Cape Cod Style Houses

by Erik North on November 16, 2011

Cape Cod Style House

    OK, I’m re-using the photos from last week’s post. Heck, it’s my house. Why not. I wrote last week about the difficulties with heating Capes. Cape Cod style houses are enormously popular throughout the country and particularly in their region of origin, New England. The style has been around for centuries but leapt […]


The Difficulties in Heating Cape Cod Style Houses

by Erik North on November 12, 2011

Cape Cod Style House

    One of the great ironies in construction (I bet you didn’t even know there was ironic construction) is that Cape Cod style houses perform pretty poorly on Cape Cod. The year-round sea breeze wash (wind wash even) right through the Cape building frame, making them chilly and uncomfortable in the winter months. How […]


Should I Insulate My Garage Ceiling or Garage Walls?

by Erik North on October 28, 2011

Should I Insulate My Garage Ceiling or Garage Walls?

  This is what happens when you write a post with crazy enthusiasm. I ripped through this previous post and in my enthusiasm to tackle insulating finished rooms over the garage, I forgot to clearly state the garage ceiling vs. garage walls question. So let’s be a little less opaque: both approaches can work but […]


How To Save Money (On Your Home Heating Bill)?

by Erik North on October 28, 2011

Post image for How To Save Money (On Your Home Heating Bill)?

    I know … ‘How to save money’…how broad a question is that? When having conversations with customers, it’s always more fruitful when our focus is more wide ranging. When discussing how to save money in your home, why discuss just the heating system or insulation? To best understand how to save money, you […]


Should I Insulate Interior Walls (Umm, No…)?

by Erik North on October 17, 2011

should i insulate interior walls

  Another question that crops up in audits (have you gathered that questions about almost everything come up?), is whether it makes sense to insulate the interior walls in your home. Heat is escaping everywhere, so it makes sense to slow it down as much as possible right? Short answer: No. Longer answer: Noooooooooooo. Much […]


Should I Insulate My Garage (Or Insulate it Better)?

by Erik North on October 14, 2011

should I insulate my garage

  I often have discussions about garages and even more often about the finished spaces above them. These finished rooms are the source of frequent complaints about cold rooms, drafts and heating problems. I had one customer who couldn’t get their FROG (awesome acronym … Finished Room Over Garage) over 55 F. Brrr. Why Is […]


What Is A Weather Resistant Barrier

  There’s a great deal of functional overlap between materials that act as an air barrier, vapor barrier and as a weather resistant barrier. We’ve covered air barriers and vapor barriers in previous posts, but what is a weather resistant barrier? And what’s with the rest of the layers and barriers of your building enclosure […]


what is stack effect

  Second question first, it’s just when I’m most productive in my writing. If you’ve ever seen an eagle or other large bird gliding above a canyon’s warm air flows, then you can understand the stack effect. The eagle is taking advantage of the warm air that flows up between the canyon walls and buoys […]


Post image for How To Seal An Electrical Outlet (Without Electrocuting Yourself)?

  Somehow electrical outlets have been lumped, along with windows, the heating system and thermostats into the pile of ‘things homeowners pay attention to.’ This probably connects with that old chestnut, “into sight, into mind.” Homeowners can see these problems so they deal with them. The giant hole around a chimney chase or uninsulated walls […]


Post image for How To Improve Your Window Insulation (Without Dropping $500)

  With the calendar turning over into October, our thoughts turn to not freezing our butts off this winter. Your window, being a few slim panels of glass between you and the winter chill are the weakest point in the thermal envelope (outside your basement walls). How would you improve your window insulation? As much […]