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10 Answers

Plumbing too close to edge of slab

A plumber set a vent pipe within a 1/4" of the edge of the slab on one of our jobs. When we told him to move it, he cried. I was surprised to find that this was not covered in our specification and I could not find it in code documentation. In fact, I could not find it anywhere. We have all seen concrete on the edge of a slab bust out around a vent stack or a piece of rebar that was too close to the edge of the slab.

So what is too close?

Asked By Hugh Stearns | Jun 18 18
5 Answers

I bought my first house, and everything from roof to appliances is at end-of-life

Dear Community,
I bought my first house, and everything from roof to appliances is at end-of-life. Who should I consult for a green retrofit?

I managed to snag a small, compact house in the San Francisco Bay, CA, USA region, but the price I paid is that this thing is totally outdated. No insulation, no exterior sheathing (just clapboard on stud), electrical and plumbing violations up the wazoo, and the crawl space floods when it rains. Luckily the house is easy to pull apart.

Asked By Mateohao | May 4 18
2 Answers

Continue building during the Winter in Maine with only foundation walls in place?

I am having a house built in Maine and, due to numerous delays, some weather-related and some due to subcontractor scheduling issues, foundation walls/footings were only poured two weeks ago. We are now expecting more snow on Christmas (6-8") and then a freeze (teens during the day, below zero at night) that will bring us up to the New Year. I've read various posts on GBA from people who found themselves in a similar predicament, asking whether it would be better to stop work until the Spring or have work continue through the winter.

Asked By user-6947417 | Dec 23 17
1 Answer

Price for replacing roof

We had a couple of leaks through our tiled roof. A roofing (limited) company would not give a quote before starting the job, saying they needed to see what the roofing felt etc was like and needed to removed areas of tiles to find out.

They quoted us £15,000 to do the job, but they had already removed several areas of tiles and started replacing battens before giving me the price, so I was not able to dispute it at that stage. I negotiated the price down to £14,250, and they made me sign a "quotation" at this price.

Asked By Jonathan-123 | Sep 15 17
6 Answers

Peel-and-stick or Tyvek WRB?

Here is my proposed exterior wall assembly:

5/8 Drywall
Vapour barrier (for the building inspector)
2x4 studs at 12" o.c with 3.5" Rockwool batting
5/8" Densglass Drywall sheathing
2" Rockwool boards
cement board open cladding

I was commenting on other threads but thought I'd start a new one. I need the advice of the GBA members.

Question: Considering cost, performance and application, Should I use a SA membrane or Tape the seams of the sheathing and Staple on a WRB?

Self adhering membranes I've looked at:

Asked By Jamie B | Aug 11 17
13 Answers

Working with tract builders

Regrettably it looks like I may have to pull the trigger on a new tract built home.

The dwelling will be your typical townhouse with a drive under garage and a rear two-story cantilevered section.

As I was saying, I really do not like tract builders because they can't control their subs but due to high land costs they're the only game in town unless one wants to spend over $750k for a custom home.

From my own experience with this design of home there are two what I consider typical failures.

Asked By John Clark | Mar 2 17
27 Answers

Getting an accurate price to build

Greetings! This is my first post on the forum; thanks in advance for the help. We are in the early stages of planning our new custom home (in Tucson, AZ, similar climate to Phoenix, so hot and dry with cooler nights). I'm just a person (not an architect, builder, or real estate professional), but have done a lot of research and have done a lot of DIY remodeling in the past.
We've met with two builders so far and neither interaction was the great. I'm looking for advice on how to salvage either relationship or how to avoid these mistakes for the next builder I talk to.

Asked By Lisa Mason | Feb 12 17
15 Answers

Who should fix this one?

My wife sent me a text today, as I am out of town, showing our garage door completely smashed in. We had a concrete contractor at the house today and at least two loads of rock brought in. The concrete guy said it was like that when he arrived, just after the first rock truck. The rock trucking company also has not claimed responsibility. Any thoughts on how I should resolve this? The rock was ordered by the concrete guy and not me for clarification.

Asked By Mike M | May 21 16
0 Answers

Not a question but a thank you Martin, Dana, et al.

Although our own project has been suspended indefinitely I've been exposed to a tremendous amount of information regarding building science and for that I say thank you. This site along with the sister sites are a great asset to the layman such as myself. May you all have a great 2016!


Asked By John Clark | Mar 7 16
2 Answers

Consultant needed

My wife and I are looking to build a new home in St. Louis, MO. We would like to find an architect who can help us build a very green home.

I have a good architect in mind, however green is not their focus. We were thinking it would be useful to work with a consultant who could guide us and work with the architect to design an extremely efficient home. We are not necessarily looking to be net zero, but we would like a home that is built to the very best efficiency standards available.

Asked By Peter Perkins | Feb 22 16
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