Rénovations / Guides

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

Proper planning is the key to successfully building a sustainable green home. An energy-efficient ‘eco home’ doesn’t necessarily need to cost a lot more than a code-built home because a lot of that depends on design , but choosing and finding green building materials can take a bit longer as they often need to be spec...

wood ceiling in Reclaimed sunken lumber
Walls and ceilings - interior surfaces

Wood Ceilings or drywall - how to choose your ceiling material & what's the difference in cost?

Wood ceilings - what's the the skinny? Ahhh, the charm of a wood ceiling, seriously, what's not to like? The intent of this page is less about talking you out of installing gypsum board (drywall), and more about giving you a little encouragement if you are hesitantly considering a wood ceiling. See, unlike my famous...

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. W...

Concept and design

How to stay on budget when building a home

The following is an interview with Patrick Ranger, General Manager at Belvedair , a construction company specializing in the design and construction of green homes. Patrick is trained in business administration and information management, and is an experienced green building project manager. JP – Patrick, please tel...

Grants and incentives

Green building financial incentives

Important to note: some programs may be discontinued, some new ones may be out there. Please help us keep this page updated if any of these don't work out or you know of others out there and drop a note in the comments at the bottom. According to the EnerQuality Green Building survey in October 2009, 40% of Ontario ...

Water efficient bathroom fixtures
Plumbing and water heaters

Plumbing & water

Home water consumption in Canada: On average, Canadians use over 300 litres of water per person, per day. Compare this to consumption in the UK of 200 litres per day, and 150 litres per person per day in France. Hopefully, as we see the beginnings of water shortages hit closer to home, this serious issue will garn...

Recycled building materials
Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

Where to buy and sell used building materials

When buildings are decommissioned there can be a lot of valuable materials that could be used again, but when buyers can’t find sellers, otherwise usable materials are being sent to a land fill. There is a growing amount of used building materials that can be found at online classified websites such as Craigslist and ...

Interior solid pine door
Doors and trim

Interior finishing

Adhesives and sealants: Modern homes have a lot more caulking and adhesives than older homes. Adhesives are liberally applied to many surfaces for ease and speed of job completion, as well as to prevent squeaking between flooring and joists, for example. Functionally speaking, caulking is used to prevent moisture ...

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?

What is a blower door test? Blower door tests are becoming part of many State and Provincial mandatory building codes - the new BC Energy Step Code in British Columbia, Canada is one example. A blower door test is often an essential part of a home audit, we don’t know for sure just yet if it will be part of the free...

Insulating crawlspaces as part of home renovation
Crawl spaces

How to insulate crawlspaces properly as part of renovating an older home

Crawlspace insulation - be careful to get it right A crawlspace comes with all the downsides of a basement, but it is just too low a space to be functional either beyond the folded plastic christmas tree and a couple of boxes of baubles. Unless there is a good reason for it, going through the process of pouring a fo...

Top Tips for Getting a House Ready for Winter
Wall assemblies - renovation

Winter preparation for your home - are you ready for the cold?

Top Tips for preparing a home for winter Extremely low temperatures over winter can test your home in many ways , and sometimes your house will return a failing grade. Even brand new homes built to code can see failures of their building envelopes, windows, doors and ventilation systems during winter, a simple failu...