Off-Grid Living: A Concrete Home Built Using Tilt-Up Construction


Bringing Dreams to Reality, When No One Else Would! How Tilt Wall Brought One Family’s Vision to Life

Everyone has a vision in their head of what a dream home would and should be. The Vella’s dream home included life-style changes as well. They wanted to live more sustainable; environmentally as well as financially. Having a home that was “off the grid” and could offer energy efficiency, cumulating into monthly savings on essential services, was part of their dream design. Here’s how Tilt Wall stepped up, when other companies literally outpriced themselves to avoid the project, and became partners with the Vella’s to build their dreams into reality.

Joe’s House

Here’s Joe Vella and his family’s vision. “We wanted to build a home that didn’t require any heat at all and came up with a design that we thought could achieve it.” According to Joe, the design wasn’t the problem. “That was the easy part. Finding a way to build it was more challenging.” The plan was to build an “off the grid” one-story concrete home unlike any other in Burk’s Falls. With large south-facing patio doors, airy lofts and a dual-arching steel roof line. The vision was impressive. The next step? Finding someone to build it.

When Fair Becomes Excellence

The search for a company who could make the Vella’s vision happen started off a little foggy. “We had people quote on this and they didn’t obviously want to do the job” says Joe of the estimates he received to build his project. As he continued to research concrete tilt-up home construction methods, Tilt Wall came into focus. So, Joe contacted us. “They were very enthusiastic to do this project.” His experience with Tilt Wall was a refreshing change. “Tilt Wall was fair. They gave me a good price and they really got involved in the project.” It was time to bring the Vella’s vision to life!

The Speed of Dreams Realized

Here is Joe’s account of the construction process. “Things happened very quickly and the process worked very well. Tilt Wall had no problem working up here in Burk’s Falls. They formed the walls, poured the concrete and did the finishing in just a few days over a month or so, with time for the concrete to cure.” Here’s why Tilt Wall’s construction methods are so time and cost efficient. Once the cement foundation cures, the home’s walls are poured horizontally (lying down), allowed to cure themselves, then “tilted” into place. Creating and assembling wall sections on-site increases construction and thermal efficiencies. Lager panels can be created reducing thermal breaks. Exterior and interior design elements, insulation, electrical conduit, window and door openings, all these elements can be “pre-poured” into the concrete, reducing the number of trades needed in the home’s construction process. In the Vella’s case, the erection stage was completed in one day.

Can’t Wait to Get Inside!

The walls were up, the wood beams in place, the only things left were the roof and the interior finishes. But mother nature had her own plans. Four feet of snow fell, which put the project on hold until the following spring. Once the thaw released its grip, the Vella’s house got its unique double-arching steel roof. Sustainable wood products were used to complete the interior components, including hemlock for the double-tongue-and-groove lofts. A stunning contrast against the concrete and a beautiful architectural choice.

Dream Home Living, Efficiently

The Vella’s moved into their dream home in August 2019. They continue to put in the finishing touches and marvel at what Tilt Wall was able to bring to life. “This house is solid and is completely airtight” says Joe of his Tilt Wall home. “We have solar panels and a backup generator for electricity and the home itself requires practically no heat.” Speaking to the efficiencies of Tilt Wall’s concrete construction, Joe continues “If we go away for ten days it might be two degrees cooler than when we left. Even minus thirty isn’t a problem.”

Pride of Ownership, Our Humble Reward

Joe speaks fondly of his residential tilt-up home and of his experience with Tilt Wall. “They did a great job. They’re a great bunch of guys who deliver a great product.” We thank Joe and The Vella family for choosing Tilt Wall to build their dream home. Without your vision, we would have never been nominated for a Tilt-up Concrete Association Award for building your Burk’s Falls concrete home. Congratulations for having the courage and trust in us to build your dreams!

Tilt Wall is Ontario’s leader in the construction of concrete tilt-up homes, offering cost efficiency, energy efficiency, durable building products and great architectural versatility and appeal. For more information on Tilt Wall’s residential tilt-up concrete homes, buildings or agricultural projects can work for you, contact us today.