Summer has already arrived. Have you prepped your home enough for this current season? Below is an ultimate summer home maintenance checklist.
1. Wash Your Windows and Screens
Outdoor space may only be available in limited amounts in the city, especially in Vancouver. But with the right expertise, you do not have to refrain from your passion for greenery. On the contrary, it can be quite simple to change your tiny urban space into your own urban garden.
The bathroom fan may not be something you generally give a lot of thought to. From a structural perspective, bathroom exhaust fans are a key element of your home’s ventilation system. They eliminate odors, improve indoor air quality, and remove moisture and humidity that can lead to structural damage or mildew and mold growth.
It’s not uncommon for a home to have a bathroom exhaust fans that is noisy, moves very little air and is not energy efficient. Many homeowners are not even aware that their current bathroom fans may be contributing to damage in their homes.
Fans that aren’t doing their job properly need to be replaced or serviced to correct the inadequate airflow, inability to overcome static pressure, high leakage rates and general poor condition. If a mirror is steamed after a shower, or there is a build-up of condensation on bathroom walls, it is probably time to service or upgrade the bathroom fan.
There are several factors to be considered when selecting a new or replacement bathroom fan.
Of all the factors to consider, the airflow rate is the most important. It is obviously important that the fan is doing its' job for proper ventilation. When choosing a fan consulting with an expert is recommended to ensure proper functioning.
Various studies have shown that many people do not turn on their bathroom fans because they are too noisy. When considering fan sound levels, it is important to check for the HVI rating. If a bathroom fan does not carry an HVI rating, there is a very good chance it will be noisy.
A quiet alternative to traditional bathroom fans is the remote mounted in-line ventilation fan which are mounted in the attic, thereby removing the motor and fan assembly from within the bathroom itself providing a quiet and effective exhaust ventilation.
An Energy Star fan is, without question, the best choice. An energy efficient fan can lead to savings in the electrical bill and increased performance of the bathroom fan. More than half of the fans operating in Canada today are not energy efficient models.
Once a fan has been found that is quiet, energy efficient and delivers the required airflow, it is time to look at the looks of the fan. Two different styles of bathroom fans are worth considering: traditional ceiling mounted fans and remote mounted in-line fans.
Traditional ceiling mounted fans have a fan and motor assembly mounted in the ceiling, housed in a box with a fixed air intake grille covering the mechanics of the fan. Despite improvements in sound levels and airflow rates, they still tend to be noisy, and are not designed to overcome the higher static pressures found in many exhaust systems.
Whereas the remote mounted in-line ventilation fans provide a much quieter operation and are designed to overcome higher static pressures. In-line bathroom fans are normally mounted in the attic space. The only visible portion of the exhaust system in the bathroom is an attractive exhaust grille.
Another feature of remote mounted fans is that the air intake grille can be mounted directly over a shower or hot tub. Plus, it's possible for one fan to exhaust air through multiple grilles.
The last point to consider when upgrading a bathroom ventilation system is how the fan is controlled. CMHC and HVI both suggest that a bathroom fan run for a minimum of 20 minutes after a shower, to allow for the removal of excess humidity and moisture. Therefore, It is recommended that a separate switch control the fan or, better yet, a timer that allows the fan to run for a predetermined amount of time after showering.
Planning a large-scale renovation or building a new home? With more than 35 years building in Vancouver and Whistler, Well Balanced Designs fully understands the in's and out's of the building industry. We make it our mission to simplify the process for our clients to ensure a seamless, stress-free experience. That results in the home you're dreaming of.
How can we help?
Download our Guide to Building or renovating in Vancouver or to our Laneway Home Building Guide for suggestions for planning your next project that lead to a great experience for you, the homeowner.
If you'd like to chat with us directly click here for contact information.
This is easily done through glass wall systems we discussed in our last blog post. These systems combine a great indoor and outdoor experience, contributing to a happier and healthier life. There are many ways to enhance the seamless indoor/outdoor feel with wall systems that are essentially removable. Adding to the openness by using other elements such as tile flooring that extends from a home’s interior to its’ outdoor space can create the illusion that a home is much larger than it actually is.
Choose the size and placement of glass door systems according to your goals. Are you adding glass doors to create a flexible living spaces or for better views?
How much furniture and is in the room as well as the room layout is a consideration too. Pocket doors present the least challenges because they don’t swing into the attached room creating the need for extra space. Avoid the use of heavy furniture around whichever system you use is best.
The type of glass system you choose can be affected by the climate of your location too. Your choice will affect energy efficiency and safety. A popular choice is the low-e tempered glass or in regions of great cold or heat, a triple-glazed version is a good fit.
"On October 3, 2017, Council approved amendments to the Zoning and Development Bylaw. The amendments introduce character retention incentives and increased opportunities for housing choice in all single-family (RS) zones across the city.
Character Home Zoning Review
Heritage and character buildings are valued by many Vancouver residents, and are an important component of defining neighbourhood identity and character.
In recent years, we've heard growing public concern over the loss of character homes in the city. We started the Character Home Zoning Review in response to these concerns as part of the Heritage Action Plan, a comprehensive program approved by Council in 2013 to review and improve how we support heritage conservation in Vancouver.
