Kitsilano Multi-Generational Duplex Built with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) & Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
You may recall two blogs we had previously shared, one was titled "Why JDL Homes uses Nudura Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)" and the other was titled "Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)". The home that we have built in Kitsilano using these two building methods is now completed and the home owners couldn't be happier! Below are some progress shots of thjis new build.
Walking into a tile showroom can be as overwhelming as it is inspiring. The displays are spectacular, but there are so many options, at so many price points to choose from. Below is a pros and cons list of common types of tiles to help you get a better sense of them and their applications.
What is it? Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic tile that is fired at a higher temperature than standard ceramic, making it denser and less porous.
Best for: Use stain- and impact-resistant porcelain tiles on floors, walls, backsplashes. It’s easy to clean and comes in a wide variety of styles.
But: It requires a special setting material designed to adhere non-porous materials—DIYers often buy the wrong one. Check with the manufacturer to be sure you’re using the recommended adhesive.
What is it? A mix of clay, minerals, and water, ceramic tiles are fired at high temperatures. Glazed styles are then treated with a liquid glass coating and fired again, creating a hard, stain- and scratch-resistant surface. Unglazed tiles are sometimes referred to as “quarry” tiles.
Best for: Ceramic tile is typically affordable, durable, easy to install and comes in a nearly endless array of colors and designs.
But: Colors can vary from lot to lot and ceramic is not ideal for high impact areas. Handmade or “art” tiles can be extremely pricey.
What is it? Thin pieces of glass sold individually or as a mosaic, sometimes with other types of tile, on a mesh backing.
Best for: Colorful, reflective, easy-to-clean glass tile is best for walls and backsplashes. Some glass tile is rated for use on floors. The wide range of colors gives glass tile great “wow” factor.
But: It can be expensive and difficult to install. Because the tiles are transparent, the adhesive is visible through the tile. Unless you’re highly skilled, getting professional-looking results is difficult for a DIYer.
What is it? Hand or machine pressed one at a time, using mineral pigments, cement, a mold, and an hydraulic press. The pigment composition is a mixture of high quality white Portland cement, marble powder, fine sand, and natural mineral colour pigments. They are expected to have slight imperfections, which give them character and depth.
Best for: Best for accent walls or floors as they typically have a design split between 4 tiles to create an overall pattern.
But: They can be very porous so not recommended for wet areas and may require special sealing products. Because they are cement based they are prone to damage from acids and etching, etc. The patterns may also be "trendy" and may not be as timeless as other tile options on the market.
What is it? Pieces of natural stone—granite, slate, travertine, marble, onyx, sandstone, to name a few—cut into thin, regular pieces, stone tile has a rich, one-of-a-kind look.
Best for: Use stone on walls, backsplashes, or floors. Get the look of a granite countertop for less by using granite tiles instead of a slab.
But: Most stone tile can be damaged by exposure to water, pigment, or acid, so be prepared for extra maintenance. Seal on installation and reseal every 10 years.
With any tile be sure to follow the manufacturer's installation guidelines for wall preparation, setting materials, & setting technique used. Ultimately if a product isn't installed properly it will fail. Be sure to hire a professional to ensure it gets done right the first time around!
What is it?
The Province of British Columbia has committed to taking incremental steps to increase energy-efficiency requirements in the BC Building Code to make buildings net-zero energy ready by 2032. The BC Energy Step Code--a part of the BC Building Code--supports that effort.
How does it work? The BC Energy Step Code takes a new, performance-based approach rather than the traditional prescriptive approach. The BC Energy Step Code does not specify how to construct a building, but identifies an energy-efficiency target that must be met and lets the designer/builder decide how to meet it.
To comply with the BC Energy Step Code, builders must use energy modelling software and on-site testing to demonstrate that both their design and the constructed building meet the requirements of the BC Energy Step Code. The new standard empowers builders to pursue innovative, creative, cost-effective solutions, and allows them to incorporate leading-edge technologies as they come available.
