2018 Ottawa Fall Home Show
EkoBuilt News & Happenings

EkoBuilt: official sponsor of the Ottawa Fall Home Show

We’re really delighted to share that we’ll be the official Coach Home Sponsor at this year’s Ottawa Fall Home Show. We’ll be looking forward to meeting and talking to everyone who comes out – find us at booth #1723. You can see us on the show floorplan. Full show details below, including show hours.

We want to thank the small but dedicated group who came to visit the EkoModel Home last weekend during Green Energy Doors Open when communities in Ottawa and Gatineau were struck by fierce thunderstorms and tornadoes. Our thoughts have been with those affected. So many local folks have jumped into action to help, and there are many ways to provide support still, including donating to the Ottawa Sens & Fans Tornado Relief effort on GoFundMe.

Click to buy tickets for the 2018 Ottawa Fall Home Show2018 Ottawa Fall Home Show
EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Drive
Ottawa, ON K1V 2N6

Buy tickets online

Thursday, September 27th  NOON – 9pm
Friday, September 28th  
NOON – 9pm
Saturday, September 29th 
10am – 7pm
Sunday, September 30th 
10am – 5pm

Simply Sustainable, Solar Power

Save the Date: Green Energy Doors Open 2018

EkoBuilt will be taking part in Green Energy Doors Open ’18 this year (Sept 21-23), and we’ll be opening the doors of the EkoModel home as we do every year! It’s always a great weekend, we hope you’ll join us! This year they have secured Catherine McKenna to speak, and they are showcasing more EVs and Exhibitors than ever.

Did you know the event is free to attend? This year your ticket will also entitle you to a free ride on OC Transpo to and from Lansdowne Park on September 22nd (the Saturday), as well as 20% off a meal at The Table Vegetarian Restaurant and 10% off purchases at NuGrocery Zero Waste (both of the discounts apply all three days of the event).

This year the event will again include a one-day EV Exhibition, showcasing electric vehicles, in Aberdeen Square in Ottawa (Sept 22).

Green Energy Doors Open, is a province-wide, year-round communications campaign and showcase of individual, community, and commercial sustainable energy projects. It is organized and spearheaded by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. The initiative aims to showcase advancements in the sector, demonstrating that Ontario is already on the path to building a 100% clean, sustainable energy system.

Save the Date

EkoBuilt Demonstration Home
21 – 23 September 2018
9am to 5pm
Full details >

Quick Links

Green Doors Energy Open 2018 – List of Host Sites

See you there!

EkoBuilt is hiring!
EkoBuilt News & Happenings

EkoBuilt hiring construction & carpenter help

Our sustainable home building business continues to grow rapidly, and we need to add to our team. We’re looking for construction and carpenter help on projects in West Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley.

The ideal candidate will have a minimum two years of experience in a related field and come with a positive, self-motivated attitude, however anyone with a good work ethic is welcome to contact us. We look forward to hearing from interested individuals.

If you’re interested or know someone who might be, please get in touch or share our details:

Paul Kealey, EkoBuilt
Toll-Free: (855) 890-1222 | Local: (613) 227-4663
E-mail: info@ekobuilt.com

A coach house makes a splendid home office
Coach / Tiny Homes

Coach House: Expand Your Living Space, Right Where You Are

Heading into September we continue to be bowled over by the interest in coach houses and tiny houses. They are so obviously striking a chord with so many of you!

The options for creating income generation, expanding home living space, establishing a studio/home office, or providing an in-law suite right within the grounds of your existing home all appeal.

In-law suite or extended family living

An inlaw suite is a great use for a coach houseCreating an in-law suite for a parent or parents who can enjoy their own space but also be more readily supported is very appealing. The same is true for an adult child or family member who may need the benefit of close proximity to supporting family members.

Everyone gets their own space, but access couldn’t be easier and the cost has a lot to recommend it.

Did you know that some of our coach house models come with an extra bedroom or den? These bonus rooms truly make these coach houses worth considering.

Home office

A coach house makes a splendid home officeTaking advantage of the coach house regulations in Ottawa to build a small, dedicated space for a home office has so much to recommend it.

An art or music studio/recording space are additional related uses. Our two-storey model with a three-car garage would make a fabulous workshop for any auto enthusiast.

