Basements / Guides

Real estate

Evaluating a home before purchase: how to recognize value and potential problems

...Basements: Trust your nose - does it seem dank and mouldy? Is there any sign of previous flooding? Is it insulated, and how well? A good thing to know is when any upgrades were done; basements are almost always built poorly and will likely have a much shorter lifespan than above-grade walls. Sometimes walls in mechanic...

Water efficiency
Plumbing and water heaters

How to save money on your hot water bills!

...basements, there are also horizontal grey water heat recovery units for slab on grade . Grey water heat recovery is not something you should bother installing with baths, as your water heater is filling up long before the hot water is draining. But with houses that will see a lot of showering, grey water recovery sys...

Ecohome's Kenogami House 'The Most Resilient Home in North America'
Concept and design

Resilient design features for new home construction

...basements are best avoided if at all possible. Homes seated on a slab-on-grade (or frost-protected shallow foundation ) will not flood unless you build them in a low point that can entirely fill with water. That would be foolish beyond measure, and you would probably have a hard time even getting a permit to do so in...

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico, shame they don't work in cold climates
Concept and design

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...basements with high-humidity that have not been designed to manage moisture properly. This is pretty much the definition of an Earthship in the way it would perform in Canada. Growing food in a cold-climate greenhouse creates a very humid environment, and a fundamental principle of the Earthship is food production on...

What is a Free Home Energy Audit Canada?
Grants and incentives

Free home energy audits in Canada

...basements, seeing how it is insulated, the level of attic insulation, the quality of your windows, and a blower door test to see how much heat loss there is from air leaks . A blower door test identifies air leaks for repair to make homes more energy efficient. Are energy audits free for Canadians? Energy aud...

Rendering of River District Sustainable housing development In Vancouv
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Vancouver developer leads the way to more sustainable communities

...basements and heating systems that no longer worked. The added durability measures taken at River District provides security against mechanical systems failure as a result of a storm. ParkLane is also the first developer in the city to build and operate its own district heating system. A high efficiency natural gas p...

As our climate adapts to human carbon emissions, homes have to change
Lifestyle and environment

Changing homes in a changing climate

...basements. Backups often happen when there is excessive rain or flooding, as the sewers become overloaded. After the 2005 floods, the city of Toronto made the inclusion of sewer check valves on new homes mandatory. Now with flooding this year in Brampton and Mississauga, those areas are considering the same policy. ...

Poly vapour barriers in air conditioned houses can cause mold and rot
Healthy indoor air quality

Why you should Never Install Air-Con in a Home with a Vapor Barrier

Vapor Barrier + Air-Con = Damp Moldy Walls So here's a little known fact that most HVAC installers won't tell a potential new client for central air; Polyethylene vapor barriers in combination with air conditioning in homes can rot walls because of the condensation they may cause. This is why if you have a newer hom...

Concept and design

How to stay on budget when building a home

...basements (and any finishing costs) as part of the area of ​​the house when they do cost estimates. 30 years ago, when most new homes were somewhat similar in design, performance and material selection, it was more realistic to do a ballpark estimate of building costs by square foot. Today, with all the varieties of ...

wood ceiling in Reclaimed sunken lumber
Walls and ceilings - interior surfaces

Wood Ceilings or drywall - how to choose your ceiling material & what's the difference in cost?

...basements for example, or smaller partitioned homes without much natural light. But that impact is hardly noticeable in an open-concept room with cathedral ceilings and lots of natural light. A modern light grained maple wood ceiling © Ecohome Installing wood on ceilings compared to dr...

Free Energy Audits, Net Zero Home Grants & Interest Free Home Renovation Loans
Grants and incentives

0% loans & Grants for Green Home Renovations & Construction - A Boost for Canadians in 2020

...basements being built wrong. Like....REALLY wrong! Before you allow a contractor to do basement renovations in a way that only makes sense if you are starting a mushroom farm, see our page on preventing mold when you insulate your basement to make sure it is done well. For any other questions, check out our green build...