With the unique challenges of the Canadian climate, building a house here requires special consideration which is where Dunpar construction has some advantages. For one thing we must take into consideration the extremes in heat and cold, as well as the large fluctuations in temperature that can be experienced over a short period of time.
“Expansion and contraction due to large changes in temperature is a killer with respect to construction, says Ross Karlin, the senior construction manager for Dunpar Homes.
That’s why you’ll see such a difference in building code from country to country and even province to province. Ontario’s building code is known to be one of the most stringent around, and is constantly changing to promote green and sustainable practices by developers and builders.
“The OBC has cold weather construction down to a T,” Karlin explains. “Dunpar follows all of it, we have to, but in some cases we exceed code.”
For example, Dunpar puts 2-inch rigid insulation (for an R value of 10) on the basement slab, something code does not call for, and also installs heated electrical cables at the front entrance and foyer. Windows are framed into a 2×6 wall, and once the window assembly is installed all the gaps are spray foamed and a vapor barrier is used to provide a continuous seal, Karlin says. Subfloors are made of 5/8-inch tongue and groove, and walls use TGI joists and LVL beams.
Another reason a Dunpar home is so solid and durable is that each unit, whether it’s a town or semi, is framed separately from the unit it’s attached to. The two sides share a wall, but it’s like a detached house without the space between, so you have a full 2×4 construction on each side, and two layers of insulation. This double frame and double insulation not only reduces drafts but also makes it better for sound attenuation, explains Karlin, so you don’t hear the usual townhome noise of people going up the stairs or running across the hall.
Hand tumbled bricks are used outside for a specific architectural finish – to look older and with more character – and for the same reason actual muntin bars are used rather than white plastic strips on the windows.
Another great feature especially in winter is community snow ploughing, and salting right up to front door which makes the homes as maintenance free as possible.
“Our winters are bad enough, just getting back and forth from work to home, it’s a great perk to not have to shovel,” says Karlin. “It’s better service than the city, and the homes and surrounding landscaping are always in great condition.”