Walls and Roofs

Techniques for reducing sound transmission in buildings
Insulation and soundproofing

Controlling sound transmission in buildings

Before attempting to improve a wall or floor, it is essential to assess the situation to try to identify the major cause of the inadequate sound isolation. Unnecessary alterations can be a waste effort and money. The first step to controlling sound transmission in buildings is assessing the situation. What kind of…

Understanding sound transmission in homes
Insulation and soundproofing

Understanding sound transmission in buildings

Sound transmission in multi-unit dwellings and single family homes can affect quality of life. Learn how to prevent it. Before embarking on any structural changes, it is most important to understand that the sound isolation between two homes is not determined only by the common wall or floor. All the other parts of…

Thermal image showing where home heat loss is occurring.
Insulation and soundproofing

How insulation works

Understanding how insulation works is best achieved by first understanding the way heat loss occurs in homes. Insulation slows the rate of heat transfer, helping keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. How well-insulated your home is will determine how comfortable it is and how much you will spend on…

Which wood is best for framing timber frame construction in homes?
Wall assemblies - new construction

Lumber choices for wood frame construction - choosing timber for framing & building homes

Solid wood & various wood-based products are used for framing, insulating & finishing homes. Here is how to choose different lumber products for framing & their proper construction applications when building houses. Framing lumber choices for building homes Framing lumber, also known as structural wood, is the grade…

Pre-fabricated straw bale SIPS panels, an environmental choice
Wall assemblies - new construction

Modern straw bale SIPS construction: high performance, durable, affordable & interesting

Straw bale SIPS (Structural Insulated Panels) have all the benefits of traditional straw bale homes, but address all the risks. Straw Bale Homes, are they any good? Traditional straw bale home construction can be a low-tech and affordable route to a very ecologically responsible home. There are, however, some…

The Best 10 Energy Saving Tips for Green Homes - EcoHome
Wall assemblies - renovation

Green home improvements: an energy-saving pyramid scheme that actually works!

There are a number of ways you can up the efficiency of your home without spending much money. Here are our top 10 energy-saving home improvement tips with the greatest return. The best tips to save money & reduce bills? First of all, the best way to reduce bills & save money is to spend as little as possible for…

Interior sheathing as air & vapor barriers in wood frame construction
Air and vapour barriers

Interior sheathing as an air and vapour or vapor barrier

3/4 inch OSB sheathing on the interior can be an excellent air barrier and a great vapour barrier as well. There has been a steady evolution in the way we build homes over the last couple of decades, and the old standby wall recipe of 2x6s, fiberglass insulation and polyethylene doesn't measure up anymore with…

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

What is an air barrier?

Approximately 100 times more water vapour is carried into our walls by air leakage than is carried by vapour diffusion. That makes air barriers 100 times more important than vapour barriers, so why is no one talking about them. Approximately 100 times more water vapor is carried into our walls by air leakage than is…

Vapor retarder latex primer instead of polyethylene sheet
Air and vapour barriers

Replacing polyethylene vapour barriers with latex paint vapor control

Vapor retarder latex based primers can be twice as effective as the requirements laid out in many building codes regarding vapor barriers requirements. Vapor Barriers in walls, why polyethylene can be problematic It would probably surprise many home builders to hear what really causes moisture accumulation in walls…

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

The Difference between air barriers and vapor barriers

Can a house be too airtight? No it cannot. The difference between air barriers and vapour barriers is often confused. Also confused, is which one is more important. The difference between air barriers and vapor barriers The job of a vapor barrier is to prevent vapor diffusion, and the job of an air barrier is to…

Siding Choices - Board and batten siding
Exterior cladding

Choosing the right exterior siding for fitting, cost comparisons & appearance

Top Tips for choosing the best siding for your house - comparisons of siding products with cost, durability, ease of installation & attractiveness - because balancing performance with cost and appearance is important. Siding is important! There is no stage of home construction that you should rush through, but if…