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1 Answer

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
6 Answers

Geothermal and SDHV in new ICF home

We are in the process of building a new home in Climate Zone 5. It is an ICF [insulated concrete form] construction from basement foundation to gable.

I am intending to use a SDHV [small duct, high velocity] 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
1 Answer

I have a crawl space with cold joints that are inadequately sealed and ooze water. How can I seal them?

I would like to do it healthfully and effectively so I don't have to be concerned about water intrusion in the future.

Asked By Kevin Krafft | Feb 7 16
1 Answer

Not sure what's going on with this foundation...

This is not my house so questions will take a bit to ask the owner and post, but as i understand it its a century old house near Toronto Ontario, the original basement was concrete but only about half way down, (shown by the hard to see cantilevered foundation) but the basement was dug out to full height and the CMU was installed inside of the original foundation.
The question is what is causing the cracking (is the house shifting, rising or the foundation falling) and how best to deal with it?

Asked By Alan B | Feb 6 16
1 Answer

Does plywood flooring have to be removed before adding insulation?

My attic currently has a settled 8" of blow in insulation. I am adding more batts at an R-30 value. Previous owners installed plywood on joists for storage and nailed it every 6". Can the batts I'm addind be placed over plywood or must it be removed?

Asked By Dan Dadario | Feb 6 16
1 Answer

Raised-heel trusses can be annoying

We installed raised-heel trusses with bottom chord overhangs on our house. The top of the top chord is 20" above our top plate. According to the 2012 International Residential Code for seismic zones or zones designated for winds of 100 mph, raised heel trusses more than 15.25" have to be blocked and braced.

Asked By Jimmy Nguyen | Feb 6 16
25 Answers

Final advice on insulating a basement correctly

Hi I’ve read the great articles here on how to insulate the basement correctly - I just want to make sure I'm going to do the work right and I trust the folks at GBA

Overview

• Southern exposure home – south has 2x6 pt walls with a few windows and doors (basement level)
• North has an 8ft concrete wall that behaves like a huge cooler – it also has a 24inch 2x6 pt wall on top of that, so the basement ceiling height is 10ft.
• In the worst heat in summer 90 degrees + the basement is extremely cool with the windows closed – just like air conditioning

Asked By Robert Metelsky | Aug 4 15
9 Answers

Roxul comfort board in basement?

I spoke to someone at the Roxul company the other day who recommended the following basement insulation. First, tyvek or similar against the concrete basement wall, then 1 1/4 " roxul comfort board for a thermal break, then a stud wall filled with roxul batts--- sheetrock. Do you see a real problem with water condensing on the concrete with the comfort board and tyvek there? Still seems like too much work but I am curious performance wise.

Asked By Nyle Phillips | Sep 27 12
1 Answer

Fireplace insert or glass doors + outside air intake?

I have a rather large fireplace that can clear the house of all heat, so I am never really using it. Would be nice to make it functional source of heat and have it as a backup for those times in winter we lose power or when minisplits can't cover entire heating load.

Question: do I have to go the expensive fireplace insert + outside air supply route, or going with the proper glass doors + outside air supply would give me good return on investment?

Asked By Apollo S | Feb 6 16
8 Answers

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
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