Walls and Roofs

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

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

Tips for preparing your house for winter: how to make your house more efficient to save money on heating, more durable to save disasters & maintenance issues & more comfortable to keep the family toasty through the winter. Top Tips for preparing a home for winter Extremely low temperatures over winter can test your…

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

What causes ice dams and how to fix them

Learn how to fix Ice dams on your roof before they cause damage. Ice dams form at the bottom of roofs, letting water penetrate and cause damage to the interior of walls and roofs.  When snow melts on a roof it runs down until it meets the unheated bottom edge of a roof and then freezes. This chunk of ice is called…

Frost in Attics: What causes Attic Ice? How to Fix it?
Roof assemblies - renovation

Why is there frost in my attic? Is ice in roofs a problem & How do I stop it?

A roof leak isn't really a roof leak if it’s leaking in on a sunny spring day as the snow finally starts to thaw. It's more likely a build up of frost and ice in your roof space - so how to prevent it. Frost in Attics: why is there Ice in my roof?  When a warm sunny day arrives after a long cold stretch and it seems…

An attic with 'insulating paint' which doesn't insulate
Insulation and soundproofing

Does 'insulating paint' work?

No, it doesn't work. Don't buy the hype about insulating paint, this is snake oil in its truest form. No matter that engineers and architects long ago debunked it, insulating paint still occasionally finds its way into buildings. Powdered ceramic chips that can be added to any paint are said to reflect heat in or…

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

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

Weather barriers (or more accurately water-resistive barriers) keep bulk water away from vulnerable building components and allow walls to dry at the same time. A technical guide to understanding the role weather barriers and rainscreens play in a wall, choosing the right products and installation tips for optimum…

Problem areas of air leakage in a home and blower door test being cond
Air and vapour barriers

Airtight Construction of Homes is Essential: "Your house sucks." "Oh yeah? your house blows!"

Odds are that at any given time the air pressure in a house is out of balance & either drawing air in or forcing it out. Learn the causes, the effects & the solutions for air leakage in homes & why it's important. Air Tightness in Houses - All about Balancing Air Pressure in the Home We go on incessantly here about…

When should you replace windows
Windows and doors

When should you replace old windows?

Replacing old windows in all but the most extreme cases will not save money in your lifetime. Repairing old windows or adding layers may be a more cost-effective solution. Windows, Replace or Repair? We often get asked if it is a good idea to replace old windows with new and better performing windows to save money…

Installing soundproofing batts in interior partition walls of drywall
Insulation and soundproofing

Soundproofing interior walls-video

How to reduce sound transmission through interior partition walls. The key to building smaller homes which don't sacrifice quality of life is ensuring that they are designed to make the best use of their space no matter how limited. However, you must also ensure that there is sufficient privacy by eliminating…

Living green roof installation on the Edelwiess house
Roof coverings

DIY green roof installation video

A living green roof can last far longer than many other roofing systems when installed properly. DIY Green Roof Installation The following DIY green roof video shows the steps needed to ensure your green roof will not leak. Watch more Green Building Guide videos from EcoHome on YouTube here The most…

Skylights can be problematic in a high performance home
Windows and doors

Are skylights an asset or a liability?

Skylights offer natural light in a home but account for a lot of heat loss and can cause problems in cold climates. Here are some tips for selection and installation. So are skylights a good or bad idea? It has been said that there are two kinds of skylights; those that leak, and those that are going to leak. This…

Installing Siding Correctly
Exterior cladding

How to install siding

Drainage planes and air spaces: Siding installation tips so your walls can dry. Siding Installation The walls of your home are an environmental separator. Their job is to keep the inside in and the outside out. Exterior cladding or siding is your first line of defense against weather elements, and its job is to…