Builders' Manual

This is the definitive guide for home building in Canada

For those who need to know how to build homes in one of the toughest climates on earth, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Builders’ Manual is the most authoritative guide you will find for building superior energy-efficient housing. And for the first time, this edition addresses Net Zero Housing – homes that produce as much energy as they consume each year. The new 2020 edition offers over 450 pages of concise information and easy-to-follow illustrations.

The concepts, building science, techniques, materials, and building details discussed in this manual are applicable to all houses, no matter their size, energy performance target, or method of construction.

Whether you’re a student or a seasoned builder, there’s always something new to learn. Here’s a brief overview of what’s in this edition to help you build better:

  • the building science of how houses work – “the house as a system”
  • details to consider well before a hole is dug or a hammer lifted
  • achieving great indoor air quality
  • understanding air, vapour, weather, thermal and moisture barriers
  • constructing the major systems: foundation, walls, roof, and mechanicals
  • using factory-built housing and/or incorporating prefabricated components
  • selecting the best window and door specifications for your project
  • options for heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water systems
  • the importance of “right sizing” mechanical systems
  • renewable energy and energy production on site
  • how home automation can be used effectively
  • a look at what the future of building might hold
Preview Table of Contents

Who should buy this book?

Canadian Home Builders’ Association Builders’ Manual is not an introductory book on home construction. This is a guide for people who want to go beyond the basics, to gain an in-depth understanding of the building science and the "house as a system" approach and apply that knowledge to build new homes. Those who renovate homes will also be interested in the Renovators' Manual, which takes a deep dive into applying building science to renovating for a wide variety of circumstances. Both manuals are available to purchase as a bundle.

The Builders' Manual is written for:

  • New Home Builders
  • Renovators
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Trade contractors
  • Manufacturers and suppliers
  • Government officials
  • Building product and hardware retailers
  • Educators and students in building-related courses
  • Consumers planning to renovate their home

CHBA Builders' Manual Cover

New Updated Version Available!

 CHBA Members receive $10 off. You must be logged in to the website for the discount to apply.


Bundle: Save $20

Bundle contains the Builders' Manual and Renovators' Manual. Both books will be shipped together.

 CHBA Members receive an additional $20 off the bundle pricing. You must be logged in to the website for the discount to apply.


About the Canadian Home Builders’ Association

Since 1943, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) has been the voice of the residential construction industry in Canada—one of the most vital and enterprising industries in Canada. Canada is an acknowledged world leader in residential construction, and Canadians are considered among the best-housed people in the world. We are widely recognized for our technological “know-how,” highly regarded for our innovative spirit and well respected for the quality of the homes we build. This manual is the latest step in a long history of CHBA’s active role in supporting training and education for the Canadian homebuilding industry.