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2 Answers

Filling a sunken floor and laying Tile.

! have a sunken living room floor and intend to raise it to the level of adjoining rooms. The floor has porcelain tile on it, is not cracked and has been in place 10 years. The present depth is 4 3/4" below adjoining rooms. The present plan is to raise the floor with 2x4's, plywood, hardboard or equivalent and use porcelain tile to finish it off. Is it feasible to leave the existing tile and build up over it?

Asked By Sammie Hodges | Feb 20 17
1 Answer

New home build in Iowa (Climate Zone 5)

Is it possible for a new home build in Iowa, climate zone 5, to not have under slab insulation? What's the min code requirement for a poured concrete basement with walkout basement?

Is it normal to also have external foundation just sprayed with waterproof membrane and tiles?

Thanks

Asked By user-6759891 | Feb 20 17
4 Answers

Need advice on insulating walls

[Note: This question comes from a GBA reader named Katherine X. I am posting the question for her since she is having trouble registering.]

Asked By Martin Holladay | Feb 20 17
1 Answer

Roof insulation for a West Baltimore row house

I've read some earlier GBA discussions about insulating brick buildings and those with flat roofs, and I'm planning to follow the guidelines I've gathered from those. My question is about the full insulation process for the roof when you use spray foam on the interior side of a flat roof. I recognize that the best advice is to put the insulation on the exterior side on top of the sheathing, but for a variety of reasons, that wasn't possible when I had my roof replaced in the fall.

Asked By Timothy Werner | Feb 20 17
15 Answers

Building a "pretty good house" in Southwest Michigan

My husband and I are in the blueprint & planning process of our post-frame barn home build; we are building in Southwest Michigan (zone 5A). While we are not a financed build and are not going all out Passivhaus or net-zero energy, we are planning on doing what we can afford using green and passive solar concepts for heating, air exchange units and to use Roxul insulation and Prosoco weather barrier. All of which my husband could describe in grander detail...think Martin Holladay's "pretty good house" concepts :-)

Asked By Brant Quinn | Jan 6 17
10 Answers

Installing LP Smartside over foam and 24 inch centers

We’re building a new home (SW Virginia) with 2x6 studs on 24 inch centers. We had hoped to use 1.5 to 2 inches of EPS rigid foam to the exterior of the sheathing, then 3/4 inch x 4 inch plywood furring strips, then LP Smartside lap siding. We knew we had to use the 76 series Smartside product for the 24 inch centers. Then I discovered that LP’s installation instructions specify 1.5 inch x 3.5 inch furring strips for foam greater than 1 inch in thickness, so I guess that would basically mean a 2 x 4 stud for every 2x6 stud in the wall.

Asked By William Costello | Feb 17 17
2 Answers

Vented or Unvented Cathedral Roof for Tiny House?

Hi GBA,

I am designing a tiny house and am wondering whether to go 'Vented' or 'Unvented' with the cathedral roof? I'd like get the best performance possible so a second opinion about my proposed assembly would be great. I've attached my current details. I live in climate zone 4, West Kootenays, BC.

Asked By Steven Meldrum | Feb 20 17
1 Answer

Question on insulating barn

Hi everyone,

Heard about this awesome website by listening to Martin talk the FHB podcast, what a great depth of knowledge that man has!. Now I have a question that I hope to get an intelligent non biased answer for! I currently am in the middle of a project of retrofitting a portion of my barn in order to create a roughly 6' x8' bathroom/shower in a room that's about 16' x 24. That all is well and good but like I said it's....a barn, which means there's is absolutely zero insulation or finished wall surface and the outside wall is also the ship lap exterior siding.

Asked By betterman0908 | Feb 20 17
9 Answers

Cracking slab

I had a basement slab poured in May, and it recently cracked in several locations. I am upset that the cracking did not follow control joints. The slab is about 5" thick, and I was aggravated to find that the control joints are only 1/2" deep. From everything I can find, 25% of slab depth is standard. Do I have a leg to stand on in asking the contractor to recut joints to appropriate depth and repair cracks? Slab is 4k psi with rebar on 2' centers poured over poly, 2" XPS, and ~9" crushed stone, in case it is relevant. Thanks for any input.

Asked By Jim Tyler | Feb 20 17
0 Answers

Under tile electrical heating - Schluter Ditra Heat system 2017

Clients have asked me to install under tile electric heating. I've hear good things about the Schluter Ditra Heat system, however I've also read two things that worried me when this system was new to the US.

1. The thermostat only allows the heat to warm up to 84 degrees. You might feel this on your feet but it seems unlike to warm or dry the air above, even as a secondary heat source. Other systems allow 104 degrees. Is this still correct?

2. The Ditra heat thermostats produce a very loud clicking sound that is annoying and wake some people up.

Asked By Ryan Kennedy | Feb 20 17
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