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3 Answers

Western Montana cabin and home

My wife and I are planning to buy a property in Western Montana, climate zone 6B, in the next few years. Our plan is to build a small cabin to use as a vacation property and then after I retire from the military we will build a large home and live there full time. We originally were looking at log cabins and homes because of the rustic look, but then I realized just how inefficient they are. Efficiency and cost are the main concerns and we would be going for the Pretty Good house concept over trying to earn any certifications.

Asked By Keith Roxo | Jan 30 15
4 Answers

Order of upgrades

In an older house, is there a particular order in which air sealing and insulating upgrades should be made? I understand every situation is different, so I am looking for general guidelines. I am looking at possibly purchasing a 40 year old house and planned on trying to air seal the attic and rim joists of the crawlspace right away as well as duct sealing. Any big holes like pull-down attic stairs would also be addressed. After completing the most obvious work I'd like to have a blower door test done.

Asked By Daniel Gillen | Jan 28 15
2 Answers

Looking for removable air barrier

I live in an older house and discover new air leaks all the time (14.85ACH50), i pulled some panels and since its balloon framing they lead all the way to the attic, i can see the kraft paper from one of the fiberglass batts (with a flashlight and mirror).

Asked By Alan B | Jan 31 15
4 Answers

Code Required - Electric Resistance Heater

Zone 4 - My building code department is requiring a heat source in all the bedrooms even though I am building a super air tight, super insulated home (way above code). I have a ductless mini split in the adjacent room and I leave my doors open but the building dept still wants to see a "heating source" in that room.

Makes no sense to install another minisplit unit in a small room so I want to get past code inspection by installing an electrical resistance heater. What is a good brand/type to install? Can I just install one of those wall mounted fireplace units that put out resistant heat?

Asked By Peter L | Jan 31 15
3 Answers

HRV removing too much humidity?

I have an issue that I hope to get help on. I just built a 3300 sqr ft. home in lower Michigan. The home has 6" exterior walls that are insulated with 1" of closed foam followed by high density fiberglass insulation. Windows are high efficiency resulting in a very tight envelope. In an effort to address IAQ, I had a HRV installed. What I am struggling with is maintaining a desirable humidity level (~35%). Currently my HRV is triggered during any fan call from our geothermal unit. I am struggling to get the humidity above 20%.

Asked By Derek Jamieson | Jan 31 15
2 Answers

Workshop/garage — Unvented attic & insulation questions

I live in a mixed-dry area (Lubbock TX). Technically I am within Zone 3B but from a practical standpoint, I am right on the border of Zone 3B & 4B. We average about 18” of rain a year but it’s been much less in recent years.

Asked By D C | Jan 28 15
1 Answer

Heat pump water heater for radiant floor heat?

I have a 190 sq ft basement pad for an addition that I would like to put in floor heat. Have been looking at various top of the line gas water heaters, but am curious about heat pump water heaters. Several good ones on the market specifically GE GeoSpring™ and Stiebel Eltron Accelera® 300.
Because of slow recover seems an 80 gallon tank would be best but just can't find much info on whether one of these would be good for radiant floor heat and my domestic water. I live in Asheville, NC a zone 3 climate zone, so winter do get below 20 F in Jan and Feb.

Any thoughts or experience here?

Asked By Clayton Hufford | Jan 31 15
1 Answer

How do I keep my sheathing dry?

This past summer and fall we renovated a 1950s bungalow in New Liskeard, Ontario (5700 Celcius degree days – that’s 10,260 F degree days if I’m converting correctly). We removed the interior drywall and the existing R6 batts. We also removed the siding, exposing the ½” plywood sheathing. Blueskin SA vapour barrier was applied to the sheathing from the sill plate to the top plate.

Asked By David Baerg | Jan 30 15
2 Answers

I will not be able to finish my deck for months but would like to get a final inspection signed off.

Suggestions for temporary deck railing that will meet code would be much appreciated. We are in Washington State.

Asked By Jacque Hyler | Jan 29 15
3 Answers

How can I stop snow from blowing into my soffit vents and up the attic vent chutes?

We live in Maine, next to the ocean, northeast exposer. When we get blowing snow, it comes up under the eaves, through the soffit vents, up the vent chutes and onto the insulation in the attic. How can we stop this problem? Should we cover the vents and/or stuff the chutes with plastic on the NE side?

Asked By Lynn Braff | Jan 30 15
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