Perth Ontario townhomes for sale by EkoBuilt
EkoBuilt News & Happenings, House Design, Passive House resources

Net Zero Perth Townhomes Selling – Don’t Delay!

We’ve been delighted with the interest in EkoBuilt’s development of five townhomes in the PerthWorks Community in historic Perth, Ontario. Two units have already been claimed, leaving only two middle and one end unit for prospective buyers.

Photo from Downtown Heritage Perth

These units represent exceptional value – $289k for an end unit, $279k for a middle unit – for homes that will be net zero in their energy consumption and built to the Passive House standard.

Situated centrally in charming Perth, homeowners will be able to enjoy all that the town has to offer as well as being within commuting distance of Ottawa.

click to enlarge

EkoBuilt is working with homeowners to fully customize their units’ plans to best suit their needs and lifestyle.

The sample floorplans we offer are a great starting point and make tremendous use of the nearly 2,000 square feet of living space on these two-storey towns.

December 2019 Occupancy

Purchase contracts to be finalized by late February 2019, groundbreaking in May 2019, occupancy December 2019.

Purchasing your new home in Perth can be a reality that quickly.

Get all the details from the Perth Town Homes for Sale section on our website, and then please do get in touch. We’re here to answer your questions!

 

Perth Ontario townhomes for sale by EkoBuilt
EkoBuilt News & Happenings, House Design, Passive House resources

5 EkoBuilt Townhomes for Sale in Perth

EkoBuilt is undertaking a unique development of five townhomes in the PerthWorks Community in historic Perth, Ontario. These five super energy efficient town homes for sale will be freehold, and will be connected to net-metering, resulting in incredibly low monthly utility fees (approx $40/month). We’re aiming for Passive House certification on the units, and each will include EV plugs inside the integrated garage, drain water heat recovery, and much more.

Perth Works Community MapPositioned just four blocks from Perth’s downtown core, the units will be part of the revitalized PerthWorks development. This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a community development that will have many appealing features.

All 5 units will be fully customizable – you decide on the floorplan that will best fit your lifestyle and needs. You can even decide to convert the planned integrated garage into more living space if that works better for you.

With nearly 2,000 sq ft of living space, these Perth town homes will be spacious and comfortable and have the quality associated with every EkoBuilt home build.

Purchase contracts to be finalized by late February 2019, groundbreaking in May 2019, occupancy December 2019.

Don’t miss out! Get all the details on the 5 EkoBuilt Townhomes.

Visit the EkoModel Home during Passive House Days

We’re delighted to hear that so many of you plan to come out for a visit during Passive House Days 2018. If you’re interested in the Perth development, this is an excellent chance to see and experience an EkoBuilt passive home in person.

Passive House Days, 9 – 11 November 2018
9am to 4pm all 3 days

Visit the EkoModel Home
96 Libbys Road
McNab-Braeside (just west of Ottawa)

EkoBuilt News & Happenings, House Design

Enter to win an Eco-Feu tabletop fire

We’re continuing our promotion of the Eco-Feu tabletop fire feature! We’ve got a Cartier tabletop fire feature from ethanol fireplace maker Eco-Feu of Montreal to give away at the Ottawa Fall Home Show, which is on now through Sunday.

Cartier table top fire featureThese units make perfect centerpieces and/or accent lighting. Burning for 2 to 3 hours, they feature a soothing, vibrant, real flame.

The Cartier unit when paired with a 4 gallons of fuel would normally total $308.80. Show attendees will be able to enter the raffle to win the unit – it’s as simple as joining our mailing list.

We will also have a complete Eco-Feu catalogue on hand so that attendees can see the other ethanol fire place/feature options. This is an important give away for us, as it helps with communicating the ease of heating a Passive House.

We look forward to see you at the Ottawa Fall Home Show this weekend (we’re at booth #1723)!

