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32 Answers

Water heater decisions

In the process of building a new house and trying to decide on the best strategy for hot water heating.

We tried to be efficient with our floor plan design, and were able to clump the bathrooms and laundry room in one corner of the 2nd floor of our house. The guest bath is downstairs, almost directly underneath the baths upstairs. The only outlier is the kitchen and a half bath, which is on the other side of the house.

The house is all electric, and there are a couple of things I'm concerned about...

First

Asked By Clay Whitenack | Feb 1 16
1 Answer

Plywood as exterior cladding

We are in the master planning phase of building a modern house in the PNW. We are in the Marine zone 4c. We would like a clean exterior that fades into the landscape and do not want a house that looks like it doesn't belong on the land. Considering this, I have a question.

Why isn't stained plywood used as exterior cladding? Will it work if we have good roof overhangs and a 1" ventilated rain screen? We are researching this as we would like an organic looking exterior that is clean. It seems like this practice is prevalent in Australia and NZ but not here in the US.

Asked By Jay Raja | Feb 6 16
0 Answers

Concrete sealer needed before finishing basement?

I live in a home in Zone 5a that was built in 1978 with a poured concrete basement, our house sits relatively high with ground sloping away from the foundation. We are planning on finishing out basement it with XPS and then metal framing/drywall.

Asked By Patrick B | Feb 6 16
1 Answer

Minisplit Location Feasibility

Hello,
I'm looking at possibly installing minisplits in my home to replace the hydronic floor heat and forced air system without having to remove my slab to insulate the current floor heat system. The current forced air is the R4 (I believe) pre-insulated flexible ducts in a vented attic. I figure the minisplits could greatly increase my heating and cooling efficiency.

Asked By Mike M | Feb 6 16
0 Answers

How to fix shoddy garage addition?

This past summer I bought a house in SE Michigan (Zone 5a) that was built in 1978; we had an energy audit done and the auditor alerted me to a host of issues included that when they built out into the garage to expand the kitchen & laundry room they left the top of the walls and ceiling open to the unheated garage.

My question is what is the best way to go about fixing this issue from a cost standpoint. I'm concerned if I just seal the top off the wall with XPS & Great Stuff that condensation will collect since there will be colder air inside the wall from the uninstalled garage.

Asked By Patrick B | Feb 6 16
0 Answers

Bathroom ceiling

I am going to be installing t&g pine (sealed all 4 sides and ends) on a bathroom ceiling. The ceiling is below an unvented roof and conditioned attic space (8" closed cell foam in rafter bays). Climate zone 8.

I want to know if I should install the t&g directly to the framing members or to put up drywall first. I already have an ignition barrier over the foam. Will drywall just be a surface for mold and mildew? I have a Panasonic whisper green vent fan and a window in this 72sq ft bathroom.

Thanks

Asked By Jon Patrick | Feb 6 16
1 Answer

Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating Under Thick Slab

Hi All,
I have a timber framed house, the sub-floor of which was built with thick 2-in pine tongue and groove boards. This subfloor is also functioning as the main floor of the house in living room area, there is nothing on top of them. These boards have tons of character and I would like to keep them as the main floor.

I am renovating the down stairs and will be converting my hydronic base board heat to radiant floor in the kitchen and bathroom where I can run the pipes over the existing subfloor (plywood in these areas not the tongue and groove pine).

Asked By Ryan Wynne | Feb 4 16
9 Answers

Capillary Break Needed?

I am about to start installing 1” of Roxul Drainboard on the exterior of my foundation and have plans to bring it up to my siding. The siding sticks out 1” and the Roxul is 1” thick, do I need to leave a gap between the Roxul and Vinyl siding or add some sort of break between them to keep the Roxul from wicking up water to the siding with the potential to hit the sheathing?

Thanks

Asked By Chris King | Feb 4 16
4 Answers

Geothermal and SDHV in new ICF home

We are in the process of building a new home in CZ5. It is an ICF construction from basement foundation to gable.

I am intending to use a SDHV system for forced air and heating in conjunction with a closed loop ground source heat pump.

What I am trying to understand is the impact to efficiency caused by my desire for SDHV on the heat pump options side of life.

Asked By Esteban Carlos | Feb 4 16
4 Answers

Heat pump sizing

Hello,

Asked By matthias paustian | Feb 4 16
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