Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is building a new home the better way to go?

Building is Better

Is it better to build a new home or remodel an older one?  It will depend on the cost of remodeling , maintance and the future energy costs of the older home. Certainly new homes provide greater benefits than remodeling.

Better Construction. Today's new homes, specifically those offered by a professional builder dedicated to high performance and durability, are better built than those of even a decade ago, and much better built than those of a generation ago.

In every aspect, from windows and doors to structural and mechanical systems, a new home today is built to deliver a higher, more integrated level of comfort, convenience, flexibility, and efficiency. As a result, a new home stands up better to inclement weather conditions, requires less maintenance, and costs less to heat and cool than an existing home. Even when older homes are upgraded with new products and systems, the outdated structural and mechanical elements cannot integrate these products for their optimum performance.

Lifestyle Flexibility. New homes are designed to accommodate changing lifestyles and household circumstances. Open floor plans with bonus or extra rooms enable homeowners to use and re-use spaces as home offices, nurseries, in-law suites, art studios, or workshops to suit practical needs and whimsical passions throughout the life of the home.

By contrast, home remodeling is typically done to address an immediate need, such as making room for an in-home business or an elderly parent, which may not suit a future need or stage in life. New homes are designed and equipped to allow the owners to age in place. This type of design is the owners' best insurance against the need for future big remodeling projects or moves to another home.

Financial Stability. Because of their superior construction and lifestyle flexibility, new homes hold their value better than older ones, especially those that have not been remodeled to modern standards. Even the older home that has been well remodeled to accommodate a specific need -- such as the room for the in-home business or elderly parent -- will not appeal to future buyers who don't share the same household circumstances. By contrast, a well-designed and built new home will appeal to a large population of potential buyers, if and when that time comes. At the very least, the new home will show a greater increase in value because of its mass appeal.

Pride in Ownership. Whether you buy a new home or remodel your existing home, you are a homeowner. However, a new home differs from an older home because of the choices that professional builders allow the new owner to make. If you decide to build, you can suit your personal tastes and needs. When you tailor a new home from the ground up, you not only have the pleasure of achieving a 'perfect fit' but also the long-term satisfaction of having created a more satisfying, comfortable, and convenient home. The element of personal creativity adds great pride in ownership.

The Hassle Factor. Living through a remodeling project can be very stressful on a family's day-to-day routines. Although a new-home project presents some challenges, it is done without intruding on existing home life. New owners can relax (at least a little), maintain normal family life and enjoy the creative process instead of dreading the dirt and noise. With the right builder, visiting the new house under construction, witnessing its progress, and moving into a space in which everything is brand new is an exciting and fulfilling experience.

As a professional builder and remodeler we are open to discuss whether it makes sense to remodel an existing home or construct a new one.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Should I hire an interior designer for my new home?


My husband and I just built house, I think I have a good sense of style but I’m worried that I won’t be able to do justice to out beautiful new home, should I call a professional?


Good question, as a custom home builder I actually have witnessed many a homeowner try to do all the interior design and interior decorating themselves. A lot of time the results are less than appealing.

If you have any doubts then you should look into getting a professional interior designer. Interior designers are a very personal thing, don’t be afraid to call around and talk to several different designers. You will know the person you want to work with when you meet them.

Now I’m not saying that you can’t do any shopping for your new home or hang pictures and pick colours, but if you really want your home to flow and come together then there is nothing better than a second opinion, especially when the person is a professional at giving second opinions.

Interior designers don’t just pick colours for your walls; they are also able to shop for your furniture. One thing that most people don’t realize, interior designers have the ability to get large discounts when they buy furniture. This savings are then passed on to you, in short interior designers actually pay for themselves!
Interior designer can take the stress out of decorating a new home and can even make the process fun. So yes I would definitely recommend that you hire an interior designer.

Thanks for the question, keep them coming.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Don't be afraid to ask your contractor questions

Don’t ever be afraid to ask your contractor a question!

