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10 Answers

Crawlspace insulation

Hi everyone - Looking for some clarification around how to best re-insulate a crawlspace that has falling fiberglass batts.

The crawlspace is under an enclosed 3 season porch (no heat or AC), the crawlspace has insulated steam pipe and h/c water pipes running through it. The vents were previously covered with plywood (but not air sealed). The house also had termites, so I need to be able to continue annual termite inspections.

Asked By oldhouse7 | Feb 1 17
10 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
3 Answers

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
5 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

Do pellet stoves generate much creosote?

Having lived in a house with wood heat for over 40 years, I've fairly familiar with the ways in which wood stoves can contribute to creosote formation in chimneys and stovepipes. However, I'm not very familiar with pellet stoves.

A friend recently wondered about creosote formation in a chimney connected to a pellet stove. So I'd like to hear from owners of pellet stoves: Does your stove lead to more or less creosote formation than a typical wood stove?

-- Martin Holladay

Asked By Martin Holladay | Feb 17 17
4 Answers

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
2 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
1 Answer

Garage Door Perimeter Seals

I am finishing up a garage build in New Hampshire. The garage space will be heated and the garage doors are the biggest issue as far as air infiltration goes. I have gone with a two inch thick polyurethane door. Each door section has a sealing strip inbetween to seal air infiltration. The issue that I am having is finding a good high quality perimeter seal. Garaga brand double seal was recommended for its good sealing qualitys and the vinyl rubber seal is supposed to be very flexible down to low temps.

Asked By Jonathan Sinclair | Feb 20 17
3 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
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
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