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50 Answers

Wet OSB - how much water can it take?

We are two weeks from having trusses and roof on our new house. The rains are killing us. We painted the subfloors before the rains and have been sucking water after each storm. We are dreading putting the hardwood floors down (someday). How much damage can happen due to this rain, glad it's helping the drought, but it's definitely stressing us out!

Asked By colleen1 runyen | Dec 17 14
4 Answers

Sensors in the house envelope

Hi,
We are designing our superinsulated Pretty Good House inspired dwelling. It will be constructed during the summer, 2015, in west central Wisconsin. I am willing to place some instrumentation in the envelope (like temp and humidity sensors) during the build so the house performance can be monitored afterwards.

I'm asking for suggestions for what sensors to place where to get good data. What would you like to see monitored? I am interested in heat flow through the slab and basement walls as well as temp/humidity profile in the above ground walls, but I'm open to any suggestions.

Asked By Karl Overn | Dec 21 14
1 Answer

Airsealing an attic

Hello, I have a 172 year old brick home and have some questions regarding attic venting. My attic is in poor shape. It was "finished" when the house was built, with plaster walls, a flat plaster ceiling and 1 partition wall. I've been in the house about a year and am just now deciding to do some work up there. There are sections of sagging plaster and a few holes in the ceiling. I decided to widen a hole in the ceiling to peek up into the very top of the roof. The timbers look like they're in great shape but the masonry at the gable ends and chimney stacks are crumbling.

Asked By Dan McGonigle | Dec 21 14
10 Answers

Is this furnace venting/leaking problem as bad as it looks?

I'm visiting my parents' place for the holidays and using my newfound amateur knowledge of building science to find everything wrong with their old house. :) I'd like to get some confirmation on the most worrying thing I've found: a leaking furnace flue.

The furnace is a 30 year old 80% efficient model in the basement with a round metal flue that goes into a masonry chimney and exits about 40 feet higher at the top of the chimney. The connection to the furnace in the basement curves down at one point:

https://i.imgur.com/xBMUIUo.jpg

Asked By Nathaniel G | Dec 20 14
4 Answers

Is a gas fireplace blower fan an energy-efficient investment?

In reading some of the prior blogs concerning the issues surrounding a ventless fireplace I was struck by the strong feelings for both positive and negative positions on a ventless design. My question actually pertains to the energy efficiency and advisability of adding a blower fan set up to a fireplace . Does a blower fan make the fireplace much more efficient in terms of using the BTU's created by combustion of gas? It certainly seems that it should. It also seems that a blower fan would exacerbate the distribution of negative byproducts if that is in fact an issue.

Asked By W. Timothy Ward | Dec 20 14
3 Answers

How to handle SE/SW orientation? And any experiences with Richlin windows?

I'm planning a not-quite almost-passive retrofit to a 1,400 sq. ft. 1-1/2 story Cape Cod in Minneapolis (shooting for R-40 walls & R-50-80 roof). I'm looking for a US window manufacturer who can come close to European quality without the high cost, lead time and shipping impact. Oh yeah, and the windows must be standard crank-out casement as I have no interest in tilt / turn (I've used them plenty in Europe).

Asked By Ryan Griffin | Sep 29 14
25 Answers

Quarter Round on Rammed Earth

I'm trying to attach 3/4 x 3/4 to rammed earth pony walls I put in this rehab I am doing but the 3" finish nails are not holding. Any ideas?

I could try dipping in contact cement but I want to keep it all natural. What would they use for concrete?

Reason is although I used a surface sealer I found out the vacuum will tear the wall up.

PIC below is before, I'm pretty happy with it for my first project indoors. Realtor is going to give me feed back before I build homes.

Asked By Terry Lee | Dec 18 14
4 Answers

Polyiso for basement

Morning all

I am about to embark on the basement insulation. I have a question about polyiso. After much reading I was so sure about putting xps 2" rigid foam against walls and rim joist.

I read the gba, several other forums and as I understand, the steps are - clean the basement walls, clean rim joist, place rigid foam, seal with great stuff, place xps with foam glue on walls, tape the seams, seal the edges with great stuff, leave a inch gap and frame with stud walls.

Asked By sr kod | Dec 20 14
5 Answers

Ventilating

I own a 1100 square foot vintage condo that desperately needs ventilation but has no duct work no HVAC no dehumidifier, the space gets stuffy and hot, very uncomfortable in the summer and in the winter with everything closed, condensation develops on the windows.

Would appreciate any advice with what the best way to ventilate the space is without breaking the bank: an air handler? The Broan ventilators?

Thanks!

Asked By Vishy S | Dec 21 14
85 Answers

Modern (hydronic) heating and what all should start to know as of 2014

I stumbled upon this site to do with researching an update to a (hydronic) heating system I installed two decades ago.

So much has changed mainly the best change is the access we all have now to information.

This is the best read I have had off the internet to do with modern current (hydronic) heating.

Dana, besides your wealth of help here, this pictorial is great for the visual types like me.

http://www.duluthenergydesign.com/Content/Documents/GeneralInfo/Presenta...

Asked By aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a | Dec 4 14
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