With a separate entrance and dedicated space, you’ll increase your ability to concentrate, avoid interruption, and – of course – the professional impression for any visitors.

You’ll also retain the flexibility to use the space in other ways in future.

Airbnb or other income generating unit

AirbnbIf your primary residence isn’t suited to an income generating unit, but your lot meets the City of Ottawa’s coach house requirements, you could consider a low-cost coach house.

A dedicated unit with a completely separate entrance will also allow you to continue to enjoy full privacy within your main residence.

 

Find out more

Eager to learn more? Make sure you check out these essential resources:

And of course, give us a shout, we’d love to help you figure out how a coach house could be the solution you’re seeking!

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's Saddlebrooke Estates
Home Building Resources, House Design

Secluded country lots available just a hop from Kanata

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

Location map for Ottawa building lots at the Saddlebrooke Estates

Click to enlarge

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

Krista Aselford of Burnford Realty
613-726-8000
krista.aselford@burnfordrealty.com
http://saddlebrooke-estates.com

Tiny Tulip coach house plan
Coach / Tiny Homes, Energy Efficiency, Home Building Resources

Coach Homes of Ottawa: Your Questions Answered

After a month of intense activity at some great shows where we met a lot of great folks, it’s time to get back to the topics that you’ve asked to hear more about. Chief among those is coach homes and tiny homes, and there is definitely an intersection between our energy efficient coach house plans and anyone interested in living small.

Many of you have already familiarized yourselves with the essentials of our coach house offering, so in this post we’re enhancing that information for those of you who are clearly entertaining the notion of building to this scale. Here are the questions we get most frequently:

Are the plans customizable?

Ottawa coach house plans by EkoBuilt

EkoBuilt’s Mooneys Pad tiny house plan

Indeed they are! While we currently offer 8 coach house plans, we can modify any of them or create new plans from scratch.

We are a complete design/build firm and love the challenge of finding the best design for each client’s particular needs and preferences.

What can I build on my property?

This is definitely a question for a City of Ottawa development officer, reachable at 613-580-2424. A call to the City will help to clarify any specific limitations or considerations for your property. We can also help with interpreting the information you receive from the City, as we deal with this regularly.

How do your costs compare?

EkoBuilt’s costs appear to be approximately 10 – 12% higher than some of our competition, which results in an additional $20,000 on average by project. But consider this:

Building codes are becoming stricter every year and adopting the most energy efficient build that you can afford now is well worth it. It’s wise to protect your coach house investment by building to the passive house standard in order to keep pace with changing codes (in fact, you’ll stay ahead of codes and recoup your costs and more over time).

EkoBuilt is quite unique in its approach and can work with you to build to the standard that best fits your current budget while protecting your investment for the long run.

Definitely read our post What it costs to build a coach house.

Do we need solar panels?

Solar panels can be used for additional economic benefit, offsetting Hydro bills, but they are not required. In our design and construction we are mainly focused on saving money through a focus on super energy efficiency.

For those interested in solar panels, one of the greatest benefits of our coach homes is they are easily net zero (able to produce as much energy as they use) which results in a complete offset of your utility bills. An approximate $10,000 investment in solar panels is a good baseline.

Ottawa Coach House Essentials

Make sure you review everything in our Coach House section, and please reach out to us if you’re thinking about:

  • simply living small
  • a home office or home studio
  • a secondary dwelling
  • an in-law suite
  • a rental unit / Air B&B

We can help you to consider all of the angles and to come up with the smartest plan for you.

EkoBuilt News & Happenings

Win tickets to the National Women’s Show this weekend!

National Women's Show 2018 in OttawaWe have 10 free tickets to the National Women’s Show in Ottawa this weekend (14-15 April) at Shaw Centre. To enter, just answer this question using the survey form in this blog post. We’ll award the tickets at 9pm tonight! Make sure you check your email.

Note: the contest prize has no cash value or equivalent replacement.

You could win a Cartier Table-top Fire Feature

Cartier table top fire featureWe’ve also got a Cartier tabletop fire features from ethanol fireplace maker Eco-Feu of Montreal to give away! We will raffle the unit — anyone who joins our mailing list at the show this weekend will automatically be entered into the draw. Get the full details here!

