Graeme Huguet, Renovator of the Year from My House Design Build Team, is joined by the Chu family and together they recount their renovation journey through the pandemic. Recognized as the first certified Platinum Built Green Plus Net Zero renovated home in British Columbia, it’s a winner!
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About the Speaker
GRAEME HUGUET: Founder and General Manager, My House Design Build Team
If you had told Graeme Huguet that he’d be in the construction business 30 years ago, he might have laughed at you.
Born in Burnaby and majoring in acting, design, directing, business, and fine arts, from a young age Graeme has always had a creative “make things happen” approach to life.
The segue way into construction came from designing for theatre and television granted an opportunity to design in “real life”. He then saw a need within the industry to create a more holistic design and build client first approach that did things above and beyond what was expected. It was in this creative and non conventional approach that My House Design/Build Team was formed.
Check out the before and after images of the Chu's certified Platinum Built Green Plus Net Zero renovated home.
Check out a video of the Chu's home. It's a stunner!
Here's the Full Transcript of this Episode
[00:00:00] Jennifer-Lee: So, we’re back at Rami Film Studio to record another episode of HAVAN’s podcast, Measure Twice, Cut Once. Hey Mike, how are you?
[00:00:10] Mike: Not bad, Jennifer Lee. How the heck are you today?
[00:00:13] Jennifer-Lee: I’m doing great as always, every time I see you. And of course, we’ve got another amazing HAVAN member that we love to interview, and he was here recently with Bryan Baeumler. It is Graeme Huguet from My House Design Build Team.
[00:00:26] Mike: Welcome back. Good friend of Measure Twice, Cut Once and love chatting with you, and you brought some people with you today as well. That’s exciting. Great to see you.
[00:00:32] Graeme: Great to be here. And yes, we’re so excited. We’re getting to share some of our great clients. This is Jane and Paul Chu. And they’ve been involved with us for the last several years as we have rebuilt their home to accomplish their goals. And we’re really blessed. They’ve not only had a wonderful home to live in, but it’s an award-winning home. In fact, it’s won awards, not only locally it’s been nominated provincially, but it’s also won nationally. So, I’m really excited. Hey, Steve. Oh, hey, this is Steve Bennett and he’s the Construction Manager here.
[00:01:06] Steve: Your HAVAN Awards are here.
Graeme: Oh, wow, that’s super.
Jane: Oh, that’s a pretty…
Steve: Oh, Paul, Jane. I’m so happy. Hey. It’s good to see you guys again.
Paul: Same here.
Steve: It was nice to work on your house.
[00:01:17] Paul: Oh, thank you. It was awesome.
[00:01:17] Steve: I enjoyed every bit of it.
[00:01:20] Graeme: Thanks for helping us. Thanks for bringing those by. That’s super. Thank you so much. And you haven’t had a chance to see any of these awards. I know that the awards took place recently. You weren’t able to be there, but we’re just so excited. These are yours for your mantle or wherever you’ve got a niche. And. I’ll put it in front of us here. I put also the national awards as well. And so, we’ve got the local Vancouver Homebuilders Association, HAVAN, and the national awards. So, congratulations. Thank you. Thank you, guys.
[00:01:49] Mike: Congratulations to all of you. And it’s really exciting because Season Six of Measure Twice, Cut Once, the podcast from HAVAN, is all about award winning projects, award winning designs. And so, when we talk about this, we don’t usually get to see them in the studio here. These are gorgeous awards. They’re very coveted and they’re very hard to win. There are so many houses built in the Lower Mainland and so few people nominated win. So, congratulations to all of you. What immense recognition and well deserved.
[00:02:15] Jennifer-Lee: And yeah, we never know who’s going to ever stop by the Rami Film Studio when we’re doing this podcast. So, it was fun to have him stop by and give you the awards, which like we said, congratulations. They are a big deal. So hopefully you have a spot already picked out in your home that you can display them for all your friends to be jealous.
[00:02:33] Paul: Yeah. It’s good. One for each, one set for each.
[00:02:37] Jennifer-Lee: So, you don’t have to share, right?
[00:02:38] Paul: Yeah. We don’t have to share. We don’t have to fight over it.
[00:02:42] Jennifer-Lee: And you guys are so cute. I love your colour scheme going on right now. You guys are matching. Perfect. So, let’s start at the beginning because we always love to get to know people. So, we’ll do a little bit reverse first. We’ll say hi to the Chus and tell us why did you want to build your house and how did you end up finding Graeme?
