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18 Answers

Residential frost-protected shallow foundation in central Mass.

We are planning to provide a monolithic pour frost-protected shallow foundation (FPSF) for a single story 1300 sq ft 2 bedroom home in central MA. Air Freezing Index is 2000. I have read through many different case studies, research papers, codes, etc and there is a bit of conflicting and locale-specific info so I am looking to see whether I understand what is required here. I am a newbie owner-builder. Any constructive criticism would be appreciated, but I don't want to foment any religious wars.

Asked By Kenneth Gartner | Sep 2 16
2 Answers

Can you connect a bubble up raydon system to the air system?

An air system was already installed for radon when we purchased our house. We had a water system installed after (bubble up) and the installer said he could run the water system vent into the air vent. We just had the bubble up serviced by another company and was told what the first guy did was illegal and it will cost $4 to $500 to fix it. Just trying to find out if it is legal to do it.

Asked By maglady | Nov 9 17
2 Answers

What is the code requirement for cathedral ceilings in zone 5A?

My roof is a mess. I get huge ice dams . I have a wood stove pipe going through the cathedral ceiling.

Asked By Clag | Oct 30 17
4 Answers

Lateral soil load?

I'm planning on using lightweight aggregate ( expanded clay/shale) as back-fill. This material has several benefits, it is about 10 times better insulation than other drainage mediums ( r 1/in to r2/in depending on density and moisture content) , it exerts about 60% of the lateral load of more conventional granular drainage materials it is also drains about 10 times faster. The disadvantage is it is more costly. Much of the cost could be recovered if the structure's design were " lightened" recognizing the lower lateral load.

Asked By Jerry Liebler | Oct 25 17
16 Answers

Dense pack cellulose OVER closed cell foam in cathedral ceiling?

I am considering the following roof assembly in climate zone 4a: Will i run into code or condensation issues?

Single plane roof 3/ 12 pitch

1) 6x10 timber rafters 4' OC
2) 2x6 T&G decking perpendicular to and OVER (not pieced in between as a cosmetic ceiling) 6x10 rafters
3) 2x4 sleepers, 4' OC, parallel to 6x10 rafters on top of T& G decking.
4) 2x10 boards perpendicular to and resting on top of 2x4 sleepers, 2' OC.

Asked By Daniel Miller | Mar 15 15
6 Answers

Can we use a tin or other metal for a basement ceiling in a retail space?

We own a retail building with a large basement. We own the stained glass/fused glass business in the space. We are remodeling the basement to be a part of the public/retail space. The problem is the ceiling. We have exposed romex wiring between the joists and the ceiling is rather low - 6'5" at the bottom of the steel beams. Our code inspector has ruled out foaming the ceiling then painting over the foam; drop ceiling or nailed on ceiling tiles, and wood paneling. He thought that a metal ceiling may work but did not know. Any suggestions or creative solutions?? Thank you!

Asked By glassteacher | Oct 19 17
1 Answer

Capillary breaks and code

This is an offshoot from my previous question about choosing a product to use for the capillary break between the footer and the poured concrete foundation wall ...

In speaking with a rep from Tremco Sealants about using their Tremproof 250GC product for this purpose, he mentioned that we might want to check with our local building official to see if they have any problem with having a membrane in the cold joint between the footer and the wall.

Anybody ever heard of this being a problem?

Asked By William Costello | Oct 16 17
2 Answers

Swedish platform framing and other non-conventional framing practices

I'm in early stages of planning my new home and I want to build using swedish platform framing priniciples as described in the "new american wall" articles on this site and the lamidesign site.

I'm curious, for anyone who has built with this framing method or other non-conventional framing practices, what additional challenges did you face with respect to plan approval and framing inspection, and how did you overcome them?

Any and all words of wisdom are welcome!


Asked By user-6919167 | Oct 16 17
2 Answers

Does repair work have to follow current code?

It’s always about the water, and codes.

Our roof design is a mess, and our gutters are overwhelmed. I can identify most of the problems*, but since I currently live in a condo, I can’t just work on the exterior myself or hire a competent roofing and gutter contractor. I need to work through the condo association management. I have two questions.

Asked By andrew c | Oct 14 17
4 Answers

XPS on ridge beam

I insulated my basement walls with 2” XPS including cut and cobbling foam on to the ridge beam. The walls will be frammed and finished with wallboard. But do I need to also put drywall over the foam in the ridge beam to meet code?

Asked By adam stanton | Oct 7 17
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