Community: Plans Review

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14 Answers

1952 Cape Cod


First-time poster. In the past 2 months, I’ve read a hundred or so GBA articles and comment threads; I’ve been amazed by the expertise and generosity of the community. I’ve also read extensively at buildingscience and finehomebuilding -- I’m new to but very interested in building science. Here’s why:


Asked By Emerson W | Dec 11 17
24 Answers

Marine Zone 4 — Wall insulation — addition

Zone: Marine 4
Location: Seattle, WA
House Built: 1915
Square footage: 900 ft2 single story with 900 ft2 finished basement.
Wall height over basement: 12 ft
Current siding: Cedar, Paint in poor condition.
Insulation: not much, some fiberglass bat stuffed in nooks and crannies as they opened walls in the past. And dirty so there is plenty of air gaps.

GOAL: Comfort

Asked By User-6933356 | Oct 11 17
0 Answers

Service cavity and other high performance dimensioning

OK... so now we're down to nuts and bolts here - drawing plans, permit set, etc.

I have never dimensioned rooms with service cavities... I'm guessing I should dimension to the service cavity, and just count it as part of the framing... any other quirks to dimensioning thick, high performance walls?

Asked By Ethan T ; Climate Zone 5A ; ~6000HDD | Nov 7 17
2 Answers

How to replace inefficient AC in an old house?

I'm planning a major renovation of my 90+ year old house in western Pennsylvania (zone 5). The existing central air system was installed by a previous owner at least 10 years ago. It boosts my electricity cost about $200 a month in the summer time and does an adequate job of cooling & drying the indoor. As it is close to EOL and I'm going to make a lot of other changes, I'm looking for suggestions on how to replace/upgrade this system, reusing existing pieces to the extent that makes sense.

Asked By Robert Binder | Nov 4 17
3 Answers

Plywood sheathing over rigid foam

THIS IS LONG BUT PLEASE BEAR WITH ME. Any advice on this project would be greatly appreciated! My home is located in the 6A zone. To start I purchased a home 3 years ago and decided I wanted to replace the windows and doors. The house was built in 1978. Upon further inspection of the home (which my home buyer inspector did not catch) I discovered that my house does not have any wood sheathing. It was built with 1in blue tounge and groove styrofoam board and had aluminum siding attached to it nailed to the wall studs. The rigid foam was never taped at the joints either.

Asked By Rg14 | Oct 18 17
11 Answers

Passive open-concept family home in Climate Zone 8 - Ontario

Hi All

I just finished binge listening to some finehomebuilding podcasts and heard the 2 with Martin in and thoroughly enjoyed listening. We would live in US Zone 8 being 45 minutes north of Grand Portage, MN.
Degree Day Rating (18C / 64F) 5673

Asked By Kiefk | Oct 14 17
2 Answers

Legalett slab for Sequim, Washington

I am building a home in Sequim, WA. My architect is finishing up the design and construction will begin next year. I plan to use a Legalett raft slab with the air radiant floor heating system. Sequim has a marine climate and gets an average of 16" inches of rain per year.

I am looking for feedback from anyone who has built with a Legalett slab. What was your experience with the vendor and how the slab has performed?

Asked By David Van Cleve | Sep 18 17
3 Answers

SIP "Larsen studs"

From my local SIP maker I can get 10' lengths of 1 3/8" wide 7" deep SIP for about twice the price of a 2x6, I'll complete the stud by Adding a strip of Thermoply 7" wide on one side.using polyurethane glue and some staples. This makes a quasi "Larsen" truss that I'll build my outer walls with. I can insulate between these "studs" with ordinary low cost mineral wool bats for r30 in the cavities. These SIP studs with he Thermoply "web" are about r23, pretty awsome, I think.

Asked By Jerry Liebler | Sep 15 17
3 Answers

"Thermoply" applications ?

"Thermo-ply" is an interesting material, less than 1/8" thick and sold as a structural sheathing that can replace OSB as an air barrier etc. I'm considering it as my main air barrier in my thick walls, as a web in Larsen like trusses, under my roof trusses both to support the cellulose above and as the air barrier over a service cavity' and as "tie" plates and around window & door openings for my double wall. My walls will have the primary air barrier on the outer face of an inner 2x4 wall with 2x4 top and bottom plates and an outer wall made of Larsen like trusses for studs.

Asked By Jerry Liebler | Sep 12 17
1 Answer

Foundation plan details: Block wall, XPS, and drain tile

Hi everyone,

Hoping I could get a bit of advice on my current exterior wall plan for my split level. I have 2 figures in my drawing. Fig. 1 is for section of the house that has no daylight basement, fig. 2 has a daylight basement. Daylight basement is a little less then 4ft below grade. This is a retro fit job. Inside of basement is already complete. House is running radiant heat.

Asked By Dan Nospa | Sep 7 17
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