[00:03:01] Jane: We’re both retired within a year or two of each other. And then I always thought that we’ll live in the house forever, but the neighborhood changes and our house is old. And at that time, we’re probably young at heart and we don’t feel we want to move to a condo. And Paul said we should just find another house. And we definitely wanted a bungalow. We don’t want to manage three flights of stairs, and many of the new homes are. And so, we don’t want a lot of extra spaces. We’ve never rented out our homes ever. One day I was asked to visit an elderly person at West Point Grey area, and I got there, and she opened the door, and I thought, wow, I was blown away. It was so upscale, so stylish. There’s induction range and a coffee bar, and I’ve never seen this in any Asian homes, actually. And she took us downstairs to where she lives. And everything was designed in detail for the elderly person. The doors are wider in case there’s a need for a wheelchair. The shower floor was seamless. Even at the corner, they set a fireplace for her, just a little one, but it was so cozy. And I thought whoever went through this design for one single elderly person is the builder that we should contact. That’s how we contacted My House Design Built Team.
[00:04:34] Jennifer-Lee: And that’s a great story. I love that. And I can’t wait to talk more to about your project, but Graeme, I know we’ve talked to you a bunch of times on this podcast, but for the listeners that don’t know you yet, can you give us a little synopsis about my house design build team and like your life journey?
[00:04:50] Graeme: I know just a quick one. Real quick my background’s in design for theatre and television, and then I got involved in building science and understanding house as a system, and got involved in the glass industry, in residential glass and commercial glass, and just understanding that, and then I carried my design background into the residential renovations and then later on new construction and then since then became certified as a as a certified Canadian Home Builder, as well as renovator and Master Builder. So, it’s been a journey for myself, but also, I learned along the way that it comes down to the people that you’re working with. And so, I made an early decision that I needed to find people that would go on this journey with me, and I’ve always been the mindset that, you surround yourself with people who know far more than you and it makes you look good. And truly, we have surrounded ourselves with great people. And along the way, we’ve added people to our team, and I have people that have been with me more than 25 years. In fact, Steve’s been with me 25 years. I have people with me, of course, 10 years or 20 years, 15 years, five years, and we’ve got a great assembly. And again, along the way, I came to a conclusion that I had been a designer and worked with builders. I’d been a builder who worked with designers and I made an early decision that the design build model of having an in-house team of architecture, interior design, landscape, mechanical design, all in house with our build team would give the best cohesive plan and the best end results to a homeowner. And so, we’ve developed that over the years and Paul and Jane’s home is just an example of a team effort.
[00:06:33] Mike: So, Graeme, you are very much a leader in the greener building space and a pioneer in that regard. What, first of all, made you want to jump into that space? And two, how does this home fit into that mantra of how you do business and how you build homes?
[00:06:49] Graeme: The idea of Built Green, which is actually a certification here in Canada, that’s something I’ve been a part of for 20 years. And building science is the background to the Built Green thought process. And in the early years, new builders would build homes called our 2000 Homes. So, I understood that program in renovations. It really was facilitated by a lot of the utility companies who would offer rebates and grants much like they do today. And there were a lot of programs out there. And so, I’d familiarize myself with those and then familiarize my clients with what those programs were that allowed them to get some sort of a kickback or a rebate. And then over the years, our industry really has caught up to where we as a company and myself in our own philosophy has been over the last 20, 15 and 10 years. And so now our building code and just all of what we’re doing here in both Vancouver in British Columbia, and then Canada as a whole, really, it’s catching up to what we’ve already been doing and what we’ve been preaching, if you will. And so, when it comes to doing a home, it’s been second nature to us just to talk about these things as we go along. Programs such as Net Zero certification, Built Green certification in the new home market, Passive Home certification, these certification programs, they’ve also come along. And as they have, I try and educate clients on what’s available. And that was part of our discussion with the choice as well.
[00:08:21] Jennifer-Lee: And that’s what I want to know, because sometimes we don’t get to ask the homeowners this, but obviously with all these terms being thrown out there on TV and stuff like Passive House, Net Zero, Built Green, was that something that you guys even entertained when you were thinking about building your home? Or were you just ‘Oh, no, we want to get something brand new for ourselves.’