The BC Energy Step Code also supports consumer choice, by allowing designers and builders to use natural gas, electricity, or other energy sources for their project without imposing a penalty on this decision. This fuel-neutral approach provides builders with the flexibility to make energy-efficient buildings using all available technologies.
Is it required? The BC Energy Step Code is currently a voluntary standard builders across B.C. can use. In addition, local governments can choose to require or encourage builders to meet one or more steps of the BC Energy Step Code as an alternative to the BC Building Code’s prescriptive requirements.
When does it take effect? The BC Energy Step Code came into force in April 2017 so builders have the option of building to the requirements in the Energy Step Code at any time. Local governments can set bylaw requirements for builders to meet one or more steps effective December 15, 2017 (when local governments’ authority to set technical building requirements by bylaw will change under the Building Act).
How does this affect a new build?
The new energy efficiency requirements will affect some of the things in a new build in order to comply. Such items include:
All of these items add to the cost of a new build and should be taken into consideration in your overall budget. There may also be increased lead times depending on the products/materials specified and where they're manufactured.
For more information visit: www.energystepcode.ca or contact us today!
To view or download the Best Practices Guide, click the icon below:
Why buy vinyl flooring?
With advances in design and performance features, vinyl is a stylish, easy-to-clean flooring choice for any home. It fits every budget and there are an array of patterns and colours to choose from. When installed correctly over the proper subflooring, vinyl is extremely resistant to dents, scratches, and stains. Below are additional pros & cons of vinyl flooring to consider.
While vinyl flooring is low maintenance and highly durable, there are also a number of drawbacks that are associated with this material. Of these, its ecological impact on the personal and world environment may be the most notable.
In a lot of instances, it is common to have hardwood flooring on the main and upper floors while vinyl plank is installed in the basement. This offsets the cost of hardwood flooring and ensures that the flooring is easily repairable if it gets damaged by tenants in the suite.
Wood continues to be one of the most preferred choices for floor coverings. Here's a quick comparison of solid and engineered hardwood flooring in order to better understand their pros and cons.
Solid hardwood is manufactured from a single piece of wood, the most common thickness of a solid hardwood plank is ¾". The most widely used profile is tongue-and-groove (T&G). Engineered hardwood consists of 2 or more layers. The top layer is wood veneer (industry norm is 2-4mm think top layer. The lower layers consist either of several layers of plywood, HDF or solid wood). Multiple layers are bonded together under pressure. Plank profiles may be either tongue-and-groove, or use a click-locking technology.
Solid hardwood is a 100% natural product that responds to air humidity variations. During warm and humid summers, it is not unusual for wood to expand. During cold and dry winters, wood can contract. If room temperature and humidity levels are not kept in the optimum range, minor gapping or cupping may occur seasonally. Because of the cross-layers of plywood and/or real wood used for middle and bottom layers, engineered hardwood flooring has enhanced internal balance and reduced possibility of twisting or warping. Seasonal movement is minimal, while dimensional stability through seasonal humidity and temperature fluctuations is superb. This is why engineered hardwood flooring is preferable over solid in interiors where fluctuations in humidity and temperature may be significant (cottages, basements etc.).
Price & Installation:
Some may assume that engineered hardwood is naturally cheaper than solid hardwood, but this is not always the case. Plank size, cost of lumber, as well as cost and quality of glues (used for adhering layers of engineered flooring) are often the cost determining factors here. Additionally, the cost of installation varies. Solid hardwood should be installed on or above grade, using nail down or staple down installation method. Engineered hardwood can be installed in a wide range of interiors, on, below or above grade. Depending on construction type, nail down, glue down or floating methods of installation may be used which significantly reduces installation costs.
