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13 Answers

Foundation capillary break & waterproofing

My wife and I are building a small home (First Day Cottage) on a full foundation with a walkout on the downhill end. I read about having a capillary break between the footing and foundation wall and it makes sense to me. When I asked the concrete contractor about it he said he's never done it (though he did remember one other customer who asked about it a couple years back). I get the impression they won't leave me much time to do it myself between pours.

Asked By Martin Frank | Jun 30 15
1 Answer

Inground gutters

A few years back I came across an article in Finehomebuiling about inground gutters. Has anyone tried this solution to wet basements? Does it work?

Asked By Daniel Cimaglio | Jul 1 15
14 Answers

Foam over a concrete floor

I plan 4 - 6 inches of EPS under the slab and now am considering an inch of either EPS or XPS on top with 5/8 or 3/4 tongue and groove plywood or OSB to provide a nicer floor to walk on as well as a warmer floor in the walk out basement. I think this will make it easier to attach partition walls and tile in the bathroom and hardwoods in the sunroom.
Question. .. Is this a good idea, and do I glue the foam (EPs or xps) to the concrete and the sheeting to the foam or leave it free floating?
Any gotchas in this?

Asked By tim brown | Jun 29 15
2 Answers

Can a feature be added to e-mail on a reply?

If i want to follow a conversation, I have to come back to it and sometimes it ends up on the second or third page. It would be very convenient that once I reply to someone's question, I get an e-mail when it gets replied to by someone else.

Asked By Alan B | Jul 1 15
2 Answers

Choosing a solar (PV) system

Hi, I am completely new to solar and considering proposals from a couple of contractors.

One is proposing a 3.1 kW system of (9) 345W SunPower panels with a SunnyBoy inverter located on a south facing roof.

The other is proposing a 4.2 kW system of (14) 305 kW LG panels with a Fronius Primo 5.0-1 inverter, with panels located on a south facing roof plus on a basically flat roof adjacent to it.

Asked By Nancy Hartman | Jun 30 15
1 Answer

Older home (1950s) smells of mildew...

I purchased a home in late 2009 and have been trying to get rid of a heavy mildew odor. Last week I discovered the seller had put vinyl siding over two layers of other siding. Underneath the vinyl was a layer of extremely damaged Boise Cascade panel siding. It was crumbling and had large holes in multiple places (no house wrap). Behind the holes I discovered clear plastic sheeting and underneath that was cedar lap siding. I continued on down to the Buffalo board that was somewhat warped and had a strong mildew odor.

Asked By Terri Gerhart | Jul 1 15
2 Answers

Nebraska — unvented attic with high humidity

Last year after a severe hailstorm the attic insulation and the entire roof deck of my 1600 sqft ranch style home in Fort Calhoun, NE was replaced. With the replacement we upgraded the insulation to Open Cell Icynene spray foam on roof decking. The spray foam is at least 6-8 inches on the roof, and covers the sidewalls, soffits, and attached garage ceiling. This completely closes in the attic to the thermal envelope of the house. I've been monitoring the relative humidity levels of the house for the last year.

Asked By Nick Schuler | Jun 28 15
4 Answers

Open-air barn

We are designing an unconditioned "party barn" in Central Texas for occasional gatherings for groups of various sizes. The barn has about a 1,400 sf footprint -- 1,400 sf at the ground floor then there is a loft that is about 200 sf. We have Big Ass Fans for air movement but would like to add an attic fan to exhaust the warm air that will build up in the loft/attic space. How do we calculate the amount of CFM that the fan should be moving?

Asked By Heather Gayle Holdridge | Jun 26 15
2 Answers

Spray foam insulation in attic?

I want to insulate a walk-up attic in a 100+ year old home in climate zone 6. I need to add insulation because there is only about a foot of blown in cellulose under the floor boards in the attic. I don't want to blow in more cellulose because I am thinking about finishing the attic for more living space. I am thinking about having closed-cell spray foam insulation applied against the roof sheathing. The rafters are only 2x4s and I am thinking about firring them out two to three inches to accommodate 5-6 inches of foam.

Asked By T S | Jun 27 15
71 Answers

Geothermal nightmare

We truly hope you can help us. We had a geo-thermal closed loop system (into the river) put in and it went online March 2012. WaterFurnace Super DeHeater, 4 Multi-Aqua mini-splits (included for AC) and an air-handler (included for AC). 3200 sq ft home with baseboard and in-floor radiant heating. $34,000 and we have had nothing but problems.

Asked By Colleen Nicholson | May 30 13
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