We’re often asked about Tarion warranty and the homes we build. As a builder of custom homes for individuals, our homes don’t qualify for Tarion. Read on to learn more about why this is so, and how we protect your new home.Read More
Another EkoBuilt coach house project was completed earlier this year, this one in Prince Edward County, surrounded by farm fields and wineries and with breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence seaway.
The home will be used as a cottage / second home for a young family from the Toronto area.
Located just outside of Sydenham, Ontario near Frontenac Provincial Park, this custom home is a great showcase for what EkoBuilt can do.
A new development on Bob’s Lake, just 20 minutes from Perth, Ontario presents a great opportunity for anyone wanting their own bit of waterfront in the region. Nordlaw Cottages has been redeveloped on a site that was home to the former Nordlaw Lodge.
Sitting on 6.5 acres, this new cottage community includes 1,350 feet of waterfront and includes 18 lots of varying sizes in the design plan.
Residents would share common elements including main driveway, boat launch, beaches, docks, parking, etc.
At this point, the offering is also being packaged with a range of simple cottage designs starting at $280k.
Interested to know more? See video, development map, site plan and contact info below.
The Saddlebrooke Estates offer a special opportunity to live surrounded by protected park land in the Carp Hills just a short hop from the bustle of Kanata. Although more than 70% sold, around ten lots are still for sale ranging in size from 2.1 to 3.6 acres. This is a pretty unique opportunity and a bit of a hidden gem within Ottawa.
The Estates run along two very quiet roads that are already home to many large, established homes with natural gardens and well established trees. Because the lots were sold in two phases, choosing a lot here means that you won’t feel like you’re in the middle of a housing development.
Enjoy protected rural living on secluded, affordable 2 to 3.5 acre lots just minutes from Kanata
In addition, you’ll enjoy:
- the rolling hills and trees of 300 acres of protected park land that surround the Estates
- a guarantee of a lifetime of privacy with no further development
- being able to ski or hike right from your back door
- rural living with the convenience of nearby city amenities
Priced from $160,000 to $200,000, the lots represent excellent value and interested buyers can discuss details with Burnford Realty, a family-run company in Ottawa which originally assembled and owns the lots.
Saddlebrooke Estates Contact
Please note: as of March 2019 base pricing for coach house plans and basic shell installation have increased. The cost scenarios here will be affected in terms of total pricing as a result.
We have been receiving a tremendous amount of interest in our Coach House offering for the 2018 build season. We thought it would be appropriate to talk about future possibilities for everyone we haven’t heard from yet.
The new coach house regulations in Ottawa create a great opportunity for additional income in the form of a rental property and potentially even more income from an Airbnb format. It can also make for an economical in-law suite or starter home for a son or daughter.
Unlike most builders out in the marketplace, EkoBuilt is focused on building a style of home that is future-proof, something that will actually appreciate over time. Most builders design to today’s building code, and the real problem with this approach is that codes are starting to change dramatically.
This means that a home built to code standard today will be sub-standard come the next code change just four years from now.
Current building code is solid from a safety perspective, but the energy efficiency of most homes built to this code has not kept pace with drastically rising utility costs.
It doesn’t cost much extra to build ahead of code, so why not build to the future code standard? This is our approach and it just makes sense for anything truly designed to be a 21st century home.
To help in showing how possible it is to build to future code, we have prepared a cost analysis documentation for a couple of our designs.
Cost Analysis: Tiny Canuck
Size: 1 bedroom, 499 sq.ft.
Finished for $132,375:
- that’s a $694 mortgage payment
- rental $1250+ (including utilities), that’s a 56% ROI, beats the stock market.
Cost Analysis: Nepean Point
Size: 2 bedroom, 720. sq.ft.
Finished for $175,802:
- that’s a $922 mortgage payment
- rental $1750+ (including utilities), that’s a 53% ROI
Including utilities would make these units really attractive to anyone in the market. Since the homes are ‘future proof’, they can be heated and cooled inexpensively with electricity (no gas/propane) which will be the fuel of the future.
Alternatively, if a coach house is built to current code standards, your mortgage rates may be slightly less (5%) but with substantially higher utilities, overall cost of living would be more expensive.
