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2 Answers

Looking for guidance on how to downsize in a green way

Hello. Am looking for some guidance. My husband and I want to sell our current home and downsize to something smaller and greener. Our budget is pretty limited, though, so we're trying to figure out what the best options may be. We will likely have to pay a fair amount just to get out of our current mortgage, pay closing costs, etc. Then we've been approved for a 150,000 mortgage and with that we could:

a. buy an existing smaller home, close to nature (though those seem very hard to find in our budget)
b. buy land and put up a modular home

Asked By Jen Yost | Sep 19 14
1 Answer

How do I fix the high air exchange in my straw-bale home?

Two years ago, I purchsed a straw bale home in Minnesota. When I closed the house was in poor shape and the exterior had to be rebuilt. Our first winter in the house was cool and drafty and we were spending a fair amount on heat. We did as much research as we could, but we have struggled to figure out how to fix and maintain our home.

Asked By Eddy Wilbers | Sep 19 14
12 Answers

Insulation question for new house build

I’m building a brick bungalow in zone 5, please help critique my insulation. The sheathing is 1” Polyiso (foil faced) wrapped in Typar building wrap. I realize the polyiso should be thicker, but I’m told it’s too late. The walls are up and the windows are purchased.

Attic - R50 loosefill cellulose

Main Floor – R22 CC spray foam in 2x6 wall with no VB, drywall and latex paint
- The other option is R10 CC spray foam with R14 Roxul and no VB.

Rim Joist – R12 CC spray foam and R14 Roxul (thermal barrier required)

Asked By Jeff Conners | Sep 12 14
7 Answers

Low/No-VOC PVA glue and Caulk

Hi there,

Just want to be sure I'm not missing anything ---from the reading I've done, it seems that most PVA woodworking glues are fairly nontoxic...We have specified no or low-VOC products for our remodel, but our contractor is not an expert in this area. They want to use Titebond II. It seems like a safe choice. Does anyone agree or have a better suggestion for a carpenter's (wood) glue -- aiming to have a minimal impact on indoor air quality--very limited off gassing.

Asked By Mindy Munger | Aug 14 14
2 Answers

Improved air sealing brings other challenges

In Kansas 9 Jurisdictions allow an Energy Rating Index analysis as an alternative compliance path for meeting the 2012 IRC chapter 11. Other builders use the HERS index for marketing purposes. Use of air sealing recommendations and increased quality of installation have seen air change rates move down from 5-6 ACH pre-implementation to 3 ACH or less in a growing number of audited homes. Early antidotal results are showing problems with supply only strategies. The 6" pipe to the return is causing summer humidity problems in some cases.

Asked By Bruce Chyka | Sep 10 14
14 Answers

Best location for fresh air intake for ERV/HRV

I can't have the fresh air intake on the wall since it would be quite difficult to drill thru the walls of my ICF home. I do not like the idea of going thru the roof since I do not want risk drawing asphalt shingle gases into my home. One option I am closely looking at is having it on the external soffit pointing down but I see at least one ERV manufacturer advising against it (I wonder why). Does any one see a problem with this approach?

TIA.

Asked By Venkat Y | Sep 8 14
12 Answers

What is a capillary break between the footing and foundation wall?

Your details show a caplillary break between the footing and foundation walls. What is it? Is it continuous?

Asked By Arthur Ratner, AIA | Jun 23 09
4 Answers

Do fans help to dry objects when dehumidifier is running?

Project is a nonprofit archives building in Maharastra State, India. It has a double wall of thick masonry to provide a thermos effect that is effective at evening both annual and diurnal temperature fluctuation. The inner room (that holds the artifacts) has no opening but a door and egress, and is very airtight. No human needs, so no mechanical ventilation.

Humidity control remains an issue. Currently a small portable is proving almost adequate. Heating and cooling is not necessary.

Asked By David McNeely | Sep 6 14
8 Answers

Humidity being trapped between an inside vapor barrier and OSB?

As a potential solution for concern about OSB being a vapor barrier, and all the related potential problems for humidity being trapped between the inside vapor barrier and the OSB, an architect has recommended to me to drill 1/2-inch holes every 8 inches throughout the OSB panels to allow humidity to escape to the outside, while the housewrap will prevent water from entering into the OSB.

I would like you to comment on the value of this recommendation.

Thank you in advance for your help,
Regards

Pierre Gingras
Canada

Asked By Pierre Gingras | Sep 7 14
6 Answers

Measuring moisture coming thru basement slab

Hello,

My 2150 SFT ranch home with ICF walls and a full basement has NO vapor barrier (polyethylene layer) under the slab. Just pea gravel surrounded by drain pipes that exhaust into a lake behind the home. Currently I am running a stand-alone dehumidifier continuously and this is keeping the basement at about 35-40% RH. I also have a radon SSD fan installed a few weeks back. The fan is a RadonAway RP140 that uses 14W and is energy star rated.

Asked By Venkat Y | Sep 3 14
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