House wrap / Guides

Tyvek home wrap left exposed to wind and UV rays
Air and vapour barriers

Choosing the right house wrap / weather barrier, which is best?

...housewrap or home wrap with staples creates a lot of little holes where air can enter and escape. Also, when exposed to the extreme temperature shifts between summer and winter and the endless movement of a loose weather barrier due to wind and air pressure differences, the solvent-based tapes we most often use may bec...

Air barriers are essential to a properly functioning wall system
Air and vapour barriers

What is an air barrier?

...house wrap, even the polyethylene we normally install as a vapour barrier can act as an effective air barrier, but only if you set out with that in mind and properly seal it. The difference between air barriers and vapor barriers © Ecohome What the above diagram attempts to illustrate, is how ...

Off grid, passively heated and cooled house in the Gatineau Hills, Que
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off grid living blog, part 2: passively heated, this house in Quebec aims for LEED certification

...house is powered by solar panels, and heated by a woodstove and radiant floors warmed by a propane boiler. A double exterior wall system reduces heat loss to a fraction of what you would expect from most other new houses being built. Off Grid Homes can also be attractive © Bala structures Ex...

Green cleaning products
Healthy indoor air quality

6 easy steps to detoxify your home

...Houseplants. According to NASA not only do houseplants absorb carbon monoxide and release oxygen , but certain house plants, such as bamboo palm and english ivy, can actually help to eliminate benzene, formaldehyde and/or trichloroethylene. NASA recommends 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in six- to eight-inch (203 mm) ...

Installing Siding Correctly
Exterior cladding

How to install siding

...house, it dries inwards ( or at least it should - depending if you have a vapor barrier) . A well-ventilated air space between sheathing and cladding is an important part of the strategy needed to allow walls to shed moisture in all seasons and conditions. Drainage planes (building paper, house wrap, etc.) allow any ...

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

...house with the shoreline. We have a screened view of the water, which actually makes those glimpses out onto the bay more special. Building Envelope: When first considering how much insulation to put into the house, I looked to the Passive House certification system. To achieve Passive House certification, there is...

DIY Bidet Installation Video - Save on Water & Paper
Bathrooms

DIY Bidet installation video

...wrap my head around it. And I certainly couldn’t bring myself to drop my drawers and park my butt on it for a blast of water, that’s for sure. And make no mistake, your first spin on a bidet will seem a little unusual to be quite frank about it. Bidets save water - no, really! Another thing that I didn’t quite get,...

Ice dams on roofs & how to fix them
Roof assemblies - renovation

What causes ice dams and how to fix them

...house. Pot lights : they are not so much a problem due to the heat they generate, but they are very hard to seal. And worse than other air leaks, as it passes by the bulbs, this heated air magnifies the problem. Snow: this may be hard to wrap your head around, but snow has an R value of between 1 and 2 depending on...

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

...house walls from the outside and the pitfalls to avoid... Find more pages about how to build energy efficient and durable walls here : Choosing a house wrap, which is best? How to choose between OSB and Plywood sheathing for Walls The difference between air barriers and vapor barriers How to i...

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

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...Wrap . "If the Earthship were a gasoline engine, Thermal Wrap and double or triple greenhouses would be fuel injection. I am ready to race any conventional heating system." - Michael Reynolds, Earthship Biotect . Thermal mass does store and release heat, but the magic happens by separating the interior and exterior...

The difference between air barriers and vapour barriers
Air and vapour barriers

The Difference between air barriers and vapor barriers

...house wrap (WRBs) , tightly sealed sheathing, insulation that slows airflow, and well-sealed gypsum board (drywall). To explain this further, Gypsum board (drywall) is vapor permeable, but stops air flow. This means water vapor can diffuse through it, but air cannot pass through it. So if you were to have a home with...