STEP House / Guides

DIY Bidet Installation Video - Save on Water & Paper
Bathrooms

DIY Bidet installation video

...house would benefit from having their OWN towel, but ultimately your butt is clean at this point so you are just drying yourself off. Some models of Bidet come with dryers as well and you can skip the towel step. The amount of trees cut to make toilet paper And if you want the straight poop on the global ‘personal ...

Tiny House living in cold climates - one of the best tiny homes on wheels
Tiny house

Tiny Houses - Living in Cold Climates

...House construction video of Ben's first design, the 'Hobbit House'. So that covers how to build a tiny home in a cold climate, see other Tiny house designs such as the Tiny Tack Hous e , Built-in storage designs for small spaces , Coach houses , Laneway houses , and learn if Tiny Houses are Good for the Environ...

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?

...house dimensions and the volume of air in the home. Standard new home construction in North 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 sev...

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

What is an air barrier?

...step of the entire building enclosure process. Think of it as if you are trying to seal a leaky bucket and make it watertight. The water will easily find any holes you overlook, and eventually leave you with an empty bucket. Granted, a house will never run out of air, but likewise, it will also never run out of moist...

HERD Home energy rating disclosure
Grants and incentives

Ontario's Home Energy Rating and Disclosure plan (HERD) is great news for home buyers

...house gas (GHG) emissions. What this means for homeowners and buyers, is that before a house can be put on the market it will require an energy audit and rating, which will be paid for by the government. “Ontarians deserve to know how a home operates when comparing properties to better understand their monthly future p...

Which House Plants are Best to Clean Air & Remove Toxins?
Healthy indoor air quality

Which house plants are best for purifying air? Ecohome investigates

...house plants clean indoor air? The idea that house plants filter and clean indoor air is at best a mini-truth, and at worst a total myth, and like any pseudo-science health trend, it can have a negative impact as well. Providing false solutions to human health issues gives people a false sense of security. Having pla...

Slab-on-grade construction technical guide
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade technical guide

...house or a basement. Despite their disadvantages, basements are often very practical since they provide a significant amount of storage space. Without a basement, everything that would have been down there must fit into the rest of the house or in the garage or shed. Basements usually house mechanical rooms. Keep t...

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? How to choose which is Best for Homes
Wall assemblies - renovation

Should I be renovating my home or tearing it down & rebuilding?

...house are in good shape and you plan to keep the house, one option is to fill in the crawlspace. Especially if there's damp, mold or wood rot down there, removing the flooring and floor joists and filling the void with clean fill and insulation and pouring a concrete floor on top makes more sense. Voila, you now have a...

When should you replace windows
Windows and doors

When should you replace old windows?

...house here and see here to know which type of window frame to choose between wood, aluminum or PVC / Vinyl Will replacing old windows save money? The short answer is, it's not likely . From a standpoint of saving money, a complete home window replacement job rarely justifies the cost, although it depends if extensi...

What is a heat pump
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

Heat pumps: what they are and how they work

...house. So if you’re in the market for a new central heating and cooling system for your home, you should definitely consider a heat pump for your heating and cooling needs. How much sense it makes will depend on how well insulated your house is. In a super-insulated home a heat pump could provide all the heat and c...

Solar panels power the Kenogami House in Saguenay, Quebec
Renewable energy

The Kenogami House: Energy systems at the cutting edge of innovation

...house in a harsh climate possibly the most efficient house ever made, even exceeding Passive House levels of performance. The heat source: a unique combination of passive solar heat gain, photovoltaic solar panels, a condensing boiler, heat pump and thermal battery. The ultimate goal during the design of this home ...