Archive for the ‘Quality’ category

Making Homes Affordable and Green Through Stud Spacing


At Mason Homes, we believe efficiency plays a key role in building safe, affordable homes that preserve the environment as well as your pocketbook.

While I generally avoid writing about technical issues, a homeowner recently asked me whether we use studs at 24-inch spacing rather than 16. I wasn’t really surprised, as I have as of late noticed an increasing amount of homeowners who are curious about the technology and practices that make their home green.

What’s more, I noticed that this precise topic is getting a fair amount of attention online, as this article attests.

While using studs at 16-inch spacing is the traditional way to go, studs spaced at 24 inches have several advantages. They reduce costs somewhat, thanks to a reduced number of studs and reduced labour costs. More importantly, 24 inches on centre brings about improved insulation.

For all these reasons, Mason Homes use studs at 24-inch spacing, which helps make them energy-efficient and quite affordable.

Mason Homes Wins Awards


Last weekend, Mason Homes won five awards at the Peterborough & The Kawarthas Home Builders Association’s 2011 Kawartha Awards of Distinction. All five awards pertain to our Port Hope Golf & Country Club community. They are: 

  • Best Tract Built Home over 1,500 sq. ft. (the Monarch)
  • Best Sales Brochure
  • Best New Home Sales Office
  • Best Print Ad Campaign
  • Best Project Logo Design & Signage 

Having put so much work and thought into this community (as we do with all others) it’s nice to see it get recognized.

The home that won the award was the Monarch model. Through this home’s design we attempted to address the needs of active empty nesters (which form the community’s target demographic).

A large living room adjoins a formal dining room, and a kitchen with optional breakfast bar.

Because many empty nesters love to entertain, the Monarch features an open-concept design in a bungalow that includes a loft, good for extra bedrooms, guest space, games room, or a home office.

The ensuite bathroom is like a personal spa — the large shower is enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass doors, the tub features air jets, and tasteful tiles complete the look.

The Monarch also has a large living room, adjoining a formal dining room, and a kitchen with optional breakfast bar. Eight-feet sliding doors in the kitchen and large windows overlooking the back yard make this living area flexible and flooded with natural light.

We are happy and honoured to have won this prize.

We’ve built the Monarch as a model home in Port Hope, so come visit it this weekend and see it for yourself!

Note: We’ve just added pictures taken during the ceremony to our Facebook page. Check them out here

Working Hard To Make Your Home Better


I’ve often alluded, on this blog and on the Mason Homes main website, to the ENERGY STAR® rating that all of our Green for Life homes proudly carry.

And as anyone who follows me on Twitter can attest, I also try to keep up to date with the latest green developments, especially as they pertain to the new home building industry.

Green Green Grass of Home

In the spirit of further developing my green and building credentials, I’d like to mention I’ve joined the committee for the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes Program, which works with Natural Resources Canada.

The ENERGY STAR® for New Homes initiative, according to its website, “promotes energy efficiency guidelines that enable new homes to be approximately 25 percent more energy-efficient than those built to minimum provincial building codes. The increased efficiency of these homes translates into reduced energy costs for homeowners.”

We’re currently working on setting the new ENERGY STAR® for New Homes program, establishing important updates to the program which will be applicable and available across Canada. As building code requirements increase, the minimum ENERGY STAR® for New Homes requirements must also increase. The update will include minimum requirements, technical specifications, training material and procedures. This is great news for new home buyers, families, and the environment! Onwards and upwards, always!

I am proud to be involved in this and other initiatives I’ll soon blog about. The more we can all participate in environment programs and initiatives, the better the future for our children and the healthier the present-day lifestyle for our families.

New Urbanism Feature: Narrower Roads


I’ve blogged before about What Makes a Home Green?, including the importance of a green community, which I defined as one which has “ample neighbouring parks, as well as pedestrian-friendly streets and enough nearby resources to allow you to reduce car usage.” I’ve also blogged about the principles of New Urbanism before, as our award-winning community Avonlea has been recognized several times as the “Places to Grow” Community of the Year, an award which is based on Ontario’s Places to Grow Act. Part of the Places to Grow Act is about building complete, efficient communities (smart growth), and so the principles of New Urbanism come into play. New Urbanism is a design movement that we at Mason Homes support and try to build towards. The principles of New Urbanism help us create sustainable communities that provide a better quality of life for you and your family.

