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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.

Allan Britnell

Allan Britnell has been a contributing editor to Canadian Home Workshop since 1996. In addition to home renovation and DIY topics, he covers environmental, financial, and healthcare issues for a diverse range of publications, including the Globe and Mail, Homemakers, ON Nature and Workshop’s sister publications Cottage Life and Outdoor Canada.

He is also the managing editor of Renovation Contractor, a trade magazine for contractors and small custom-homebuilders launched in 2011.


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Feb. 2, 2015

1:59 am

Home vemtilation system proves to be very helpful during summer times. Ventis ventilation system circulates cool air ariund the home and leave home healthy. It is an advantage for children or anyone who values a nice sleep.


Dec. 3, 2013

11:12 am

When renovating roof windows and skylights, installing skylights made of low emissivity glass can return your investment within a few years through energy saving costs.


Nov. 29, 2011

12:22 pm

Next time you re-shingle, consider using light coloured shingles. Cuts down on heat build-up.

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