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Improve summertime ventilation in your cottage
What's the best way to improve summertime ventilation in a cottage? I had roof vents added when the shingles were replaced a few years ago, but this didn't help. Should I add ceiling joists to create an attic, then insulate it?–Dean Dwyer, Sudbury, Ont.
Building an insulated attic might help to an extent, but besides being a lot of work and money for what probably will be minimal gain, insulated attics in cottage buildings are also very inviting for mice, squirrels, chipmunks and raccoons. It actually takes quite a tight exterior to stop vermin from sneaking in and riddling the place with droppings and the telltale smells of a place overrun with creatures.
Have you considered adding windows or, better yet, a few operable skylights? I’ve seen skylights transform notoriously stuffy cottages into fresh, bright spaces. Modern skylights are very weatherproof, and the best operable ones can swing open 45º to let in a lot of air.
Is your cottage surrounded by trees that could potentially drop a lot of branches on the skylight? You could add a plywood skylight cover to protect the glass during the off-season.