Building a home in a cold climate can be a lot more difficult than building a home in a warm climate. Selecting the wrong design or opting for wrong products can result in a home that fosters icy walkways which result in enormous energy bills. No one wants them!
The design considerations, building systems, construction techniques ideal for cold climates vary from those in warm climates. However, with new building materials available in the market, delays are only due to extremely severe climatic conditions. Planning for building a new home during the winter needs to consider the possibilities of severe climatic conditions which could require insulation, additional heating and protective sheeting.
Below is a brief synopsis of all the things you need to double check with your builder:
The Building Envelope Should be Air Tight
Make sure you check the construction details of the new home. Ask the builder/ contractor how the exterior wall system will reduce heat transmittance, stop thermal bridging, and provide high insulation values.
During winters, interior moisture flows outside through vapour diffusion. Check with the builder if the construction details include moisture barriers and membranes to prevent moisture condensation and air seal the walls.
Ask him everything. When will the foundation work start? Does the foundation system keep the moisture away from the new home? Will all the gaps be sealed and joints fully tapped?
Insulation Measures in Inclement Weather
Extremely wet and cold weather can damage the brickwork and cause water pipes to freeze. So, ask your builder about the different types and levels of insulation provided, and learn their benefits. Do not forget to look for heaters hire in Enfield.
Some builders use a double wall wood framing technique, or structural insulated panels to combat thermal bridging, heat and moisture loss. Other use high-density materials like bricks, concrete and tiles that store energy from the sun during the day and emit it at night.
Windows Quality and Ventilation System
Make sure you check the quality of windows your builder is providing. Do they have adequate weatherstripping? What are their energy performance ratings? Are they double-paned?
Check for their U-factor, air leakage, visible transmittance, solar heat gain coefficient, and condensation resistance. They should also be Energy Star qualified.
House ventilation is also important to remove excess vapour from roof cladding and from under the exterior walls. Does the construction plan include a passive ventilation system for the home? What about air-to-air heat exchange?
The position of the Sun
Select a home design that positions the living area windows in the direction of the sun. Do not forget about the size of the windows. Use smaller rather than larger windows.
Add blinds, drapes, shutters or window shades to keep excess sunlight from coming during warm months. Choose cellular shades that feature two different opacity levels.
Plan for Snow
During colder months, you might encounter many issues due to excessive snowing. So, plan accordingly. Select a home plan with a simple sloped roof; look for roof designs that have skylight openings and that positions chimneys near the peak. Do not forget to check if the builder has included an ice shield membrane for the roof edge.
Look for home designs that have a fully covered entryway. Have a flat pathway to easy snow shovelling. Where will the walkway be positioned? Will they be positioned away from the roof overhangs?
Consider The Advantages and Disadvantages of Building During Winter Months
Although the building costs increase during the winter, and the work rate of workmen slows down. But on the other hand, the cost of hiring plant becomes less due to the decreased demand.
So, look for a company that has a more extended hire period without extra charges. With less demand for construction work, the contractor will be able to concentrate more on building your new house.