for Cold Climate Housing and much more

Latest Database Entries

  • Legality of DIY electrical and plumbing work

    NEW CONSTRUCTION In the interests of health and safety a number of trades are controlled by law, most particularly plumbing and electricity. The degree to which plumbing and electrical work are actually regulated varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For instance almost all work performed in...
  • A cat shelter in a cold climate

    Lots of CJAD listeners want to see pictures of the house of the roaming cat that has claimed me as his property.  Understand this house is a bit of an evolving concept.  It started out as an effort to help this 10-year-old cat get through the winter despite his desire to roam more than settle.  Y...
  • A toilet riser to get the toilet to wheel chair height -- the TOILEVATOR

    Here is a brilliant idea. Many people who have difficulty sitting down and getting up, as well as those who have the problem of getting in and out of wheelchairs have always had to install rather unstable special chairs on top of their toilets. Here is a toilet riser and a soil stack extension th...
  • Speciality soles and shoes -- protecting against slipping and crushing

    We can't walk on water, but we do try to walk on ice   When I first wrote this article in 2009, speciality work stores were about the only place you could buy of any these shoe spikes outside of the Internet.  In 2020 if you live where there is ice on the ground, you can find them in renovati...
  • Setting Concrete Slabs Safely and Easily

    Individuals who invent things always have trouble getting them to market.  Even when they are good products they may not get enough marketing traction to make it really worthwhile.  There are many products that I have fallen in love with that have simply fallen away with time.  I have used my Sla...
  • Why do I recommend Renovco?

    Why do I recommend Renovco for renovation and restauration in Montreal and Ottawa? On HGTV and on my CJAD radio show we hear all the time about bad renovations and poor renovators.  Of course there are many competent companies out there, but we never hear about them in the media.  There are a ...
  • Tracing annoying sounds

    One homeowner had an annoying screech coming from her hydronic heating system that was hard to trace because it only happened occasionally and then usually late at night.  The servicemen could find nothing wrong, and of course it never made a screech when they were there.    RECORDING THE SOUND...
  • Tri-Energy Controller -- a step further towards energy efficiency

      ABC Hybrid Inc. has really broken the code on heating comfort and economy.  Your existing furnace goes totally on or totally of according to the demand of the thermostat.  That is very much like having a stick shift car with only neutral and third gear – you would be in high gear, or out of ge...
  • Dog/Cat doors for a snowy climate

    For a long time it has been a dream to have dog and even cat doors that would allow the pets in and out on their own without compromising the house itself in a cold snow filled climate. When a pet door doesn't work in our climate, the snow can fill the living room. All efforts seemed to fail to ...
  • Concrete and Rock demolation without explosives

      Dynamite can disturb structures a long distance away and can even open cracks to let soil gasses rise up where they did not pass before.  Dynamite cannot be used on or under a house.  Jackhammering is not only annoying but vibrations can cause secondary damage to an adjoining house.  EcoBust ...
  • Eco-Ice Grip -- Treated wood chips for slippery ice

    This is one amazing product.  Softwood wood chips with just the right mix of magnesium chloride to help the chips to melt into and stick on the ice - making the safest icy walkway I ever walked on.  This is a Swiss invention and Canadian distribution is just beginning.  See comments at the end o...
  • Who Is Jon Eakes?

    It all started when his older brother and sister were really good at music and he couldn't carry a beat with the garbage can. So he holed up in the basement and built boats. The saving grace for his 12-year-old engineering talents was the discovery that wooden boats float even if they're full of ...
  • Removing silicone caulking

    Bill from British Columbia sent in an e-mail asking how to remove silicone caulking from his acrylic shower floor. For many years we had nothing that would remove silicone caulking from a bathtub. Then all the companies came out with silicone caulking removers. Then they all disappeared (or will ...
  • Vent Stack Ice Capping or Evaporation : I GET SEWER ODOURS INSIDE THE HOUSE OCCASIONALLY IN THE WINTER.

      This is one of those problems that are not dealt with seriously enough by the building officials in really cold regions.  I have opened a blog space at the bottom of this article for you to add in your case history so we can demonstrate that this is a large and continuing problem.  Take a look...
  • Can a booster fans be used for the clothes dryer?

    There do exist in-line booster fans that can be used with clothes dryers for long duct runs. But you cannot use just any fan for this purpose. The fan motor and fan blades must be designed to handle the temperature of the dryer exhaust and prevent a build up of lint on a hot motor that could cau...
  • STOPPING WOOD HEATING SMOKE FROM COMING INTO YOUR HOUSE.

    Cliquez ici pour voir cet article en français IS THERE A FIRE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD? December 2018 - As I was walking home from the grocery store in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil in one of the first cold days of winter, I found myself choking on smoke.   I started looking around to see if the...
  • Miter slot slop Adjustments

    If you have worked through the two previous videos you know that the miter slot is the basis of all line-up on the table saw.  Now, what do we do when our miter gauge wiggles in that all important slot?  We can't change the slot -- so watch the video to learn how to adjust the miter gauge and t...
  • Stopping cold air drafts from ducts to the outdoors.

    I get a lot of complaints about cold air drafts coming in through ducts connected to the outdoors. Here are some solutions.  Butterfly dampers Any exhaust vent that rises up and out will have a tendency to let cold air fall back down that duct. Quality butterfly dampers are available that have ...
  • Underwater Epoxy

    OK, here's an endorsement for an incredible product, and they don't even give me free glue! They sometimes call it Wet-Bond and sometimes Underwater Glue but it all comes from a company called Mr. Sticky -- www.mrstickys.com. Actually the whole range of Mr. Sticky adhesives are two part epoxies....
  • Cracked Driveway

    Lisa in Edmonton has a water main that runs right under her driveway. The shutoff valve even comes up in the middle of the driveway. Erosion appears to be following the pipe and has cracked her driveway. She wants to temporarily fix it for now, and later replace the driveway, but doesn't feel she...
  • OIL LIFT -- getting oil off of anything.

    Most driveway cleaners are powerful solvents that dilute the oil, even dissolve the asphalt, and create more pollution. Research in British Colombia has shown that more oil gets into the ocean from streets, driveways and parking lots than from oil tanker spills. So in an effort to clean the ocea...