Community: GBA Pro help

[Click map to enlarge]

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

The usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration:
Under the box labeled "More explanation," look for the words "File attachments."
Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!


3 Answers

How to seal a Bilco door to prevent heat loss and moist air transfer?

We have a standard exterior Bilco door that leads to semi-finished space in our basement. We are having trouble with cold air coming in during the winter months and damp air in the spring/summer months. How can we seal this Bilco door without creating condensation issues around the door and/or seal? The air is coming from the cracks at the door hinges and around the doors themselves. It appears that the Bilco casing unit is sealed properly to the concrete. Home Depot sells polycarbonate domes that cover the doors.

Asked By Jas Thurber | May 12 13
20 Answers

R-value vs. thermal mass

Hi GBA,

Asked By David Epley | Jan 26 12
9 Answers

Difficult Crawlspace Access

I have a Vermont customer who has requested that the crawlspace below their kitchen be insulated to improve to reduce cold floors and general discomfort. My biggest issue is the clearance in the crawlspace between the soil and the floor joists. I've recommended 3" of closed cell foam to the crawlspace walls and rim joists/box sills. I would recommend poly across the dirt floor and up the walls first, but my issue is the clearance. It simply isn't feasible to properly layout poly along the floor as there is less than 1 foot of clearance in most areas.

Asked By Mike LaCrosse | Apr 26 13
1 Answer

Sauna roof and wall assemblies

I am planning to build a small sauna structure in Ontario with a zero overhang unvented roof, open-joint cladding with rain screen, Delta Fassade S membrane or similar on the walls (and possibly roof), DensGlass sheathing, rock wool insulation (R14), and a foil vapour barrier on the inside with taped seams.

Asked By Travis Marttinen | Apr 25 13
4 Answers

Suitability of Rainscreen Wall Design

I am working on a wall design for a small house that we are going to construct this summer in Oklahoma. My planned wall from the inside out goes as follows:

1. 1/2" gypsum
2. 2x6 stud framing, 24" O.C.
3. Cellulose insulation in the cavity
4. 1/2" plywood
5. 1" XPS
6. 30 # felt
7. 2x4 vertical furring strips attached to FastenMaster specs (3/4" material seems inadequate for siding fasteners)

Asked By Jason Whitacre | Apr 16 13
1 Answer

Can you replace drywall with cob?

Hi, I am new to this forum. I apologize if this has already been asked but, my husband and I are trying to 'green-up' our existing home. We have a dual east/west facing wall in the middle of our home that is hit by direct sunlight almost all day (lots of windows). I am wondering if it would be possible to remove the drywall, fill the wall boards with thermal mass sandbags, and cover the wall in cob.

Forgive me if this is a ridiculous question. I am not a home builder, just a DIYer and trying to evaluate my options. Thanks in advance!

Asked By Teri Edwards | Apr 9 13
2 Answers

Water heaters / insulation

I am remodeling a 2 story, 4 bedroom, 3 full bath home. This house is old, added on to multiple times and has no insulation on exterior walls. The furnace and hotwater heater are giants and also old very non energy efficiant appliances.

I'm in central illinois so winters are not to extreme but can be at times. I have a $60,000 budget. I am doing 95% of the work myself to save on labor cost. I am having a contractor I trust to come in and help with supporting a second story structure due to opening up a kitchen into dining and living room.

Asked By Thomas Priddle | Apr 7 13
2 Answers

Climate Zone 7 Colorado

I'm struggling to understand the use of Rigid foam on exterior of a home, new construction. I understand the benefits and want to use it. I would like to use from the interior wall out, 5/8" drywall, smart vapor retarder, blown in BIBS, Zip System sheathing, polyisocyanurate per the code R-15, for a 2X6 wall all seams taped. Apply wood siding over foam.

Questions: Should my wall cavity be filled with insualtion to meet current code 2012 R-20 or can I use a portion of my R-15 Rigid to makeup the required R-20 cavity and R-5 continuois sheathing?

Asked By Forrest Watson | Mar 22 13
4 Answers

Long-term effects of spray foam?

Hi all,

I have a client who's "not sure of the long-term....20 years from now effects of open or closed cell foam on his family." Right now his house is leaking like a sieve, and is balloon framed and back plastered. Of course he's just finished painting all the interior walls.

A bit of history:

Asked By Steve Greenberg | Mar 21 13
12 Answers

Best Way for Homeowner to Air Seal?

After getting some really helpful advice on here (will link below) for our new construction, we've decided to insulate with Roxul batts that we'll install ourselves. Now that we're looking in to how to properly air seal, it seems like to do it right takes a professional and proper equipment. Is that the case? Should we just be hiring a contractor to do it all (air seal and insulate)? None of the quotes we received for insulation included air-sealing, except for one, which added over 2k to the price. Is this a high, hidden cost of insulation that we're just discovering now?

Asked By Cathy O | Mar 15 13
Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!