Community: Plans Review

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9 Answers

Best strategy for waterproofing and insulating a half block/half brick basement?

I live in a 1920's home in Central Ohio (Climate Zone 5A). The basement has an exposed French drain (ie, the weeping holes, trench, gravel and tile are there, but have not been covered with concrete) with sump pump. The basement is 2/3rds below ground, with the walls made up of half cement block (bottom portion) and half brick and mortar (top portion). The brick and mortar is partially above ground and is covered on the exterior with a stone and mortar veneer.

Asked By Matt Bierlein | Jul 13 15
21 Answers

Community insights for a straw & steel green build?

We are building a straw-bale house with steel bones in Sacramento, CA in spring 2015 and I'd love to get some insights from the community! We are pretty far along into the design process, but with nothing purchased as of yet I'd love to get some input before we put our money where our mouths are.

Our goal is to have a (mostly) passively heated and cooled home in (relativity) temperate Sacramento, CA. Passivhaus would be nice but it's an aspiration rather than a goal. Our lot has a number of trees for shade that we plan to utilize, especially in the western aspect.

Asked By Nick Campbell | Aug 26 14
6 Answers

Solar orientation design trade-offs — tough decisions

I have the unique opportunity to build an net-zero spec house for an investor in my local area. It's a 1450 sq ft. ranch with a garage on a slab. Building to "pretty awesome" house principles. Air-tight, High R, Triple glazed euro windows, etc etc.

My dilemma is the trade-offs between curb appeal, design functionality and optimum solar orientation for solar PV and glazing.

Asked By Ben Freed | Jul 6 15
15 Answers

Planning a new double-stud house — what should I change?

My wife and I are planning a 2,100-square-foot house in Massachusetts. Here's the plan: a south-facing wall with glazing equal to 13% of the 1st floor area. A 5" radiant slab on grade with 4' frost wall on footings insulated with 4" of xps underneath with a stepped foundation top to minimize thermal bridging.

We were planning a 10 1/2" cavity double-stud wall with dense-pack damp-spray cellulose and lots of air sealing. Huber Zip System exterior sheathing with strapping and vertical pine siding sealed on all sides for a rainscreen wall.

Asked By noah kaput | Sep 15 11
1 Answer

Do these calculations seem reasonable?

I created an excel heat loss model for a proposed house design to help me select what steps beyond code compliance will have the most impact. I would appreciate any comments that more experienced people might have on my results. The house is about 2300 square feet above grade in climate zone 5 (about 100 miles from the zone 6 border). The second floor is about 1/3 the size of the first floor. The baseline code compliant model uses the following assumptions:
• 2x6 walls, 16 o.c., cellulose in cavity
• Attic cellulose R = 38
• Basement R = 12
• Windows U = 0.35
• ACF50 = 3

Asked By Reid Baldwin | Jun 16 15
6 Answers

Skip the plywood, go right ot the Comfortboard IS

I live in central Vermont, heating zone 6, hoping to get a little bit of feedback on the wall system I have in mind for a 4 season workshop (barn), with small efficiency apartment on the second floor.

Asked By Blake Olson | May 2 15
1 Answer

New Home - Wall Assembly Review

I'm building my first custom home this summer and could use GBA's collective wisdom to vet the wall assemblies.

Stats:
Zone 5a
Logix Platinum ICF basement (R-28)
2x6 advanced framing, blown cellulose, 7/16" OSB, Tamlyn Drainable WRB, 1.5" Terrafoan EPS, Fiber cement or steel siding.
Conditioned attic with min. R-38 closed cell spray foam
"Innie" window placement

Questions:
Will placing the drainable WRB between the sheeting and EPS cause air flow that will serve to defeat the EPS insulation?
Does this mean I should move to an "Outie" window placement?

Asked By Nethaniel Ealy | Apr 16 15
7 Answers

Rigid foam overcoat method on my own house

Hello,
Been reading this website on and off for the last 7 years or so. I really appreciate the knowledge base here.

It is time to re-roof my own house, Denver, climate zone 5b. I plan on incorporating something similar to the JLC August 2014 article, "Project Overcoat" with a couple of caveats.

Asked By Matthew St Martin | Mar 20 15
14 Answers

Who the heck can draw an advanced framed house...or is it even drawn that way?

So I'm working toward building an affordable house and am not working with an architect (Talked to a friend of mine's firm and the $10,000 price tag is a huge part of my budget so no can do). I've also talked to a couple of draftsmen who don't know anything about advanced framing. Where can I find a semi-affordable draftsman who knows how to draw advanced framed plans?

Asked By Andrew Bennett | Mar 12 15
13 Answers

Please review my floor plan

See attachment for proposed floor plan. My dear, dear wife likes most of it except the location of the pantry/utility room. I've tried to move the flexroom to the area behind the garage (see second attachment), but I end with with a smaller closet and bath in the master. She urged me to ask other people...so people...I am askin'. What's your input on that or anything else you see?

Asked By Andrew Bennett | Mar 14 15
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