2018 Ottawa Fall Home Show
EkoBuilt News & Happenings, Home Building trends, House Design

Ottawa Fall Home Show Ticket Winners

We have our winners! Congratulations to Lynda Larsen-Baldry, Sharon Irven, Renee Vanderkuip, G Bender, Renee Marcil, Rene Pouliot, Christine Hughes and Dennis Baril, all of whom have won tickets to attend the show next week.

We’re also delighted to announce that EkoBuilt will be the Official Coach Home Builder of the show and we look forward to speaking to homeowners exploring a coach home addition to their property. We’re also delighted to talk about the entire rang of our services and offerings.

Cartier table top fire featureCartier Tabletop Fire Giveaway

We’re also going to be giving away a Cartier tabletop fire feature from ethanol fireplace maker Eco-Feu of Montreal. The Cartier unit – paired with a 4 gallons of fuel – would normally total $308.80. Show attendees will be able to join our mailing list at the show, automatically entering the draw.

We will also have a complete Eco-Feu catalogue on hand so that attendees can see the other ethanol fire place/feature options. This is an important give away for us, as it helps with communicating the ease of heating a Passive House.

Get Tickets!

Finally, if you still need to buy tickets to the show, you can save $3 per ticket by purchasing online. CAA members are also eligible for a special discount.

Buy tickets to the 2018 Ottawa Fall Home Show.

2018 Ottawa Fall Home Show
EkoBuilt News & Happenings, Home Building trends, House Design

Win tickets to the 2018 Fall Home Show in Ottawa!

We have 20 tickets to give away to the 2018 edition of the Ottawa Fall Home Show! To enter the contest, just fill in our superfast questionnaire. We’ll pull the names this Thursday, 20 September (one week ahead of the event start).

2018 Ottawa Fall Home Show
27-30 September 2018
EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Drive
Ottawa, ON K1V 2N6

How to plan your coach house in Ottawa
Coach / Tiny Homes, House Design

How to plan your Coach House in Ottawa

Intrigued by the possibility but uncertain about the details?

Interest in building a Coach House continues to come from many Ottawa residents, but along with that interest comes a lot of questions and a little confusion. We invariably have to point folks to the City for specific details pertaining to their property, but there is a lot of good information now available that can help residents to do their own research and feel comfortable in understanding their options in the early phases of planning.

The new Coach House legislation is a great boon for many. The potential in particular for an income-generating property right where you live is really appealing to many and it’s a seriously smart investment. But where to start if you have a property and you need to figure out what you can obtain permission to build?

In the fall of 2017, the City of Ottawa published a 32-page document on How to plan your Coach House in Ottawa, and here we break it down into small, easily understood parts. You may still end up reading that 32-page document, but starting here will give you the key information more quickly. We’re also able to clarify some information that is not currently available in that document.

What is a coach house?

Meant to be a gentle form of intensification, coach house are smaller dwellings – usually up to 40% the size of the principal dwelling – on residential properties with detached, semi-detached, duplex or some rowhouse dwellings (the latter must be on a corner lot or have access to a travelled lane).

In fact, any primary residence under 125 m² can accommodate a 50 m² house. For example a 90 m² house would still be allowed to have the coach house of 50 m² just like the 125 m² home. This is welcome news for homeowners of small, post-war homes in Ottawa.

The initial requirements list below is important – if your property doesn’t meet these basic guidelines, you can’t build.

Coach houses must be:

City of Ottawa coach house zoning example

Zoning / building footprint: click to enlarge

  • secondary to the principal dwelling
  • remain as an accessory use to the main dwelling (and cannot be severed)
  • designed and located to be in harmony with the neighourhood and immediate neighbours
  • serviced by the principal dwelling’s water/sanitation connections, or by a direct connection when the main dwelling is on a private well/septic
  • designed and located to preserve mature trees

Additionally:

