Community: General questions

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

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

If you want to post a question, 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!

0 Answers

I thought I was done for a while...


I just found 1280 sqft of 2 inch reclaimed xps for $320 on kijiji. Fingers crossed I can get it before it goes. And I thought it was going to take a few thousand to insulate my basement slab.

Asked By Calum Wilde | May 18 18
2 Answers

High Sierra showerheads


My spouse and I are building a new home in Colorado. This website and the Q and A have been extremely helpful.

We are looking at showerheads that are durable, ie made of metal, water efficient and stylish. We looked at the typical brands including Kohler, Moen, etc and were impressed by the price. Wow, and not in a good way. Future searching brough me to High Sierrra shower heads.

Does anyone have experience with this company?
Does anyone have suggestions?

Thanks in Advance,


Asked By Lydia Segal | May 17 18
6 Answers

Mini split commissioning and warranty conditions

I like to compare USA and EU. Simply because I'm curious :)

So I am interested how does commissioning of mini splits and warranty conditions work in USA.

The situation here in EU is as follows:
I have to buy the mini-split from the HVAC contractor to get the warranty on parts AND labor.
Mini-split manufacturer only gives the warranty for parts, and HVAC contractor only gives warranty for labor, but only if you buy from him.

This means, I can't buy a mini-split where I find the best price, then have the local HVAC contractor install it, and have the complete warranty.

Asked By davor radman | May 17 18
1 Answer

Air sealants/caulks

Any recommendations for air/acoustic sealant caulks in Canada? Other than the extremely messy and hard to work PL Acousti-Seal (aka 'black death')? Application is for cracks/seams on the interior prior to dry walling.
Thanks in advance!

Asked By Quinn Sievewright | May 17 18
8 Answers

Feedback on house layout/orientation

I posted a question several months ago looking for feedback/constructive criticism on a new home layout I was working on. I've tried to incorporate a lot of the advice given into my revised layout. Was curious to see if any of you experts had any further thoughts.

Asked By GREG GRIGUTIS | May 14 18
4 Answers

Insulation for a stick-frame roof — but we want the exposed beam look

so we bought a house that was built in the 50s and we had take out the drop ceiling and old drywall ceiling above that to run new wiring.

Bottom line - wife saw the open ceiling and asked if we could keep it that way and ya'll know that saying. Anyways - I look at the roof and it is just 1x6 boards laid across the rafters with a shingle roof on top. Roof nails piercing the wood all over.

So I would like to give my wife the look of exposed beams but I am thinking how do I insulate it. The roof is brand new on the outside, so I don't want to disturb that.

Asked By A.J.W. | May 16 18
4 Answers


Yesterday I came across this blog: which left me in surprise. It says pizza box, water bottle cap, wet paper, aerosol can and so are not recyclable. This is a new knowledge for me. But is it true? I know recycling is important for the earth as well for the future generations to come. So I'd like to start a discussion based on recycling here.

Asked By emma3434 | May 16 18
10 Answers

Mitsubishi PVA/PUZ a "Central heat pump" or "mini split"?

Looking to replace my oil fired forced air furnace with an air source heat pump. Cold winters here in MA so I like the Mitsubishi hyper heat units. MA has a heat loan program for 0% financing for 7 yrs with qualifying units (>=16 SEER, >=8.5 HSPF for "Central heat pumps"; >=18 SEER, >= 10 HSPF for "Mini-split heat pumps"). The MXZ-4C36NAHZ is rated at 15.8 SEER and 10.1 HSPF pairing with a MVZ-A36AA7. However, the PUZ-HA36NHA5 is rated at 17.8 SEER and 11.0 HSPF, paired with the PVA-A36AA7.

Asked By Scogan | May 12 18
9 Answers

When is it necessary to use foil-faced insulation?

I am insulating an exterior wall (8" CMU with direct applied 1/2" stucco) with 1 1/2" rigid closed cell insulation which is placed on the inside face of the CMU in a furred out (1 5/8" metal framing) interior wall. can I use regular closed cell insulation or is this an application which is better suited for a foil face closed cell rigid insulation.

Asked By Ebt111 | May 15 18
15 Answers

Using Reclaimed Fiberglass (?) Faced Polyiso

I have access to some 3.5" reclaimed polyiso that I believe has a fiberglass facing on each side of the board. At least, I think its fiberglass. The best way to describe the facing is it kind of reminds me of landscape fabric.

My intention was to use the foam as sheathing on the walls of the house I'm building. I am just down the road from Urbana, IL (Climate Zone 5A....but feeling a bit more like 4A at times).

My wall assembly (from interior to exterior) is as follows.....
- drywall
- 2x6 with mineral wool batts (R-23)
- ZIP sheathing
- 3.5" polyiso (~R-22)

Asked By Robert Kohaus | Nov 18 13
Register for a free account and join the conversation

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