Community: Plans Review

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18 Answers

Inverted thickened edge slab. Work?

Having looked at a variety of foundation systems, I see problems with all of them. Any stem wall or thickened edge generates insulating or compacting/pouring issues, as far as I can see, especially w/ lots of foam underneath. This one is not perfect, either. Nevertheless, here is an option I thought of that gives you the rigidity of the thickened-edge slab but is easier to insulate... except at the garage door. It also better locks the house to Terra Firma than a SOG, should there be seismic activity, .... I think it does, anyway. This generates a 4" lip to drive or step over.

Asked By John Klingel | Nov 3 11
35 Answers

Will these ideas work in Zone 5a?

Hopefully this questions won't be to all encompassing and broad so that it won't make any sense.

I'm trying to build a home in Southern Connecticut to be as energy-efficient and cost-effective as possible. My Dad is a Carpenter / Contractor so we will be doing it ourselves. He has never done anything "green" or energy efficient before, so I have been researching as much as possible to find the most cost-effective and energy-saving way possible.

What I want to do so far:

Home will be Colonial, Gambrel style roof, 36 X 30, no garage.

Asked By Denis Recchia | Jul 26 11
28 Answers

Detail directory

Or perhaps detail dustbin...
If you have a detail that you think would be beneficial to the GBA community, please post it here with the hope that it may eventually be selected for permanent enshrinement in the GBA details "library."

All climate zones are welcome.
It is a shame when perfectly good details become lost in the "void" of long dead Q&A threads.

I should also mention that this thread is listed under the "Plans Review" category for reference.

Asked By Lucas Durand - NW Ontario, 7A | Jan 21 11
33 Answers

What do you think of these plans?

In terms of thermal bridging, heating, etc.... is there anything you would do to improve them because my wife an I are thinking of building and we like the ideas presented in these plans. Any opinions would be appreciated.
John and Rebecca

Asked By rebecca Surprenant | May 15 11
3 Answers

Looking for feedback on passive solar design and building enclosure

I'd appreciate any and all feedback on this set of plans. We know the house is too large and are planning to work with our architect and possibly an energy modeler to help "shrink" it. I also think we're a little heavy on South-facing windows. Anyway, I would like to hear thoughts from anyone who has some advice for us. I've also attached a recent bid I received on heating and cooling. My goal is to push our heating and cooling needs way down with better insulation, windows, and air-sealing. This bid is WAY over our budget and it seems like overkill.

Asked By Michael Schonlau | Mar 2 11
32 Answers

Foundation wall, mainly

Zone 8, Fairbanks, Alaska. 14,000 HDD (at least as recently as the early 70's. I don't know any more; seems more like 10,000.) Part of this design was shamelessly stolen; the rest was tweaked to my "specs", for various reasons.

Asked By John Klingel | Feb 4 11
3 Answers

Hiring an architect to produce working drawings

First, I am new to this site; thank you for your wonderful and extensive services! I am planning to construct an 800 sf strawbale house (post & beam with infill). I will contract the work myself, as well as do much of the work myself.

I do have some drafting experience, as well electrical and plumbing. I have the time and can do much of the working drawings myself; I have no problem with working with the state (I live in New Mexico) engineer getting everything right in order to obtain my permit.

Asked By Brad Welton | Feb 4 11
2 Answers

Window flashing with exterior rigid insulation

I operate in climate zone 5B which has about 6,600 HDD. Homes built here generally do not require cooling systems -- only heating. My question has to do with where the water resistive barrier should be placed on the construction detailed below:

Form the inside out:
1. 1/2" sheetrock
2. 2x6 framing filled with dense-packed cellulose insulation
3. 7/16" OSB sheathing
4. 2" XPS rigid insualation
5. Jumbo Tex-type WRB -- bassically 2 layers of 15# impregnated roofing felt
6. Stucco wire
7. 3-coat stucco system

Asked By Steve Vollstedt | Feb 3 11
14 Answers

New forum section

Inspired by the fantastic discussion of window flashing here:

I added a forum called Plans Review. With our new ability to post pictures, this seems like an ideal spot to debate details and derive solutions to tricky problems.

Perhaps details that make it through GBA community scrutiny can be sent to our architect for drawing and inclusion in the GBA detail library.

Asked By Daniel Morrison | Jan 4 11
3 Answers

Closed Crawl, Radon, DHW Replacement, Sump, etc.....

I recently bought a house that is in general working order but needs some upgrades.

First, the problems:
- The current 30 gal DHW tank is probably on its last legs. It is located in the vented crawlspace and is not installed properly; it is sunk in the ground ~2 ft and has incomplete retainment surrounding it (see picture). This is the low point in the crawl and there is no sump pump currently installed.
- The house failed the radon test by a slim margin and will need mitigation.
- The furnace is in the crawlspace and does not have ducted combustion air.

Asked By mike gestwick | Jan 14 11
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