You may wonder if sustainable houses designed, built, inhabited and then monitored step-by-step by professionals actually exist. The answer is yes. The EQuilibrium Housing Initiative is just that.

If you wish to learn and understand more about the sustainable housing industry – which is about to become fundamental in the fight against climate change – the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) initiative is for you.

The CMHC seeks to expand the construction of EQuilibrium houses across the country. Even if you’re planning to buy an existing home, exploring an EQuilibrium house will give you the required knowledge to properly evaluate another home that some owners might try to sell you as sustainable.

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The initiative exists since 2006. The EQuilibrium house is meant to serve as a model for sustainable living: safe and environmentally friendly materials, lower utility bills, renewable energies, conservation of our planet’s limited resources, reduced environmental impact, greater comfort and cost-effective construction. And, believe it or not, as an added value, sustainable houses are a better investment than traditional homes.[……]

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If we compare the expense of an inspection to the cost of buying a home, it really isn’t that expensive after all! But too often, we still skip this step. 

“You would never purchase a used car without hiring a knowledgeable mechanic to inspect it first. So why wouldn’t you do the same thing before making one of the most important investments of our life?” asks Jean-Claude Fillion, an architect who specializes in pre-purchase inspections.

“It’s important to know where you stand before buying a home,” he continues.

Before you sign on the dotted line, here are five good reasons to get a home inspection before you buy a house.[……]

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One of your windows is in poor condition. For whatever reason, you couldn’t replace it before the winter season’s arrival. Here are a few guidelines to help you prevent damage or a hike in heating costs.

  • Weatherstripping is the key element in heat loss prevention. Make sure it is in mint condition.
  • Clean every part of the window with a brush or a vacuum cleaner. It can actually make a small difference.
  • If the caulk breaks when touched with a screwdriver or any other tool for that matter, it needs to be replaced.
  • Window films can reduce heat loss up to 50%. It is applied to the inside of the window on the surface of the glass and can be installed by anyone.
  • Adhesive foam tape isn’t the most durable, but it will last through a winter season.
  • You can buy draft stoppers that attach to the outside of the window on milder days.

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Take it or toss it? Six ways to decide what goes or stays before you move

Packing is a great opportunity to purge.

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Squeezing all your belongings into boxes may not be a fun way to spend your free time before you move. But, packing can provide the perfect chance to weed out any extra belongings, and start fresh.

Before you wrap up a single cereal bowl or framed photo, try the following tips to avoid moving a ton of unnecessary items into your new home.[……]

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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.[……]

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The kitchen island, once considered an item designed solely for functionality, has become an integral part of home décor. How do you choose from the abundance of materials and functions for this staple item?

The kitchen island has become a key element in almost every modern kitchen, combining style and functionality. There are many options to consider when choosing your kitchen island. Here are some ideas.

Originally, the island consisted of a practical space on which meals were prepared. Eventually, it became a multipurpose piece of furniture that included elements such as a prepping station, sink, dishwasher, stove, small fridge, hot plate, oven, integrated cutting board and even a counter used for enjoying meals.

Furniture is decorative – and the kitchen island is no exception. Some kitchens have massive islands made of high-quality wood, anchored with sturdy legs, adorned with decorative detailing, topped with grill paneling or comprised of frosted glass when used as a storage unit. The island is the central focus point of the space, often standing out in comparison to other pieces in the kitchen.[……]

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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.[……]

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