Some areas of the country experience extremely cold winters, perhaps even dropping below zero on occasion. If you’re planning to build a custom home and live in a cold climate, hire a contractor who will build it right for these brutal conditions. Below are some tips for new home construction in Wheeling, IL that will help your home withstand many winters to come.
It’s important that you hire an experienced custom home builder no matter where you plan to build. In the case of areas with cold climates, a professional will know to not skimp on insulation and air sealing. Insulation materials go in the walls and attic spaces to reduce the movement of air. When your home is insulated properly, you stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. But even homes with high-quality insulation with high R-values can still have air leaks. You must pay attention to air sealing to ensure the cold temperatures stay outside.
When your house is sealed against air leaks, the result is better indoor comfort and lower energy bills. Start by making sure the drywall and foam insulation fill in all the gaps around windows, doors, electrical boxes and attic and crawlspace entry points. The goal is to stop outside air from moving inside, and vice versa. Professional custom home builders will know how to install insulation to avoid under- or over-filling the gaps behind the drywall.
Don’t forget mechanical ventilation
Another important aspect of cold weather home construction is good mechanical ventilation. Ventilation itself is necessary to prevent mold and mildew growth, but many people close up their homes tight to keep moisture out, which unfortunately leads to insufficient ventilation. It’s strange to hear, but leaky doors and windows provide fresh air—and ventilation.
Mechanical ventilation is required when a house gets so tight it cannot ventilate naturally. But who wants cold outside air ventilating throughout their home in the dead of winter? This is where a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) comes in handy. HRVs provide a steady supply of fresh air, capturing and recycling up to 90 percent of the heat in the outgoing air. Talk to your home builder about installing an HRV during the building process.
Focus on the roof
The home feature that takes the most abuse year-round is the roof. The most common types of damage are caused by ice dam roof leaks, which can lead to costly repairs every winter. Your best option is to head off the problem before it starts. For instance, ice dams can be eliminated with the right roof design—that is, a roof designed to remain cold evenly throughout the winter. This is where a pro can help. Most roofs have hot spots, such as in areas where the roof slopes down, so the structure will need to be built at proper levels and to maintain ventilation channels.
If you are considering beginning new home construction in Wheeling, IL, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Arch Pro LLC with your questions!
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