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8 Answers

Frost-Protected Crawl Space Construction

I am planning to construct a frost-protected footing/stemwall for a crawlspace in the northern Illinois region. Based on IRC guidelines, I only need to provide vertical insulation on the foundation wall to a minimum depth of 14 in. (depth to top of footing). Based on this, I have two general questions:

Asked By Jon Sfura | Apr 26 13
1 Answer

Build a new home or remodel old?

Here is a spreadsheet that I have created trying to break the costs down.

Those figures are ones that I know will be similar situations for each house. As you can tell I left out any finish materials other than what it takes to seal a house up.

I'm not necessarily asking if my figures seem realistic, but I am open to opinions.

Asked By Nicholas C | Apr 25 13
5 Answers

Noise reduction -- basement ceiling

I have installed rigid foam between the joists in a basement ceiling.

I would like to reduce noise because I have dogs and plan to use the basement as a primary living space. The goal would be to reduce outside noise so the dogs do not react to noise.

I bought some Mass Loaded Vinyl and Roxul Safe N Sound.

The thought is to put a layer of MLV under the foam and Roxul under the MLV, providing a fire barrier and noise reduction.

That would leave the joists uncovered.

Asked By Erich Riesenberg | Apr 19 13
6 Answers

Potted plants as thermal mass?

I have read rules of thumb to calculate the size of a thermal mass as concrete floor or trombe walls ect to take advantage of passive solar heating. Do similar rules of thumb exist to calculate thermal mass of other materials such as soil in large indoor potted plants and trees and a wood stove hearth and mantle? I'm designing a home (Maine zone 6) with south facing (20deg from due south) high SHGC glazing that is 10-12% of the heated floor area. Given that this is at the upper end of what is recommended I'd like to make sure I have enough thermal mass to avoid overheating in the summer.

Asked By Brian Beaulieu | Apr 23 13
6 Answers

Call me crazy ... again with the ideas!

Just a thought i had while using alot of hot water in my shower,
and i couldn't find any info on the google ...

It is about mini-splits ...yes again i know i know ...
Well they are mini, and also installed in split units !!!

But that is not the point,
i was wondering, what if one would be to use some kind of " shelter " on the exterior unit
let's say an opened ( probably bottom and near top ) shelter of a certain size,
that would feature a glass window toward south side.

The point would be to help raise the temperature during daytime when sun hits the shelter,

Asked By Jin Kazama | Apr 21 13
3 Answers

Split heat-pump water heater?

What's up with that ?
Are we again left in the dark zone or what ?

I've easily found a few hundreds of chinese units of split ait to water HP heater,
a euro Fujitsu model, some asian Toshiba models and a few DE and CH brands doing different designs ...

Am i missing something here ?
As far as i know, none of those are available in USA/CA
and they SHOULD BE.

anyone found a supplier in North America ??

i'd settle for anything better than our regular tanks ..

Asked By Jin Kazama | Apr 23 13
14 Answers

Heat pump efficiency

I am designing 2700 sf 2 story house outside Sacramento, zone 3B. BeOpt suggests I will have about a 17,000 Btu heat need. AC is also a big need in summer, and since there is no natural gas, I figured on all electric. Propane appears to be quite a bit more money.

Asked By Michael McKinley | Apr 8 13
16 Answers

Special surge protection needed with LED-bulb lighting?

I have a couple remaining questions in my aim to do good research before investing in LED replacement bulbs for my incandescent bulbs.

I can buy a very good quality 60w edison-base incandescents for under $4 each. A comparable 800-lumen LED of good quality, with a 5-year warranty, will cost me roughly five times as much. I do not want the supplier to skip-out on making good on the warranty due to a factor (excuse?) such as "do you get voltage spikes in your neighborhood?" Obviously, replacement of each LED, if it's out of my wallet, is a bigger deal than with conventional lighting.

Asked By Joel Russ | Apr 17 13
1 Answer

How do you frame a square pitched roof?

I am roofing a 10' by 10' shed and would like a four sided roof rather than having two gable ends.

Asked By Mark Rogerson | Apr 23 13
2 Answers

Duct or not to duct?

I know conventional wisdom dictates that ductwork should come off the trunk line and radiate out towards the exterior walls so registers can be placed above windows. I should say that I'm talking about New Orleans where homes are raised about 18" off the ground on piers, so we run the ductwork through the attic. If it's a two story house there is no room for chases between the floors.

Asked By roger steinbrink | Apr 23 13
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