[00:08:40] Paul: Yeah, I used to work in the consultancy business as an electrical consultant, and our firm was heavily involved with green buildings. So, I have some idea what Graeme is talking about. And we always if we have a chance to renovate a house, we would like to be able to do that. And one of the barricades we are facing is because the payback period is actually not very good in most cases. But then, Graeme comes along, and he introduces us into rebate programs. And on top of that, he even matched the incentives that the government is giving us so that make it more feasible for us to consider that. And we just went ahead with it.
[00:09:32] Jennifer-Lee: It’s great because I am always curious to know what the homeowners know about this. Obviously, the builder is a wealth of knowledge, and they can help you, but I’m loving to hear, and we’ve heard this a few times on this podcast, a lot of the homeowners too were aware of it. It was their initiative to sit down with a builder that was passionate about that too.
[00:09:49] Paul: Yeah. And we just received, I just received my BC Hydro bill.
[00:09:53] Jennifer-Lee: Oh, did you faint or was it good?
[00:09:56] Paul: It was just great because we are generating 2, 500-kilowatt hour and we are using only 250. We are actually getting money back from BC Hydro for the system that we installed.
[00:10:10] Jennifer-Lee: So, you’re very happy.
[00:10:12] Graeme: Perfect. That’s great to hear. Yeah. I’m hearing that for the first time right now too. So that’s super. I just bought it yesterday. The idea of Net Zero is what you consume. You can recreate through in their case through solar and be zero. So, you’re on the plus side on that side. That’s great.
[00:10:28] Mike: This is an important conversation because there’s going to be a lot of people who are listening to this and watching this now. Or thinking, okay, I want to build a house, or I want to renovate a house. Can I afford to do it to that level? I want, and you’ve just answered the question. Not only were there great rebates out there, and if you’re working with the right builder to help you unlock those rebates, but if you design it and engineer it properly, it’ll actually pay you, which is not something that can be said about construction in Vancouver very often. I actually have one question when you guys began this project, any of the projects that are up for awards in 22, 23 and 21 were during a very difficult time, there may have been some sort of pandemic where we had to wear masks for a while. When did you guys start working on this project and were there any challenges post or pre COVID that factored into getting this project done?
[00:11:10] Graeme: You know you mentioned, first of all, design. The whole idea of a holistic renovation or new home, a certified home, has to be started in the design phase. You can’t just approach that at the end and say, I’m going to apply for some rebates. So COVID. But we were in construction or starting construction as the global pandemic and the changes in our world started to take place in 2020 and so it definitely impacted by just the fact that we had rules in place through BC Health through WorkSafe in terms of what we were all at the time, just learning how to get through. The good news is we were deemed essential services. So, we were able to continue to do the work. And that was great, but we weren’t able to continue at the same pace. You couldn’t have the same number of workers working side by side time. So, the project definitely took longer than it should have for that very reason. Slower too. Yeah, absolutely. And then obtaining materials because the factories were shut down, the suppliers were shut down. So, you could have workers on site, but no material.
[00:12:15] Mike: So, a lot of builders struggled during that time. And the ones who were able to execute successfully, the ones like yourself, who had a lot of really good processes and planning mechanisms in place to deal with things. And that just, once again, validates why you want to work with the right people in this industry. It’s a lot of money to get a project done properly. You want to work with people who can do it properly. And when sometimes you have to. Sometimes you have to zig, sometimes you have to zag and people like yourself know how to get it done.
[00:12:42] Graeme: And so, during those circumstances, and you know what we all as an industry and homeowners went through a big learning curve and there’s a lot of takeaways over the last several years. But in the end, like you said, we got through it, and we got through it together. And Paul and Jane were definitely gracious in understanding what was going on as best as anybody could.
[00:13:02] Jennifer-Lee: But it comes out of communication too. And again, we repeat this a lot on this podcast, but when you have the right builder that can communicate with the homeowners, then when there is a bit of a hiccup and stuff, which happens, like it’s building, we can’t control it. It’s better to have that communication. And then that way, maybe you’re not like. So angry if something happens, like we’re angrier if like people don’t tell us and don’t communicate.
[00:13:25] Graeme: Absolutely.
[00:13:26] Mike: And speaking of communication, we should take just a couple of moments to communicate our gratitude to our amazing sponsors and podcast partners. So, we’re going to take just a few minutes break. We’ll be right back. And then we’re going to dig into some of the elements of this home and how you made it all work.
