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3 Answers

Quick question about repairing an expansion joint in concrete

The joint is about 3ft x ~1.5 inches and the gasket put in place by the builder is long gone. I plan to install a new gasket and top off with the appropriate caulk/sealant.

Since the gap has been neglected I anticipate having add fill with some sort of material.

Q: What material should it be? Sand or soil? I have an opened bag of potting soil that I could tamp down in order to raise the gasket to the correct height. I'm thinking maybe a half inch of fill.

Thoughts?

Asked By John Clark | Aug 16 17
4 Answers

Root cellar ceiling — Rigid foam installation

I've seen many pieces of advice on here on fastening rigid foam insulation to basement walls, etc., but I have a somewhat unique fastening situation I'm trying to sort out.

Asked By Kevin F | Aug 16 17
12 Answers

Renovation to address heat gain (summer), heat loss (winter) and ice dams

We have a home at about 6000 feet elevation in Utah. It’s dry, and the temperatures can vary from below zero F in winter to over 100 F in summer. Our house was built in 1994 with some attic space and lots of cathedral ceilings. From what I have observed, the roof/attic was not insulated well when built. This has been partly remedied by blowing in extra insulation into the attic, but most of the cathedral ceilings where framed with 2”x12” with probably 8” or 9” thick batts of fiberglass. In short, the roof has lots of heat gain during the summer and lots of heat loss in winter.

Asked By Chris Butson | Aug 13 17
4 Answers

Check valve in between well and pressure tank?

Hello,
I've lived in my home for about 4-5 years and have always wondered if the random cycling of my well pump could be do to me not having a check valve between the pump tank and the well/pump.

The house was pre-existing, but I really question the ability of the pump to hold the pressure in, let alone to not have any small leaks in the piping all the way up from the well in the ground.

Asked By Mike M | Aug 11 17
5 Answers

Garage with in-floor heat

I live in a northern climate where freezing temps and snow is a common occurrence during the winter months. I am planning to build a new garage using hot water in floor heat. I was told by the plumbing contractor that in floor heat is not advisable unless a ventilation system is installed as well. Along with floor drains. The reason for the ventilation system is to guard against mold growing in the insulated walls caused by the evaporation of water from snow melting off the vehicles.

Asked By Pokegama | Aug 15 17
12 Answers

Is it worth the cost of adjustable-tilt racks for PV?

Currently we are looking at getting a 6kW PV system which will plan on installing on a outbuilding or a pergola. I want to know if it's worth the cost and possible headache of have the PV on an adjustable tilt change it the angle four times a year; December, March, June and September?

Asked By Arnold K | Aug 3 17
7 Answers

Alternative to a Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation

I wanted to build my house with a Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation. I've got a set of plans that I've been running by builders, and most don't have any experience with them. The general response is "Foundations need to go down 42 inches around here."

The general design for the house is:
Single floor
12" Double walls with a bearing exterior wall.
FPSF Monolithic slab with full sub-slab insulation
Rochester, NY Climate Zone 5

I have a couple motivations for the FPSF:

1. I want the house to be accessible (not too many steps)
2. I don't really want a basement.

Asked By John Ranson | Aug 15 17
25 Answers

What heating system should I install in my 150-year-old house in Connecticut? Oil boiler, ductless minisplit, or something else?

My family lives in a 2-story 2000-sq.ft. balloon-framed house in Western Connecticut (zone 5A). We currently heat exclusively with a Harman XXV pellet stove, which surprisingly keeps most of our house pretty comfortable even in the depths of our cold New England winters. Of course there are some rooms that will get down below 60 on the coldest of nights, but that just means we stay in the warm parts of the house, which works fine for us. We used to heat with a Burnham RS-111 oil-fired boiler piped through about a dozen beautiful and massive cast-iron radiators.

Asked By Rob Wotzak | Nov 9 14
4 Answers

Advice on tight building

I have my house rough framed, we are framing out the roof now. Climate Zone 2 ( Just north of Austin). 2x6 conventional framing 16 on center, and has the typical double headers around windows etc. I am nearing having to lock down my decisions on sheething, insulation etc. I have been considering using Zip R for a couple reasons.

1. breaks my thermal mass, that I have plenty of
2. Weather and air seal.

It is anything but cheap, I am looking probably 7000 for the 1inch.

However I am looking at other options

Asked By Sleaton | Aug 15 17
2 Answers

Re-roofing a flat roof in Utah

Hello,

I'm re-roofing our flat roof single-story home in northern Utah -- dry summers and sometimes snowy winters. Air humidity is very low and we get about 19" of precipitation, much of which is snow. We have about 2650 ft2 of conditioned space (walk-out basement) and used 510 therms of natural gas last year for heating at a cost of about $500 with a forced air gas furnace that is probably < 75% efficient. The interior of the house is tight based on a blower door test.

Asked By mtaylor12345 | Aug 15 17
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