When you are having your dream home built, a good contractor will give you a tour of the project as it is being constructed. These guided tours are a great opportunity to educate yourself on how your home is being put together.

Do not be intimidated by the size and complexity of the building around you. If you don’t understand why something is the way it is then simply ask.

I have given many people tours of their new custom home when it is being constructed; the people that never ask me a question are usually the people that I have difficulty with later. People that do not ask a lot of questions usually make a lot of assumptions and those assumptions in their minds will grow into facts even if they are not correct. The best and easiest clients to have are the ones that ask a lot of questions and take the time to educate themselves about how their house is put together and how all the different parts of the home operate together.

As a client that is having a custom home built you should strive to be the easy client, be the client that asks questions when you don’t understand why something is constructed a certain way. I for one enjoy telling people about how their home is put together and why we do some of the things that we do, this is the easiest way that I as a high end custom home builder am able to distinguish my company from other companies and why we do things “my way”.

As a contractor that does this job 7 days a week 50 weeks of the year a lot of times I can take for granted that not everyone knows what I know, so I need my clients to ask me questions. This will help me understand their knowledge of their new custom home and also help dispel any misinformation that they might have obtained from another source.

Part of having a custom home built is getting the chance to watch your home be constructed and to learn about how it was put together.

So remember a good contractor wants you to ask questions, so ask away!

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

'Futureproof' Your New Home with structured wiring

'Futureproof' Your New Home

Modern housing may not have reached Jetson-level performance just yet, but a growing number of new homes today are prepared for ever-increasing amounts of automation and electronics -- more than any existing or remodeled home can ever hope to be.

These homes, built during the last five years, are equipped with advanced wiring and cabling networks that enable the owners to add, reconfigure and accommodate more electronic systems and products -- from security cameras to iPod docks -- without extensive rewiring.

This type of network, in both its design and components, effectively "futureproofs" a home for new, low-voltage and cable-enabled consumer technologies. No one can predict the future, but a low-voltage home wiring scheme that provides a wealth of capacity (or bandwidth) together with flexibility of use goes a long way to anticipating consumer electronics to come.

Imagine, for example, that you want to link the personal computers in the house to a central printer in a home office. An advanced wiring system serving multi-port data, telecom, and cable outlets throughout the house allows the owners to plug in PCs anywhere and be connected. If you want to move a high-definition TV to another room or hook up a whole-house music system -- and add or replace components within those and other networks -- an advanced wiring system makes that flexible use easy.

The heart of a structured or advanced home wiring system is its design. In older homes, high-voltage electrical service is provided to every appliance, light fixture, outlet, and switch in what’s called a "daisy chain" configuration. There is no way to reconfigure the chain and its use without digging into the walls to rewire the house.

For a structured wiring scheme, each wire and cable is looped to a specific outlet and back to a centrally located service box -- a design called a "home run." From that central panel, an owner or professional electrician can configure and reconfigure which wires serve which outlets and can add capacity without tearing up walls.

In addition, the advanced wiring system serves only products and systems that need low-voltage electricity, which includes the vast majority consumer electronics such as PCs, MP3 players, security systems, and high-def televisions. While high-voltage wiring continues to supply electricity to major kitchen appliances and general lighting, the low-voltage wiring and cable, supplies only the level of electricity that consumer products need to operate, thus reducing consumption and the cost of energy.

The meteoric growth of structured wiring systems in new homes and the "futureproofing" they provide, offer a clear distinction and immediate value for buyers considering whether to purchase a new home or buy or stay in an older home.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Getting a new kitchen? What to do with the old cabinets

Are you getting a new kitchen? Don’t just throw away the cabinets!

If you are getting a new kitchen to replace your old and outdated one then you should think about doing something more with the old cabinets then just having them thrown in the garbage!

One of the easiest things you can do with the old cabinets is to install them somewhere else in your home. A lot of people don’t realize that cabinets are actually a bunch of single or double cabinets; this means that they are all built as smaller pieces. Even islands are built in pieces, why you ask is that important? It is important because it means that you or your contractor can take them apart without having to destroy or severally damage them.

