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4 Answers

Is there a way to seal VOCs?

We had our front stained. The company used DuraSeal stain. I know it isn't the most ecofriendly, but since it was exterior door we agreed because they said it was very durable. Well, they spilled the stain all over the subfloor and brand new drywall on the interior of the house. I am freaking out a little bit since we have a chemically sensitive child. We are installing hardwood floors (which will not create an air seal). I plan to have them pay to replace the drywall that is soiled. However, I don't know what to do about the subfloor. Is there a way to seal in the chemicals and VOCs?

Asked By Carolyn Farrow | Aug 25 16
8 Answers

Safer grout option?

Our tile contractor wants to use TEC power grout. Since this is an epoxy grout, I am concerned that it contains BPAs. I would really like to avoid BPAs in our home as much as possible. Is there a safer grout option out there? Preferably no VOC and BPA free. Thank you!

Asked By Carolyn Farrow | Aug 24 16
8 Answers

How far will a ductless minisplit throw heat/cool?

Assuming an open area with a good line of site, what can you expect a ductless mini split to throw heat/cool. For example, if you have an open, but large floorplan, could you put a mini split on one outside wall and have it throw heat/cool to the other wall which is, say, 40' away? What about 50'?

Asked By Clay Whitenack | Aug 15 16
5 Answers

Provia Entry Doors

Found the Provia entry doors online. They claim a U-Value of 0.10 on the fiberglass polyurethane core doors.

Anyone use these doors?

What about cost for a 36" x 84" door?

Asked By Peter L | Aug 12 16
0 Answers

Nudura Plus One & Plus Two

Anyone use the Nudura Plus One or Plus Two ICF systems?

The Plus one = R28
The Plus two = R32

Trying to get to PH levels on my build and it might require the Plus Two system. Looking at around $1,500 more in ICF forms with the Plus Two system vs the standard ICF forms.

Asked By Peter L | Aug 13 16
3 Answers

XPS vs EPS — Below-grade slab insulation

Home Depot now sells pink XPS from Owens Corning. A 10 foot sheet by 2 feet wide was only $10 per sheet. The R-Value was R-5 per inch of foam.

I like the way XPS is easy to score and break without having EPS snow everywhere. The XPS also carries a higher R-Value per inch.

Which is better to use below grade under a slab? Which can carry the higher concrete loads of a slab?

Asked By Peter L | Aug 7 16
1 Answer

Anyone have an opinion of Rhino headers?

Are they worth considering?

Asked By charles CAMPBELL | Aug 6 16
8 Answers

Off-grid weather station to measure build site conditions

I've purchased vacant land in hilly terrain and will be building a residence and workshop next summer.
I'd like to setup a solar or battery powered weather station to learn more about the microclimate.

Knowing, e.g., typical temperature and humidity swings on the site will help me answer questions like: "how much insulation does the workshop need to prevent condensation / rust on tools?"

Does anyone know of an off-the-shelf battery or solar powered weather station that can measure temperature, humidity, and wind speed?

Asked By Kevin Lynagh | Jul 26 16
8 Answers

Blown-in insulation for existing walls

My circa 1900 house in West Virginia (Zone 5) has hardwood paneling throughout the interior and wood siding on the exterior with no insulation in-between the actual 2x4 walls. I'm pondering either blow-in cellulose or open cell spray polyurethane foam applied through holes in the siding. (Should I consider other options?) Both open-cell SPF and cellulose show an R-value of 3.2 to 3.8/inch. I understand the cellulose will settle over time leaving some gap at the top and foam will not. I like the idea of an air barrier provided by SPF between the leaky wood interior and exterior surfaces.

Asked By Andy Kerr | Jul 25 16
3 Answers

Aeroseal duct sealant

Hello. My heating and air tech recommended aeroseal to repair leaking duct-work in our walls. We are going to replace duct-work in our attic but looking to this product so we don't have to tear out walls. Does anyone have any experience with this product? It says that is is low voc and a non-volatile vinyl acetate. I realize that sealing small holes is good for using less electricity and producing less dust which in turn produces better air quality but if aeroseal off gasses and eventually degrades overtime then am I just breathing in a different type of pollutant?

Asked By Lori Wilson | Jul 27 16
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