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Thankful for sponsors!

I recently has a conversation with a viewer who was asking how I was able to get sponsors on my project and came away feeling how lucky I am to have such a supportive team of sponsors on my build, who have stayed with me even though my build time has exceeded all estimates.

Today’s update focuses on one of my newest and one of my original sponsors.

RHEEM Hybrid Hot Water Heater

RHEEM came on board recently and provided a generous contribution towards their 80 USG Professional Prestige Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater (Model PROPH80T2RH350DC).  Last week I was able to finally energize the unit and this short video discusses start-up times and energy consumed.

I approached RHEEM after reading favourable industry reviews of their units, online forums discussing home owner’s experiences, and then doing the math at what the payback period would be.

This graphic summarizes on online discussion I had at regarding the cost and payback of this hybrid HWT.  The top part of the graphic identifies the estimated yearly volume of hot water that will be used in our dwelling with two occupants.  This is on the high sid,e mainly because of the fact that baths are used by me – heavily – as a therapeutic treatment for my back.  Based on my estimates, we will use around 25,800 gallons of hot water per year. I will install a water meter and report actual use in the future.

The last part of the graphic shows the payback period.  The first column is the weight of water per gallon in lbs.  There then is a 70ºF rise that the water must go through (average municipal temp is 50ºF and this assumes a rise to 120F – code actually requires 140F in our region, and if we actually heat the water to 140F, our payback would drop to only 2.7 years).  Next column shows the electrical utility cost per kWh.  The higher rate for the resistance heat identifies, that due to the consumption of electricity this option represents, I would be in a tier 2 billing rate.  Next column identifies the yearly average expected efficiency of each heating method. The final column is the year electrical cost for each water heating option.   The formula is TtlGalsPerYear*LBperGal*Rise/Eff/3414*ElectricityCost  (1kW = 3414 BTU/hr which is the units the formula was created for).

This just leaves dividing the yearly cost savings of going Hybrid (in our case $527) into the premium cost of buying a Hybrid Water Heater vs an Electric Resistance Heater.  (1850/527=3.51)

I am very grateful to Mark and Rob for their support in providing a domestic hot water heating option, that after only 3-1/2 years, will be paying me to use it.



The next sponsor I want to discuss is HONEYCOMB Creative.  The owners of this business are long-time friends, who used to be my across-the-street neighbours, before they moved out to Maple Ridge (I actually am currently living in the basement suite of the house that was built on their property after the bungalow was torn down). When I was planning this build, I knew that I wanted to document the process via a website, and HONEYCOMB were the obvious choice (I had come to highly respect Allen and Riley’s skills in all graphic media design, as they had also programed my business website for my home inspection company, and created my branding).  Right away, they stepped up with a generous sponsorship to offset the majority of the website creation costs.  Since that time, over 6 years ago (site went live February 16, 2014), HONEYCOMB have consistently been supporting this site in the background, keeping it updated and trouble free (lately you would have seen faster site video feeds due to Conor’s great programing skills).

Then out of the blue, just over a week ago, I received an email asking me to look over a remake of the site and advise if I needed any changes.  I had not requested this – I knew that the site was dated and needed a facelift, but I just did not have the time to go through it with Al and plan.  So imagine my surprise, and delight!, in receiving this email and opening up and seeing what you are all seeing today.  A fresh, rebranded site that is more responsive for cellphones and other smart devices, better captures my current content – displaying it on the home page, and has awesome graphics that I love. And all this without ANY effort from me!

I am so thankful to the HONEYCOMB team and can honestly say that without them, none of you would have been able to follow my journey. If they can create this type of content by only knowing me, imagine what they could do for you after a formal planning and discussion process!


Current Activities

At the build site I continue to make headway on the electrical rough-in.  I have predominantly finished all of the rough-in wiring of all circuits on all three floors, and after spending a couple of days cleaning up and out the first floor so that I have easy access to the ceilings, yesterday I  installed the first three LED wafer light drivers.  But there is a lot more left to do (over 200 lights to go), and while yesterdays were easy as they were in the dining room hutch, the rest are in the main ceilings. These will be more difficult by the fact that I have to work the fixture drivers and wafer panels around my ceiling hydronic heating system.  I am still figuring out how to do this in a way that I can sequence, and where the driver would be accessible once the heating system and drywall was installed.

I have also been spending Saturday’s on landscaping and have essentially prepped all of the area to the front and sides of the house. I will discuss this in more detail when I produce the next set of time-lapse videos. I just recieved a load of awesome garden mix soil from Kutny’s Richmond Soils (it is immensely better quality than the ‘garden mix’ you get on the North Shore! for similar cost).  I grew-up in 6 Road and knew the family.  They have been doing soil preparation for over 45 years!  Now I am just waiting for Diamond Excavation to drop off one of their dump-trucks so that I can load up all of the rocks that I have screened out of the native soil I had on site, and then will have a front yard free of mess!

Looking down the south elevation of the build


These three boulders came from the bottom of the excavation and are going to make a nice garden feature (in the bottom left of the photo, a cucumber blossom is photobombing us)


I have moved the native stockpiled soil that was being stored in the front, to a location behind the house where I will deal with after occupation. It will need to be screened to remove the rocks and then blended with compost and manure. I will use it for the base of all the raised garden beds.


Alphie is sitting on the stockpiled Kutny topsoil waiting for the drop-off of a dump-truck from Diamond Excavation. He will then load about 20 yards of rocks, with a little dirt mixed in for good measure, that I have screened out of the native soil I have used around the yard. This volume represents just a drop in the bucket of rocks I have dug up SINCE the backfill of the house was complete. I have given away probably 4-5 times this amount on my Craigslist ad’s offering free rocks!


As always, thank you for visiting.  I will do my best to provide more written updates with photos and less lengthy videos in the future (I had some understandable complaints!)

Please stay healthy and stay safe in these difficult times.

“Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.” —Kobe Bryant (1978-2020) Professional Basketball Player
“Today if anything is trying to hold you back, give no attention to it. Get your hopes up, get your faith up, look up, and get ready to rise up.” —Germany Kent (born 1975) Journalist, Author

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