Page 5


Leader-Post •

S a t u r d ay, J u n e 2 2 , 2 0 1 3


Cabin Out with old and musty, in with airy and comfy Continued from F1


■■ Create what Boule calls a “golden glow” by setting table lamps at different heights — on end tables and window sills. ■■ For softer light, opt for offwhite shades rather than white ones. Use solar lamps to light up paths and garden beds. Set out hurricane lamps with battery-operated candles on the veranda, and hang patio lights from tree branches.

TOSS IT OR FIX IT ■■ Toss out any furniture that is broken or rickety. Keep only what’s worth repairing or re-upholstering. If you don’t have the heart to throw out the loveseat Dad built, at least freshen it up with new cushions — or take measure-


ments and order a loose-fitting slipcover online. ■■ Find at least one really comfortable arm chair and re-upholster it if necessary then pair it with a good lamp.

■■ An area rug by the bed offers a soft landing. A wool or cotton area rug also adds warmth to a living room. It can be tossed in the washing machine when dirty. ■■ Get a weather-resistant polypropylene rug for the screened-in porch.

THE POWER OF PAINT ■■ Unify a motley mix of wooden furniture by painting it all the same colour. (Boule recommends Websters Chalk paint Powder. Add a few spoonfuls of the powder to latex paint to avoid the necessity of sanding and priming old surfaces.) ■■ Stick mostly to whites or neutrals, but add pops of colour such as apple green, red, coral or yellow for summertime cheer. ■■ Faux-wood panelling, water-marked wooden walls, mouldings and trim around windows can all be spruced


Country Living Cottage Style/Hearst Books

Whitewashing the ceiling and rafters of an uninsulated summer cabin brightens up a dark space and creates unity. up with a coat of white paint.


■■ Throw away flattened, musty and yellowed pillows and replace them with new

ones. If they are only slightly tatty, get new pillow protectors. ■■ Make sure the mattresses are comfortable. Invest in new ones if they aren’t.

■■ Go for Roman shades or, better still, short cotton or linen curtains that provide a sun block on blazing hot days.

IN THE KITCHEN ■■ Paint outdated knotty pine kitchen cupboards in a lightcoloured, high-gloss paint. Or, just change the knobs.

■■ Remove several doors in the upper cabinets to create open shelving for displaying vintage porcelain or glassware. Paint the inside a snappy colour. ■■ Add an old-fashioned sink skirt to under-counter storage to hide cleaning supplies or recycling or garbage bins. Replace grubby countertops with ceramic tiling or an inexpensive wooden countertop from Ikea.

BRING OUTDOORS IN ■■ Make a screened-in porch and fill it with comfortable furniture or a single bed with lightweight blankets and a pillow. ■■ Hang lightweight cotton or linen curtains from a rod to block the sun or create privacy in the screened-in porch or on a balcony.

make it right

Net-zero energy homes pay off with big utility savings MIKE HOLMES Make it Right

H o m e ow n e r s, b u i l d e r s and architects are working together and pushing standards to build net-zero homes. These homes produce as much energy as they consume on an annual basis, taking the EnerGuide rating up to 100. EnerGuide rates the energy efficiency of a house; a higher rating means a more energy-efficient home. One of my partner builders recently built a net-zero home in Edmonton. It features some of the latest green

technology — such as pre-fab wall systems and triple-pane glass — to achieve an EnerGuide rating of 100. And, it looks good. When you incorporate the right technologies with the right systems — always using the right pros — you can build a home that produces as much energy as it uses, sometimes more. Whatever you don’t use you can sell back to the grid. Who wouldn’t like that? There are two things you need to keep in mind when it comes to a net-zero home. To support its own energy needs, it usually means incorporating a solar-electric system, and sometimes wind power too. Next, the building envelope must be highly efficient — it has to have a high R-value (a material’s ability to resist

heat flow) and needs to be tightly sealed. This ensures the home uses every unit of energy to its maximum potential. When building a net-zero home, there are some key considerations, starting with the walls. Pre-fab wall systems are insulated and structurally sound. The ones we use are made with Pinkwood, which is mould, moisture and fire resistant, and have polystyrene infill panels. This yields a highly energy-efficient building envelope with an insulation value of R-42. If you go with a 16-inch (41-centimetre), double-stud, wood frame with blown-in cellulose, you can bump that insulation value up to R-56. This is great for your walls and attic, another heat-loss hot spot.

The foundation is another potential area for major energy loss, so it must be well insulated. On the house in Edmonton, the builders insulated the foundation below and outside the slab with expanded polystyrene (EPS). They also built the foundation using insulated concrete forms. The concrete is also insulated with EPS, which is non-toxic, mould free and CFC free, and doesn’t lose insulating value over time. Also, by adding an additional interior wall to the foundation — like they did in Edmonton — you get a foundation with an insulation value of R-40. What about the windows? Double pane used to be the best when it came to energy efficiency. But now there’s triple pane, which has two coats of low-e film, plus argon-gas-

filled glazing with insulating spacers between panes. Then there’s passive solar, which includes adding southfacing windows to allow light and heat in all day long. If your home has concrete floors, they will absorb the heat and radiate it back into the living space. For heating and cooling a net-zero home, I like a geothermal system: the temperature in the ground is used to regulate the temperature in the house. Another option is installing an electric baseboard heating system. This isn’t as expensive as geothermal — so it’s a better option if you’re on a budget — but it’s not as energy efficient either. And we can’t forget about ventilation. When a home is air tight, you need to bring in fresh air and get rid of stale,

indoor air, or condensation problems can arise. Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) are great for exchanging indoor air with outdoor air. The air that comes in is preheated by the exhausting air — a process that can recover up to 88 per cent of the heat. And, the HRV’s electronically commutated motor reduces the amount of electricity needed to run it. Building a net-zero home isn’t cheap, it’s an investment that will pay you back every month for as long as you live in it. It’s not a trend — it’s the future of housing. Catch Mike Holmes in his new series, Holmes Makes It Right Tuesdays on HGTV. For more information, visit For more information on home renovations, visit


What was old is new. Porchscape is a traditionally styled neighbourhood in Harbour Landing. The urban design includes, attractive street-trees, post-top street lights, and sidewalks separated from the street by boulevards. Front porches and pedestrian friendly streetscapes are key traits to this style and are sure to create a warm and safe place to call home. | P: 306.525.9801



5 2 3 7 - 5 3 2 5 M I T CH I N SO N WAY | S H O WH O M E H O U RS : M O N - T H U RS 7 - 9 PM W E E KE N D S & H O L ID AY S 1 2 - 5P M REG00177100_1_1