Cottage in Muskoka Has an Efficiency Makeover

Published on December 12, 2018

Cottage in Muskoka Has Energy Efficiency Makeover

Terrell Wong, president of Passive Buildings Canada and architect for Stone’s Throw Design, recently finished renovating the exterior of her cottage in Muskoka, improving her home’s efficiency to become a sustainable home, while also updating its exterior to a more modern look.


The home was originally purchased in 2004 by Wong and her husband, and they immediately started designing their renovations. However they decided to take their time and proceed at their own pace.

In July of 2017, Mother Nature fast-tracked their plans to renovate, as the Muskoka region was affected by the “summer of storms”, causing a liquification of the ground on one side of Wong’s property.


The downpouring from the storms created a trench that was 6 feet deep and littered with landscaping rocks that were carried down hill, ruining her attractive stone-lined pathway that led from the side-door.


Once the damage to the pathway was repaired and the stones were replaced in their proper locations, Wong started planning how she might reform her house into a more attractive and sustainable home.


“This is my future retirement home,” said Wong, remarking that if Mother Nature can damage her home so severely, she was going to renovate it right this time.


Her pink fibreglass insulation had an ant infestation, so she decided on Gutex Multitherm, which are moisture-resistant fibreboard insulation panels that provide an insulation R-value of 23.


Wong also had a Solitex Mento 1000 breathable weather barrier installed to her home’s exterior, along with Vetta Building Technologies’ triple-glazed windows, which provide her with an insulation R-value of 6.3.


The cottage also now has two types of siding separated by a horizontal metal sill, with prefinished dove grey Maibec on the bottom, and wood on the top that has been treated with a Japanese method of finishing and sealing - called shou sugi ban - which works to give the wood an 80 to 100 year lifespan and an attractive aesthetic.


Make Your Own Home Into a Sustainable Home with Efficiency Improvements

As a homeowner in Ontario, you may be interested in knowing how you can save some extra money on energy bills and improve your home’s comfort, value, and air quality all at the same time. The answer is to work towards making your home into a sustainable home.


This can be achieved by making energy efficiency improvements - even small improvements over a long period of time. By having a Home Energy Assessment conducted by a Registered Energy Advisor, you can find out exactly which methods for improving efficiency would be the most cost effective for you to consider in your home.


Quite often, the most effective way a home can become more efficient is through small and affordable renovations or modifications, such as improving the level of insulation in the attic, or by finding and sealing air leaks, but with a Home Energy Assessment you can be certain which methods for improving efficiency are the best fit for your home, your wallet, and your lifestyle.


A Home Energy Assessment can also help your home qualify for up to $5000 of home renovation rebates that are currently available to both Union Gas and Enbridge customers in Ontario.

The New Home Efficiency Rebate offers rebates up to $5,000.

There’s great news for homeowners who are planning to do residential renovations or upgrades! The new Home Efficiency Rebate offers up to $5,000 back for home energy upgrades. By doing renovations or upgrades that will improve a home’s energy efficiency, homeowners may be eligible for substantial rebates of up to $5,000 from Enbridge and Union Gas. Simply put, there are long-term payoffs with an energy efficient home.

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