There are always going to be some cabinets that you will not be able to re-use, sometimes they have been specially designed for a certain thing in the kitchen and other times they can be water damaged. But usually you should be able to salvage most or all of any kitchen.

Here are a couple of places in your own home that you can think about re-using your old kitchen cabinets;

Basement. Kitchen cabinets can make great storage cabinets, they can also work as cheap entertainment cabinets especially if it’s a room for your children and you know that they will be damaged.

Garage. Cabinets can be the answer to your storage problems. You can use the bottom cabinets to make a work bench and if you were able to save the counter top then you will have a place to work on things as well as store tools and yard equipment.

Build a bar. If you want an entertaining space like a bar then re-using old kitchen cabinets will save you a pile of money.

You can install cabinets in your children’s bedroom. They make great storage and will probably look better than just open shelving.

 Put it in closets. If you want a way to make a cheap and easy closet organizer then put them in the closet. This will help you organize all the things in your closet and it wouldn’t matter if the cabinets are a little rough or ugly because they will be hidden behind closed doors.

Another great thing that you can do with your old kitchen cabinets is give them to Habitat for Humanity. You can either drop it off yourself or call them and they might send over some volunteers to pick it up. It’s a great charity that helps struggling families afford homes of their own.

If your contractor is going to remove the kitchen for you a lot of times if you ask them, one of the workers will want to take some or all of the kitchen cabinets for themselves. People in the construction business are famous for buying old rundown houses and spending years fixing them up with used materials that are salvaged from renovation jobs they have completed.

So remember, when you are getting yourself a fancy new kitchen there are a lot of things that you can do instead of adding to our ever growing garbage piles. Give an old kitchen a new home and some new life.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Staging that new room after your renovation

One of the bigger concerns that we have to manage when renovating a home is living up to the expectations of the homeowner. You can show a homeowner a picture on a computer what their newly renovated home will look like after you have completed it, but they never really get a feel for the space until they are standing in it.

One great way to handle this is to stage the rooms with an interior designer before the homeowners see the final product. They can use the existing furniture, or they can bring in new pieces to help accent the rooms. Simple things that go along way for that visual wow factor are pillows and bedspreads. Also window treatments like blinds and drapes give the rooms a more lived in feel.

All this is called staging. What it does is bring the clients out of renovation that you where paid to do and into their brand new home. It gives off a different feeling when you walk into a room that has everything in its place, from area rugs to the lighting. It allows the clients to just walk in and enjoy the space, instead of getting to work themselves and having to make all kinds of decisions.

Staging allows the contractor to leave the client with warm and happy feelings.  This is important to contractors because they hope that they might have other renovation work in the future from the same people. Plus in our company (Village Builders) we go out of our way to try and please are clients so that every single client can be used as a reference, helping to generate more work with their friends, family and neighbours.

Renovating some ones home takes time, it seems always longer then the homeowner thinks that it should. It also seems to cost more than the homeowner originally wanted to spend at the beginning. So for the months that you renovate the home you are always trying to keep the relationship between the two parties as positive as possible. There are always things in renovating that go wrong; if they are not managed properly then the home owners can be left with a bitter taste in their mouths. So if you can leave them with a finished space that will remind them everyday how wonderful things turned out, then they will forget about the little things that went wrong. It’s truly a win-win for all parties involved.

If you require any renovating or designing in your home please feel free to contact me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bringing residential windows to light

Bringing Windows to Light

It wasn't that long ago that a window was a window ... was a window. Basically, a hole in the wall fitted with a wood-framed pane of glass that allowed a view to the outside and provided a little bit of daylight into a house.

Over the past 25 years, however, windows have changed dramatically. Not only are they far more energy-efficient than their predecessors, they are available in a wide range of styles, frames and glass options.

Today, professional remodelers and homeowners are able to precisely align a window's energy performance, cost, and style to achieve an optimum solution for a given project.
Among an increasing variety of window frame materials, here's how the tried-and-true measure up to the next generation.