  • development is not allowed on the floodplain
  • for urban lots, the coach house must be in the rear yard (in rural lots larger than 0.4 hectares exceptions are permitted)
  • in the urban area, the main dwelling and the coach house must share the same parking area and yards
  • the coach house must not exceed lot coverage of 40% of the yard
  • max. height not to exceed the height of the primary dwelling (up to 3.6m, or a flat roof of 3.2m in urban areas; 4.5m or up to 6.1m when a garage is included in village/rural areas)
  • it’s not possible to have a secondary dwelling unit inside the principal dwelling and a coach house; you may only have one of these
  • existing accessory structures may be permitted to convert in part or whole (e.g. garages, sheds or stables) up to a max. footprint of 80m2 (urban area) or 95m2 (rural area)
Capital Coach house plan

EkoBuilt’s Capital Coach House with garage (988 sq.ft. ) 1 of 8 designs

2 Storey Coach Houses

“An application to allow the height of up to a two storey coach house in the urban area through a minor variance may be considered where the conditions for minor variances have been considered and the coach house is proposed to contain a garage on the main level.”

From How to Plan Your Coach House in Ottawa, City of Ottawa

Pre-planning considerations

All coach houses require a Building Permit, and any to be sited with private septic/well will also require a Site Plan Control Approval application.

Make sure your planned investment will be viable first by understanding these key factors:

Servicing feasibility: water/sanitation

Your coach house will need full water/sanitation service, just like the primary dwelling. For urban lots with municipal service, you will need to extend that service to the coach house, and this “may mean modifying or replacing the service at the point where it connects with the City’s water and sewermain”. For lots with private well/septic, the coach house will need to connect to these.

In either case, you will want to consult the appropriate professionals to help ensure that you have the best plan and infrastructure in place so that approval is given.

The City of Ottawa does also recommend that any new coach house also have an independent water heater; Ontario building code does not require this, but it’s strongly recommended.

Servicing feasibility: electrical

Naturally you will need to investigate the electrical service for your primary dwelling to see how it may be extended to your planned coach house. Additional capacity will almost always be needed, and you need to develop an electrical plan that will be approved.

Servicing feasibility: grading/drainage

EkoBuilt's Pinewood Paradise coach house designs

EkoBuilt’s Pinewood Paradise (659 sq.ft.), 1 of 8 coach house designs

A formal grading and drainage plan will be required by the City of Ottawa as part of your application for a Building Permit for any coach house “55 m2 or larger in size and/or for coach houses which are within 1.2 metres from a property line”. It makes good sense to consider grading and drainage as part of any coach house project.

All of these steps are a fundamental part of the planning process, and EkoBuilt can help ensure that you go about this properly. Our team of professionals can make this part of the process much easier, navigating key steps along the way.

Design and placement

Some commonsense factors come into play with the placement and design for your coach house:

  • setbacks from property lines will apply and must be adhered to
  • height permission will depend on location and lot size (see above)
  • privacy for neighbours will be important; entrances and windows will generally face towards the principal dwelling and not outwards toward neighbours
  • the Zoning By-law requires a walkway from the coach house to the street of 1.2m in width (for pedestrian access and emergency services), however the walkway may not be used to expand parking on the lot
  • the City’s 32-page guide provides excellent visual examples of different urban and rural coach house configurations

Additional costs

Tiny Canuck coach house plan

EkoBuilt’s Tiny Canuck (499 sq.ft.), 1 of 8 coach house designs

Finally, remember that your new coach house will require insurance coverage and it will also increase the property taxes that you pay.

For a coach house that will be used as an Airbnb rental or another form of income generation, the total cost of a coach house may be well worth it.

Looking for a great solution? The EkoBuilt team is ready to help make your coach house dream a reality, with our expertise, experience and 8 Coach House designs. We can also create a custom design just for you.

Give us a shout today: paul@ekobuilt.com or 613-227-4663.

Download the City of Ottawa’s 32-page document on How to plan your Coach House in Ottawa

Ottawa infill project for EkoBuilt
Coach / Tiny Homes, EkoBuilt News & Happenings, House Design

A taste of our current projects

A snapshot of some of our current projects is actually a great way to get a feel for how some homeowners are using EkoBuilt’s energy efficient house plans as well as our design expertise. We thought we’d share this round up for a bit of home design and planning inspiration:

Ottawa Urban Infill Project

We’re excited to be working on preliminary drawings for an urban rebuild project close to Lansdowne Park and the Rideau Canal. A young, forward thinking family are the clients and we are excited to design their new family home. There is an existing post-war type house on the property that will be recycled, and a new home, designed for the 21st-century, will emerge.

