2006 Georgie Award - Best Renovation $650,000 and Over
I thought I would showcase one of our older winning Georgie awards as it is a great example of how you can both transform an old worn out home into a beautiful new one and at the same time make a dramatic improvement in the comfort, indoor air quality and energy efficiency of the house. As you can see from the two photos the transformation was quite amazing!
Before Home Exterior
New Home Exterior
This was our 1st Built Green Canada certification and achieved an incredible Energuide rating of 85. Quite an achievement at the time when a code built home was probably coming in the high 60’s to low 70’s.
Our initial inspection of the home revealed that it was built on a wood foundation and had a crawlspace that was essentially full of water most of the year. While the treated wood foundation had not failed the moisture wick to the framing above had caused the floor joists to rot; so much so that one corner of the home had a very spongy floor. As you can imagine the home smelled quite strongly of mold and mildew. It became evident that the foundation would need to be replaced and repairs made to the rotten elements in the floor system on the lower floor: this became an opportunity to fix a structural and serious indoor air quality problem and redesign the home.
We were able to lift the entire home to get in and remove the wood foundation. Since we were in there digging the decision was made to dig down a bit further and put in a full basement – hey why not? As you can see the site was very wet! This was I believe our 1st foundation that was completely waterproofed, using a plastic “bag” under the footing to prevent further moisture from wicking up through the concrete and causing the framing to rot again.
You can see the black plastic place in the bottom of the footing form. This is sealed to the 6 mill plastic vapor barrier on the inside and sealed to the exterior foundation wall with peel and stick. The Delta MS foundation wrap then is overlapped over the footing and sealed to the top of the foundation wall to prevent moisture ingress through hydro static pressure. You can just see the top of the Delta MS in the photo to the left after the back fill has been completed.
The new foundation can now sit in a puddle and we can be confident that the home will remain dry and odor free and never be at risk of further rot issues.
While the front of the house was dramatically changed we were able to save the balance of the architecture, including the original T&G ceilings and exposed timber roof.
This was our 1st attempt at an air tight home, and while I am not exactly sure what the final number was we were told it was very tight. Given that we achieved an EnerGuide rating of 85 it was certainly below 2.5 air changes; pretty good considering we were unable to re detail the air barrier in the roof.
Indoor air quality was addressed with an Eneready Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) to provide whole home ventilation and fresh air. The 1st comment I received back from the owners was how amazed they were with the clean fresh smell of the home.
In floor radiant heating was installed with a ground source (geothermal) heat pump. This combined with the air tight construction and Energy Star windows resulted in a very comfortable and quiet home with very low energy costs. The clients commented that they were having the best sleeps of their lives once they moved in!
Sometimes people forget we do renovations. As you can see, yes we do!
If you are interested to learn more about we might be able to do for you and your tired old house please give us a call. We are the experts when it comes to the best options for indoor air quality, comfort and energy efficiency in a renovation.
Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2015