Solid hardwood floors are a natural and eco-friendly flooring choice. In engineered hardwood flooring, glues and materials used for middle and bottom layers define whether the floor is non-toxic and eco-friendly. Engineered floors, in which middle and bottom layers are made of solid wood, and are bonded by high quality non-toxic glues, are equal in their eco-friendly characteristics to solid hardwood.
Because the look and feel of solid vs engineered hardwood is virtually the same, the decision on which one to purchase and install should not be a matter of personal preference, but rather a question of cost, climactic factors and other practical considerations.
JDL Homes has been diligently working on getting our portfolio updated with our latest completed projects! Below are three projects that we had recently photographed by John Bentley.
The downtown Vancouver sub-penthouse project was for a repeat client of JDL Homes. It features a modern fully renovated kitchen with custom veneer matched walnut cabinets, all new appliances and plumbing fixtures, a glass backsplash, and under-counter programmable LED strip lighting. We also renovated the bathroom, which features two fog-less shave mirrors, a new vanity, and all new plumbing fixtures!
The Langley estate equestrian barn was a new build by JDL Homes. You may remember the framing photos from our previous blog here. We finally got around to photographing this competed project. It features gorgeous over-height barn doors and a fun colour scheme!
The Capilano Highlands Craftsman is a new build project designed and built by JDL Homes. Completed in late 2016 this home boasts beautiful North Vancouver views through their windows. It features all the amenities for a growing family in a busy household. The neat thing about this home is all the bedrooms are on the main floor while the main living areas are on the 2nd floor of the home.
Stay tuned for more recently completed project updates! We're constantly working to have our work updated on all of our social media platforms!
Don't hesitate to contact us today to discuss your next project and it could be featured on our website & blog! We'd love to work with you on projects of all sizes and design styles!
At JDL Homes we strive to use innovative building materials that will give you a better performing home. Structural insulated panels (SIPs) is another way that we separate ourselves from other builders in the Vancouver market. Watch our video above as Jeff Langford explains a bit more about them from our W11th jobsite where the first few panels are being stood up in this new build.
Nudura ICF installation at our Kitsilano jobsite
What are Nudura Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)?
Effectively Nudura ICFs are a stay-in-place concrete form that consists of two expanded polystyrene panels (EPS), spaced apart in the desired wall thickness. Polypropylene webs (or ties) are spaced 6" or 8" on centre to withstand the concrete pressure and to allow the attachment of wall finishes (damp proof membrane or rainscreen on the outside, and drywall on the inside).
Why does JDL Homes use Nudura ICFs?
-Increased Efficiency: The Nudura ICF panels comes in 8ft lengths x 18" high so we can put up more walls in less time. They are also designed to be collapsible so they take up less space when they're transported or stored on our jobsites. Another great feature we love about these ICFs is that they're reversible, non-handed, and is available in both angled and radiused profiles. During assembly, they click into place which prevents form uplifts resulting in plumb walls!
-Sound proofing: The thick multi-layer nature of the forms help increase sound proofing.
-Superior R-Values: The City of Vancouver requires a rating of R-22 for all basement and above grade walls. You can achieve R-24 with Nudura ICFs, which is 10% more compared to traditional assemblies. As a result, it can help with energy savings in heating, cooling, and ventilation, creating a more superior performing home.
-Increased Interior Square Footage: Using ICFs in basements eliminates the need to build frost walls. We can directly drywall over the ICF panels giving you more interior floor space.
-Cost: Nudura ICFs is 30% less expensive than conventional forms, savings that we pass onto you!
-Less Waste & Saves Trees: Unlike other conventional ICFs on the market, you can cut these panels to the desired lengths and use the remaining portion for another area, decreasing overall waste!
We at JDL Homes believe in combining traditional values with innovative building technologies like Nudura ICFs panels to build you a quality home with integrity. We're always looking for ways to improve and to be more efficient without compromising the overall quality and end result of your home.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your next project and for more information on ICFs please visit Vancouver ICF.
24 hours to get to this point with Fastfoot, Nudura ICF and Helix micro rebar.
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