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Articles

You have probably seen the infamous “Vancouver Special” homes around the City. Popular in the 1970s to 1980s, these houses were built on a budget, mainly on the East Side of the City core. The upsides? They are easy to renovate: they almost always have Truss Roofs which means fewer Load Bearing Walls, making them easier to gut and modernize. They usually are very easily...

Hiring a home designer can feel like an overwhelming task. After all, the designer won’t just shape your space; they will, in many ways, shape your life within it. Like any major decision, it is important to do your research and, in this case, that means conducting interviews. To help you with these interviews, here is a checklist of five questions to ask each...

While floor plans tell us more about a house than any elevation or rendering, some homeowners find their Vancouver floor plans difficult to read. Usually, this is due to difficulties in visualizing the space, based on a two-dimensional drawing of a home. It can be difficult for homeowners to imagine what their home will feel like after it is built or remodelled, based on...

Clean lines and big windows: Elements that make nearly anyone dreaming of designing their new home get stars in their eyes. We pulled together four examples of beautiful Vancouver modern house design to inspire your next renovation or custom home design. [caption id="attachment_2768" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo credit: Modern Vancouver Houses[/caption] 7062 Osler St., Vancouver A textbook example of a West Coast modern home in Vancouver, this home...

In home design, your personality shows through – much like your outfit or hairstyle for the day communicates your style to those who cross your path. Expressing your personality and your lifestyle through your home design is essential to that feeling of at-homeness you get when you’re inside your house. The principles below apply whether you’re renovating your home, or building a new custom...

In Vancouver, home design is moving toward a standard of better energy efficiency. The reason? Energy efficient homes are more comfortable and sustainable. But it’s more than that: Municipal regulations and provincial policies are beginning to make energy efficient mandatory. If you’re planning to build or renovate your home in Vancouver, use these six simple ways to incorporate energy efficiency into your home design.   Achieve passive...

Modern house design in Vancouver is the most popular style among people designing a new home, or renovating an existing one. When it comes to modern house design, there are (at least) four fundamental elements that bring the home’s style together into a beautiful, livable, cohesive package. If modern homes appeal to you, use these four elements with your residential designer to create a space...

Renovating a townhouse or condo? The rules for renovating a multifamily unit can be a little different than remodelling a single-family home. Working with a Vancouver renovation designer ensures that not only will your renovation go smoothly and look consistent from start to finish, but can save you from costly delays due to unexpected permit requirements, for example. Before beginning your townhouse remodel, talk to...

Renovating in Mount Pleasant, or in Grandview-Woodland? The City of Vancouver could be changing its zoning bylaw for those neighbourhoods and it could affect your renovation plans. Proposed changes to the zoning bylaw for those areas could now allow the construction of laneway houses and infill structures. Previously, these were only allowed to be built on lots zoned for construction of duplexes. Therefore, the change provides...

Our residential design team recently completed an interior/exterior renovation project in Tsawwassen. Our team was privileged to work on this renovation and was extremely pleased with how the project turned out. The initial plan for the project was only for interior renovations. But then, it quickly began to expand to include an update of the home’s exterior as well. The renovated home features a walk-in closet off...

If you are planning to build a custom home, being prepared for your first meeting can help advance your project quickly, and gives you a clearer vision of your finished home. This checklist helps you identify the five things to do before you hire a residential designer to create your custom home design. Learn which permits you’ll need. For building a custom home, Building Permits...

BC has implemented an amendment to the Building Code that will step up the energy efficiency of homes in the province. The BC Energy Step Code, or Step Code for short, is a graduated plan that steps up the efficiency and sustainability of homes over the coming years, until 2032. In that year, the goal is to have new homes in the province built to...

A Certified Energy Advisor in Vancouver is a great addition to the building process for your custom home. A Certified Energy Advisor, or CEA, audits the energy efficiency of existing and new homes by ascertaining their airtightness using specific tests, and by producing a report that describe how well your home aligns with EnerGuide ratings for efficiency. What does a Certified Energy Advisor do? A CEA...

Most homeowners know that windows and doors are the areas of your home where energy waste is most likely to occur. Single- and double-pane windows, as well as unglazed windows and doors with poor sealing to the floor and frame, allow heat to escape easily from your home, driving up electric heating costs in winter and contributing to unpleasant thermal bridging. But in this article,...

If you were in Olympic Village in the past month, you might have noticed a strange sculpture in the square across from Terra Breads. This wasn’t a public art display, but a demonstration of BC Building Code-grade energy efficiency, versus Passive House energy efficiency. What was the Ice Box Challenge Vancouver? Inside the two concrete polyhedrons was a 1,000 kilogram block of ice. Placed under the hot...

When we talk about energy efficient home design, there is perhaps no standard higher than Passive House. Passive homes have energy savings of 80% to 90%, over non-Passive House designed structures. The theory is that our homes can be comfortably warm in winter and cool in summer without much use of artificial heating and cooling methods – instead using the home’s design and its...

Did you know that windows can be placed on your home in a way that will reduce electricity bills, create a more sustainable, environmentally friendly home, and be more comfortable for you and your family? In Vancouver’s climate, a combination of passive solar heating and passive cooling can be used throughout the year to regulate the temperature inside your home with minimal use of electric...

In Vancouver’s rainy climate, it’s hard to believe how many flat roofs, also called horizontal roofs, we see on contemporary and modern homes being built around the city. Though most people don’t realize it, horizontal roofs are not perfectly flat; instead, they have a low slope. The reason is drainage: In order to properly drain rainwater that accumulates on the horizontal roof, a slope is...

In home design, we often think about building design, structural design and even landscape design. But a new concept and term in residential design is spatial design, and it is worth noting for Builders and Home Owners considering building a new home in the coming years. In short, spatial design can strongly affect the atmosphere of your home, and whether you enjoy living within it. What...

Vancouver is at the forefront of a global movement toward more sustainable buildings and lower environmental impacts. In 2016, the City launched a plan to have all new buildings produce zero emissions by the year 2030, and by 2050, existing buildings will have been retrofitted to produce zero emissions as well. The Georgia Straight calls the plan “bold” and while that is true, it is important...