Gaines Group Architects
insulate attic access

Insulate Your Attic Access: Sealing Off Its Exterior Door

As the weather changes and we are all looking for ways to stay warm, small changes around your home could make a big difference. Look for those forgotten places where insulation is missing or air is leaking. Think about your insulation line between inside and outside. This is the barrier keeping your energy bills low and your home comfortable. Remember to insulate your attic access, it is an exterior door that should be sealed and insulated. This is often an overlooked area in a house. Insulating your attic can tell you if your house is energy efficient, so keeping your attic properly insulated will also keep your home healthy and comfortable.

Don’t forget to look at our projects on If you are looking to update your home’s efficiency and have a “green” way of living, give us a call and we will help you through every step.

attic energy solutions

From Spiders to Caulk, How to Save Money at Home

I know I am an energy nerd. I talk about everything from spiders to caulk as it relates to how to save money at home. With anyone willing to listen. This is the topic I find interesting. This is a topic that I think everyone should find interesting – because you can SAVE MONEY by knowing the solutions around your home. You should know how to cut your energy usage because energy prices are predicted to go up again this winter. These are simple tips that you should know.  

save money

Attic insulation

For instance, finding spiders in your home is an indication of an air leak in your home. Plugging this leak will reduce your energy bills. I wrote about it here:

Spiders are a good indication of energy-efficiency

There are simple answer to fix the air leaks. Once you find them, plug them with caulk. I wrote about it here:

Air sealing is the first step to energy-efficiency, Caulk is the answer

save money

Electrical outlet

and here:

What is the most critical energy-efficiency product for your home?

There are also energy-saving appliances like water heaters:

What is the best water heater for efficiency?

save money

Water heater

Even renters can cut energy bills without changing the apartment in ways that impact their security deposit. I wrote about it here:

Top 10 tips for renters to reduce their energy bills


attic insulation

Was your house cold this morning? If so, learn how to fix it here.

Was your house cold this morning? If so, learn how to fix it here.

The cold weather is coming! Is your house ready? Do you have to add a blanket on your bed this time of year because your house is always uncomfortable? Are you dreading the winter heating bills?


Making your home energy-efficient also improves comfort on these cold mornings. Your home is the most complicated machine you own. So where do you start? How do you fix it? As you can imagine, this is a topic I have written about a lot over the years. I found some blog posts in particular that touch on making your home more comfortable in the cool months and listed them below.

North Fork Middle School

The summary is call me for a free energy audit. There are no strings attached. I come and test your home for air leakage and give you a list of things you can fix yourself and some names of people who you can call to help you fix them. I don’t get paid to do this service – I just want you to have the most energy-efficient and comfortable home as possible. If all architects and builders would design homes with building science in mind, this would not be a needed service, but they don’t. My payment for this service is showing you the value of building science knowledge and you telling your friends that need something designed about it. Consider it a marketing expense. I save you money and build my brand. Call to schedule your audit if you want to be more comfortable this winter. Read the blog posts below for more ideas on how to fix your home.

attic insulation

Typical home energy problems

8 steps to an energy-efficient home

Vented Attic Space

How much insulation do you need in your attic?

Add attic insulation to make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient

Proper insulation provides comfort and energy-efficiency in your basement renovation

Should you use spray foam insulation?

harrisonburg spray foam

Find the air leaks by looking at the fiberglass insulation

Comfort issues caused by poor insulation

Thinking of building a custom energy-efficient home, where do you start?

Why does building science matter and why is if left out so often?


Vent crawl space

Is your crawl space working properly?

Is your crawl space working properly?

Is your crawl space working properly? In our area the crawl space is popular and a popular place for problems. From critters to wet insulation these spaces are almost never right. Here are some posts that might help you get your crawl space in order.

Your crawl space is impacting your home comfort.

Frozen pipes in your crawl space is a problem, but pipes that did not freeze might be a bigger problem.

Keep the critters out of your crawl space by encapsulating it.

Green term defined: Encapsulated Crawl Space.

Should you vent your crawl space?

Crawl Space moisture problems