Aluminum: Light, durable, easy to maintain, and generally inexpensive, aluminum-framed windows remain popular across the country and where affordability is an important consideration.
However, metal is more thermally conductive than other window frame materials, so it can be difficult to maintain a steady level of indoor comfort and reduce heating energy demand with an aluminum window, especially in markets that experience moderate to extremely cold weather.
In those conditions, the thermal conductivity of a metal-framed window may also cause condensation that can result in latent moisture damage to the overall window and adjacent materials. Aluminum frames with so-called "thermal breaks" or spacers that separate the indoor and outdoor frame sections can improve energy performance.

Wood: Wood-framed windows are popular for their aesthetic qualities; wood also is a very good insulating material, with low thermal conductivity.
The problem with wood is maintenance, especially the part of the frame that's exposed to weather. And, despite their insulating qualities, wood windows react to changes in ambient moisture and temperature, which may cause them to stick (when they swell in hot, humid weather) or create gaps (when they shrink in cold, dry conditions).
To address those issues, the exterior profile (or face) of wood-framed windows are often fitted with a vinyl or aluminum cladding that protects the wood frame from weather damage and reduces climate-caused fluctuations in the frame's integrity. A cladding also maintains the aesthetic qualities of wood, as the indoor section of the frame remains exposed and natural.

Vinyl: Window frames made from polyvinylchloride (PVC) combine durability, low thermal conductivity, and moisture resistance. They also are generally affordable and are a popular window frame material for new and remodeled homes.
To improve energy performance, some vinyl windows are infused or fitted with insulation material within their mostly hollow frames.
The issue with vinyl windows is aesthetics. They are available in a limited number of colors, usually white or light hues, which may not be compatible with an existing or historic home's exterior finish materials or architectural character.

Composites and Fiberglass: The latest generation of window frames seek to address the deficiencies of their predecessors. So-called "hybrid" frames combine various wood-based materials to achieve better stability, while wood-plastic composites boost thermal performance and durability.
Fiberglass, meanwhile, can be molded, shaped, textured, and colored to look like wood, but with far superior durability and strength and better insulating value. To date, fiberglass appears to be the window frame material of the future, with few downsides.
That being said, composites and fiberglass-framed windows are generally more expensive than any of their elders, but also promise to deliver better and longer-lasting performance.

As a professional remodeling contractor, we seek to educate ourselves about the increasingly diverse options available for residential windows. We want our homeowner clients to make the best possible decision about the types of windows that will appeal to their aesthetic needs while contributing to their health and supporting their pocketbook.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The kitchen in the modern home

Modern Day Construction for custom homes Part 11

In today’s modern world of construction things are changing year to year faster than they did decade to decade in any other previous time period. In this multi part series I will traverse through an entire house starting with the foundation and working my way up to the roof and then to the finishing’s. I will explain what has changed in the last twenty years in custom home building.

One thing that you should be able to take away from this is how important it is to not just hire the right general contractor to build your custom home but how important it is to hire one that is up on today’s building methods.


Twenty years ago most kitchens were made out of plywood or press board. They had laminate or tile counter tops and golden oak cabinet doors where all the rage. As long as the kitchen functioned for the preparer of the meals then the kitchen was well designed.

Today kitchen’s are considered the heart of the home. Kitchen’s today are getting larger and more open to the rest of the house. Kitchen’s today routinely flow right into the main living area or have a large eating area in them.

Design of kitchens is a major business with so many new ideas that a lot of contractors have trouble keeping up with the latest and greatest trends. Here are some examples of the big trends now days compared to

twenty years ago;

Multiple ovens. Gone are the days when you had one stove or a wall oven and a cook top. Today’s kitchens have multiple ovens, warming drawers to keep cooked food hot, gas burners on the cook top and electric ovens beneath. Also there are in wall ovens that have a steam cooking function.