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[00:14:56] Mike: Welcome back. So, we got into some of the base details of how we came about with this project. Now I want to talk about the project itself. We could spend time talking about sustainability and we will we could spend time talking about how beautiful it is, and we will, but really what I want to talk about, and this is such an important conversation for everybody, regardless of what home you live in, is indoor air quality and the holistic health of the home. We talked Jane, you had some breathing issues, correct?
Jane: Yes, I do.
Mike: And what happened when you moved into a different home?
[00:15:30] Jane: We’ve always lived in older homes, like maybe 30 years old and 40 years old and the air quality is really bad. So, we have machines stationed everywhere, like air filtering machines, humidifiers. And it’s always drafty, and I’m always cold, so I have these 100 percent wool turtleneck sweaters all year round. I’ve never worn a t shirt in my house ever. I just feel cold all the time. I don’t feel well with a bit of asthma as well. After moving to this new home that we have it’s wonderful. I start wearing t shirts and didn’t realize how comfortable that is and got away with wearing sweaters all year round. The air is cleaner. I breathe easier. It’s really comfortable. Thank you, much better for my health.
[00:16:22] Mike: And Graeme, can you talk about why that air is cleaner? Because that’s not an accident, right? Talk about indoor air quality and what you did on this project to make sure that they had a sustainable home, but also a very breathable and comfortable, healthy home.
[00:16:34] Graeme: First in the construction phase, what you don’t see, Behind the drywall is making sure that we’ve eliminated anything like in this particular case, hazmat materials like asbestos were removed from the house, mold was removed from the house. So, getting down to eliminating those types of things from wood rot and so forth, that’s the first part. The second part is consulting with a homeowner on types of materials that you use materials that don’t have off gassing and products that are certified Built Green and discussing what the pros and cons of different, both in construction materials and finishing materials. And then lastly, make sure that your mechanical system is actually designed with not just the right equipment, but also the right ducting and then the right filtration system. So, we’ve utilized, we’re 100 percent electric on this home in terms of its heating and cooling capabilities, and then that’s backed up through solar and renewable energy. But we also have filtration systems, so we have an HRV system that brings fresh air in, in fact, I call it a fresh air machine that brings fresh air into the living spaces, the living rooms, the bedrooms, and then it gets rid of the moist, stale air out of the home, and then we also have an ultraviolet light and HEPA filter system on that air as it’s moving through the home, so that’s pretty cool. I believe it creates, when all the windows and doors are shut, it creates as good as an environment or better of a good hospital. And I say that because we’ve done this for many homeowners and the paraphrase of when the doors and windows are shut because then, you still have things like pollen and so forth coming into your home, but the filtration is very quick in turnover. So even when doors and windows are open your air quality is super great.
[00:18:24] Jennifer-Lee: Yeah, and I just love how you experience that and that you feel good in your home every single day. And I heard, too, we were discussing a little bit before that your kids enjoy your house, too, when it’s either too hot outside or too cold. Can you explain a little bit of why they want to come over?
[00:18:41] Jane: I guess that’s life. They don’t have air conditioning or good quality air. So, they come home to their parents in the heat of summer and it’s really hot outside. And they all want to come home and vegetate around us and even spend the night because it’s cool and comfortable.
Jennifer-Lee: Are they going to leave though?
Jennifer-Lee: make sure they do.
[00:19:06] Mike: Jane, I have a quick question for you. When people have breathing issues, sometimes sleep is an issue as well. Did you have trouble sleeping before you moved into this house? And I’d be just curious. if your sleep quality is improved with a healthier home?
[00:19:19] Jane: Yes. We wake up really early for badminton. So, if you don’t sleep well, then you don’t want to wake up. And we play with the seniors and seniors play at 8 am in the morning. So, you better have a good night’s sleep. It’s certainly helped a lot before. You wake up and you wake up actually coughing a bit and then you actually sneeze in the middle of the night as you’re sleeping. It’s amazing how you adapt and cope with things that you thought were normal until that actually abnormally is now reverted to a good night’s sleep.
[00:19:58] Jennifer-Lee: And for all your friends that are thinking out there or listeners, like what, you said a lot of great points already, but if you could sell it to them, what would you say to somebody about getting a home like yours?
[00:20:08] Jane: I would say that you don’t want to travel anymore. Why would you deal with the airport and loss of luggage? You just want to stay close to your home. You want to stay inside your home, you love it so much that you’re enjoying every moment of it. And you feel good. Yes.
