Thursday, July 28, 2016

Geothermal VS Propane Heating In The Country

For the past 10 years the debate between installing a geothermal furnace compared to a propane furnace has boiled down to a trio of issues;

  • The size of the house that you are building,
  • The available space to install the geothermal ground loops,
  • Your overall house budget.
The larger the house the bigger return on the geothermal and the faster it pays you back for the increased cost. The ground loops are the most efficient energy and cost installation method and they do require a lot of room to install. The budget of the house is greatly effected by the heating system as geothermal is a lot more expensive then a propane based heating system.

Lately there has been a change in the conversation around geothermal vs propane, it's the cost of electricity. Ontario has the highest electricity rates in North America and they are only going to go up. This is driving the cost of heating with geothermal up a lot more then it ever has, compared to the price of propane which goes up and down in price but overall is still not rising as a whole more then the electricity rates. 

Even though geothermal furnaces are far more efficient then propane furnaces, the rising cost of electricity is making the savings almost non existent as propane hasn't risen as steeply.

The payback for choosing geothermal is becoming so long that with the rising cost of electricity there is going to come a time when geothermal stops saving you money all together.

The one major advantage that geothermal has over propane is that geothermal has ultra efficient air conditioning where propane cannot produce air conditioning at all and has to use a conventional air conditioner which uses electricity at a much more inefficient way which costs you more on your electricity bill then geothermal.

Because of the constantly changing landscape of the electricity market with its extra fee's and rising rates serious thought most be taken when choosing your heating system. Only you the homeowner can make the final decision on what heating system you want, all your contractor can do is give you the information. The final decision is up to you the homeowner which road to go down.
When you are planing out your new build with your contractor a large amount of time should be spent on what your heating system should end up being.

Take your time and way the options, because this will affect you in the future.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Looking To Move To Creemore? Maybe You Should Build A Home

If you are looking to relocate to Creemore or you are looking for a weekend retreat to buy in the picturesque small town you will probably be surprise by what you find. The prices of homes in Creemore have jumped in the last year by a large margin and the amount of homes that are actually for sale has dwindled to only a few. The lack of inventory is one reason that the price of homes has skyrocketed, the other would be the total lack of new development.

Currently people are buying homes that they don't really want because they desperately require a home, then they are either renovating the home or adding additions to it to make it more to what they wanted.

There is another option, you could have a custom home built instead, then you will have exactly what you want, the size, the style and a brand new modern well insulated home.

There are pieces of property still for sale in and around Creemore from a normal sized in town lot with all town services to larger country properties just outside of town were you could build yourself a new custom home. There are also several older small homes that are in town that require removal that would make great sites for a new home.

With the cost of resale homes rising so quickly and the lack of inventory of them it makes more and more sense to build a custom home for yourself. The cost between buying a resale home and then renovating it compared to buying a lot and building a new custom home has become very close to the same overall price. Custom homes are still a little more expensive but they are also brand new with a warranty, the resale market for custom homes has also climbed in the last year and custom homes are now selling for a much higher price then they ever did before. This makes the investment in building a new custom home a great long and short term investment.

If you want to build a custom home in the Creemore area and don't know where to start email me and we should be able to help you with it. We are custom home builders after all.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Properly Waterproofed Flat Roof Is Something That Is Worth Every Penny

We are currently participating in the repair of a building that has an older flat roof, the roof was repaired several times improperly and the result is tragic.

Because the repairs to the flat roof was completed by someone that didn't know what they were doing the repair was nothing more then a band-aid. The band-aid worked for a short little while and then failed and started leaking again.

The results from improper repairs were the entire roof  became water damaged, water damage to the framing material, the roof deck, the insulation, the drywall and the contents inside the building.The damage was so extensive that our part of the repair was to completely remove the flat roof sub framing, the existing membrane, drywall and roof decking.

Basically we were re-framing the entire roof and then a new flat roof membrane was being installed.

The cost of this "repair" ends up costing several times more then what the original cost would have been to just replace the old flat roof membrane when it originally required it.

How does this happen? The original repair might have been considered too expensive and the building owner probably retained someone that would do a cheaper repair instead of a replacement of the flat roof membrane. Now the company that was to expensive has been hired to install a proper flat roof membrane but only after the damage from the repair has been done.

The moral of the story? When you are dealing with a roof the cheaper option is usually exactly what you don't want. And when you are dealing with a flat roof it is vital that you hire a professional that knows what they are doing and can supply you with a proper warranty.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Renovating that house you just bought

Here's a typical scenario, people buy a house and from the time it takes for the offer to be accepted to the day that it closes and you get to move in you are dreaming about what changes you are going to make to the home.

Everyone wants to change something in the home that they just bought, whether its wall colours or larger more extensive changes like kitchens and bathrooms. My advice to people is that you should start by repairing anything that requires immediate repair and work from there.

For example; if there is a leak in the roof or the foundation then have that fixed, or if the furnace doesn't work properly then have it replaced or repaired. Painting is another thing that you can do as soon as you move in as it doesn't create a lot of dust and the cost is relatively low compared to other renovations. Besides the best time to paint is before you have hung your pictures.

If you can have the major problems fixed before you move in then that is ideal, but most people don't have the luxury of getting their home early and not having to move their furniture in until the demolition and repairs are completed.

Once you have the immediate problems fixed or repaired then you can start to concentrate on other things like storage, kitchens, bathrooms, floors, additions, fences and decks. These are all things that should be thought about and planned out before you go ahead with them. 

What you will find is that if you live in the home for any length of time you will find that the answers, designs and styles of what you want to renovate will come to you organically. The best way to find out how a home will function best is to live in it.

Once you have a plan in your head then you can talk to a contractor about the cost of the renovations and the timing for them.

Bathroom and kitchen renovations can be disruptive but only in small parts of the house, these types of renovations tho inconvenient can be easily worked around while you are living there.

The best advice I can give is that you should take your time to plan properly before starting any major renovation, the old saying "fail to plan, you might as well plan to fail" is correct in this case.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.