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custom home design Tag

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...

Building a home doesn’t mean just getting a pretty box where you will spend time sleeping, eating and relaxing. Your home is where you’ll spend the majority of your life, so it has to be perfect. It affects your quality of life, your happiness and your lifestyle. How to get better quality of life from your custom home design Architecture affects our mood, and our overall...

Porcelain countertops aren’t well known amongst homeowners, renovators and builders, but they are on our radar for a few reasons: [caption id="attachment_2507" align="alignright" width="500"] Porcelain slab flooring and slab wall in a spa. Photo credit: Oregon Tile and Marble[/caption] Durability and affordability. So, this is not the material that makes you think of fragile dolls and fine china. Porcelain isn’t just for countertops either: it’s an attractive option...

Knowing which design genre fits your style is helpful when talking to your residential designer about your custom home design. In Vancouver, homes fall into three main design genres: Modern Contemporary Craftsman Plus, there’s the Vancouver Special, which we describe as well. In this article, we will explain why two of these genres often get confused, plus help you decide which suits your preference, so you’ll love...

This article is the first in a series that looks at smart building envelope design for homes in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Please check back next month for the next article in this series.   In custom home design and architecture, a home’s overall look, style, layout and finishes are top of mind for homeowners. Generally, we don’t consider how the placement of windows, or how...

Exciting new regulations from the City of Vancouver could require newly built homes to be “solar ready”, meaning pre-equipped to have solar panels installed. In an administrative report from January, the city recommends that new homes of one to three storeys “be designed with a solar photovoltaic ready pipe run” that could be connected to the structure’s hot water tank. But using solar panels or solar...

In Greater Vancouver, building a home that prioritizes energy efficiency is more important than ever. Not only is the City of Vancouver implementing new regulations that will cut emissions and pollution in residential construction, it is just good practice. An energy efficient home provides more comfort, saves money on your heating and cooling bill, and helps protect our environment. There are several ways to increase the...

If you’re building a house in the Vancouver area, you may wish to consider ICF foundation material. This is an innovative and efficient material/method that, while uncommon, is being used more often in the Lower Mainland.   [caption id="attachment_2444" align="alignright" width="362"] Photo credit: Vancouver ICF[/caption] What is an ICF foundation? In short, ICF is foam bricks that interlock, similar to Lego blocks, are reinforced with rebar, and...

Thinking of purchasing a home that is a bit of a fixer-upper? Doing a major home renovation can have big pay-offs for your family’s happiness and comfort at home, as well as for your property’s resale value. However, before you sign the check, read this checklist that includes 7 things you should check before buying a fixer-upper home. If you are on a tight budget for...

Having control over your custom home design is one of the biggest advantages of building a new residence. While considering style, flow, finishes, light and rooms for everyone in your family, it is also crucial to maximize the space your new home has to offer. This doesn’t necessarily mean adding square footage to the home. It is best done with insightful space planning on the...

The types of drawings required for submission to get a building permit vary somewhat depending in which City you are building. That said, most Cities have relatively similar lists. Below we’ve compiled a checklist of the drawings that are required for a building permit application in most Cities in the Lower Mainland. However, you may wish to check with your City Building Department, or with...

The set of drawings that appear after your cross sections in your permit set are called Construction Details. For new construction, including custom home designs and new builds in Vancouver, Construction Details are an essential part of the package of drawings that is submitted to Building Officials during the Building Permit application phase.   What are Construction Details? Construction details are like zoomed-in images that show the...

As we get older, living in a senior’s home becomes necessary because they’re designed in a way to help people with reduced mobility get around. When given a choice, most people prefer to stay at home as they age whenever possible. Luckily, in most cases, it is possible. Floor plan design for aging in place When creating a floor plan, choosing a layout that is...

Building a custom home takes planning, patience and some great connections. Building a house in the BC Lower Mainland can never really be done “on the cheap”, but there are some great solutions for cutting costs in order to get the most out of your design and construction budget.   If you have a tight budget for your custom home design… Custom home design doesn’t have to...