How to / Guides

How to insulate basements properly
Insulation and soundproofing

Best practices for basement insulation in new home construction

...tom of framed basement walls © floodsill.com Spacers below bottom plates : Shimming up bottom plates with backer rods or chunks of foam can be an added measure of durability in the event of any interior flooding, by allowing water to pass under walls. Read all about how to Stop Basements Flooding - Flood Pr...

Why basements flood and how to prevent that with a sump pump
Basements improvements

Why Basements Flood & How to Prevent Flooded Basements

...How to size a sump pump battery If you already have a sump pump in your home and you’re just considering a battery for some added peace of mind, then take the next opportunity to monitor how often it goes off. That can be during a large storm, or a warm spring day with a lot of snow melt. Track the time of how often ...

Lifestyle and environment

Emergency preparedness guide for homes

...to your sump pit to bail out the water and then empty them outside, but that can be a ton of work and not necessarily what you want to do all night long during a heavy rain and power outage. And that is only if you are even lucky enough to be home and able to do it in this situation. Heavy storms are to be expected dur...

Eco-friendly & Healthy Flooring is best for Green Homes
Flooring and stairs

Eco-Friendly Flooring material options for Green-Homes

...to work with than newly milled wood, and how well it goes together a second time is largely dependent on how carefully it was disassembled. Repurposed red pine floor © Ecohome If you pull flooring up carefully by prying pieces up where they are nailed and take care not to break the tongues and grooves, it oft...

Shou sugi ban carbonized wood siding
Exterior cladding

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

...torrefied wood, some of those advantageous characteristics are lacking; additionally, stains and oils do not adhere to it as well after processing. How to make shou sugi ban wood siding: In order to obtain a consistent-looking final finish you need to be very precise . The torch needs to be passed at the same speed...

Real estate

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

...to see how clean 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 aga...

How to plan and budget for home renovations and new builds
Concept and design

Important tips for a successful build or renovation

...to something you plan to learn along the way, be it plumbing, drywalling or installing kitchen cabinets. Unless you plan to make a career of it afterwards, there are learning curves that will mean you are probably better to stay at your own job to generate the funds needed to pay someone to do they job they are good at...

Concrete, wood and steel structures compared - Timber Frame wins!
Materials and resources

How wood structures compare to steel and concrete for Carbon Footprint

...tors. Yes, but wood means destroying forests! That point is legitimate. Indeed, a cut tree will no longer produce oxygen. This is where sustainable forest management is very important. Wood is an abundant and renewable resource, especially here in Canada, but it is important to know how to use it intelligently. T...

All About Hemp Wood Flooring, How it's Made, Where to Buy?
Flooring and stairs

Natural non-toxic hemp flooring by HempWood & Tennessee Wood Flooring

...to cure long enough can cause adhesives to fail. There is also the consideration that adding a toxic adhesive to a non-toxic floor board sort of defeats the purpose of investing in a healthier more sustainable option to protect indoor air quality. So if you do plan to glue flooring we recommend sourcing a zero VOC floo...

Energy modeling simulation of heat loss through thermal bridging
Efficient home design

What is a thermal bridge and why is it so important to break it?

...to R13 or even lower, depending on the amount of studs. The true or 'effective' R value of a wall is further impacted by the quality and amount of windows you install. If you ran an energy simulation model to find out how well a wall would perform but you neglected to calculate thermal bridges, you would be trying to...

Gabion walls can be used for building homes
Concrete and masonry

Gabion Walls - what is a gabion cage & how to build with them?

...to lose their advantage because of measures that would need to be taken to ensure stability, which makes it a more complicated construction process. For a free tool to calculate the carbon footprint in building materials see here . How to build a gabion wall The principle is quite simple: stones are dropped into we...