Buying or building a house / Guides

Jenine Alexander's homemade mobile tiny house
Tiny house

DIY Tiny House for less than $3,500

...and if thinking of buying a Tiny House on wheels for sale locally, read this first. Here she offers a tour of her Tiny House and shares some of her thoughts on how to live big in a tiny space. With some ingenuity and hard work, Jenine Alexander demonstrates that in the end, the most important aspect af a DIY ...

Real estate

Downsizing your home: buying tips for seniors

...anges. If you're shopping for a forever home, search for houses that can take you through every stage of seniorhood. At minimum, a home intended for aging-in-place should allow for complete first-floor living, ideally have a step-free entrance, doorways wide enough for a wheelchair and be located near public transit an...

Choosing a home and neighbourhood
Real estate

Shopping for a home? Some tips for finding the right house and neighbourhood services: Access to power, water and sewage (this is more relevant for building lots) Green space: Being close to parks and water ways Soil conditions and topography to avoid flooding Stay away from flood plains Backyard privacy and greenery Sun exposure: For interior quality of life, also for a garden if ...

Lifestyle, location and commuting

Home-buying tips for seniors looking to downsize

...ake it easier for you to age in place? For example, does it have a walk-in tub or shower? You should also look for homes that are a single-story, have wide doorways to accommodate a walker, and have lower cabinets and countertops. If these home modifications don’t exist in your ideal potential home, invite a contractor...

Real estate

Real estate services: access to power, water and sewers (this is more relevant for building lots) Green space: being close to parks and waterways Soil conditions and topography to avoid flooding Stay away from flood plains Backyard privacy and greenery Sun exposure: for interior quality of life, also for a garden if t...

Lifestyle and environment

Resources and getting started isn't always the case. On average, high performance homes seem to cost between 5 and 15% more. But when you factor in reduced energy costs, payback on that additional investment might be 10 or 15 years, after which you will see a net savings. Not to mention a final product that will be far more durable and have grea...

Bike lanes in Vancouver
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Vancouver's goal of becoming the Greenest City by 2020

...and can cause damage to the interior of walls as many litres of water carried in warm air can pass through even the smallest of holes in a heating season. A house with an EnerGuide rating is like a car with a safety check. It is an independent third party report on the quality of what you are buying, and an indicatio...

Real estate

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

...a day and weeks in a year. If you make travel time a priority in a house hunt, with luck you may find a location that will add free time to your day or possibly facilitate a switch from being a driver to being a bus rider or cyclist. The cost savings that may come from eliminating a daily drive might make affording a b...

Leed platinum plaque
Green building certifications

All about green home certification programs & rating systems for USA & Canada

...Association, Built Green is a Canadian-developed rating system administered by Built Green Canada, a private not-for-profit organization. Similar to LEED for Homes, it covers a wide range of sustainable building measures, including energy and water conservation, indoor air quality and sustainable materials. Also simi...

Future proof your home by preparing and building to for climate change
Planning and Design

Homes built for Climate Disruptions: A Primer for Home Owners and Buyers

...away from the house, read here about how to manage storm water runnoff from roofs In a basement with a sewer, or in a wet neighborhood, a sump pump (preferably with a battery backup) and backwater valve are essential And, finally, make sure your insurance coverage matches your risk level for flooding. Many area...

Drywall and construction dust
Cleaning and maintenance

Tips for keeping air clean during renovations

...aterial selection: This is less about what you will breathe as work is in progress and more about what you will breathe for years to come - for a very small premium you can get plywood and other cabinetry materials that have less or even no VOCs and formaldehyde. Some building materials will off-gas for many years afte...