Coach House Plans: CodePlus & Passive House
Make sure you visit our Coach House Plans page and review the kit pricing for our coach house plans based on CodePlus and on the Passive House standard. Questions? We’d be happy to answer them!
Please get in touch with us to explore Coach House opportunities for your property!
If you’re not already in a community you will WANT to consider this and if you are in a suburban community you will REALLY WANT to consider this. If you are not in a community at all, you will APPRECIATE this…
As humans, we are naturally social creatures hard wired to engage with people in one form or another. With modern technology, this engagement is increasingly less than in the past. But we stand to gain so much when we come together.
Our vision of an EkoCommunity is a vibrant community that has the flexibility build in for as much, or as little, privacy as its members want, and where there is shared satisfaction in living in a supremely comfortable and healthy home.
There is an amazing side benefit to living in a shared community: it’s actually a much more economical way to live! With rising land costs, our cost-of-living (or the cost of our dreams of living on more land) has shot through the roof! With a shared community property, these costs are brought back down to ‘normal’. The cost of a commonly shared building is usually included.
Communities of the 21st-century should be communities that share a piece of land and are either net zero or self sustainable:
Net zero – a home that produces the same amount of energy as it uses (usually with solar panels);
Self sustainable – off grid with community owned energy production systems that are, of course, sources of renewable energy.
Living in a shared community, free of energy dependence (off-the-grid) and affordably, is surely a great way to go forward. The best part is, most cities and townships accept these types of communities with open arms, as long as the property is zoned residential, of course!
What is your vision of a designed community?
It does take a particular group of people to come together and decide on a property and a general style of home/buildings, but when people agree, great things happen!
We’re here to help if you can see the way to finding you group and making it happen. Add your name to our EkoCommunities list, and we can help connect you with like minded folks! We’ve also got the home technology and plans to help you see your vision through.
The CBC recently carried a story, P.E.I. man wants to know why he pays HST on electricity he generates himself, which left us scratching our heads. Honestly, this poor guy lives in a province where oil consumption for heating houses is exempt from HST, yet electricity is not, and legislation requires that he be taxed for generating it. Worse still? This man, whose solar panels are producing more electricity than he needs for his home, allowing him to sell the remainder through net metering to the grid, notes that the province’s customers then pay HST on what they use.
An article like this one illustrates approaches to carbon pricing in Alberta and Ontario, where oil is very much subject to taxing: http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/what-carbon-prices-in-alberta-and-ontario-will-cost-… Although taxed federally, as of late 2016 electricity consumption in Ontario no longer has the provincial portion (8%) of HST applied to consumers’ bills, whereas electricity pricing in Alberta remains steady following recent carbon pricing shifts.
Part of the problem with rationalizing energy pricing and taxation, of course, is the huge variation in energy generation infrastructure across the provinces and territories. Unlike Ontario, whose electricity is “90% emissions-free, thanks in part to Ontario’s early action to close coal-fired power generation” (source: https://www.ontario.ca/page/cap-and-trade-ontario), P.E.I. is in a much less fortunate position, with no active hydro-electric station, and a reliance on both out-of-province sources of electricity, as well as two in-province sources that are fired by diesel and oil.
None of the above really helps to explain how P.E.I. can tax someone who is generating clean electricity to contribute to a grid that is sorely lacking in local, clean sources of electricity, nor how it can fail to tax oil usage. The CBC story further explains that P.E.I.’s government and Maritime Electric claim that “federal tax law requires HST be charged to homeowners involved in net metering…[and that] homeowners could claim back the HST by registering as a business.” Are there any more hoops that homeowners should jump through in the name of nonsense?
While it may be understandably challenging for Canada to develop a unified and logical strategy on carbon taxing, there is an undeniable need for green solutions like solar electricity generation to be supported, not hindered! The future needs to be carbon-free, and solar panels are helping us to get there, along with individuals like the P.E.I. man who decided to build the most energy efficient home he could afford, unaware that the government would penalize him for doing so.
