Building better mini-homes
Tyne Valley company constructing energy efficient houses
Matt Darrach decided this was the year to build minihomes that would be easier on homeowners’ wallets when it comes to utility costs. He launched P.E.I. Low Energy Homes in April and so far has built eight houses. He has no plans of slowing down.
His mini-homes houses have no thermal bridges; this means there are no areas with higher heat or cold transfer than others. Not having a thermal bridge increases energy efficiency and reduces condensation.
His houses also use twice as much insulation as a standard home, in place of the bridge. The additional insulation is a trend throughout the home: in the walls, floor and roof. Darrach also ensures the homes are airtight, six times more airtight than a traditional house, he said.
An air exchange system circulates the air often, which helps to reduce humidity.
“The houses we build get eight full air changes of fresh air per day,” said Darrach. “That’s one every three hours.”
The homes are entirely customizable, he added. “Whatever the customer wants, they’ll get it.”
Either built on site or delivered to a lot, an average 1,088-sq.ft. mini-home, three-bedroom, two-bath costs roughly $95,000. Maintenance for these homes are lower than a standard home, promises Darrach.
The steel roof will last upwards of 40 years, and the windows have a lifetime warranty.
Next year, he hopes to build a home that will have no utility bill at all. Long-term, Darrach plans expand his company to sell selfsufficient, net-zero homes for $100,000, with appliances.
“I just want to build houses better.”
Darrach’s company, P.E.I. Low Energy Homes, is located in Tyne Valley and can be contacted through Facebook.
Matt Darrach and his crew have built eight energy efficient mini-homes since April of this year, and have plans to build net-zero, self-sufficient homes next year.