Building a Rancher

Yes, We Build Ranchers!

Do You Build Ranchers?

It’s the most common question we are asked.  A classic Rancher floor plan combines the kitchen, great room, 1 or 2 bedrooms, laundry room, and all other essentials spaces for daily living on a single level.  The home may include a basement below, or a games room above.

Ranchers are ideal for those ready to downsize after the kids have left home.  Perfect for one level living, yet still maintaining plenty of usable space for visiting grandchildren, entertaining friends, and weekly family dinners.

Several years ago we won 2nd place in a Canada wide competition for accessible housing.  This home, the Panama, was designed and built specifically for a “young at heart” couple who planned to live in their Sonbuilt home as long as possible.  It was their final home.   To see photos of this home, click here.

Do You Want to Live in a Rancher?

Are you thinking about downsizing and plan to make your next home your “final” home?  If so, let’s make that home a place where you can live independently and safely as long as possible.  We call this “Aging in Place”.  Click here to find out more information on what we design into our homes to ensure the home is safe and smart for long term living.

YES!  We do build ranchers!  Contact us today for more information!

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.

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.

radon gas

Radon Gas in Your Home

What is Radon Gas?

We all want our homes to be as safe as can be for our family. There is a danger that we are just becoming aware of that most people probably haven’t ever heard of in the form of Radon gas.   Radon gas is an odourless, tasteless, invisible radioactive gas produced from the breakdown of uranium in soils.

Why is Radon Gas so Dangerous?

Radon gas is airborne and can be inhaled.  While in your lungs, these particles breakdown even further, releasing small bursts of radioactive energy causing damage.  As a result, there is an increased risk of developing lung cancer when they reproduce.

Did You Know …

Health Canada estimates that about 16% of lung cancers deaths in Canada are attributable to radon.  It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer and the leading environmental cause of cancer.

 

How Can Radon Gas Get Into My Home?

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.

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?

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.

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.

Watch our video to learn more.

Radon Gas

Langley Spring Home Expo

Come Say “Hi!” at our Booth!

Be sure to stop by our booth when you visit the Langley Spring Home Expo this weekend!

This Langley based 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 and the Fraser Valley.

 

Langley Spring Home Expo

Location : George Preston Rec. Center  20699 42 Avenue in Langley

Show Hours :

Friday, April 13              1:00pm  –  6:00pm

Saturday, April 14          9:30am  –  5:30pm

Sunday, April 15            10:00am  –  4:00pm

Free parking and admission.  Looking forward to it!

Whole Home Surge Protection

Protect Your Investment with Whole Home Surge Protection

Protecting your entire home from power surges is an important step in keeping your home safe, especially during seasons of high winds and ice storms.  We’ve had some interesting weather this winter resulting in several days of power outages and very cold temperatures.  I heard of several homes encountering devastating power surges leaving home electronics destroyed and unsafe.

A Holmes Approved Product

This past January we visited the International Builder’s Show in Orlando with Mike Holmes and his son, Mike Holmes Jr. and daughter Sherry Holmes.   One of the booths we stopped by at was the Eaton booth.  Eaton sells a small, cost effective device that provides whole home surge protection.  This is a  Mike Holmes approved product and offers a smart way to keep your home safe from potential power surges.

Install One In Your Next Home

As a Holmes Approved Home builder, Sonbuilt Custom Homes installs this surge protection device in the homes we build.  Just another step we take to build new homes right!

Jonathan Carmen Zerkee

Best Certified Home!

Winner!  Best Certified Home!

One of our custom homes recently won a Special Achievement Award for “Best Certified Home” at the Housing Awards of Excellence Gala by the Canadian Home Builders of the Fraser Valley.  The Drysdale is a home we designed and built for a family living in Chilliwack.

A High Performance Home

This high performance home is certified R-2000 and received an air test of 0.57 air changes per hour.  It has an ICF (insulated concrete forms) foundation, triple glazed windows, airtight drywall, navien hot water tank, low flow toilets, and a heat recovery ventilator for regular fresh air.