This Character Home Zoning Review explores ways to encourage retention of pre-1940 character homes in single-family (RS zoned) neighbourhoods.
City Council requested this work as part of the Heritage Action Plan (HAP), a comprehensive review of the City’s Heritage Conservation Program. In this phase, we are proposing retention incentives for character homes in all single-family (RS zoned) neighbourhoods across the city.
What can I do with my character home?
When a character house is retained, home owners have the opportunity to:
Before You Start Planning
Review the zoning schedules, guidelines, and policies before you start your plan:
Or contact the Well Balanced Designs team and we can answer any questions you have about adding additional floor area, converting your home to a Multiple Conversion Dwelling or building an infill in the City of Vancouver.
It's important to note that at this time lane homes are not eligible for strata title. If you'd like more information about building an infill or building a lane home, please contact us.
All information is property of City of Vancouver, Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability Department
Links to original material can be found throughout this content.
Well Balanced Designs is pleased to be attending the BC Home and Garden show this year.
If you’re contemplating building a new home or renovating an older one, or just looking to spruce up your place for spring and summer, 2018, this show is a must attend. This is where Canada’s finest gather to deliver all you need to get you home in top shape.
From DIY projects, to home building and everything in between, this annual event, downtown Vancouver, is an exciting place to be. The show runs February 21st to February 25th, 2018. You can find us in Booth #2231
Local Designers and Local Designs:
Last year we were honored to be featured on the Marc & Mandy Show. Designer Jamie Banfield took viewers on a tour of one of our newly built homes. Jamie Banfield will be displaying his talent in a few ways this coming weekend. The BC Hydro Power Smart Home, which highlights how to focus on energy efficiency in your home, is designed by Jamie Banfield Designs.There are so many options related to technology these days allowing energy efficiency and style to easily co-exist. Make sure to stop by this exhibit and learn more about saving on cost AND being an Energy Star®.
You’ll also find Jamie Banfield Designs sharing options for livening up your outdoor spacee. We recently built an incredible outdoor deck for a client, as outdoor living is an important feature for them. And why not, Vancouver summer's can be incredible! Take a look our recent project by clicking here. Then see what inspiration you find from our project and the Jamie Banfield team at the Home Show, to get you motivated to up your entertaining game this summer!
With “more than 3,000 square feet of innovative garden spaces’ at the show this year, you won’t be hard-pressed to find all you need to create that dream outdoor space. We understand the importance of greenery! From landscaping that adds to curb appeal, to the use of plants and live gardens inside your home, greenery of all sorts is an important design element.
Some of us at Well Balanced Designs are keen to learn more about Steel Garden Systems who will be at the show. Ok, partly because they make gardening less labor-intensive but partly because of the combination of unique designs and practical construction. These custom built, raised steel garden beds have all the good looks without some of the drawbacks of wooden beds like rot or discoloration. They discourage bugs and weed growth and are easy to move. Coupled with the numerous colors that are available and the fact that they can be built to your specifications, these are worth checking out while you can.
Another thing we are excited to see at the show this weekend has to do with being a lane home builder. We get a bit excited by innovative designs for small spaces. Space-saver beds and wall beds are a great solution for lane home living. Or for any other space you want to give double duty to. Instant Bedrooms Manufacturing , in an industry leader in Murphy Wall bed production. A space saver bed allows a 2nd bedroom to be an office or spare room until it’s needed for a guest. And if you haven’t taken a look at innovations in space-saver beds for a number of years, you don’t want to miss this! Instant Bedrooms Manufacturing has been in business as long as we have been (35 years), making them a great resource for functional space saving tips.
Try Something Unique to The BC Home & Garden Show
And if the endless amount of design and décor ideas for your home and garden aren’t enough, try something else: As the official automotive sponsor of the BC Home & Garden Show, Toyota will be onsite offering test drives and adding a fun touch to a show that is all about life at home. So, go ahead and see if you want to bring something new home to add to your new garage.
There’s also a Help Desk if you have questions you need answered about a project you’re working on. But you know you can come see us for that kind of stuff too, right? After 35 years in business, we have some answers about design build projects!
Let us know if you enjoyed these recommendations and what inspirations you may have found that we didn’t include. We look forward to seeing you at this weekend-long adventure so be sure to stop by our booth and say hello!
Laneway housing is a novel solution to Vancouver’s real estate crunch, letting homeowners build these structures and use them – or rent them out to tenants. Vancouver zoning allows these structures to be built in special single-family zones only. We have always suspected it will only be a matter of time before population pressures see even more laneway housing sprouting up in even more neighborhoods.
There are currently proposals at Vancouver city hall, that will allow for this if passed.
We have been part of this trend, building and designing laneway house for our clients throughout the Vancouver area, for many years. Click here to get specific details on what`s required before you can start to build a laneway home in the City of Vancouver. We have broken this down into simple, easy-to-follow steps so you can get started understanding the building process.
It's getting close to that time of year in Vancouver when we are relieved to be able to start spending more time outdoors…without the rain, or snow as the case may be! This year, as always, our fingers are crossed for springs quick arrival. There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy the beautiful west coast. Whether that’s a landscaped garden, a deck for entertaining or a