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8 Answers

How to handle SE/SW orientation? And any experiences with Richlin windows?

I'm planning a not-quite almost-passive retrofit to a 1,400 sq. ft. 1-1/2 story Cape Cod in Minneapolis (shooting for R-40 walls & R-50-80 roof). I'm looking for a US window manufacturer who can come close to European quality without the high cost, lead time and shipping impact. Oh yeah, and the windows must be standard crank-out casement as I have no interest in tilt / turn (I've used them plenty in Europe).

Asked By Ryan Griffin | Sep 29 14
3 Answers

Closed-cell spray foam on roof deck... shingle underlayment choice?

Good day,

I'm planning on doing spray foam insulation on the underside of my roof deck.

I'm about to start shingling next week, and was planning on using synthetic roof paper instead of tar paper.

Then I read an article saying that on unvented roof assemblies (what this will be), most synthetic roof underlayments should NOT be used.

I did some digging, and the product I had planned to use called "Rhinoroof" has a perm rating of 0.5, aka it would create a vapor sandwich between my shingles and under deck roof insulation.


Asked By Mark Helmrich | Dec 19 14
2 Answers


Why can't we click on a name and be able to send email ?

I am ajbuilderny and it is a gmailaccount.

Asked By aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a | Dec 22 14
7 Answers

Polyiso for basement

Morning all

I am about to embark on the basement insulation. I have a question about polyiso. After much reading I was so sure about putting xps 2" rigid foam against walls and rim joist.

I read the gba, several other forums and as I understand, the steps are - clean the basement walls, clean rim joist, place rigid foam, seal with great stuff, place xps with foam glue on walls, tape the seams, seal the edges with great stuff, leave a inch gap and frame with stud walls.

Asked By sr kod | Dec 20 14
1 Answer

Looking for "How to Install Minisplit"

I have viewed most of the youtube videos, and looked for a publication, but I have failed to find a step by step, how to how to install a mini split heat pump. We had our Fujitsu installed about a month ago at our own home and I helped the HVAC do the install, I'm just not 100% on doing it myself yet.

I really think most builders with some speciality tools and some direction should be able to install a minisplits.

Any resources would be greatly appreciated...

Asked By kye ford | Dec 22 14
17 Answers

Is this furnace venting/leaking problem as bad as it looks?

I'm visiting my parents' place for the holidays and using my newfound amateur knowledge of building science to find everything wrong with their old house. :) I'd like to get some confirmation on the most worrying thing I've found: a leaking furnace flue.

The furnace is a 30 year old 80% efficient model in the basement with a round metal flue that goes into a masonry chimney and exits about 40 feet higher at the top of the chimney. The connection to the furnace in the basement curves down at one point:


Asked By Nathaniel G | Dec 20 14
6 Answers

Sensors in the house envelope

We are designing our superinsulated Pretty Good House inspired dwelling. It will be constructed during the summer, 2015, in west central Wisconsin. I am willing to place some instrumentation in the envelope (like temp and humidity sensors) during the build so the house performance can be monitored afterwards.

I'm asking for suggestions for what sensors to place where to get good data. What would you like to see monitored? I am interested in heat flow through the slab and basement walls as well as temp/humidity profile in the above ground walls, but I'm open to any suggestions.

Asked By Karl Overn | Dec 21 14
1 Answer

Basement insulation

We just bought our first home. The basement is mostly finished, except for a side room that contains the furnace, washer, and dryer, and some storage space. We'd like to finish that room and put a small office at the end.

Asked By Cory Kaufman-Schofield | Dec 22 14
6 Answers

What to do about the existing housing stock?

Many of the articles and the focus here concern new construction, but this is an aging country with a mostly sufficient existing housing stock that dwarfs the new construction market by orders of magnitude. And these houses have the kinds of problems that make informed builders like you guys cringe.

Asked By Nathaniel G | Dec 22 14
1 Answer

"Cons and Solutions for using Rigid Foam below grade"

I found this very interesting study completed by Clemson University illustrating Cons and Solutions for using foam board below grade. Enjoy...


Asked By Richard Beyer | Dec 22 14
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