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3 Answers

Insulating stone and mortar

I read the excellent articles on insulating down in the basement. Very helpful as we prepare to finish the space. Our foundation is stone and mortar and the area we are finishing is all above grade and dry. Without your help we would likely have insulated the walls with fiberglass batts. The ceiling (underside of the first floor) was already insulated with fiberglass including stuffing the cavity at the rim joist. I now know I have to go with foam and make this airtight. Here's my question:

Asked By Michael Groarke | Aug 28 16
20 Answers

How should I address the lack of plywood boxes for my double stud wall rough openings?

Blame it on lack of clarity on my part, but when my framer built my double stud walls he didn't oversize the window rough openings to account for 1/2" plywood sheathing connecting the inner to the outer walls. He figured that this gap could be covered solely with drywall.

What is the disadvantage of not having plywood in this location?

Asked By Adam Peterson | Aug 12 16
0 Answers

exterior walls

Zone 5a, Indianapolis
Single story ranch with slab on grade.
4 inch exterior walls
Current construction:
North facing exterior is stone (no weep holes) then 1/2 space then particle board then 2x4 framing with unfaced fiberglass batt then moisture shield ( guessing 3-4 mill regular clear plastic) then 1/2 in dry wall.
All other exterior walls are vinyl siding then particle board then 2x4 framing with unfaced fiberglass batting then moisture shield ( guessing 3-4 mill plastic) then 1/2 in dry wall.

Asked By edward kramer | Aug 28 16
3 Answers

Is tile acceptable on a bathroom exterior wall with foam?

I'd like to build using the REMOTE method. However, I see articles stating that walls with exterior foam board must dry to the inside. I'm interpreting this to mean that the interior of the walls must be permeable.
My bathrooms both contain an exterior wall. I'd like to build a fully tiled bathroom but I don't know if it's a good idea to tile the exterior wall. I believe that tile is not very permeable so the wall couldn't dry to the inside.
Does anyone have an answer to this dilemma?

Asked By Drew Baden | Aug 28 16
2 Answers

Cathedral unvented ceiling in California

Hello,
I live in Santa Barbara, CA (ideal climate) and I am remodeling a home. The roof was built in 1975 by the prior owner. The roof from top down and ceiling are comprised of shingles, paper, 1/2" plywood sheathing, 3/4" foam board, then 1 3/8" tongue and groove. All materials are sandwiched together with no air gaps. The roof is supported by exposed rafters/beams.

Asked By Jeff Swaim | Aug 28 16
4 Answers

Matte finish paint disaster: Options for more durable finish needed!

Well this is slightly embarrassing, but I either talked myself into or go talked into doing matte finish paint for my entire house. We liked the look of the matte paint as we thought it would hide imperfections and looked kind of rustic to match our Tuscan house theme.

The paint is advertised as "eco friendly" and "washable flat" is its name. Its from Cloverdale. It also has "ceramic microspheres" or something that is supposed to make the paint super durable and its a breakthrough in matte finish paint.

Asked By Mark Helmrich | Aug 28 16
5 Answers

How to grout concrete block wall?

My foundation stem wall for a raised-floor house is four courses high, made of 8x8x16 concrete blocks with #4 vertical rebars every 4 feet and a #5 rebar in the bond beam top course. I've installed grout stop over the unreinforced vertical cells. After two days of searching, I haven't found any step-by-step instructions on how to grout the reinforced cores and the bond beam, but I have gleaned a few tips to supplement what seems fairly obvious about the procedure. Does the following overlook anything important?

Asked By Jeff Cooper | Aug 27 16
3 Answers

Stand-alone infloor cooling system?

I live in northern Canada. It does not get hot very often, but when it does we can get 90-100F for a few weeks or even a month.

I've got full radiant heat system with 8" OC spacing for heat pipes, many zones and a very snazzy pump setup. I've also got 4 HRV's keeping the air moving.

The infloor heat works great, and I find it very efficient.

For the few months of the year where its hot out, the house can get hot. Depending on the room, it can become un-usable. This of course has to do with all the windows and the solar gain. Hey, I like a bright house :-)

Asked By Mark Helmrich | Aug 28 16
6 Answers

ERV and humidity

This is more for my own curiosity.

I've read that ERV's are generally suggested for warm humid climates and I've also read they can cause humidity levels to rise within a home. My understanding is that with an ERV some moisture is transferred from the stream that contains higher levels of moisture to the stream that contains less. Does the system medium look to balance the amount of humidity between both streams?

Example, Stream A is at 40% RH , Stream B is at 20% RH, ~10% is transferred from A to B where both end up at ~30% RH)

Asked By Chris M | Aug 25 16
5 Answers

Options to make space for exterior insulation

This is my first post so thanks in advance for any input. I’m finalizing the plans for our new home with in Kentucky, and I’m talking through the option of adding 2” of Roxul Comfortboard on the outside of ZIP wall sheathing with the builder. He has never done this before, and one of the objections he is raising is that it would require making the foundation/basement walls 2” thicker to make room for this since we are already planning on a brick cladding.

Asked By Brad White | Aug 26 16
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