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10 Answers

Advice for keeping snow off a minisplit?

As I am getting for another bad New England winter, I clearly remember my last one, when we just got minisplits installed. It was daily duty to shovel them out. One installed on the North side would get bunch of wind-swept snow off the roof above and so would the one on the East side.

Unfortunately, I did not know it was possible to mount them on the wall, so they are sitting on concrete pad HVAC people installed it on. Maybe I wold put lattice on the side where prevailing winds are from and try to keep snow off it that.

Asked By Apollo | Nov 12 15
2 Answers

Barn renovation — floor insulation dilemma

I am renovating a historic post an beam barn in VT. We are turning the structure into living space. This has lead us to relay and mortar the stone foundation. Spray foam the outside of the barn and add an additional layer of siding. The space is roughly 1000 sq ft.

Asked By Christopher Cullen | Nov 12 15
18 Answers

Hot water recirculation tempering questions

I am currently living in my house's finished basement while I am renovating the upper floors. I just passed rough-in inspection for the upstairs baths and kitchen, and I mentioned to the inspector that we were sometimes running out of hot water for our shower when the basement slab hydronic heating had been running for any extended time.

Asked By brint rr | Nov 11 15
38 Answers

Why is there condensation on the return ducts and mold in the attic as well 60% humidity throughout the home?

This home has since been remodeled, including all new metal duct work and insulation. The issue that we need to resolve is the high humidity in the house at about 60-65% even though the unit is running efficiently. There is quite a bit of condensation on the return ducts in the attic as well. We have had two reputable Heating and Cooling Contractors come to assess the situation to no avail. The owner attempted to contact the original Mechanical contractor, but has not been able to speak to anyone yet.

Asked By Jimmy Miller | Sep 1 15
16 Answers

Slab against rim joist detail please

New construction: back patio will be a slab poured against the rim joist so it is nearly level with the door threshold. Rim joist will be 11 7/8" atop a retaining wall back-filled with gravel, so there will be good drainage. The patio will be covered with a roof, and slope away from the door of course.

What's the best way to permanently protect the rim against water, moisture, and termites?


Asked By David McNeely | Oct 8 15
2 Answers

Room above garage

One more question on my room above garage. The home is in zone 5 and the garage is 24'x24' The floor system has 16" deep tji 16' on centers. I will be filing between the joists with mineral wool and then Solitex Mento for air tightness with 2 1/2 " of 8lb Roxul IS Board as a thermal break then covered with 5/8" drywall. I plan on using strapping 24' oc however where should it be placed.

Asked By Scott Goodman | Oct 28 15
1 Answer


How do you bid deconstruction jobs?by square footage or labor?

Asked By Phillip Westmoreland | Oct 28 15
11 Answers

Hello to all! I'm looking at bringing the attic of a 1940s home into conditioned space

I have a few concerns: 1) there is currently a mix of blown-in cellulose insulation and fiberglass batts - does this need to be removed? 2) there's quite a bit of K&T wiring on the attic floor and some on the lower part of the rafters - is that a concern? 3) I've read and agree that closed cell spray foam is probably the best option for our zone (5), however, given cost I'm investigating the possibility of about 9" of open cell Agribalance (Demilec) - any thoughts on this? Thanks so much.

Asked By Luke Yang | Oct 27 15
1 Answer

Insulation choice — Need advice for a 1000-sq.-ft. new house in Maine

I was referred to GBA to ask a few questions about insulating a small 1000 square-foot house in Maine. I'm Trying to get an informed opinion about best insulation option for a "good enough house".
I have been recommended to use dense pack cellulose and 1.5 blue foam board on exterior with or without foil.

Asked By Wendy Pollock | Oct 26 15
2 Answers

For Martin Holladay

I looked back at the article I referenced about air sealing a window. I was in the July, 2011, 2011, issue of FHB, not the November, 2015. I apologize.

My question is the same as in my earlier post.

Asked By Chan Joye | Oct 25 15
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