[00:20:25] Mike: What I really like about this project is when you look at it from the outside and the inside, it looks like a brand-new home. It really doesn’t look like a renovation at all. And that actually had some really neat implications because, okay, if I renovate my home, I might have some fallback with the builder, but there’s really no mechanism for me if something goes sideways. Not that it will when you’re working with the right builder, but you still want that peace of mind. Graeme, can you talk about what you were able to do in terms of how you renovated this home to give some really great peace of mind and some advantages as far as resale value of the home as well? When you’re looking at renovations, most people, or any home, new home, People always walk in at the end.
[00:21:06] Graeme: They always walk into what the finished home is. And look at how most people buy a house. They walk with a realtor into the house, they look at the kitchen, they look at the bathroom, they look at the paint color, and they go, I like that, or I don’t like that. And that’s typically what people look at in a home. I think by… presenting, taking this whole house apart and back to studs, if you will, so that we could build it up from that point and being able to show that the construction behind the drywall, behind the finishes was done properly and was not just brought up to current code, but beyond current code and actually reaches step five of the current building code. And then talking about the high-performance aspect of the home as we went along, and then of course, as you visited the home you were able to see those things in there. Ongoing process. I think that’s where for at least for Paul, I’m sure that’s what he became more confident in as he saw things being put back together as they were being formed. We did not add to this house. There’s no additional added space. But we recreated space. We moved rooms around. We created vaulted ceilings where there weren’t vaulted ceilings. There were only eight-foot-high traditional height ceilings, and we were able to create large open spaces. We were able to add more light in windows, in skylights, and still maintaining that high-performance. So, I think as we presented those visual elements in the beginning in design, in pictorial format, then as they started to see them actually materialize, then that gave more confidence. I think that’s how I perceived our relationship as it went along.
[00:22:46] Paul: Yeah, absolutely. Because we’d like having a bungalow building, and they are not very readily available in Vancouver because they’re not very efficient as a building, so we’re able to find a house that is a bungalow building. It is older, so we have to do the renovation, and we think we make the right decision because, otherwise it will be torn down for sure, and then a new house will go there, and there are actually quite a bit of quite a few houses similar to ours in that particular area, and I’m sure they’ll be gone. We’re able to retain this particular house, like you said, the exterior and everything has been upgraded but it’s still have its own character.
[00:23:34] Jennifer-Lee: You guys seem so patient, too which is like a dream for a builder because as Graeme said obviously, you’re constantly working every single day on the renovation. But there’s different parts that you can’t necessarily see so it looks like the builders are doing nothing but they’re doing like all the guts and the important stuff of the house. And then all of a sudden, all the fun stuff starts happening, like the cabinets and all the design elements. And going to that point, you guys are a couple. So usually couples not always have similar tastes. Did you guys have any arguments over, or do you guys like everything the same?
[00:24:08] Jane: I think it’s that trust that we have in the whole builder team. Paul has a background in engineering he was poring over those blueprints all the time. And I teased him about, you just want this renovation because it’s an extension of your work life after you retire, you just can’t get over that you retired. And I totally trust him with that. He’s very good with finance so he’s using a ruler and going through every line as the log sheet from the accounting department comes through and they’re very transparent and open about the cost of things, invoices.
[00:24:48] Jane: And receipts and so on. So that really helped ease his mind. And because we’re retired, he’s constantly visiting the site. So, he’s discussing things with the site manager the foreman, and they discuss things and make little changes right on the spots and like the colour of the stain and things like that. So, he feels very comfortable with the whole process. And I’m more a people person, so I brought them lunches that makes all the people happy. I put Bailey in their coffee.
[00:25:22] Mike: Oh, wow. So, they show up. Do you need anyone to come cut your grass this weekend?
[00:25:30] Jane: So that works out. Overall, it’s just a very happy work process for us.
[00:25:36] Jennifer-Lee: It sounds like a great work process, but was there anything in your house that you and Paul didn’t agree on, style wise? Or what you, maybe something you wanted in the house that Paul didn’t want in the house?
[00:25:47] Jane: The good thing is I worked in the hospital; I have never had time to watch a lot of dream home makeovers. I have no design background whatsoever and I’m very easygoing when it comes to that. I really know when you put together a beautiful environment. I really appreciate that. But I don’t have a lot of strong ideas that it must be that way. It must be like the Joneses. And so, I have no need to keep up with the Joneses. So that way I’m very easy, right? You’re the decorator.