Walkability is one of the main features of new urbanism, and narrower streets are a part of this. (This article talks about how narrower roads often work better than wide ones.) For one, narrower roads force cars to drive slower, which makes walking safer. Other things that contribute to a community’s walkability are having buildings close to the street, having tree-lined streets, on-street parking, hidden parking lots, and rear lane garages.

Maybe not this narrow!

By promoting walkability and building narrower streets, among other things, we build communities that are family-friendly and that encourage families to stroll through their community without worry or to let their kids go biking unsupervised. Just one of the ways we strive to make your life better and greener!

More Green Homes on the Way


Things have been moving along quickly here, as we are preparing ourselves for the hottest summer for Mason Homes. We announced the good news about our newest community in Port Hope last month, and we’ve also moved forward with Avonlea’s second phase, The Playground at Avonlea.

Our sales centre and model home at Port Hope Golf & Country Club are closer and closer to being complete. Our anticipated opening date is June 25.

In the Port Hope sales centre, we’re doing something different than we’ve ever done before; we’re really embracing technology! We’ve integrated touchscreen monitors and iPads into our presentation, so you’ll be able to navigate and peruse the home designs, and register yourself via an iPad. We’ve created an interface, so you can select and filter through the designs and find the home design that best suits you.  For more details, register yourself here or drop by our sales centre later this summer!

Two carpenters working hard to complete our model home in Port Hope.

Please feel free to drop by to either location later this month and see why our green homes and green communities are better for you!

Avonlea is the Place to Grow!


The most prestigious awards for the new home building industry, the BILD awards, were handed out last Friday, and we took home one of the most anticipated awards of the night! Our community in Peterborough, Avonlea, won the award for Places to Grow Community of the Year for its forward-thinking planning, a combination of smart growth and new urbanism with green building initiatives.

The Places to Grow Act helps the Ontario government plan for growth in a coordinated and strategic way. We’ve created a community that helps sustain a robust economy, uses land and resources efficiently, and promotes a healthy environment. Walkability is one of the main principles of new urbanism, so Avonlea was designed to include all necessities within walking distance so you can walk to school, work or shops.  It’s great to be able to take public transit, and to live a more active lifestyle by walking or biking, instead of driving everywhere. The new urbanism principles help us create a sustainable community that provides an enhanced quality of life for you and your family.

It was a great evening at the 31st BILD Awards, and it was a great occasion to see everyone in the industry. I’d like to thank and share this award with MBTW Watchorn Architect Inc., MHBC Planning, Cole Engineering and BAM Builder Advertising & Marketing.

Many parks and parkettes are seen at Avonlea for families to enjoy quality time together.

31st Annual BILD Awards


The finalists for the 31st Annual BILD Awards were announced this week, and I’m pleased to inform you that we are up for 4 awards this year! It’s a great honour to be nominated for such prestigious awards and be recognized by the industry.

Our community in Peterborough, Avonlea, is up for Best Places to Grow Community of the Year. The Places to Grow award highlights the community development that is most reflective of the goals of the provincial Places to Grow legislation. At Avonlea, the homes are Green for Life, and we designed the community to include new urbanism ideas, making urban lifestyle more sustainable, convenient and enjoyable. The community was designed so that you can walk to school, work, or the shops, enhancing a more sustainable lifestyle. Look out for second phase of Avonlea coming soon!

The P2G Community of the Year is one of the most coveted awards and we’re proud to share the nomination with our partners and contributors MBTW Watchorn Architect Inc., MHBC Planning, Cole Engineering and BAM Builder Advertising & Marketing.

As well, our JUST4U community in Barrie is nominated for three awards this year! We are thrilled to be up for Best Magazine Ad, Best Signage Project and Best Social Media. The campaign was a huge success for us and I’d like to thank everyone that participated in the contest on Facebook again.

The BILD Awards will be handed out on the evening of Friday, April 29, 2011. Check out the BILD website for further info and congratulations to all our fellow nominees!

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