National Women’s Show
Shaw Centre
Canada Hall 3
55 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON  K1N 9J2
Tel: 613-563-1984 or 1-800-450-0077

Show Dates & Times
Saturday, April 14, 2018 ~ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday, April 15, 2018 ~ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Questions?

If you have any direct questions, just email Dagne Forrest at marketing@ekobuilt.com.

Cartier Eco-feu tabletop fire feature
EkoBuilt News & Happenings

Enter to win 1 of 2 Eco-Feu tabletop fire features

Okay everyone, we’ve got 2 Cartier tabletop fire features from ethanol fireplace maker Eco-Feu of Montreal to give away! At the  Toronto Green Living Show 2018 (6-8 April) and The Healthy Brain and Body Show in Ottawa (21-22 April) we will raffle the units — anyone who joins our mailing list at these shows will automatically be entered into the draws.

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 raffles to win the units (one at each show). 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.

Connect with us

Toronto Green Living Show 2018
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
April 6-8, 2018

EkoBuilt: Booth #1328

The Healthy Brain and Body Show
EY Centre, Ottawa
April 21 – 22, 2018

We look forward to seeing you!

Braeburn Estatest just west of Ottawa
Home Building Resources, House Design

Waterfront lots just west of Ottawa

The Braeburn Estates offer a special opportunity to live on gorgeous waterfront just outside of Ottawa. Prime building lots along the shores of the Madawaska River offer classic Eastern Ontario landscapes. Picture your dream home with beautiful vistas of the Madawaska River, nestled in a forest of hardwood, pine and spruce. Hill-top vistas beg for homes to be set in the trees overlooking the river.

These beautiful building lots are designed to have prime views of the Madawaska River and lots of privacy.

  • The terrain is blanketed with a beautiful mature forest – wildlife is abundant
  • Enjoy shared community access to the Braeburn Estates dock and swimming area
  • Swim, paddle, kayak, row and fish on the beautiful Madawaska River!

Enjoy one of Ontario’s cleanest, longest rivers – swim, paddle, fish, and row – or just relax and enjoy the view!

  • Alpine Skiing is just 15 minutes away at Calabogie Peaks
  • Walk or bike to the local cafes and galleries in picturesque Burnstown
  • More shopping awaits in Renfrew and Arnprior (10 minutes by car)
  • The Burnstown Beach is right across the river, with beautiful sand beaches, play structures and a boat launch
  • Hop over to the Neat Café in Burnstown where live music performances are a regular occurrence
  • Ottawa is a short drive away with its museums, restaurants, theatre, and the Rideau Canal

Location

Located within the historic and picturesque Township of McNab Braeside, Braeburn Estates is Ottawa’s newest and most beautiful river-front community.

  • Easy commute to Ottawa, with Kanata just 25 minutes away
  • Located at Burnstown, Ontario – an historic Ottawa Valley Hamlet

Directions from Ottawa: Take Hwy 417 west, continue on 17 west. Turn left at Cty Rd 508 / Calabogie Rd. At Burnstown, turn left on Burnstown Rd. Turn left at the top of the hill on Building Supply Rd. Drive to the end and you are at Braeburn Estates.

Available Lots

  • Lot sizes vary from 1 – 3 acres; all have at least 145’ water frontage;
  • Lots will have Bell & Hydro service brought to lot line, and will have frontage on a new paved road
  • All lots in the community will enjoy shared access to the community dock and swimming area
  • Phase 1 Lots will be available for possession late spring/summer 2018

Please click on the diagram of available lots below to see a full size version.

Community Development Vision

  • Community Covenants will help ensure the protection of the environment and encourage common design standards
  • Friends and family of homeowners in the community will enjoy shared access to the community dock and swimming area
  • As is typical of all property along the Madawaska River, the water frontage is owned by OPG (Ontario Power Generation). Home owners may apply to OPG for a license to use the waterfront and build dock facilities.

Work with EkoBuilt

As one of the select builders in the closest new waterfront community to Ottawa, we are excited to offer the opportunity of a passive or timber frame home to anyone who shares our vision.

Contact us to discuss available property, design approaches (both for the dwelling and its heating/cooling) and cost to build.

Braeburn Estates Contact

Website
Facebook
Contact: Susan Anglin, susan@braeburnestates.ca, 613.319.3136

Lot division for the Braeburn Estates