We’ve made some fundamental changes to how we price and deliver our Passive House kits, and here’s why:
EkoBuilt’s goal is to provide anyone building a new home the opportunity of achieving an affordable Passive House. We know that this looks different for everyone.
Our challenge: The Passive House model, although a simple approach to construction, does require specialized carpentry and building techniques. It has three simple but crucial layers to the building which need to be properly sealed. There is a watertight layer, a wind tight layer, and a vapour tight layer which, when installed properly, easily ensure that the house will perform to the passive house standard.
Our solution: We have simplified our passive house materials package to include all items necessary for a watertight, wind tight, and vapour tight passive house. We are excluding previously included items such as exterior siding, soffit/facia, steel roofing, timber frame, insulation because these items are readily available anywhere in Canada. Doing this allows the home builder much greater flexibility and control over the total project budget.
Why it matters: Our revised passive House material package is important to the consumer in three key ways:
1. For the Do-it-Yourselfer
Because all of the materials necessary to build a watertight, wind tight and vapour tight passive house are available in a single package (including design plans), there is no need to undertake the extensive research and sourcing to figure this out. We have done the hard work for you and in a single phone call or a meeting with one of our representatives we will prove to you that our system is the most cost effective and affordable system on the market.
Sometimes the building permit process alone is burdensome enough to prevent an individual from building their own house. In addition to construction drawings most building departments are now asking for duct design, heat loss calculations, an engineer’s stamp, energy efficiency design summary, etc. EkoBuilt is a registered design firm and in addition to construction drawings (which have always been included with our packages), we are now including all of the paperwork required to satisfy any building department’s requirements. We believe the permit process should be simple and free of headaches and we’re doing all we can to aid in this process.
2. For the small builder or contractor
For the builder/contractor who has a client interested in passive house or just generally wants to offer passive house to clients, this approach is superb. Although passive house is known and understood by many Canadians it is still a relatively new style of building in our country. Therefore most consumers and builders have limited knowledge of proper passive house design specifications and materials, particularly windows and doors.
EkoBuilt is not only specialized in passive house design and construction; we are committed to making the affordable passive house a reality. We have placed all of the necessary materials into one simple package and can offer support, if desired. Our simplified package also provides the builder or contractor with the ability to supply and build most of the house on their own, including exterior siding, roofing, fascia/soffit, interior finishes, etc.
3. For the owner-builder who wants to act as their own general contractor
Many of our clients prefer this approach because they like to choose interior finishes and be completely involved in the decision making process, but it would be beyond them to put together a passive house materials and design package. This is our specialty and we are committed to using the best materials that are also affordable, making it unnecessary for owner-builders to get tangled up in research and complex decisions. Just give us a call and we will explain everything: we want our clients to be completely aware of and confident in the specific materials used and the reasons behind their selection.
How do you want to build your new home?
Over the years, we have encountered every possible variation in home owner involvement in the new house building process. We understand that you need as much information as possible, particularly on every aspect of building a realistic budget for your project. We also understand that everyone comes at the process differently.
For this reason, we can:
- Just provide you with one of our 13 passive house plans and materials kits.
- Provide you with one of our kits, along with additional support and/or services.
- Build your new passive house from start to finish, including to a completely unique design of your own choosing, or by modifying one of our existing designs to better suit your needs (site requirements, lifestyle needs, etc.).
We can supply and install exterior siding, roofing, fascia/soffit, interior finishes, HRV, kitchens, etc. We have simplified the basic Passive House materials package so that anyone can achieve this standard in an affordable way, but we’re still here to provide a total solution from design through to the installation of the last finish in your new home, if that’s what you’d prefer. Call us today to find out more.
Although the details are not yet clear, we are hearing increasingly about how plans to address climate change in Ontario may result in unwelcome increases in both hydro and natural gas.
An article published by the CBC explores the possibility of natural gas being phased out in the near future and rising costs associated with heating and cooling our homes.
There is no better time to address your home’s investment value.
If you’re on the cusp of a big renovation or looking to build a new home, now is the time to learn more about the PassiveHouse model and how you can live comfortably and affordably, free from dependence on fossil fuels. EkoBuilt’s smart passive home building plans and materials kits can get you there even more quickly.