Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Difference Between Nominal Insulation And Effective Insulation

For as long as I can remember we have talked about the R value of the walls and ceiling inside residential homes. Decades later we still discuss R value with people because that's what they understand when you are talking about the insulation that goes in the walls and ceilings of homes. Even the building code in Ontario only talked about R value when making the minimum limits for insulation in homes.

Well as the building code is going through an ever changing climb with regard to the rules that govern insulation levels and the air tightness of homes everyone needs to start talking a different way.

Contractors who understand this are now starting to talk to people in a different way, instead of talking about R value of the walls we are now trying to talk to people about effective R value. The old way of talking about R value in walls is considered Nominal R value. Nominal R value refers to the labels or rates that are given to the insulation that you install in the walls or ceilings.

Effective R values are different they take into consideration the thermal bridging that is in the walls, thermal bridging in walls and ceilings are usually the wood framing that creates paths were the air can move through the wall because there is no insulation to stop it.

Now you know the difference but as the homeowner how does this actually affect you and your home? Well if we take the 2016 Ontario building code it stats that your exterior wood framed walls are to have a nominal R value of R-24. That can be achieved by simply installing a r-24 fibreglass batt inside the 2x6 wall cavity. But it you look at that same walls effective R value it is actually down around R-17, that's because of all the thermal bridging that is in the wall cavity from the wood studs.

The 2017 Ontario building code has the same R-value for the exterior walls but they have made one big change and that is that you must have continuous insulation placed on the outside of the wall that is made of polystyrene insulation if you are looking to install the minimum building code. This continuous insulation layer covers all the thermal bridging in the wall effectively insulating the entire wall. You can expect that the R-value of the wall should be what you want it to be, if you are trying to achieve R-24 then with a continuous insulation layer that's what you would end up with an effective R value of R-24.

Effective R values are a more effective way to achieve homes that are sealed against the outside elements, helping reduce the heating and cooling costs and stop wind wash from affecting the inside temperature of the home.

So the next time you talk about R values with your contractor or if you are a contractor then you should be talking about the effective R value and not just the nominal R value. It might take a little educating on your part but it will be worth it in the end.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Renovate and Expand or Build A Brand New Cottage

Should I renovate and add an addition or should Demolish the entire home and go with an entire new home?

This is a question homeowners struggle with all the time, especially when it is someones cottage. A place where memories were made with children and family.

Other then the sentimental value of the existing cottage it becomes hard to justify spending the large sum of money to build a new cottage when its isn't used as much as your permanent home back in the city.

You should ask yourself some important questions and then think about the sentimental value of the place;
  • Can you afford to build a new cottage?
  • If you tear down the existing cottage will you still be able to build what you want on your lot with the current new building restrictions and codes.
  • How much do you use your cottage? Would it be used more by the family and more of the year if it was properly heated and properly insulated?
  • Would you consider ever retiring into the place when the time came?
  • Are you planning to sell it when you no longer require it anymore?
  • Will you be compromising on the layout and functionality of the cottage by only renovating and adding square feet instead of building new?
  • If you were to change the configuration of the home with either an addition or a new build would you change the view that you currently have, for better or worse?
  • Would this upset your neighbour's or would they be happy for the new look of your cottage?
  • Do you require a lot more room and storage?
  • You should factor in the energy saving's over the next ten years if you were to build a new cottage compared to keeping the older one even if its renovated.
The biggest thing you will have to deal with is the money issue, almost any building no matter in how bad a shape can be saved, the only barrier is the money, You should really look at the amount of money you are willing to spend on expanding and renovating, if that number ends up being fairly large then maybe you should just consider a brand new home.

One other thing about a brand new cottage is that you reduce your maintenance costs for the next 15 years to almost zero.

In the end your contractor can't tell you what to do only you can make that decision.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Village Builders Builds Custom Tree Houses

One of the big growing trends today is people wanting custom tree houses built on their properties.

Modern day tree houses are not the same old tree house that you grew up playing in and then eventually fell down in a big wind storm. Today modern tree houses are constructed to last as long as the trees that they are built in.

Before you start calling around to get a quote on your own custom tree house there are several things that you should know;

  1. Tree houses are built custom on your property for your property. 
  2. Tree houses are expensive, they are built off the ground high in the air and this means that everything takes longer as safety is the first priority when constructing one.
  3. It costs money to have one designed.
There are several companies that supply materials for treehouses, things like;

  • Tree bolts
  • Rope bridges
  • Zip lines
  • Ladders
  • Cargo nets
  • Pulley's and buckets
  • Trap doors
  • Catch nets
The list goes on and on, what you need is someone that has access to all of this stuff, this stuff is all engineered as well so it is safe for children and adults a like.

We can help you locate the site for your tree house, design the tree house, budget the tree house for you and construct it if you so choose.

Check us out on episode two of backyard builds to see the tree houses we built for the show.

If you are thinking about a custom tree house then give us a call or drop us an email and we can see what we can do for.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Village Builders on HGTV's Back Yard Builds on April 6th at 10:30 PM

On April 6th at 10:30 PM on HGTV's show Back Yard Builds, Village Builders will be in the episode building TreeHouses.

Everyone please take sometime and take a look, it was fun to film and an interesting project.

Having never been on television we are all interested to see how it turned out!

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.