Range exhaust hoods. Every year exhaust hooks get more elaborate and larger. They are ultra efficient at removing the gases and smoke from the cooking area, but they have become so powerful at venting to the outside that they can depressurize the house. Fresh air sometimes needs to be feed to the range hood and dampers installed in the HRV pipes to help regulate house pressure. Range hoods now have lights and can be made to look more like art and less like a piece of exhaust equipment.

Microwaves. Microwaves have changes a lot in the last two decades. They have become bigger, quieter and more efficient. Microwaves now can be mounted above your stove and used as an exhaust hood. They have a built in venting and exhaust hood motor that when piped properly will vent everything outside. They can also have lights built into the bottom just like range hoods. Microwaves also can be mounted under the counter out of sight. They are then used by top loading with a power drawer that comes out at the touch of a button.

Dishwashers. Twenty years ago everyone had there one dishwasher that was either installed under the counter or was on wheels and rolled out of the corner and attached to the kitchen sink. Today kitchens still have the dishwasher mounted under the counter but gone are the days of the roll out model. A lot of kitchens now have multiple dishwashers. Also there are multi level dishwashers to help save on water and power. There are even dishwashers that are built into the drawers of the cabinets. So you put your dirty dishes back in the cabinet where they always go and then you turn on that drawer or cabinet. Then all the dishes in that draw get washed at the same time and you never have to worry about pulling out that seldom used pot with dust in it.

Today kitchens are mostly built out of press board and not real wood or plywood. There is less shrinkage and it also allows designers to do more elaborate designs while keeping the costs down.

Cabinet doors are not golden oak anymore. There is such a wide verity of colours and stains today. Cherry is popular and so is fir. A big look in custom homes is the distressed look in kitchens. It is when they paint the kitchen with multi layers of paint, every layer with a different colour. Then they take a sander and at certain spots in the kitchen they sand wear spots into it. This reveals the next layer of paint and gives the kitchen a lived in and aged look.

Islands have become the norm in kitchens. Kitchen islands are now designed to be completely functional. They have sinks installed in them to help with food preparation. Islands are now built in multi levels so that there can be a food preparation on one side and on the other side it is a bar area for people to sit on stools to eat, drink and socialize with the cook. Storage is a big thing in islands too with more drawers and cabinets being built into the underside of the island. The island has been transformed into a gathering area for the house.

Twenty years ago there was the one sink in the kitchen, it was usually placed under or near a window. Today the big kitchen sink is still placed near a window, but there can be two or three other sinks in the kitchen depending on the size of the kitchen. Sinks are now coming in all shapes and sizes depending on style and what you want to do with it. Smaller sinks are placed in islands for washing of fruit and vegetables. Larger main kitchen sinks can come with side sinks to help dry dishes and there are even corner sinks to help maximize space and help save on counter top usability.

Today laminate is barely ever used in custom homes in the kitchen. The trend for the past decade is granite. But there are a lot more options then there was before depending on your budget. Butcher block tops are becoming popular again. Recycled glass with a painted finish underneath is a popular trend and manufactured counter tops like ceaser stone are really taking hold. The manufactured stone is very durable and comes with a great warranty, it is easier to maintain then granite and doesn’t need to be sealed annually. A lot of kitchens these days have one type of counter top material underneath the cabinets and a different one on the island. Or if its black granite on one then it’s a white granite on the other.

Drawer design and hardware have come a long way in two decades. Gone are the days when you would have lazy suzans in the corners. They have corner drawers that are hinged so that when you open the corner door the shelving is hinged to come forward into your view so that you can see everything in the cabinet. There is now cabinet door hardware that allows the door to go straight up out of the way instead of opening to the side. Little specialty drawers are now placed everywhere in kitchens to maximize the space. Drawers like a small drawer 4 inches high by the width of the kitchen sink and only 2 inches deep to hold your scrubbing brushes and steel wool abrasive pads. Vertical spice drawers have become popular because they can be installed anywhere you need them to be and they are a great way to fill in that empty space between two appliances.

