Q&A: A Forum for Green Building Experts and Beginners

[Click map to enlarge]

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

The usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration:
Under the box labeled "More explanation," look for the words "File attachments."
Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!


22 Answers

HVAC options?

I need some help with HVAC planning for a duplex I am currently looking to build. It will be located in South West Manitoba aka Zone 7A from looking at the map.

I have a couple of options...
1) Stick built on site. This would give me the option of a slab foundation aka hydronic radiant heat.
2) RTM moved onto crawl space foundation. This would not allow for hydronic radiant unless I attached the lines to the underside of the RTM flooring (not inside a slab).

Asked By R Yan | May 12 15
3 Answers

Vinyl siding renovation

Hi

Asked By Chris Felker | May 14 15
7 Answers

ADA sealant recommendation please

Hello,
I'd like to air seal my baseboards to my drywall and concrete slab as part of an ADA.
What would you guys use to seal wood to acrylic paint & unfinished concrete?

I picked up some GE Silicone II Gutter & Flashing which says it sticks to wood and concrete, but was wondering if there was a better choice.

Thanks for your help,
-Richard

Asked By Richard Baumgarten | May 21 15
20 Answers

Ductless minisplits - Zone 5 - with basement

Hello folks, this is my first post at GBA so bear (beer) with me. My son and I are building a new for my wife and I to live our days out in, two story bungalow style with a full basement under.

Some stats;

Exterior Walls - 2x6 16" on center with 2' XPS on exterior, wet blown cellulose in the bays. 3/4" rain screen furring over foam, cedar lap siding. R19 in the bays + R10 = R29+

Ceiling - 2x10 sealed vault flash (core bond) + batt - R49

Basement Walls 8' (6.5" below grade/ 1.5" above) with 1.5" polyiso + R13 Batt in 2.4 stud wall over foam - R22

Basement Slab - 2" XPS

Asked By Brian Martin | May 16 15
4 Answers

Loud popping in ceiling or attic since newer insulation and roof

We live in the northwest. In the winter there is no noise. As soon as it starts to warm up there are very loud popping noises that sound like they are coming from the attic or ceiling. Wondering about heat in the attic. Workers said there is a lot of insulation - not sure what kind.

Any ideas what to investigate?

Asked By M Miles | May 20 15
6 Answers

Can I reuse single-pane steel sash windows?

A client would like to restore some window openings that were bricked-over by a previous owner. The original single-pane steel sash casement windows had been stored, and are in excellent condition. The building department views these "restored" openings as "new" openings, and requires compliance with the energy code, i.e. window U-factor of 0.30 or better. (The default value for these windows is U=1.20 per Table R303.1.3.)

Asked By Robert Drucker | May 21 15
12 Answers

Interesting SIP alternative

Came across this site EZ Sip (http://structuralinsulatedpanels.com/).

My original retirement house plan was the standard 2x6 wall framing, Roxul batt interior, with 1/2" ply exterior wall then 2" of Roxul then the furring strips with appropriate siding.

After seeing this concept and the associated savings in construction time, I am now in a bit of a quandary. Method does seem to meet interior and exterior insulation values, as well as issues of stud bleed through. Having ply on out side resolves potential accumulation of moisture due to dew point issues.

Asked By William Oldaker | May 19 15
14 Answers

Guidance for designing and building a low-lifetime-cost home in North Texas

My wife and I want to build (or buy) an energy efficient home in North Texas sometime in the next 5 years. We are not strongly attached to certifications, R-value-comparison-contests, or even a particular style of home. We just want to build something cost-effective that we can live in for the next 40 years without having to maintain high-income jobs to pay for the utility bills and mortgage. I have been doing a lot of research, but I wanted to get some expert opinions to help guide me in the right direction.

Asked By Chase Johnson | May 16 15
15 Answers

Rigid foam interior or exterior of basement?

I live in zone 5 and am planning to start the concrete work next month. Right now I am at or just over budget without factoring in any rigid foam insulation for the basement.

Asked By Nicholas C | Apr 6 15
4 Answers

Does this kneewall plan make sense?

I am in a 1915 Bungalow with sloping ceilings in each of four closets upstairs. I haven't demo'd yet, but I can guess what I'll find in terms of open joist cavities, etc.

My original plan was to demo the knee wall and spray foam the ceiling slope all the way down to the eave, but I just can't afford spray foam. So my tentative plan is to create an unconditioned kneewall area that can be used for storage.

Something about my plan seems a bit off, I'm wondering if I'm missing something big here.

I drew up a plan, I hope it shows up as an attachment.

Thanks!

Asked By Adam Sick | May 20 15
Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!