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6 Answers

Insulating/ventilating a crawl space

We are in southern Maine.

The previous owners of my house (which we purchased in February) built a 22 x 22 addition on sonotubes. The floor is about 18 inches over dirt. Only access is through a basement window in the original portion of the house.

I finally got brave enough today to pry the plywood off the window and take a peek in.

There does not appear to be any vapor barrier on either the soil (which appears dry) or the underside of the joists (2 x 8 pressure treated). There is 6 - 8 inches of fiberglass batt between the joists, although it is falling down in some places.

Asked By John Gold | Jun 11 13
3 Answers

Patching holes in sheetrock?

What's the best way to patch holes in sheetrock made by hanging pictures, etc.? They're too big to spackle and I want a nice smooth surface after I'm done.

Asked By Sheleen Feldhaus | Jun 9 13
15 Answers

Slab on grade flooring options

I have a cottage that is being replaced by a retirement home .It is on bedrock in eastern Ontario and I plan to build slab on grade unless there is a better option .It will be a 1200 sq. foot 1.5 story.I am hoping to build with advanced framing style and sheath it with 4 inches of exterior foam. My question is about the concrete floor.I realize I can polish it and etch it but I am not sure about comfort of the hard surface and the temperature of cold concrete on your feet .I wonder if I could put foam board on it ,then an underlay plywood to lead to a normal house floor covering ?

Asked By bob holodinsky | Jun 10 13
7 Answers

Balancing an HRV

Our HRV is installed, the ducting sealed, and the wall/ceiling diffusers are in place. I still need to balance the system so i armed myself with a couple of flow grids and a magnehelic gauge.

The balancing equipment seems somewhat straightforward (i hope) but my question is about the diffusers: where do i begin the balancing procedure? with the diffusers off? on but fully open? on but half open?

here are 6 diffusers: 2 in the crawlspace, exhausts in the kitchen and bathroom, and supplies in the bedroom and living room...thanks again

Asked By erik olofsson | Jun 10 13
3 Answers

Missing tar paper on brick exterior/wood stud house?

I own a 1922 brick bungalow in Illinois. The main floor has one wythe of brick on the exterior, then an 1 1/2" air gap, then wood stud walls. I want to drywall the ceiling and walls in one room -- the previous homeowners removed the original plaster and lath and added fiberglass insulation and drywall, which I removed. There is tar paper attached to the studs only on the bottom third of the wall (photo attached).

Asked By HT Miller | Jun 10 13
4 Answers

Wood basement as tornado shelter?

With all the recent severe weather in the mid west, lots of attention has been directed toward building in some form of shelter. I;m leaning toward a PWF (Permanent Wood Foundation) for both cost and thermal performance reasons. Would a PWF basement provide a suitable "safe room" or would it be advisable to build a shelter, within the basement, out of CMU or even poured concrete?

Asked By Jerry Liebler | Jun 8 13
14 Answers

Blower door and HRV question

i just had a blower door test done on our new R-2000 build. The house is almost ready for occupancy. The initial test showed about 1.3 ach @ 50 pa but I was sure it would test far tighter.

After snooping around, I realized that both the interior supply and exhaust diffusers for the HRV were badly hemmorrhaging air. After sealing both the exterior supply and exhaust vents, the ACH dropped to .8 ach. Why is this happening?

Asked By erik olofsson | Jun 2 13
1 Answer

Crawl space vapor barrier location

Our home has a crawl space under the living space of the home as well as a partial basement to one side. We had a plastic vapor barrier over the clay floor of the crawl space.

A contractor who did some work on the home advised that this was incorrect, removed the plastic vapor barrier from the clay floor of the crawl space and instead installed insulation along the top of the crawl space (beneath the floor of the home) with a vapor barrier covering this.

Asked By Chris Draper | Jun 6 13
1 Answer

New roof and indoor air quality

Hi there, I live in Florida. We will have a new roof in a few days if the rains in Florida stops.

For our sloped roof they will install "a Polyglass TU Plus Waterproofing Underlayment Fastened," and for our flat roof they will install "an SAV Modified Bitumen Base Sheet, Direct Deck Application per Code and Install as SAP White Granular Cap Sheet, Torch Applied over Modified Base Sheet."

Is this hot tar that they'll use? My knowledge is limited and I plan to ask the contractor.

Asked By d k | Jun 5 13
2 Answers

Rainscreen help

I have a friend who needs some advice on a wall detail. The wall stacks up like so: .5" gypsum wallboard, 2.25" EPS, 8" concrete, 2.25" EPS, stucco scratch coat.

He hasn't done the stucco yet and we're wondering if he needs to add a rainscreen detail. It's a new build but due to a family tragedy, he needs to finish it as quickly and cheaply as possible.

I'm not sure of the climate zone but it is in the B.C. interior, 5700 HDDs, and not too much rain.

Thanks again.

Asked By erik olofsson | Jun 1 13
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