Fridges have changes a lot in the last 2 decades. They still do what they were originally designed to do which is keep things cold, but they also do so much more. Fridges now make ice, dispence water, have LED screens in them for controls or if you want to watch television. They are also bigger then they have ever been, with some models having built in wine chillers on one side. There are also fridges with no freezer in them, the freezer unit which can be just as big as the fridge can be installed standing next to it or in another room.

There are other specialty things that have become popular in kitchens. Things such as instant hot water taps, so that you can have tea without boiling water in a kettle. This requires you to install what we call a “little butler” water heater under the counter. Then you install a separate tap next to the normal kitchen taps at the sink.

Look for part 12 coming soon....

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Do you need help getting your building permit?

Are you trying to get a building permit? Hire a general contractor; they can help you with that.

In today’s world of home building, there are more and more rules to follow to try and build a new home. In some parts of the country you have to deal with other organizations other then the local municipal building department.

In the area that Village Builders Inc. does there business you almost never just deal with the local municipal building department. Usually when you are applying for a new building permit you have to deal with an Environmental commission, a conservation authority, a homeowners association, some time County officials, native bands, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and if you are building within a certain distance of a highway then you also need the Ministry of Transportations permission as well.

There are also other things that you have to consider, when you put the notice of project up on the vacant land you could end up having to deal with upset neighbours that don’t want you to build next to them. A lot of the times when it comes to neighbours it’s more that they want a say in where on your property you are going to build, are they going to have to look at it and what size and shape is it going to be.

Before you build your home you need to talk to the utility companies; some places it will cost you a lot of money to bring the electricity to you and other places you might not be able to get services such as municipal water, sewer and natural gas.

All of these things will dictate how and when you build your new dream home.

The easiest way to go about getting all these approvals is to hire your general contractor that you want to build your home before you even have the permit. What this will do is allow your contractor to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to dealing with all the parties involved.

Remember that you have a life and a job; there are other things that you could be doing then babysitting a permit application.

A general contractor will (once you have signed a contract for the construction of the home) usually help you with the permit applications for free, that’s right for free, it’s part of the service that a well respected general contractor will provide for you as part of the home building experience.

If you are looking for a general contractor to build your dream home then check out Village Builders at we do more than just build you a home, we want you to enjoy the experience.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Green Building: What it is and why it matters

Green Building: What it is and why it matters

Green building, sustainability and high-performance homes are now part of the vocabulary of new home construction. We welcome the attention brought to these important issues. As professional builders, however, we take the subject with a grain of salt. Green building is a far more complex topic than that portrayed in the media. News spots or magazine articles typically focus on specific areas like insulated windows, high-efficiency furnaces, roof-mounted solar panels, or recycled-content flooring.

Certainly, those products provide measurable benefits in terms of energy savings and improved use of natural resources, but genuine green building is much more complex. A green builder uses a systematic approach to design, construction, and on-going operational durability in which the sum of the benefits are far greater than the individual components. A green builder also knows how to personalize the green building approach to each homebuyer's needs and budget, carefully balancing the value that the client places on the benefits of green building as opposed to other choices available for new home construction.

It is true that all homes (and all buildings) leave an environmental "footprint." The materials we builders use in new construction use natural resources, such as trees and metal ores, even oil. The important goals of green building are to reduce the amount of natural resources required to build a house, and then to lessen the amount of energy used by the house. Energy efficiency over the life of the house further reduces the natural resources needed to produce electricity and natural gas.

To achieve those goals, we look for building materials, products, and systems that make the most (or best) use of every resource harvested while also performing better than traditional products. For example, an engineered beam uses smaller, fast-growing trees. Twice as much of each log can be used to make an engineered beam as compared with a comparably sized "glue-lam" beam created in a sawmill.  An engineered beam can also span longer, open spaces and resist warp better. A house that is free of even the smallest gaps does not waste energy.

Various green building certification programs are now available to help builders create more sustainable and resource-efficient homes. As we review them, however, we often find that the building practices we already have in place meet or exceed those standards. That's good news for our homebuyers and owners because it means we're already providing a high-performance home -- i.e., a home with many green features -- without adding to the cost or price. Of course, a client may choose to add additional features as budget, needs, and passion for the environment dictate.

