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2 Answers

Do basement stairs have to be enclosed?

Hi all,

Just checking code. I will have a basement, and at the top of the basement stairs I will have a door. Does the staircase down to the basement have to be enclosed, and a door at the bottom of the stairs?

If it matters, I will have engineered I-beam floor joists between the basement and 1st floor, which I understand have a little bit different fire code requirements?

Asked By Clay Whitenack | May 9 16
1 Answer

Townhouse common wall upgrades

I had a kitchen fire in my Gaithersburg, Maryland townhouse (about 20 miles north of Washington DC). The insurance is going to pay to have the walls on the first floor removed and have the insulation replaced. The townhouse was built as part of a quad in 1986, with the main wall facing south, and east and west walls connected to neighbors, and half of my northern wall is connected to my neighbor behind me (the other half faces the central atrium).

Asked By Carl Fosler | May 5 16
5 Answers

Continuous insulation under slab

Hi all,
I am looking for some advise on the design of our thickened slab for a "pretty good house" in Kenora, Ontario (climate zone 7).
The house will be 32' x 24' with a loft. We are planning for 6" of rigid foam under the heated slab. Our designer and engineer are adament that the rigid cannot be placed under the footings and under the post. They are telling me this is against the Ontario Building Code and that the engineer will not put his stamp on it.
I am wondering if anyone else has come across this in Ontario?

Asked By Adam Smerchanski | May 2 16
1 Answer

Is there a code requirement for residential boiler piping insulation?

Is there a code requirement for residential boiler piping insulation?

If so, what is the R-value for pipes in conditioned space? And unconditioned space?

We live near Baltimore, MD.

Asked By Brantley Gent | Apr 30 16
6 Answers

Ridge Vents - see light?

I was at our new construction home yesterday. It is not yet insulated. I looked up and noticed one small hole where light was coming through. It was at the peak of the roof (runs along the length of the house - it is a ranch). The was no plywood in this area - just synthetic tar paper/shingles could be seen. Our builder said this just where the shingles come together and that no water or anything can get in there. If they put plywood under it, it will wick and rot. He said he could put steel wool there or caulk it but that is not normally what is done. It is normally just left open to vent.

Asked By Carolyn Farrow | Apr 22 16
12 Answers

Addition cement foundation below grade, patio pour?

Hi all,

We just moved in to a home about a year ago so I am still in the process of finding things out (and learning what's terrible and what's not...), but I had a question regarding pouring a patio at grade if the cement block of our foundation is below grade.

Picture attached.

The blue metal is what I assume to be flashing to cover the treated wood from the elements, but you need to go down about 2-3 more inches to reach the end of it where the cement block begins.

Asked By Ryan Lambert | Mar 20 16
7 Answers

Poly and Canadian building codes

This comes up quite frequently and I thought it might be useful to lay out what is actually required by the code. My description relies on the BC Building Code, but I am fairly confident it applies to all provinces that have based their codes on the NBC.

The code requires all building assemblies to include an air barrier and a vapour barrier.

The air barrier can consist of a variety of sheet or panels materials. It can be located anywhere in the assembly. That is the inner, intermediate or outside surfaces of the assembly (

Asked By Malcolm Taylor | Apr 4 16
8 Answers

Vapour barrier for above-grade walls and ceiling in Canada?

So I've read a bunch of Q & A on the vapour barrier and how it's not necessary for certain climates, but if we are stepping out our insulation above the dew points on our colder climate (Pickering, ON), would it hurt to have the vapour barrier?

Asked By Reginald Chin | Mar 29 16
8 Answers

Basement insulation...pull the XPS?

Long story short, between work and family obligations I've been busting my tail to get my basement walls insulated and studded in preparation for finishing it off. Had an inspector come through only to hear that he considers the 2" xps I installed behind the stud walls to be a prohibited vapor barrier. Mind you I took extra caution to put in nice tight seams, tape the seams with that special red foam tape, and caulk around the perimeters AND I put up and secured the stud walls in front of the xps.

Asked By Will Golden | Mar 25 16
2 Answers

Certification for re-purposed polyiso. Manufacturer is unkown

The Farifax County code in which I live is as follows:

N1101.12.1 (R303.1.1) Building thermal envelope insulation.

Asked By frost patrick | Mar 24 16
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