Skip to content

You’ve probably heard or read some story about the dangerous aftermath of carbon monoxide. The colourless, odourless result of combustion (burning) is remarkably toxic, and potentially fatal.

One of the things we will check during a final inspection is whether necessary carbon monoxide detectors are installed, if required.

It’s for that reason that Canadian building codes have rules about when and where Carbon Monoxide detectors should be installed.

For those who are doing renovations, or thinking of a new build, here’s the general rules about CO detectors (This is something we look for during a final inspection.)

CO detectors are required in new builds and renovations if the home contains an

a) an attached garage
b) a fuel-burning appliance (gas stove, oil furnace) or
c) a solid fuel-burning appliance (wood stove, pellet stove.)

Attached garage:
A Carbon Monoxide alarm should be installed either inside each bedroom or outside each bedroom within 5m (15') of each bedroom door

Fuel-burning appliance:
A Carbon Monoxide alarm should be installed either inside each bedroom or outside each bedroom within 5 metres (about 15 feet) of each bedroom door

Solid fuel-burning appliance:
Here’s where Code throws a bit of a curve ball. With wood or pellet stoves, a CO alarm is required inside each bedroom, or within 5m (15 feet), but also in the same room as the stove. This means that if you’ve got a new house with a wood stove in the basement, a CO alarm should be in the basement – usually installed at the ceiling – as well as outside any bedrooms in floors above.

Questions? Give our office a call.

Thinking of new build? A slight design tweak to your roof can improve energy efficiency, reduce ice damming, and make your home more resistant to wind.
Many homes are built with truss systems these days, and for good reason: modern factory-built trusses are strong and remarkably easy to install while being a cost-effective alternative to rafters.
However, like any good idea, there’s always room for improvement: the modern truss system creates a “pinch point” where it meets the wall. It usually means reduced insulation the wall. That allows for heat to escape - one of the prime reasons for ice damming.

The heel, or drop-chord truss, allows for a full bed of insulation in the attic, which does much to prevent ice damming.

However, a slight tweak in design, creating what’s called a “heel truss” or “drop chord” creates a rise at the end of the truss. This rise allows for a full vertical stack of insulation, increasing energy efficiency (and reducing chances of those pesky ice dams.) The wall sheathing runs up past the sill plate, which ties in the truss to the roof. This will create a stronger tie to resist winds. (It may also make the home more resistant to wildfire.)

The other advantage of a heel truss that the exterior sheathing laps over the truss, aiding in resistance to wind uplift.

Remember, if you're building, you probably need a permit. For all unincorporated areas, Saint Andrews, Harvey, St. George, and McAdam, call our planning department at 466-7369.