Smart Home Decisions For Cold Climates

Have you ever wondered why some sorts of home are more common in certain climates? Architectural design is about more than just aesthetics; it is also about designing the best type of home for the geography. If you live in a cold, snowy climate, here are three things to consider when maintaining or upgrading your home.

Choose Your Roof Wisely

Heavy snowfall can wreak havoc on your roof if it isn't the right type of roof. A simple gable roof is best. A roofline with varying pitches, ridges, and valleys allows the snow, ice, and other debris to collect rather than slide off. The heavyweight can even cause your roof to collapse.

If your home has a more complicated roofline with valleys, switch to a metal roof. It is extremely durable, has less opportunity for leaks, and the snow can slide off easily where it is able to. Be sure to not have walkways directly under where the snow will fall.

You'll also want to limit the roof openings. Every opening made increases the opportunity for leaks. Place your chimney at the top of the gable as this is the least likely area for snow and ice to accumulate and cause issues. While things like skylights are nice, it's just another future leak waiting to happen.

Place Your Windows Carefully

In new construction, your home layout should be situated such where it has a lot of southern exposure. The majority of your windows should be on the south side of the house, with none or few on the north side. This will allow your home to harness the power of the sun and receive passive solar heat. This placement will also give you most daylight, which can be integral to your mental health during long, cold winters.

Traditional double-hung windows have more air leak potential, even if they are insulated. Instead, choose casement windows, which have a tighter seal. You can also opt for fixed windows in some areas, such as decorative windows in loft ends.

Consider Your Plumbing

Frozen pipes can be disastrous. Even if they don't burst and cause a mess, trying to thaw pipes that have frozen is tedious. It can also be dangerous. Many people have inadvertently started their home on fire while trying to thaw pipes with electric blankets or heating torches.

Most kitchen sinks in northern climates aren't placed along an outer wall. While this does rob the dishwasher of looking out the window, it helps protect your pipes from freezing. If you build a new home or remodel an old home, place all the plumbing as close to each other as you can, and place it on an interior rather than an exterior wall.

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