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2 Answers

Looking for guidance on how to downsize in a green way

Hello. Am looking for some guidance. My husband and I want to sell our current home and downsize to something smaller and greener. Our budget is pretty limited, though, so we're trying to figure out what the best options may be. We will likely have to pay a fair amount just to get out of our current mortgage, pay closing costs, etc. Then we've been approved for a 150,000 mortgage and with that we could:

a. buy an existing smaller home, close to nature (though those seem very hard to find in our budget)
b. buy land and put up a modular home

Asked By Jen Yost | Sep 19 14
2 Answers

Thoughts on insulating — renovation

I ‘m trying to decide what insulation value to go with on a house we are renovating in Toronto, ON. It’s a 1 ½ storey that we are making 2 storey with adding addition on the back and attached garage.

The 1st storey walls are to be left, 1950s double brick walls no insulation. The 2nd storey I would like to go with either 2x6 with R24 Roxul or 2x8 R28 or 2x4 x2 with 3xR14=R42 and 3”Roxul Comfort board IS R12 on the outside.

Asked By Dave Bentley | Sep 18 14
2 Answers

Where did vestibules go?

With all the emphasis on energy efficient building enclosures and air sealing, what happened to the vestibule? A fair amount of thought goes into the energy penalty small leaks represent to a well sealed house, but surely opening the main entry represents a significant air change, especially if it is windy or you are talking to someone who has knocked on your door.

Asked By Malcolm Taylor | Sep 18 14
1 Answer

Metal building — office insulation

Architectural details indicate insulation at 16-18' ceiling heights and vertical walls with methods typical of metal buildings. Offices being built inside much like a story and a half home due to headroom at eaves verses the center of the building. Heating units and distribution is hung from roof structure above 8' suspended ceiling.

I'm of the opinion that a raftered ceiling at 10' or so with drywall and blown cellulose insulation will: -Provide a tighter envelope.
-Reduce the amount of conditioned space.

Asked By William Sauder | Sep 18 14
6 Answers

Conditioning and venting a small cellar - Western NY

Gentlement, what do you advise?

Option 1 - Supply and return of conditioned air approach: Seal the cellar and exchange conditioned air a supply and return approach using 2 or more floor vents/registers between cellar and the main house envelope. Possibly use humidity controlled booster fan in a vent.

Option 2 – Supply only, positive pressure approach: Use one vent pathway only, for pushing conditioned air into the cellar (no exchange with the house). Humidity controlled in-line vent fan.

Asked By flitch plate | Sep 17 14
9 Answers

Most cost-effective method for achieving 3 ACH 50?

What are your strategies?

Asked By Nick Sisler | Sep 17 14
6 Answers

Tudor half-timber battens and exterior stucco — rainscreen assembly

Hi, I am having a house built in a Tudor style.
What are the effects of Tudor half-timbered battens on a stucco's rainscreen layer?

The lower half of the house will have a stone exterior.
The upper half will have a stucco exterior.

I have read the article “To Install Stucco Right, Include an Air Gap” and understand the importance of having a ventilated rainscreen gap in the stucco assembly.

Asked By Ani Brown | Sep 17 14
6 Answers

Has the Oak Ridge study on convective heat loss in blown fiberglass been updated to cover newer materials?

I'm evaluating blown cellulose vs. blown fiberglass (Knauf Ecofill). The Oak Ridge study is often quoted regarding the drop in R-value of blown fiberglass when the temperature differential is high. However the tested fiberglass density (.4 - 5 lb/ft^3) is much lower than the newer fiberglass.

Asked By Neil Weinstock | Jul 21 14
12 Answers

I'm wondering if you can insulate the attic roof rafters

Thanks everyone for your insight. I think the thing I've learned is that if your not going to finish the attic area and the walls to the finished room are insulated you don't have to insulate the roof joist, but you do need to insulate in between the floor joist and the finished walls.

In our doormer, There are two small doors going into the attic area from a finished dormer area, and the walls that are finished have batting. The floor joist in the attic have old blown fiber glass that has settled, so we need to fluff it up or add to it.. Thanks so much everyone.

Asked By kristin burton | Sep 12 14
7 Answers

Better choice of exterior wall construction for new home?

We're building a new home in central Iowa. We're in climate zone 5. We thought we had a final above grade wall spec. Now, we're entertaining a different one. I think the first one is more robust, but I'd like an opinion on the two walls:

Wall 1 from inside to out:
1/2" drywall with latex paint
MemBrain "smart vapor retarder"
2x6 wood stud, 16" o.c.

Asked By Silas Hoeppner | Sep 16 14
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