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Grab The Keys To An Ultra High-Performance Home

You could get a home that you've never even dreamed of. What an increasing number of homeowners, architects, and builders are learning is that you can be getting a much better house for your dollar. WAY better.

Did you know that your house is a lot like a car?  You don't have to be a "car person" to understand the headache of owning a rusty clunker that's plagued by many expensive trips to the mechanic.  Nor one to appreciate the comfort of owning a reliable, finely-tuned high-performance machine that gives you many years of enjoyable driving.  What you DO need is an expert in high-end machines on your side to steer you away from the lemons and over to the top-of-the-line Lexus.  

Most people don't realize nearly everyone's buying lemons.

A "lemon" leaks heat in the winter and overheats in the summer. One of the big clues you've got a “lemon” home is it’s becoming costlier to run and maintain. Another is your comfort is suffering more during really bad weather.  Think of it like a rusty old clunker car that didn't cost as much to buy but is getting expensive to keep on the road especially since you can't always rely on it to get you where you’re going.

If you're only several years or so away from an empty nest, it's a good time to think about what your house will be like 30-40 years from now.  Your house is still in pretty decent shape, but it's starting to need more work every year.  In your eighties, you and your deck chair have got more important things to do than constantly fixing little things that are starting to fall apart or phoning around again for quotes on your third roof replacement since that big hailstorm last winter.  Those power bills to run the AC keeping you going through the heatwaves are getting crazy, and how bad will the damage to your house be after a wildfire tears through your neighbourhood?  If you want to leave something valuable behind for the kids when you're gone, you need to consider a high performance house.

You know you're in a high-performance house when you're barefoot in a t-shirt and shorts, resting comfortably in your armchair even though it's 30 above or 30 below outside.  It might be hailing, blowing, or snowing outdoors, but you can't hear a thing besides maybe your tea kettle.

Let's say you build a typical house and are paying $5000 this year for power.  After 40 years of increasing rates and worse weather, you'll spend $80k on power bills and $50k on replacing the roof, windows, and siding.  Your house will need some major work, a total rebuild, or might be a knockdown at that point.

Your neighbour on the other hand goes for the Special Edition model - builds a high-performance house for as little as ZERO extra to maybe $50k more. 40 years later, he's spent only $5k on power bills and $5k on replacements; his house is still running smoothly and in great shape for resale or his kids to live in for another 40 years. Heavily simplified calculation this may be, but it's a reasonably accurate picture of what you can get. How? That's where I come in.

My name is Daniel Clarke, and I specialize in climate-resilient ultra high-performance homes. I've spent the past several years focusing on the economics of high performance projects that were built for about the same cost as typical buildings.

I'll let you in on something. As experts relied upon by the public, we architects tend to stick to architecture and steer clear of anything that resembles giving financial advice - which we're not qualified to provide. That leaves you though to guess at what the best option might be. While I can't advise you financially, I am as a Certified Passive House Designer trained to evaluate anticipated future savings versus the estimated current investment.

Those who are looking into Net Zero homes in BC can find a Passive House architect or a Net Zero architect in the Vancouver area or the Okanagan with a little research, but if you want an ultra high-performance house that combines modern architecture, high performance, and climate resilience, you've found the right architect.

How does YOUR house score compared to an ultra high-performance home?  Download my free Home Performance Assessment tool to find out.

conceptual rendering of a secretive, luxury home showing modern West Coast architecture

For those who know they need to change the house but don't know that there's an affordable way to get a much better one, I offer my Upgrade Forecast™. In this exercise, I will prepare a simple cost comparison of keeping your house for another 30-40 years versus overhauling your current house or building new to get a far more comfortable home that will still be in excellent shape 30-40 years down the road. The longer you wait, the worse shape your house will be in, and you won't be able to salvage your house. Wait too long, and you might not be able to afford new construction, either. Construction costs in BC have been climbing aggressively since 2015 and about 10% EVERY YEAR for the past five years. The national inflation rate is just under 8% - the highest it's been since the 1980's. Before you start winding down your career (and earning power), choose a path to a low-hassle retirement that works best for you.

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