Over the past year and a half, Muskoka has seen an influx of new residents and a surge in former cottagers who have moved here full time.
It’s a great move, until you discover that your cottage is not the most energy efficient building. Some were built purely as three-season structures and need to be converted; others are “four-seasonish” – insulated but so inefficient that owners have to make constant adjustments to keep the temperature and air quality comfortable.
The key to temperature-related comfort is having an energy efficient building in which each component works harmoniously together, explains Paul Travis of George Kent Home Improvements.
“An energy efficient home is warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and free of any drafts,” he says. “It’s also never too humid or dry, with great air quality and solid ventilation. If you’re noticing drafts, or having to adjust the heat or cooling constantly, these are definite signs one or more areas need repair or replacement.”
Achieving this means having quality materials installed by certified and experienced professionals, says Paul. Roofing, insulation, windows, doors, and siding are all key to keeping your energy efficiency rating up and protecting your home from the elements.
If one part of the building envelope isn’t working properly or it completely fails, it can cause a domino reaction, eventually leading other parts to fail as well.
It’s not just the increased heating and cooling costs that are a factor: moisture can find its way through cracks and leaks, which then quickens the deterioration of other components, and – worst of all – allow mould to develop, posing a risk to the occupants’ health.
There are also environmental benefits to having an efficient building, including lower energy consumption, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a diminished carbon footprint.
“You’re saving money with reduced energy bills, protecting your investment and your family, and helping the environment,” says Paul. “Those are a lot of great reasons to make sure your home or cottage is maximizing its energy efficiency.”
By land, water or air
And if your building envelope needs work, Paul and his team are happy to go the extra mile to get the job done.
George Kent Home Improvements has successfully transported materials to mainland cottages, GTA homes, island properties and everything in between.
Trucks or boats are used most of the time, but Paul and his team have also used a helicopter to get their building supplies to a water-access Muskoka cottage. He says it’s all a matter of being timely and efficient.
“It’s about getting the project done right and on time,” explains Paul. “We take pride in finding solutions to challenges when the need arises.”
Call the experts
If any part of your home isn’t operating at its most efficient, it’s best to fix it now before things get worse. And make sure to use a professional team for the job.
The George Kent team consists of many tradespeople, some of whom have been with the company for over 35 years. They bring an expert attention to detail to every project they work on, and are one of the reasons the company has been in business since 1949.
They are also fully licensed and insured, carrying all the proper WSIB and general liability coverage with Window Wise-certified installers, as well as being a factory-certified GAF Master Elite roofing contractor (a certification shared by only two per cent of roofing contractors in the industry).
“Making sure your home or cottage is running at peak efficiency is vital to your health, your pocketbook and the natural environment,” says Paul. “Getting expert advice on how to make that happen is always a smart decision.”