With a systematic approach to green or sustainable building, we can build a new home that not only leaves as small an environmental footprint as possible, but also delivers convenience, comfort, safety, and a high level of value.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Preparing your hot tub for winter

Preparing your hot tub for winter

If you are one of the millions of people that now own a hot tub then there are a couple of things that you should do before the cold weather arrives.

Since most hot tubs are outside then the time to drain your hot tub and give it a good cleaning is in the fall before the temperature drops below zero. Once the temperature drops below zero you can damage your hot tub if you drain the water out and allow the water that is left in the lines to drop below zero and freeze.

When ice forms on jets and pumps they can be damaged and the act of restarting the hot tub and re-heating the hot tub is very hard on the components.
When you drain a tub and re-fill it, you are asking the heater in the hot tub to work extra hard to re-heat all the cold water that you pumped into it. In the winter it is even harder because the outside temperature fights against the heater making it run harder. This can cause the heater to endlessly blow the breaker damaging the breaker and the heater of the hot tub.

If you don’t need to drain your hot tub to clean it you should at least take the time to fill the hot tub to its desired level so that you do not have to do it when it is cold.

If you do use your hot tub frequently in the winter then you will probably have to add water sometime in the middle of the winter. What you should do is take a garden house and drain it of all the water and place it in the basement of your home. This will allow you to add water to your tub without fighting with a frozen garden hose.

If you hot tub is a little older then you should call your hot tub supplier and ask them to come out and drain the tub and do a system check. The worst thing that can happen to a hot tub is to have it fail in the middle of winter and freeze. Maintenance is always cheaper than trying to repair something later.

So before winter take the time to give your hot tub a once over.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Prepare your eavetrough for winter

Prepare your gutters for winter

This may sound like a weird thing to worry about but gutters or eave trough can cause a lot of problems if they do not function properly.

If you do not inspect your gutters before the weather drops below zero then you could cause damage to your home.

The following is a list of the kind of damage that can happen to your home if your gutters aren’t clean before winter;

The gutters can become full of ice and snow, becoming too heavy and collapse.

Gutters that collapse can swing down breaking windows, damaging siding, decks, railings and landscaping.

People can be hit or injured from falling gutters after they exit a home.

Ice can back up onto the roof, under the shingles and cause leaks inside the home.

Soffits can get backed up with water or ice overflow from the gutters and be damaged beyond repair.

Down spouts can become packed with ice and rupture destroying the pipe.

Ruptured down pipes can allow too much water to be deposited beside the foundation leading to water problems in the basement.

Ruptured down pipes can also cause wood siding to be damaged by water endlessly soaking it.

When gutters become too heavy they can tear down the facia.

The facia can become so saturated with water that it rots or discolours.

The easiest way to avoid this is to inspect your gutters before the weather turns too cold. You need to inspect them after most of the leaves have fallen from the trees or you will be wasting your time.

If you don’t have the ability to do this or you don’t have the equipment or the knowledge to do this then you need to hire a professional. There are plenty of home maintenance companies that will come out and do a yearly inspection of your eave trough system for you.

What you need to be looking for is anything that could restrict the flow of water to the downpipes. All leaves, twigs, dirt and asphalt from your shingles should be removed until the base of the gutters are clean.

Then you should run a little water down the gutters to see if the water makes it all the way down the down pipes on to the lawn. If the water doesn’t make it down the down pipes then you might have to remove the pipe and inspect it for blockage. Sometimes you will have to snake the pipe with a stick or pole to get all the debris out of it.

Caulk any leaks or cracks that you find in the gutters and down pipes. This will help keep water from being saturated all over your siding and will also stop icicles from forming on the bottom side of your eave trough.

If you have eave trough that are extremely hard to get too or are dangerous to clean then you should think about having a leaf guard installed on them. This will prevent any leaves from getting into them in the future saving you the hassle of cleaning them every year.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.