[00:26:22] Mike: Once people see this house, the Joneses are going to want to keep up with the Chus. It’s that nice.
[00:26:26] Jennifer-Lee: I want to hear Paul’s opinion now.
[00:26:28] Paul: Is she easy?
Paul: No, the only thing that we have a different idea is that the canopy over the patio, right? Initially I was thinking about we should have a canopy over the patio so that we can use it almost a year round thing, but then she figured that even with a glass top, it’s very hard to keep clean because, and so that’s the only one that I decided, sure, fine, let’s not do it. Yeah. Otherwise, everything is fine. Yeah.
[00:26:57] Mike: Jane, one thing you said that really made me laugh is you said, I hadn’t watched a lot of those home design shows. I hadn’t watched a lot of those shows. And I think, I can’t speak for the building community, but I think that one of the challenges we face is everybody’s now an expert, right? And they’ve watched all these shows, and they don’t have realistic expectations. So, it must’ve been really nice for you to work with somebody who didn’t think that project could be done in a weekend. And the budgets are realistic and things like that, which is really nice to hear as well.
[00:27:23] Graeme: Yeah, and also I think that in conversations as plans or ideas and pictures were put in front of you and selections of materials, when our designer architecture were working with you, maybe you had some doubts, that they were they actually things you were going to I think there were some doubts or but you put trust, you said, and then so maybe you can talk about that. Does the, working with a design team, them presenting ideas and then you accepting those ideas. How did that go for you?
[00:27:56] Jane: We’re so ignorant when it comes to design, so when the designer suggested this huge light in the living room, I’ve never seen a light so huge on drawing on paper. I said, can we just buy the middle part of it? Would I stand up and knock my head on this paper? Big light. And she said, just trust me, it would look really good with your vaulted ceiling. And so, by then you, we just trust her a hundred percent. And we go, oh, okay, all right. And then later we watched those shows and I said, Paul, we have the same light as that LA Hollywood 20-million-dollar home, right? Or we have beautiful, huge, insulated windows in the living room. And they said, I think it will look really nice if you just add curtains to it. I said, curtains? Curtains are what I have in mind from my parents’ generation, where you pull a huge curtain, and they meet in the middle. I said, why would I put a curtain around beautiful glass? And she said no, they’re not real curtains. They’re called window dressing. I go, oh, I’ve never heard of those terms. And then I have to trust her as to how it would look. And it really did. It looked classier. It looked more comfortable after she put in these curtains that cannot be moved.
[00:29:23] Mike: One of the conversations that we’ve been having more and more, not just here, but in general, has to do with aging in place. And you said it best. You didn’t want to live in a condo. You didn’t want to downgrade your lifestyle. Preparing a home for aging in place doesn’t require a lot, but it requires some specific consideration and knowledge. Graeme, what can you tell us about how to prepare or plan for a similar situation where people want to stay where they’re at, maintain their independence, but they also want to have flexibility for the future. How do we go about figuring that out?
[00:29:52] Graeme: First, make sure that you’re working with a designer who is actually certified in that area, that they have education and certification and access. Whether you use the term aging in place, access is what we use because that can be for any age. And lots of different challenges that families, that individuals face. And so when you’re working with a designer, they’re helping you think through the options that are available to you, they’re thinking of the options that you need to consider either for now or for down the road, whether that’s putting things in place like grab bars and so forth like that now, or you’re preparing so that you can add those features later on even in other homes, we talk about. Multilevel homes or two-story, three-story homes thinking through, would that have an elevator in the future or a lift and different things like that access in showers, wider hallways, wider doorways, all of those things are starting from the design phase and then being willing to listen for those things later on. Access is for anybody at any age. It could be a young child. It can be any person and just talking through from design forward is the most important thing.
[00:31:02] Mike: This has been absolutely an amazing conversation. So many great areas we’ve touched on sustainability, aging in place, environmental awareness and management and personal choices, and I would love to keep talking because this is really exciting, but we do have to wrap it up, but before we do, I want to quickly review one really big lesson that I took from all of this. Having listened to this conversation that is during COVID and post COVID management, there was a lot of challenges. We all know the challenges and the solution was pre planning with an experienced builder and their team which helped deal with all the issues during COVID and had planned enough hours to mitigate any of the things that happened during COVID as well. And that had a huge impact on both the timing of the project and the budget of the project. So, hats off to everyone and you and your team for making this happen during a very difficult time. And hats off to you guys for giving them the trust to do what they do best to create these amazing results. It’s really a beautiful home and it’s something you guys should be proud of, incredibly proud of, and enjoy living there for many years. Good job.
