Finding a good house / Guides

Choosing a home and neighbourhood
Real estate

Shopping for a home? Some tips for finding the right house and neighbourhood

...and water management Interior air quality Interior durability - water resistant surfaces in wet areas Interior design and functionality of space Soundproofing from the exterior and in division walls Good quality windows Quality mechanical systems Just because a home you like doesn't score an A+ on all t...

Tips for finding a reliable green home builder
How to Find Qualified Green Building Professionals

How to choose a home-building contractor

...assive House and LEED are green building certification programs, but even if you don’t want to bother certifying a home, finding a builder that has built a Passive House, LEED or ZNE certified home is a good thing because they'll know and understand the importance of the finishing details essential to a high-performanc...

Mobile tiny house
Tiny house

Is Tiny House living in a cold climate good or bad for the planet?

...a bit more extensive than a multi-head screwdriver and a hammer. Really what a tiny house needs most is to stay put and have an accompanying shed. It may take some negotiating with your regional municipality and even a minor variance, but you can certainly build smaller than the national average and maybe smaller tha...

Real estate

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

...an they are underneath; they can be cleaned but that's a cost you should factor into an offer price. Bathroom water damage: Does it have wood around wet areas? Are there signs of water damage anywhere? Are toilets and faucets modern low-flow models ? If appliances come with it, take out your phone again and take a ...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED house in Low, Quebec
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog: a firsthand account of building and living in a remote area

...as a house wrap weather barrier secured with 1x3 wooden strapping to allow for air circulation and water drainage, on which Hardie brand cement board is mounted. Altogether these walls are a nominal R-47. For the below grade walls, which are about 5-6' tall around two sides of the walkout basement, the final assembly...

Solar panel installation
Solar photovoltaic

Ten questions to ask a solar panel contractor

...ady and able to offer up any information that makes you feel at ease with such an important financial investment. Do solar installers have a NABCEP certification? A certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners is not a prerequisite for declaring oneself a solar installer, and there ...

Passive House in Quebec
Passive House

The Passive-Aggressive House - Our History of a Passivhaus Build

...Ann Cavlovic is a writer living in the Ottawa area. Her fiction and essays have appeared in several Canadian journals and newspapers including The Fiddlehead , The Globe and Mail , and PRISM international. Find her at: www.anncavlovic.com . Article first written in Canadian Architect Magazine,

Real estate

Downsizing your home: buying tips for seniors

...aintenance and made the energy-efficient improvements that today's buyers have come to expect? Is your home decorated to modern tastes, or has its appearance changed little over the decades? A little effort makes a big difference in how long your home sits on the market. Homes with lapsed maintenance and outdated fea...

Blower Door Tests - What's the Cost & Who Does Them?
Air and vapour barriers

What is a blower door test? What's the cost? How do you find a company to do one?

...America seems to return an average air leakage rate of about 3 air changes per hour. Some building rating systems set ACH targets that must be achieved. The Passive House air leakage rate has to be 0.6ACH or lower , which is several times more airtight than the average home and that is partly why a Passive House consum...

Building Green Homes on a Budget is Possible - Our top tips
Planning and Design

Top tips for planning and building a green home on a budget

...at list should be the names of potential professionals you may need on your team – architects, designers and general contractors. Once you have that preliminary team in place, get them all in one room – or at least electronically - to make sure they play well together and are all on the same page. This is such a valuab...

Real estate

Are you selling a house? Here are the top 10 things homebuyers look for

...A market study by AVID Ratings Canada for the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) surveyed 12,000 homebuyers across Canada to see what Canadians are looking for when they go house shopping. We were pleased but not at all surprised by the results - here they are: The top 10 assets that homebuyers value: 1. Wa...