Most of us buy the best home we can, and then over the years make changes and renovations as we realise our dreams for our homes. We assume the future will not hold too many obstacles and we promise ourselves that “we’ll find a way”. But if our home is in a congested city core, we can get some extra obstacles thrown our way – and we will then realise that some things should be done right the first time and not left to future renovation projects. A comfortable energy efficient structure is a great example.
Downtown real estate is scarce, and homes are built as close to each other as possible. Any work on the outside walls – for example, adding insulating sheathing – will decrease the distance to your neighbour and the fire code may not allow that. And if it does allow it, it will place additional restrictions related to fire safety. Remember that all renovations must meet the fire code in force at the time of renovation. Your insurance probably will also demand that.
So if you are building your home down-town, get the highest level of insulation into your walls at the time of construction. Trying to add it later could be a nightmare!