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5 Answers

Insulating and finishing partial basement with new attached crawlspace

I am in the process of partially finishing my basement in a split level home built in 1950s in N.W.suburb of Philadelphia, PA. (see attachment for layout of foundation of split level home and proposed construction of walls.)

Asked By Jeffrey | Jan 20 16
2 Answers

Recommendation for wood double-pane windows?

We recently noticed moisture intrusion under a window in our house. I had a mold inspection company do further testing, and eventually we determined that the window was leaking and there is mold inside of the wall there. The house was build in the 1920s and the windows are old single-hung wood.

Asked By Chris Durand | Jan 4 16
15 Answers

Sleeping coves betters than medium sized bedrooms?

I redesign old homes and rent them out. I found hallways are your worse enemies in use of space. It was not until this last year that I noticed hallways in my rentals that I didn't mean to make.

Lets take a bed of roughly five foot by seven foot for example. If I put this bed in the middle of the room with the headboard on a wall and put three feet around the bed I get a 11 foot by 10 foot bedroom. A typical bedroom size plus or minus. In this typical bedroom I have a roughly five foot by two foot closet.

Current Rental / Bedroom / Square Footage

Asked By S E | Oct 13 14
3 Answers

Positioning a house (regarding window view wall)

We are looking to build in the Ashville, NC area, 2,100 - 2,200 feet above sea level. Mild winters. The view of this lot is to the south.

Does passive solar make sense in the southern US? Can we have our high window wall face south? We will be looking into the winter sun. We can build the roof overhangs longer from the house to assist.

Looking for opinions, articles or publications that address this. Gets confusing googling everything. Also natural gas is available; could go geothermal but very expensive. What is the next best way to go? Heat pump combined with gas heat?

Asked By Patrick Finnigan | Oct 24 13
8 Answers

Semi-exposed interior framing for Perfect Walls

I'm building a 1000 sqft cabin residence outside of Portland, OR, and I'm considering using Lstiburek's "Perfect Walls": 2x6 framing with a few inches of rockwool exterior insulation.
Since I won't have batt insulation in the walls, it seems like there are interior finishing options besides plain drywall.

In particular, I'm wondering if it's possible to do a "semi-finished" modern / industrial look out of horizontal wood or panels.
This would visually screen the framing while being much more configurable and extensible in the future.

Asked By Kevin Lynagh | Nov 8 15
11 Answers

Alternatives to recessed lighting in open floor plans?

The question is basic....

For those of you who have forgone recessed lighting in your home for air sealing and efficiency reasons, what did you use for alternative lighting?

My floor plan is very open (think 20' x 40 box), has relatively low ceilings, 8'9", and I want the area to remain flexible for future floor plan changes. There is no kitchen area, just a very small snack island that will feature a few pendants.

For all their issues, can lights are a nice option for providing even lighting across an open area without having fixtures dangling down from the ceiling.

Asked By Rick Van Handel | Sep 3 14
4 Answers

Has anyone else experienced mold problems from lining interior walls with corrugated tin?

The place I was renting last had a room where the walls and ceiling were lined with corrugated tin on the inside. There was also a combination AC/Heater window unit in that room. My landlord is in total denial that his remodel job caused a very serious mold infestation. I moved out after having many ongoing symptoms of toxic mold exposure and immediately I started regaining my health. I live in southwest New Mexico in a town that boasts of its hot springs where water is just below the surface of the ground. Just wondered if anyone has experienced what I have.

Asked By Betty Harper | Sep 24 15
3 Answers

Stain or not stain a new custom solid mahogony front door?

Hello All,

Just had our custom front door (10 'x 14') in solid mahogany delivered & installed but not sure whether we should stain it or not?

Wife prefers a reddish stain (makes it look richer) but the wood work guy says leave it alone and just clear coat it using a oil based polyurethane coat and be done with it.

Can I get some feedback here?


Asked By Yasir Khan | Aug 9 15
2 Answers

Soundproofing from street noise

Anyone able to recommend a good quality sound proof window? Right now I am facing problem of street noise

Asked By Margareta Svensson | May 22 15
5 Answers

Hardwood flooring question

Have about 3000 sq-ft area that needs to be covered. We would prefer Bazillion Cherry but not sure whether we want pre or on site finish?


Pros: Factory durable finish and the beveled edges which is what we like.

Cons: Shorter/inconsistent plank lengths

On site finish:

Pros: Longer plank lengths

Cons: Finish depends on the installer but might not be as good as pre-finish


What finish (on site or pre-finish) and what time of surface finish (oil or water based) do you guys advice?

Would appreciate any and all feedback?


Asked By Beenash Khan | Apr 19 15
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