Given the restrictions on mortgage financing, which also limits the access to home ownership, many families feel obligated to postpone their plans for buying their property. How about buying a smaller house instead? Times have changed, you know.
In the past, living in a smaller home was too often perceived as some sort of failure. Social success was determined by the size of your home. Big house, lavish lifestyle, large budget. The size of the home sometimes exceeded the family’s needs.
The whole world is joining together now to fight the rapid change in climate. Consequently, owning a home that suits your exact needs is perceived as an Eco-friendly gesture.
However, for many families, the restrictions to home ownership prevents them from even buying a property that fits their needs. What to do? Postpone the purchase? Not necessarily. Continue reading →
Is it time to change the roof of your house? If so, there is a golden opportunity available to you, especially if you are looking for a more eco-friendly solution. Les Publications du Québec announced the release of the first guide devoted to wood shingle roofs in Quebec entitled Toit. Bois. Bardeau. Guide technique.
Written by restoration experts Patrick Quirion and Mireille Brulotte of the Bois du Centre de conservation du Québec workshop, the guide contains over 250 technical drawings, detailed illustrations and photographs. Each step in the construction of this type of roof is outlined.
This guide is designed for owners and architects, entrepreneurs and restorers of old houses. Continue reading →
It happens to a lot of us. A death, change jobs, fall in love, financial problems coming or, on the contrary, the sudden desire to make money fast. In other words, there are a lot of reasons for finding yourself at a crossroads where you have to decide if you want to sell your house or rent it.
Renting comes with a whole new set of responsibilities: finding good tenants, making sure that the house is in order, responding to emergencies, assimilating the new tax calculations. It’s not for everyone.
Selling is much easier, but may not pay as much in the long term. Much less. And if you’re nearing retirement, you have to take the time to think about it, because people are living much longer today. You need more money if you want to maintain an enjoyable lifestyle. Continue reading →
Earth Day, celebrated each year in the month of April, reminds us that the fight against climate change, and as fallout of that the survival of humankind, is far from won. There is still hope, however. A growing number of companies are converting to environmental responsibility.
In terms of building, the focus is on eco-friendly housing. It’s far from being a burden, as not only is eco-friendly housing healthy, it also provides a strong dose of peace. It’s somewhat like a peace home.
Eco-friendly housing is a lifestyle, as it covers all aspects of life in your home: construction, decoration, renovation, indoor and outdoor life. You get up green, you go to bed green, you live green.
The positive effects of eco-friendly housing on health are well-known. Scientific studies tend to prove that using healthy materials, i.e. transformed as little as possible, improves the health of residents. There are less allergies, prolonged irritations and respiratory problems. Continue reading →
The expression “invest in stone” used to mean to invest in construction and real estate. Why? Because real estate is a strong and durable sector. Like stone.
Is there a more natural, more resistant, more sustainable and stronger material than stone? It’s practically eternal. Not surprising that it is among the materials of choice in this era of green living.
Stone is abundant in nature. It is recyclable, waterproof, porous and requires little maintenance, which keeps it far away from numerous chemical products. It filters pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide, the main gas behind the greenhouse effect. Another important asset: it’s fire-resistant.
Stone reduces energy consumption in a house by storing the heat for redistribution as needed. It is a natural heat regulator, since it combats temperature variations. In Quebec, however, this ecological advantage is lesser because insulation separates the exterior stone wall from the interior. But lesser does not mean nil. A stone floor exposed to the rays of the sun in winter will slow this ecological loss.
Elsewhere in the world, in certain mountainous regions, crushed stone is piled around foundations of homes to deal with the violent winds and extreme winter temperatures. These crushed stones heat the inside in winter and cool it off in summer.
Stone is not perfect. Its mining, at times its transformation and shipping result in a considerable energy expense, given the weight and mass of the material. These operations release a good dose of carbon dioxide into the air. Therefore, it’s preferable that the stone be mined in the region itself. The shorter the journey, the more the material becomes ecological. Fortunately, Quebec has numerous quarries, including the granite and marble quarries in the Mégantic region, and slate in Saint-Marc-du-Long, the largest quarry in North America according to Wikipedia.
French Wikipedia article on slate
Habitat sain et écologique, Ginette Dupuy, Les éditions Quebecor, 2011, 295 pages
Guide de la maison verte, Michel Durand, Les éditions La Presse, 2008, 339 pages
Articles on home financing, home decor & renovations