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20 Answers

Foundation capillary break & waterproofing

My wife and I are building a small home (First Day Cottage) on a full foundation with a walkout on the downhill end. I read about having a capillary break between the footing and foundation wall and it makes sense to me. When I asked the concrete contractor about it he said he's never done it (though he did remember one other customer who asked about it a couple years back). I get the impression they won't leave me much time to do it myself between pours.

Asked By Martin Frank | Jun 30 15
3 Answers

Can a feature be added to e-mail on a reply?

If i want to follow a conversation, I have to come back to it and sometimes it ends up on the second or third page. It would be very convenient that once I reply to someone's question, I get an e-mail when it gets replied to by someone else.

Asked By Alan B | Jul 1 15
2 Answers

Older home (1950s) smells of mildew...

I purchased a home in late 2009 and have been trying to get rid of a heavy mildew odor. Last week I discovered the seller had put vinyl siding over two layers of other siding. Underneath the vinyl was a layer of extremely damaged Boise Cascade panel siding. It was crumbling and had large holes in multiple places (no house wrap). Behind the holes I discovered clear plastic sheeting and underneath that was cedar lap siding. I continued on down to the Buffalo board that was somewhat warped and had a strong mildew odor.

Asked By Terri Gerhart | Jul 1 15
14 Answers

Foam over a concrete floor

I plan 4 - 6 inches of EPS under the slab and now am considering an inch of either EPS or XPS on top with 5/8 or 3/4 tongue and groove plywood or OSB to provide a nicer floor to walk on as well as a warmer floor in the walk out basement. I think this will make it easier to attach partition walls and tile in the bathroom and hardwoods in the sunroom.
Question. .. Is this a good idea, and do I glue the foam (EPs or xps) to the concrete and the sheeting to the foam or leave it free floating?
Any gotchas in this?

Asked By tim brown | Jun 29 15
2 Answers

Choosing a solar (PV) system

Hi, I am completely new to solar and considering proposals from a couple of contractors.

One is proposing a 3.1 kW system of (9) 345W SunPower panels with a SunnyBoy inverter located on a south facing roof.

The other is proposing a 4.2 kW system of (14) 305 kW LG panels with a Fronius Primo 5.0-1 inverter, with panels located on a south facing roof plus on a basically flat roof adjacent to it.

Asked By Nancy Hartman | Jun 30 15
4 Answers

Closed-cell spray foam in conditioned crawl space, sill gaskets, windows, & air sealing

We have our house plans back from the designer and are getting ready to start building. I have a few separate questions:

Asked By Michael Geoghegan | Jun 30 15
3 Answers

New Unvented Attic and High Humidity

Last year after a severe hailstorm the attic insulation and the entire roof deck of my 1600 sqft ranch style home in Fort Calhoun, NE was replaced. With the replacement we upgraded the insulation to Open Cell Icynene spray foam on roof decking. The spray foam is at least 6-8 inches on the roof, and covers the sidewalls, soffits, and attached garage ceiling. This completely closes in the attic to the thermal envelope of the house. I've been monitoring the relative humidity levels of the house for the last year.

Asked By Nick Schuler | Jun 30 15
8 Answers

Is my 5000 BTU LG 10 year old window unit significantly inefficient ?

My wife says so, in comparison with similar modern window units. She wants it replaced. The unit runs on all work days, during summer work hours, in my home office in San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio summers are hot, but not as hot as north Texas, as an example comparison. My question is whether efficiency advances in 10 years have made a big difference for small window units.

I tried to search, but every search returned hundreds of irrelevant topics.

Asked By Weldon Cabaniss | Jun 28 15
3 Answers

Re-roofing a tar and gravel home

I have a small (approx. 900sq ft.) home with a flat tar and gravel roof. I know the roof is at least 10 yrs. old and I have not experienced any issues within the house from leaks or whatnot. I have however noticed that the overhangs of the roof that stretch the perimeter of the house at 2 feet, have become soft and fairly weak when stepping on them. They also show some signs of mold on the underneath side of the sheathing. I have not noticed these problems with the portion of the roof that covers the house.

Asked By Jared George | Jun 30 15
9 Answers

How to attach 4" EPS foam to exterior of basement wall below grade?

I am gathering materials for an expansion and reno of an existing home in zone 7.
I will be adding 4" EPS foam above grade wood framed portion on the renovation side of the building (850 sq ft) as well as to the new construction (1000 sq ft) using 6 1/2 inch screws (thanks Dana for pointing me in the right direction on that detail).
I am struggling with details on how I will attach the 4" EPS to the below grade concrete AND whether to use a drain wrap product against the concrete wall like Platon Foundation Wrap.

Asked By tim brown | Jun 27 15
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