We can’t help but be inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds us here on the west coast, and the elements of forest, rivers, mountains and the ocean inform our home designs. The use of rustic materials including stone and rough cut timbers along with a soothing earth-tone palette is typical of west coast home design.
The southwestern corner of British Columbia, and in particular the Greater Victoria area, possesses by far the mildest climate in Canada and we take advantage of this by incorporating great expanses of glass in our homes. This effectively allows the soft light into our homes, and blurs the distinction between indoors and outdoors. Another trend is the outdoor room, usually a gathering place with comfortable seating, outdoor kitchens, and often fireplaces or water features.
Even in this temperate zone we don’t lose sight of the importance of energy efficiency though, and achieve this by incorporating effective insulation, double-glazed low-e windows, HRV (heat recovery ventilation) systems, tankless hot water heaters and heat pumps. Simple passive solar heat gain designs are implemented more often than solar electricity generating systems, due to the climate.
Vancouver Island is fondly referred to as “The Rock” for a reason – in many places you will find solid bedrock just a few inches under the soil, and because of this it is uncommon to find homes that have full underground basements. In spots where there is enough soil depth, the water table is frequently high enough that you would end up with an in home swimming pool! Fortunately our mild winters mean you don’t need to “go to ground” for warmth!
Many homes in Victoria are designed as basement entry, with the main living areas and bedrooms on the upper floor of a two story house. Secondary living areas (rec rooms), utilities and extra bedrooms or storage are often found in the largely above ground basements.
Development in Greater Victoria provides a multitude of varied styles of housing, so if you are planning to move here you will undoubtedly be able to find the type of west coast home you are seeking (even with a basement, if you insist!). I would be happy to answer any questions you have about real estate in Victoria, please call me – (250) 984-8377! You can also check out my available Victoria real estate listings.