Jane: Thank you.
[00:32:11] Graeme: Yes, good job. That was a great collaboration. We enjoy working with you so much. It was a pleasure. And every time we dialogue, that’s been great. It’s like us coming home, too.
[00:32:20] Mike: it’s been really great, and we really appreciate all of you coming here today to share your stories, your background, your philosophies, and to get to know you a little bit better as well. I really enjoyed this conversation.
[00:32:30] Jennifer-Lee: And just before we go, like Mike said, we could talk to you forever. I feel like you’re the loveliest couple we’ve ever had on here. So, I want to have wine with Jane. I feel like she gave me a lot of dirt on Paul, but tell us the real process of the house, Jane. Anyways, I know you guys have given us so much information, but before we go can each of you give one small tip? So, from the builder’s perspective for you, Graeme, and then one tip each not a shared tip of what you would advise somebody thinking about building a home, like any of your friends or anything like that.
[00:33:02] Paul: I think, they should shop around and really, for a good builder, especially with renovations, because there are so many things could happen in renovations. So many unknowns. So, you have to find a good contractor who is able to help you that you can trust. And then, because most, as a client, we don’t mind paying the money, but we just want to make sure it is worth paying for. So, it’s very important for us to find a good builder who we can trust.
[00:33:35] Jane: I find that communication is really important. You have to talk to people. You have to be transparent and then you have to show them that proper respect and also believe in that they are ethical and that they are reputable. And so, you go about it in this peace of mind, not nitpicking negative things or having overthinking negative thoughts, but always believing in the best in people.
[00:34:05] Graeme: When you do hire someone, know that they’re regular people just like you and they go home to a family at the end of the night and, Jane treated our staff really well while both of you, in terms of the coffee – and I didn’t learn about the Bailey’s until the end of the project actually. But that’s part of hospitality and just being, bringing these people into your home, no matter what size project you’re working on and treating them with respect. Jane said, I think that’s huge. And if you want to see a tour of this home, you can go onto our website, www.myhousedesignbuild.com and look under feature videos and you can find this home. And so, you can see what we’ve been talking about.
[00:34:43] Jennifer-Lee: And congratulations. Again, I just want to mention what you won two awards for Best Character Home Renovation and Best New or Renovated Space for the Modern Cottage. And again, if you’re watching this from video, you can see the beautiful awards here on our table. And do you guys have an idea where you’re going to stick them up when you get them home?
[00:35:03] Paul: We’ll find a prominent place to put it on.
[00:35:06] Graeme: They also received a national award for Best Net Zero Renovated or New Home, and they are the first home to be a Platinum Built Green Plus Net Zero home in all of British Columbia. And that was a new program that they introduced for renovated homes. And they were the first in all of BC.
[00:35:25] Jennifer-Lee: And I want to congratulate you one more time, Graeme, because you also got Residential Renovator of the Year, too. So big congrats. Great work, as always.
[00:35:34] Graeme: Great team.
[00:35:36] Mike: Before we go, there’s one more thing we have to talk about, and it’s pretty important. When you work with a great company, and you have great results, and you come home to your beautiful house, and you walk through your house and your backyard, it definitely needs a barbeque. And we have an opportunity for you if you’re listening or watching this episode to win a barbecue and not just any barbecue. It’s a Napoleon Prestige P500 stainless natural gas barbecue valued at almost $1,500 and its compliments of our fantastic podcast partner FortisBC. And if you would like to win this barbeque, all you have to do is go to www.HAVAN.ca/measuretwicecutonce and this barbeque could be in your backyard this summer!
[00:36:18] Jennifer-Lee: And Mike will come and throw you a party with ribs and Jane will bring the Bailey’s and coffee.
Mike: Now we’re talking. Now we’re talking.
Jennifer-Lee: And for notes and links to everything mentioned on today’s episode, including resources shared up by Graeme, and of course you can see the lovely Chu House, the award winner, go to www.HAVAN.ca/measuretwicecutonce. Thank you to Trail Appliances, FortisBC, Vicostone Canada, and Rami Films. And thank you so much for joining us.
[00:36:47] Graeme: Thank you. Thanks for having us.