We’ve come a long way…New homes keep on getting better


Earlier this winter, I was driving my car in the middle of one of Ottawa’s heavy snowstorms.  It was very cold, with poor visibility. I was relieved to be driving a fairly late model vehicle complete with snow tires, a very efficient heating and defrosting system and windshield wipers that thankfully didn’t clog up with snow and ice, so I could get safely along my way.

But imagine if I had been driving an old car in that same scenario.  I suspect my driving experience would have been a lot more nerve-racking.  Let’s face it, there have been a lot of advancements in the automotive field in the last 40 years or so. Seatbelts, airbags, anti-lock breaks, hybrids, air conditioning, computerized mapping systems, just to name a few.  Imagine if you were currently driving a 1968 Chevy and all of a sudden you were behind the wheel of a brand new 2017 model – the changes would be astounding!

The same can be said for housing.  If you have not lived in a brand new home in the last 40, 30 or even 20 years, you would be amazed at the advances.

Today’s new homes include:

  • Solid energy-efficient construction
  • Bright, open interiors.
  • A healthy, comfortable indoor environment.
  • Low-maintenance materials inside and out.
  • Innovative features that meet the needs of today’s lifestyle.

In a very competitive marketplace, new home builders are using advanced design, materials and construction techniques to provide home buyers with a wide range of options and great value.

Design: It all begins with design. Good home design begins with an understanding of how people live in their homes.  Times have changed.  Families have changed and with it, our lifestyles have evolved.  New home builders offer fresh, innovative plans and designs to meet the needs of today’s consumers, using modern technology to build homes that are attractive, highly functional and feel good to live in. Homes that include efficient use of space, open layouts, plenty of natural light, kitchens that work, flexible space and of course, lots of closet space (something that’s usually absent in older homes)

Energy Efficiency:  The energy efficiency of Canadian homes has improved greatly over the years. Thanks to major advances in building techniques and product innovation, today’s new home owner can expect to use only a quarter of the energy required for a similar home built in 1950, and at the same time enjoy a far more comfortable living environment. From windows to insulation to state-of-the-art heating and air conditioning systems, today’s new homes are superior when it comes to energy efficiency. Advances in energy efficiency will only grow as the price of energy goes up and we, as a society, recognize our responsibility to conserve energy and reduce our own environmental footprint. Our industry is already producing cost effective ‘Zero Net Energy’ homes where the total power generation from rooftop solar panels equals the home’s energy consumption over a period of one year. Minto Communities is one of Canada’s leaders in this field having produced both single family and townhouse units that are ‘Net Zero Energy’ in their Kanata project.

Environmentally Responsible Products:  No doubt about it, today’s new home buyers have the opportunity to build a much more environmentally-friendly home than was built 40 or 50 years ago. Great advances have been made in developing and manufacturing building products that contribute to the “greening” of Canadian homes.  Manufacturers and suppliers are continually looking for ways to make their products and systems more acceptable to today’s environmentally savvy customer. Today’s homes release 80% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than those of the early 1980s.

Safety: In part because of changes to Ontario’s Building Code over the years, new homes boast many products and features that ensure your family home is a safe environment.  Whether it’s superior air ventilation and heating systems, stair railings and risers built to code, improved electrical components or products that reduce gas emissions, a new home is built to a stringent code.  A newly-built home is also inspected during various phases of construction, ensuring that the home is built to minimum code and safety requirements.

No doubt about it, a brand new home is a lot different than a home built 40 years or so ago. I’ve heard people say – “They don’t build them like they used to.”  I say, that is very, very true!   Because the reality is……we build them better – much better.




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