Exterior / Guides

How to Insulate Exterior Walls from the Outside US Canada Ecohome
Walls and Roofs

The easiest way to insulate walls from the exterior in older homes

...exterior insulation Also, if installing a final finish to exterior walls over additional wall insulation, see our page on how to install exterior siding so walls can dry . Attaching insulation with metal screws Above are a couple of ways to attach exterior insulation and maintain the highest possible R value ...

Exterior compresssor heat pump water heater
Plumbing and water heaters

Heat pump water heater with exterior compressor

...exterior compressor, not unlike most air-to-air heat pumps. An exterior-compressor heat pump water heater does not interact in any way with interior air. In this particular case, the CO2 refrigerant extracts heat from the outside air and transfers it to the water, which is then stored in the tank inside your home. Th...

How to Fasten Cement Board Facing to slab on grade insulation
Slab on Grade

Finishing the exterior of an insulated slab-on-grade floor

...exterior edge of a slab on grade is made of EPS foam and can be parged. Having used rigid Rockwool panels meant we needed an additional solid exterior surface. Here we installed an exterior cement board , though that left the challenge of how to attach it without using metal fasteners that would lead to thermal bridgin...

Siding Choices - Board and batten siding
Exterior cladding

Choosing the right exterior siding for fitting, cost comparisons & appearance

...exterior, one of the greatest ways you can protect your home is through good design. Extensive overhangs will mean that the majority of rain will not even touch your walls or the siding, this fact alone will greatly increase the lifespan of whatever cladding you choose to put on the exterior of your home. Rain, UV ra...

Shou sugi ban carbonized wood siding
Exterior cladding

Shou sugi ban carbonized wood siding from Japan, what is it & how to make it?

...exterior of a variety of wood framing materials . How carbonized wood finish is made: Wooden boards are burnt on each side, which is usually done with a blowtorch . Using a stiff brush, carbon residue is then removed from the boards and the material is rinsed with water. Once a board is dry, it's ideal to apply a...

Repainting and refinishing brick facades
Exterior cladding

All about painting brick, is it a good idea and what paint to use?

Is painting brick a good idea? Bricks will absorb moisture from the interior of a home and they need to be able to expel that moisture ; applying paint to the exterior can cause the paint and masonry to lift, peel or crack as it can become susceptible to freeze thaw cycles in cold climates. Beyond just aesthetics, m...

Wall assemblies - new construction

Wood framing

All framing materials for the Demo House are FSC certified, and provided by our sponsor Kott Lumber . Kott engineered the plans for us , supplying detailed framing documents including a cut list for each framing member. We were also provided with a wood order to match, along with pre-cut lengths whenever possible. T...

"The Boneyard" in Arizona, the world’s biggest aircraft graveyard
Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

Old airplane fuselage is finding a new life as recycled building material.

They might be parked a little more precisely than an auto wrecking yard, but that doesn’t mean they will ever fly again. Decommissioned aircraft have been declared so, because they have reached the end of their safe flying days. While most of us might be fine riding in rusty old cars, few of us would climb into a ru...

How to insulate basements properly
Insulation and soundproofing

Best practices for basement insulation in new home construction

...exterior foundation insulation © Roxul Exterior EPS or mineral wool: Neither are harmed by moisture. With care they can be largely held in place against exterior walls with backfilling below grade, and fixed above grade with fiber cement board attached through to foundation walls. Drainage: Regardless of th...

Building science for LEED v4 wall design made easy
Concept and design

Building science for LEED v4 wall design made easy - video

...exterior insulation: It would have been quicker for us to attach the entire mass of exterior insulation with longer screws and only one course of strapping, but using THERM software, our engineer determined that the cold transmitted through the metal screws would have reduced the effective R-value of the exterior ins...

Vinyl record album
Healthy indoor air quality

Keep vinyl out of your home (albums excluded of course)

...exterior siding, windows, the list goes on. We have surrounded ourselves with the stuff. So what can we do? Slowly but surely, remove it from your life. Here are some alternatives: Glass shower doors Choosing healthy and durable flooring materials Choosing green kitchen countertops Wood or metal siding for ...