Building this home was a great experience and working with this family was pure fun!  The site is located in the midst of beautiful mountains and sheep farms.  There were some days we felt a little guilty for disturbing this peaceful setting with our power tools!

Thank you CHBA FV!

We want to say a big “thank you” to the Canadian Home Builders Association of the Fraser Valley for awarding us this honour!

Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo

Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo – February 9 – 11, 2018

We are very excited to be in the Fraser Valley Home and Garden Expo in Abbotsford at Tradex on February 9 – 11!  Come visit us at booths 212, 213, and 214.

This Fraser Valley based 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 2:30pm, Saturday at 11am and 2:45pm, and Sunday at 11am.  Come hear our presentation “Step Up to One Level Living”.

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

Show Times:

Friday:  1pm – 9pm

Saturday:  10am – 6pm

Sunday:  10am – 4pm

Click here for admission prices and show info.

See you at the show!

Tried and Tested in Chilliwack

Tried and Tested in Chilliwack

Sonbuilt was recently featured by BC Hydro as part of their “Buildings We Love” series.  The article, entitled “Tried, tested (and truly comfortable) in Chilliwack” is about a home we built last year for a young family with twin daughters.  It is an honour for us to be recognized by BC Hydro in this way!

Click here to read the article.

The Drysdale

We named this home the “Drysdale”.  It is located in a beautiful part of the Fraser Valley surrounding by mountains and truly stunning views.  And the sheep!  They were everywhere and at times we could hear the sheep calling in our sleep at night.   Building this home in such a peaceful setting was an outstanding experience.

Our clients are parents of twin daughters and they wanted a healthy home environment for their family to grow up in.  We designed this high performance to the R-2000 Standard.  The ICF foundation ensures the basement maintains a comfortable temperature all year long.  The heat recovery ventilator keeps fresh air circulating in this well sealed house reducing the risk of mold and environmental allergies.

A Holmes Approved Home

This home is a Holmes Approved Home and was inspected throughout the construction process by a Mike Holmes inspector.  Our promise of building the home to a durable, quality level was documented and confirmed for our client by a Mike Holmes qualified inspector.  Upon completion of the home, our client received a full package with photos and valuable information from the Holmes Approved Homes program regarding their own home.

Thank you!

We wish to express our thanks to BC Hydro for featuring this home in their series.  We also wish to say a huge “thank you” to our client and family for allowing us into their lives and trusting us to build their home.  It was a pleasure to build for you!

Air Sealing an Energy Efficient Home

Air Sealing an Energy Efficient Home

Is your home leaking?  A leaky home can result in high energy bills.  Air leakage takes place when outside air enters a home and warm indoor air leaves the home uncontrollably through small cracks and openings throughout a home.

Where Can Air Leak From?

There are many areas where air can escape:

  • Electrical outlets
  • Door and window frames
  • Electrical and gas service locations
  • Under exterior walls
  • Weather stripping around doors
  • Attic hatches
  • Cable or phone lines
  • Dryer and hood fan locations

Air can also escape around pipes, wires, foundation seals, and mail slots.  To heat and cool a leaky home can be very expensive.

Air Sealing a New Home

Reducing the amount of air that leaks uncontrollably in and out of a house is a key part of building an energy efficient home.   It’s also an important part to controlling moisture and mold in a home.

When building a new home, the best time to air seal a home is at the framing stage.  Sealing takes place around the electrical and plumbing locations as well as all penetrations that enter and exit the home.  The minimal cost in materials and labour is worth it when you consider that air leakage amounts to 25% to 40% of the average heat loss in winter and cool air loss in the summer.

Sealing an R-2000 Home

An R-2000 home is a home built to standards that make the home on average 50% more energy efficient than homes built to the standard BC Building Code.  R-2000 homes are better sealed than a standard new home resulting in reduced drafts, cold spots, dust, pollen, pests, and noise.