We typically prepare a site plan, and it’s particularly important in this case as we’re working with limited space and need to design to maximize space on the property within the setbacks required by the City of Ottawa. There is a basement involved and we have given a couple of options for feedback from the client.

Photo Gallery – click to enlarge

Coach House Over Garage

This design started as a garage with a workshop and kennel area for three dogs. The clients decided to take advantage of the new Coach House Bylaw in Ottawa and put an apartment over the garage for affordable investment income.

The utility area will be the only heated area in the garage section, so we will super insulate the floor and follow passive principles for the second-floor apartment. The Coach House will face due south.

Photo Gallery – click to enlarge

House with Attached Garage

The property of this design is sloped, but not by much, which meant not having a basement, but also that it wouldn’t be slab on grade. A conventional poured concrete foundation is going to be installed, the only difference being R32 insulation beneath the slab instead of R10, as required by current code. With energy costs rapidly rising, it only makes sense to install more insulation, if reasonable to do so.

Photo Gallery – click to enlarge

Shooting Star – Modified Bungalow

This design started from our Shooting Star house plan, a 2 bed/2 bath bungalow of just over 1200 square feet. The client took our original plan and customized it to best suit their needs. It is a home designed to be off the grid because the client does not want to depend on the grid. We find this pretty inspiring. Why connect to the grid if you don’t have to?

Building to Passive House standard — the original inspiration behind our 13 energy efficient house plans — it’s easy to take the home off-grid. A generator is required, but we use a generator that burns oil from sun derived energy, including vegetable oil, reclaimed vegetable oil or bio diesel.

Photo Gallery – click to enlarge

You can download the original Shooting Star plans here

Ottawa Custom Bungalow

If you can’t find a design, not to worry, we can help! The clients of this design came to us with a rough idea and, after a few revisions, we transformed the idea into a computer assisted drawing. It’s a unique situation because this home will sit in a forest but still consume 80% to 90% less energy than its building code equivalent, reinforcing the reality that every house should be passive!

Photo Gallery – click to enlarge

These examples show that we are ultimately a custom design/build firm. If you like our minimalistic, modern and sustainable approach to design, we can help in any capacity. Feel free to reach out to discuss your project!

Couple viewing potential land for their home
Energy & Household Trends, Home Building trends, House Design

Tips for purchasing land on which to build your home

Hoping to build your own home some day? Does it seem like a dream? It’s best to start planning as far ahead as possible. Here’s why:

The excitement and potential around building your own home are pretty special, but there is a lot of work that needs to go into the process before you ever get there. If any process deserves a long lead time, home building is it.

Considerations around location, availability and zoning of available land, whether to share or become part of a community with others, whether to build in an income component, and the type of structure you would build are just the starting points.

With land availability increasingly scarce in some areas, and energy costs rising, it’s important to get all of these things as right as you can.

1) How do you want to live?

  • Are you building for where you are now, or where you will be in a few years or more? Are you building a family home or for a single/couple? Will you work from home?
  • Do you like the idea of building a home with a community of other like minded folks?
  • Does your household have special needs?
  • With rising costs for home ownership, does it make sense to build in an income/rental component?

2) Where do you want to live?

It’s never too soon to start looking at available land and considering your options.

Urban or rural?

In an urban environment you will likely have to take land that’s available or find a property with an existing older home and rebuild. The rebuild may be the preferable option for most in order to be in the neighbourhood of choice and also for the property not to be subject to development costs which can be as high as $25,000-$30,000 in the city of Ottawa. If the property has an existing home on it, regardless of condition or age, the development fee is waived.

In rural areas or smaller towns it is still a good idea to pay attention to development fees. Using Ottawa as an example, the $25,000-$30,000 development fee within city limits could be reduced to as little as $3,500 in the surrounding townships.

