywhere it finds an opening where your home contacts soil.  For example, cracks in foundation walls and floor slabs, construction joints, gaps around service pipes and support posts, floor drains and sumps, and water supply.

Why is Radon so dangerous?

Radon itself is radioactive.  When outdoors, radon mixes with the open air and dilutes it.  However, indoors, it is trapped.  It becomes concentrated resulting in serious health risks, especially lung cancer.

To find out if your home has a radon problem you have to measure the radon concentration inside of it.

How Do I Test My Home for Radon?

To find out if your home has a radon problem you have to measure the radon concentration inside of it.

Health Canada recommends you test for radon every two years.  Radon is volatile and it is normal for levels of radon to change regularly 

There are radon professionals in the Greater Vancouver area like Radon Environmental who can work with you to test your home.  They provide radon mitigation solutions for residential homes and workplaces.

Radon Mitigation Products

As a builder, we use radon mitigation products in the construction of your home to decrease the amount of radon gas capable of seeping into the home.   By doing so, we ensure your new home is safe and free from harmful levels of radon gas.

Health and safety is one of our top priorities, which is why radon mitigation is an important aspect to every one of our new homes.  We urge you to look into what you can do to keep your family safe.

Concrete Window Wells

Maintenance Free Window Wells

What is a Window Well?

If your home has a basement with windows you probably have window wells too.  Window wells are the openings in the ground that allow light to come into the basement.  Often, window wells are made from metal, plastic, wood, or concrete blocks to support the surrounding earth.  Window wells must be properly installed to ensure excess rainwater drains away from your foundation.  They can become a high maintenance item if not properly built and cared for.

Why Concrete?

Our solution is a maintenance free stamped concrete window well.  Why concrete?  Pressure treated wood will last between 5 to 10 years.  Corrugated metal will start to rust and break down between 10 and 15 years after installation.  If improperly installed, both of these products can become a concern for the homeowner.  They can cave in or become misaligned with the foundation causing expensive repair bills.

How Long Does a Concrete Window Well Last?

A concrete window well installed directly onto the concrete footing of your home will never move and can last indefinitely.  They are strong, durable, and virtually maintenance free.  A well built concrete window well will go a long way in preventing future water damage in the basement of your home.

Check out our video below! For more videos on how we build new homes built, click here.

Maintenance Free Concrete Window Wells
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.

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!

Healthy Home

Quick Tips For a Healthy Home

If you already own a home, here are some easy tips to follow to keep your home environment healthy:

Ventilation

Make sure you have fresh air circulating in your home.

Use Eco-Friendly Products

Keep air fresher and cleaner using toxin and pollutant free products

Choose Hardwood Flooring

Carpets can hide dust, pet hair, fungus, and other harmful particles

Unplug

Switch any technological devices not in use

Remove Your Shoes

Shoes can carry pollen, dirt, and soil from the outdoors into your home

Get It Tested

Ensure your home is radon free by getting it tested

Ensure Paint is Dry and Cured

While it’s exciting to set up a freshly painted room, ensure that paint is dry and cured before using it.

Change That Shower Curtain

Rotate your shower curtain regularly and avoid ones made from vinyl as they do become moldy quickly.

Visit our webpage on the High Performance Home to learn about building a healthy, energy efficient home.

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!

5 Questions to Ask Your Builder

5 Questions to Ask Your Builder

Building a new custom home is an exciting experience, but it can also be a little intimidating.   An important first step in building a home starts with choosing your builder.   Often, folks begin their initial questions to a potential builder by asking about cost per square foot and whether or not they can supply their own trades or suppliers to save money.  These questions only scratch the surface on what a homebuyer should consider to ensure a positive building experience.

To get you started, here are 5 initial questions to ask your builder as you begin your journey:

  1. Can I walk through some of your recently built homes and meet the owners?

A solid, reputable builder will have no problem providing a prospective client with a list of past customers.  It’s a good idea to have the builder connect with each name on the list to inform them they may be contacted.   Past customers will be able to tell you if the builder was organized and pleasant to work with.  Find out if their home was finished to their expectations, on budget, and on time.   Before you leave, consider asking “Is there anything else I should be asking or you want me to know?”

  1. Who will be in charge of building my home each day?

A dedicated lead carpenter assigned specifically to your home from groundbreaking to finish will be able to consistently answer your questions throughout construction and maintain communication with scheduled trades and suppliers.   While there can be occasional lulls in the process, your go to person will always be available to keep you updated on the timeline and anticipated progress.

  1. Are you a member of your local Home Builders’ Association?

As a member of a Home Builders’ Association, your builder has committed his or her self to a Code of Ethics which is based on principles of fairness, integrity, and client satisfaction.  Membership is an indication of professionalism, dedication to the business of home building, and planning to be in business for the long term.

  1. What is your home building experience?

It takes dedication and commitment to stay current with all the details of building a solid home.  Whether a builder has 5 or 25 years of experience, a good builder will honestly share details of his or her business background, construction training, and what sets him or her apart from others.  An experienced builder will confidently tell you what he or she can do for you and for how much.

  1. How often will I receive an updated budget and schedule?

Let’s face it, your most valuable commodities are your time and your money.   A common complaint made by many homebuyers is that they are frequently unsure of how much money is still needed for completion and how much longer the construction will take.  By staying in touch with your budget, you will be able to make ongoing decisions on materials and finishes.  Regular schedule updates will assist you in knowing when to anticipate completion.  An important key to a smooth construction project is a builder who provides ongoing, easy to understand reports to clients.

Choosing the right builder is just as important as choosing the right design for your home.    A good relationship with your builder will last long after the home is complete and throughout the warranty period.

Sales are Starting at THE VINE!

WE ARE READY TO START SALES AT THE VINE!!!

We finally have the thumbs up to start selling homes in Abbotsford newest development, THE VINE at Pepin Brook!  We’ve had a lot of interest since news about THE VINE was released in January.  Don’t wait to contact Surinder Sarowa, our Re/MAX agent if you are interested!  Or contact us through our website

 FLOOR PLANS ARE NOW AVAILABLE

Check our website www.sonbuilthomes.com/thevine for floor plans.   We’ve released several floor plans including a couple of designs featuring Master on The Main, as well as a 2 story home.  We have a couple more designs to release in the coming days.  Check our website for more information.  

WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?

If you’ve driven by the Abbotsford site over the past couple of weeks, you’ve probably seen the changes taking place.  We have begun preparing the site for services like water and power.  It won’t be long and this Fraser Valley site will be ready for 16 high performance homes.

FINISHES IN THE HOME

We’ve also added a lot of information to our website included colour palettes, interior finishes, exterior options, high performance home information, and warranty information as well.  Feel free to browse through the various web pages and give Surinder a call if you have any questions.

Thank you Pepin Brook!

The support and encouragement we have received from our neighbours here in Pepin Brook has been incredible!  Thank you!

Realtor Contact Info:

Surinder Sarowa, Real Estate Consultant

RE/MAX Aldercenter Realty

CELL:  (604) 825-3962

surinder@sarowa.ca