Home Design for All Weather: What to Think About When Building

Building your own home gives you many opportunities to maximize your home’s energy efficiency and weather-resistance. From window installation, to which direction your home faces, you can customize your home to be comfortable and weather-resistant while you save on energy bills. These ideas can help you and your family when looking into building a home that will last.

home for all seasonsUse Nature for Heating and Cooling

If possible, design your house so that it faces south. Your home will get sun for much of the day, and you can cut back on heat in the winter. Dark tile flooring will also work to hold heat. To cut the sun’s heat in summer, plant deciduous trees on the south side of the house. Flowering trees are attractive, easy for landscaping, add curb appeal, and don’t tend to get tall enough to endanger your roof during a severe storm.

Windows: Friend or Foe

Windows have a huge impact on your energy bills and your family’s comfort. Ill-fitting windows let out cool air in summer, and create drafts in winter. Make sure your Vancouver windows are properly installed the first time so you don’t have to worry about expensive heating and cooling bills right off. Double-paned glass is a good choice for windows that let in a lot of sun. According to RetroTeck Window Mfg. Ltd., two thicknesses of glass will lessen the heat. Another benefit of double-paned glass is having blinds between the panes. Contained blinds are safe for children and pets, and don’t require cleaning.

Doors That Withstand Weather

If you’re building an attached garage, you’ve already created a separation between part of your house and severe weather. Because your garage will likely not be temperature-controlled, make sure the doors into the house are well-sealed. All outside doors should be insulated for energy efficiency. Use quality weather-stripping for high traffic deck and patio doors, particularly sliding glass doors, and make sure it’s securely fitted. For extra protection against the elements, use thick glass in any windows you have in the garage as well.

Climate Zones

You can enjoy climate zone comfort in your home with zoned heat pumps. Warm your bedrooms at night while keeping thermostats set low in the kitchen and family room. Turn off heat or air conditioning to unused rooms, while maintaining a comfortable temperature in the rest of the home.

Insulation: Your Basic Barrier Between Heat and Cold

Ensure that you have sufficient insulation in the attic and basement. Pay particular attention to
basement ductwork and pipes, especially water heater pipes. They should be well insulated. If there is any exposed pipe on the outside of the house, it should be double layered with insulation so you and your family have hot water even in the worst cold.

Extra consideration when building your home will lower your energy bills and keep your family comfortable. A weather-resistant house will also need less maintenance, and be attractive to buyers should you decide to sell in the future.

Erin Emanuel

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