Other factors to consider:

Lay of the land. This is important for some because it may dictate the style of foundation. For example, if you want a walkout basement, a sloped piece of land is necessary. On the flip side, if no basement is preferred, then a relatively flat piece of property is required.

Orientation. In order to maximize solar gain, it is important to have access to the sun and this means designing the house to face within 20° of due south. In a town or city, streets that run north to south are preferred instead of east to west for privacy reasons. For example, if a street runs east to west, a house on the north side of the road has its south side facing the street. As living areas would normally be placed on this side of a home, there is a potential loss of privacy particularly if the home needs to be positioned very close to the road.

Water quality. It’s a good idea to research depths of wells if the property is located outside of a municipal area. Deep wells (greater than 250 to 300 feet deep) normally have higher concentrations of minerals which may require a large water treatment system. Well records in the province of Ontario are public information so it’s very easy to see the results.

3) Budget: To build & to live

There is a budget for building, and then there is a budget for living, and as energy prices rise the latter is getting more attention from homeowners.

Ottawa coach house plans by EkoBuilt

EkoBuilt’s Mooneys Pad tiny house plan

EkoBuilt offers pre-existing energy efficient house plans to suit many different lifestyles, including tiny/coach house options. Many of our clients like to start with one of our plans, and then customize to best meet their personal needs and preferences, but we can also start from scratch. Working with pre-existing plans provides great benefit in terms of proven models of energy efficiency, layout convenience, and – of course – budget.

EkoBuilt also offers a key array of house performance models for your home, including Code Plus (a home built to the Code standards projected for 2030), Passive House (a home that is 90% better than Code), and even Net Zero (a home which produces as much energy as it uses).

The best investment you can make is in the most energy efficient home that you can afford to build, as you will get the best return on that same investment. Imagine simply not having to worry about steeply climbing energy bills.

4) How will you build?

Finding a builder who understands what you want to achieve and can work with you to do so, is critical. At EkoBuilt, we welcome clients who want to save on the build cost by doing some or all of their own work, when circumstances allow. We also work with clients who need us to do everything from start to finish.

The earlier in the process that we can have a conversation, the more we can help you consider the best and most cost effective ways of achieving your dream. Make time to sit down with us today, even if you can’t foresee being in a position to build for two or three years.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash
Energy efficient home under construction near Kazabazua
EkoBuilt News & Happenings, House Design

New house build in Kazabazua

A modified version of EkoBuilt’s Primrose house plan is currently being built on Danford Lake near Kazabazua, about an hour north of Ottawa. This is a great illustration of the process that we find works the best with the great majority of homeowners: take on one of our 13 house plans and then modify or customize to best suit your needs.

This homeowner is working with us for the design and construction process, and will implement finishes themselves – another great example of the myriad of ways it’s possible to realize the build and finishing of a new home.

When to Include a Basement

We often get asked the question, can we have a basement? This project is a good example of when you can.

The inclusion of a basement in house design comes down to the property and its slope. Some properties will easily support a basement, as with this project, which is situated on natural sloped ground leading down to a lake. A walkout basement was cost-effective to include in this case.

Other properties may not easily support a basement and our demonstration home is a good example of this, being on a clay-based soil with a high water table. A basement in this case would be a bad idea so we instead installed a super-insulated slab on grade foundation over top of an elevated gravel pad. Basement design should always be dictated by the ground on which the home will be constructed.

The Primrose

The Primrose bungalow, on which this home in Kazabazua is based, encompasses just under 1,600 square feet of living space, and features 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.

Click to view full size images.  You can also download the Primrose plans.

Kazabazua Home’s Modified Plans

This project takes the Primrose plan as its basis, and introduces changes to best suit the lifestyle of the homeowners. The ground floor grew to 1,955 square feet and features the addition of a sunroom. The sloping ground on which the home is being built also supports the inclusion of a walkout basement, and the storage/mechanical room is situated on this lower level.

Click to view full size images.

Construction Gallery