Design Choices for Cold Climate

With the long and cold winter months ahead of you, it may be time to start thinking about designing your dream home for the winter. If you live in a cold climate, though, you’ll have some extra considerations to make when designing your home compared to someone who lives in a warmer climate. By making the right design choices, however, you’ll create an environment that will not only look good but will also keep you warm and cozy no matter what the weather brings.

Whether you’re building your own home from scratch or renovating an existing one, we’ve put together this simple guide of easy-to-follow tips to help you make your home both functional and warm throughout the winter months!


The roof is the most important part of your home. It protects you from the elements and keeps you warm in the winter.  If you live in a cold climate, make sure your roof is insulated well; this will prevent heat from escaping through your roof, which can result in cold floors or high heating bills. Consider using metal or rubberized shingles to help stop this heat loss. 

A roof’s ability to withstand snow can also affect its longevity. If you live in an area that gets large amounts of snowfall, consider a roof made from lightweight materials. Heavy roofs require more time and money to clean out after storms, which may be an unnecessary cost depending on your budget and living arrangements. Finally, make sure your roof is sloped correctly. The steeper the slope of your roof, the more snow and ice will slide off naturally.

Install snow guards

After making sure that the roof is intact and has no damage, and in places where it adjoins walls and chimneys, there are no cracks and gaps, take care of the safety of winter walks in the yard and install snow retainers.

Facade and walls

Facade insulation is labor-intensive and rather serious work if you want to get a high-quality result. Moreover, good insulation can reduce future heating costs.

Before the process itself, it is necessary to process the walls and make sure that there are no gaps. Air can escape through them, enter the insulation and create condensation. It is better to insulate walls from the outside using crates. “First, the bars of the crate need to be nailed at the same distance from each other, and only after that, they should be leveled to imitate a bar (or a wooden board). After that, insulation and thermal protection are laid. 

The most versatile option is basalt (mineral) wool. It can be used for both external and internal insulation. From above, you need to fix the rails on which the structure will hold. They also lay the exterior finish, that is, “sewing” the walls, ”Artyom Avakimov shares his experience. In this case, the finish can be any:

Doors and Windows

The placement of the doors and windows in your home is an important consideration when designing for a cold climate. You should also consider how much light you want to let in and the advantages and disadvantages of different types of windows. First, does your home need lots of natural light or are you planning on installing artificial lights? If you want lots of natural light, are you looking for large windows or small windows?

Big windows tend to be costlier than smaller ones but they can make rooms feel larger. What type of window will keep out the cold air while letting in natural light? Clear glass is an option that allows sunlight to shine through but makes it difficult to see outside. You can also opt for double-paned glass, which is more expensive than clear glass but keeps out cold air and reduces heating costs because it blocks heat from escaping.

Finish the loops

To prevent the freezing of hinges and locks on entrance doors and gates, do not forget to thoroughly walk on them with special hydrophobic compounds. Silicone-based lubricants or sprays, or car lock defrosters are well suited for this purpose. The same must be done with all moving elements and hinges on the windows.

Space heating

If you see that your house is protected from heat loss, it's time to talk about how to heat it. There are many options here. However, according to experts, the most optimal one is a gas boiler (in the presence of the main gas).

“A modern heat generator is not just a “stove”, but an integrated system that will provide heat and hot water and take care of safety itself. So, the heating boiler must be equipped with automation that responds to emergency situations. For example, the gas pressure in the pipeline dropped critically below 11 mbar. The boiler should either turn off or go into sleep mode. Also convenient are models that can be controlled from a distance by giving commands through an application on a smartphone. In any case, it is better to purchase radiators with high heat dissipation

The articles do not constitute legal advice. Any recommendations are the private opinion of the authors and experts.

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