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...
  • Les adieux de César

    Les adieux de César en vidéo tourné une heure avant de se faire frapper mortellement par une voiture en plein jour. L’âme d’amour qui a réuni tout un quartier.  Merci, César, d’avoir choisi notre maison comme port d’attache pendant les cinq dernières années de tes 15 années de vie. Le premier m...
  • KEBONY wood -- the softwood turned to hardwood

    Îpe is a beautiful hardwood from Brazil’s Amazon forest that is popular as a premium decking material.  There are social, moral and sustainable reasons why you should not buy Îpe.  Click here to read the Green Peace documentation of the tragedy of this beautiful wood: “Blood Stained Timber – Rura...
  • Deck Span Tables

    Decks need to be built strong enough to not fall down or have deck boards break for lack of support. In addition, although they do not need to be as solid as a floor in the house, they should not bounce like a trampoline. The structures of most decks in Canada are built with pressure treated wood...
  • Stopping Plumbing Floods & Flood Alarms

    I like to look at history and tell stories, but if you are not the type that likes to read a lot and all you want is to control your water flow – jump down to the best plumbing flow control system to date: the AquaTrip shut-off valve. For information on overland flooding, check out The River Is ...
  • Investigation Techniques

    THE ALMOND MYSTERY Updated-- 20 almonds soaked in water overnight are good for my wife’s and my health.  But when there are only 14 almonds in the bowl in the morning I was getting accused of old age distraction.  Next day 20 in the bowl, next day 20 in the bowl – I guess it was my distractive ...
  • Crystalline Growth Waterproofing Products

    Here is one water proofing material that approaches the field of Science Fiction -- but it is for real and it does work. Xypex High'n Dry is a not so commonly available brand name of what is generically referred to as Crystalline Growth waterproofing products. These are applied to a sound bare c...
  • Solving Computer Mouse Wrist Strain

    Tired or damaged hands from computer mouse use Years ago I had a serious problem caused by overwork with a computer mouse dealing with very detailed graphics work for several days non-stop. My hand was going numb and losing its functions because of my “death grip” on that little mouse.  The doct...
  • Quebec Residential Electrical Rates and Subsidies

    Saving money on residential heating in 2021 – a look at the financial side.   Electrical Rate Structure summary:  Hydro Québec is developing various incentives for people to reduce their electrical use during peak periods in the winter.  Lowering the peaks in the demand for electricity allows f...
  • Renovation Planning

    There are many reasons why detailed planning is essential in renovation and construction.  Good planning avoids a lot of changes as you go, and often changes are very disruptive if you have to go back and rebuild something already done.  Good planning gives you a chance to see the whole picture, ...
  • How to adjust door latches with Door-Tite!

    Some door latches are just not installed snugly, while some doors warp with the seasons and are too tight part of the time and too loose the rest of the time. Typically, the strike plate needs to be moved over a fraction of an inch for a good fit. The best way to do that is to fill the existing s...
  • Where does the noisy drip in the plumbing stack come from?

    Wayne from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan writes: "I hear a constant dripping in my 4 inch sewer stack that connects my upstairs toilet drain to the floor sewer. It is not coming from the toilet but since the venting goes to the roof it is possible that during the winter, warm air is rising, condens...
  • Pressure Treated Wood - the new generation

    Have we really moved to a new generation of Pressure Treated Wood? With the introduction of MicroPro treated wood to the Canadian market in the spring of 2013, some are saying that we have a game change in exteriour wood and building decks.  It has taken several years to get this technology adap...
  • 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...
  • OVERVIEW: Living with Pressure Treated Wood

    This entry has been updated in 2013 and you may want to jump to the last paragraph to see the positive current state of Pressure Treated Wood. Is pressure treated wood safe or not? Is the wood used to build my deck a few years ago now banned? There is a lot of confusion about pressure treated wo...
  • Will Larch replace pressure treated wood?

    revised November 2004 Viewers are constantly asking me if there are alternatives to using pressure treated wood. In 2004 the wood treating companies 'voluntarily' withdrew the standard CCA pressure treated wood from the residential market. Ecological groups had lobbied long and hard to ban this...
  • Which Paint Is It - Latex or Oil?

    Determining, definitively, whether a given paint was oil or latex has always been a bit of a problem, but an important one as you can paint oil over latex, but not latex over oil unless you use a special 'super adherent primer' first. I used to recommend taking a bit of paint thinner on a clean ...
  • Quantum Healing

    This one is for you Kathy -- 1h 25min worth listening to.  You need to discover that you are much greater than you think. This gentleman is Bruce Lipton -- an american medical researcher. Let your heart listen to the truths that he is speaking. Just click on the links, each about half an hour lon...
  • Should heating by oil be banned in Montreal?

      You can download this letter in English as a PDF here.  Vous pouvais télécharger cette lettre en français comme PDF ici.     Open letter to elected municipal officials on the island of Montreal about the proposal to ban oil heating from Jon Eakes (Français en bas de page) Speaking from ...
  • 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...
  • OVERVIEW: Frozen pipes: Tracing, thawing, preventing.

    As weather patterns change we are getting longer colder periods than traditionally in many areas of the country -- and with that, more and more complaints of water pipes freezing. Finding the frozen point can be difficult, thawing it can be problematic but if you have done those two, go one step ...