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9 Answers

How can I get help to upgrade my home to LEED standards?

My wife and I are disabled and would like to update our 1920 home to something livable, and be able to share with our family. We have spent lots of time and wasted money, only to have to fix or redo projects over & over due to poor quality.
Thank you,
Walter Moss.

Asked By walter Moss | Mar 26 10
20 Answers

Sub pump with 2" discharge pipe clogging up from silt clay in the water.

I have a 10'deep x 5' diameter pre-cast concrete man hole with two pumps alternating for my 6" footing drains located outside of the house. This is a new construction house. I put down 12" inches of trap rock in the basement floor with 4" perforated pipe and grid pattern tied into my six-inch footing drains. I also put down filter fabric before the trap rock went down and over the 6"perforated pipe. What is happening is a orange colored clay is sticking on the inside wall of the 2" pipe closing it down to 1"on the inside walls. Seems like every six months this occurs.

Asked By Peter Fusaro | Mar 12 10
24 Answers

Can I build an old-fashioned vented crawl space with modern Lstiburek reccomendations?

Joe Lstiburek, the respected building scientist with Building Science Corporation, provides an approach to building vented crawlspaces in energy efficient houses.

Asked By Michael Chelnov | Mar 12 10
2 Answers

Remodeling a house with severe fire damage. Where can I go for remediation advice?

Besides completely gutting the entire house (plaster, lath, mechanicals,etc) removing damaged framing members and painting with BIN sealer, what other lessons have been learned?

After it is 100% gutted, any problem with power washing if weather permits drying? Place was already dowsed by fire department in the winter, and shows signs of mold throughout, but many of the wood floors still seem salvageable, if the odor is eliminated.

Please advise asap. Work in progress, searching for the cure.


Asked By matt berges | Mar 14 10
9 Answers

Foundation options

I am exploring efficient foundation options for a residential project located in Western Massachusetts. The house will sit on a slope and have a partial walk out basement. The basement will be a conditioned space, with only a small portion requiring finishes.

My options are ICF's, a standard poured in place foundation or the Thermomass system. The site has a high water table so drainage and waterproofing are mandatory. ICF's insulate well, but waterproofing is a concern, as is finishing the above grade portion of the wall.

Asked By Jon Wyman | Feb 4 10
3 Answers

Anyone have any experience using tankless gas water heater w/ radiant floor? in a conditioned crawlspace?

Doing major remodel and plann to add to kitchen/new bath w/ tile floors over crawlspace. Crawlspace to be conditioned space - sealed and insulated at perimeter ala BSC specs. Was planning to do radiant floor heating because done't want/ don't like forced air over tile floors. Has anyone used gas tankless water heater as radiant floor heat and domestic hot water source (combo)?

Asked By mike | Mar 12 10
8 Answers

Necessity for rainscreen approach w/ 5700 HDD & Hardiepanel

I'm curious about rainscreens, which seem to be reccomended by building science experts, but not reccomended by manufacturers. A case in point: James Hardie Inc does not reccomend a rainscreen behind its Hardiepanel product, but there seems to be some kind of loose consensus that you will have water and mold problems unless you use a rainscreen behind a product like Hardiepanel.

Asked By Michael Chelnov | Feb 26 10
4 Answers

Best sealant for underground house walls

We have purchased an underground house; only south side face showing. We have removed 3 feet of dirt from the top and have had a backhoe remove dirt from all three sides so the french drain system can be replaced. What is the best sealant/insulation to put on these three walls? A company doing open cell foam spray tells us that's the best but I don't want that on top as I want to keep it for a patio. What would be the best for the top?

Asked By Kathy Henthorne | Aug 11 09
4 Answers

Basement on a high water table level

Living in Woodstock, NY. House is on a high water table level. Cracks appearing all over basement floor water coming thru in Spring thaw and heavy rains.
Also, wet walls.

Suggestions, other than moving are appreciated.

Asked By patricia mcelroy | Feb 1 10
8 Answers

I have built a home in lower New Hampshire, about an hour north of Concord, using a hybrid insulation system.

The Insulating Contractor recommended 2" and 4" of closed-cell foam in the walls & ceiling respectively with the rest of the cavity filled with fiberglass batts. I defered to his "expertise" and had the system installed. After the blueboard was hung, the skimcoat of plaster applied, and allowed to dry I noticed some wet spots on the floor and lower walls that eventually dried. After checking the surface of the plaster with a moisture meter (reading was5%) and the relative humidity in the home was a very dry 35% (indoor temp.

Asked By Rick | Jan 10 10
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