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5 Answers

Footing to foundation capillary break

Can a regular exterior latex paint we used for the capillary break between the footing and foundation, if one puts on a couple of coats. This is in a very dry climate, and the likelihood of any foundation water is almost non-existent. This is merely an extra added precaution. Footing poured today so we have the weekend to paint :-)

Thank you!

Asked By Steve Wilson | Jun 24 16
2 Answers

Double stud wall with a mid-wall vapor retarder

I'm starting the process of building a double stud house in the Milwaukee,WI area and am looking to find more information on double stud walls with plywood on the outside of the inner wall. I have already searched this site, but I wanted to see if I missed any articles/Q&A blogs that provide information on this wall system. I wanted to provide the builder with some information on why I chose this particular design. Any information/documentation links would be greatly appreciated.

Asked By Brad Depies | Jun 24 16
7 Answers

Seeking insulation recommendations

I work with Habitat for Humanity in upstate SC (zone 3 - warm-humid), and we are researching practices to improve the energy efficiency of the houses we build.

We have been insulating the attic ceiling with blown-in fiberglass but are leaning towards insulating the whole building envelope now (cathedral ceilings and sealed crawlspaces).

First, is it cost-effective to put the HVAC unit and ductwork in the conditioned attic rather than the crawlspace?

Second, what type of insulation should we use in the roof?

Asked By Dylan Hillman | Jun 23 16
68 Answers

Why haven't steel-framed homes become more popular?

I am in the planning phase of building a home in the NJ-NY area, Climate zone 5. As I investigate my options; SIPS, double wall stick 2x4 wood, 2x6 wood, ICFs, CMU, Larsen trusses, etc.. and the myriad of permutations to insulate each one (spray foam, cellulose, hybrid batt & flash, exterior rigid foam/iso panels, etc....) I came across STEEL. My goal is as high R-value as I can get within reason $$, with hope of upwards of R-30 final values. That said, I need some objective input.

Asked By Sal Lombardo | Dec 27 12
3 Answers

How to calculate soil heating storage capacity?

I need to know how much heat in BTU can I store in a specific volume of a soil. I am using the underground soil of greenhouse as thermal mass storage. Right now I just know the volumetric heat capacity. But I want actual number of BTUs that I can store inside the soil. Do I need to measure the temperature variation through out the soil and then calculate the heat storage capacity?

Asked By Siddharth Patil | Jun 23 16
5 Answers

Insulate on top of rigid foam?

We insulated the concrete walls of our basement with 2" rigid foam XPS insulation. We taped and caulked seams. Our insulation contractor says it meets code as is (R-10) and we studded it out and plan to drywall it. Some of the space is finished but most of it isn't. One wall is partially exposed to air on the exterior. Should we add in some mineral wool or dense packed cellulose between the studs? We have mainly dense pack netted cellulose and mineral wool throughout the rest of the home. Thank you!

Asked By Kara English | Jun 22 16
5 Answers

Dimple board on a pre-cast concrete basement

I just had a pre-cast basement installed that uses 8000 psi concrete. The majority of the basement is below grade. They told me that I don't have to do any type of water proofing, but since I haven't back-filled yet, I'm going to go ahead and do it anyways for peace of mind. I like the idea of the dimple board membrane except for the fact that you have to nail it into the wall. I don't want to create holes in a wall that is solid! Any ideas if I can install the dimple board without nails?

Thanks in advance!

Asked By Andy Spears | Jun 21 16
3 Answers

Our insurance company required us to replace the roofs on our rental and on our primary residence

Our insurance co. required us to replace the roofs on our rental, a 1985 Jim Walter home, and our primary residence, a hand-built log cabin. Our question is what is the best ridge vent, and is there any reason to put something like GAF Deckarmor above the new above - roof insulation?

Asked By Chip Chandler | Jun 19 16
4 Answers

Eave insulation retrofit


I am in the process of renovating a 1940s farmhouse in Westfield, MA and I am running into a bit of a tricky situation regarding existing eaves.

Asked By Matthew O'Boyle | Jun 20 16
2 Answers

Green product for attaching EPDM roofing membrane?

We have a flat roof on the porch and had specified EPDM membrane for it. What products could be used to attach it? One product that is used for this, BA-100 Neoprene Bonding Adhesive by Continental rubber Company (made of Toluene, Hexane and Acetone) is labeled hazardous, extremely flammable and dangerous to breath in. What products would this community recommend?

Asked By Lucyna de Barbaro | Jun 20 16
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