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9 Answers

General contractor and his responsibilites

Guys,

Building a house and now trying to dig myself out of the hole created by my general contractor.

The house is a custom 9600 square feet (9 ceilings basement/ground, 8' second floor with 3 trey ceilings), a covered patio (16' deep x 70" wide) with 5 car garage (1900 sq-ft with13' ceilings)

Asked By beenash khan | Jul 25 15
4 Answers

Question about insulating foundation Superior Walls

Hello,
We are planning our new home in Illinois (border of Zone 4 and Zone 5). The entire exterior will be EIFS. The majority of the basement will be finished. The east wall of the basement will be a walkout, which we plan to have wood-framed. We plan to use the Xi Superior Insulation walls for our foundation, which adds 2.5" of Dow Styrofoam to the original Superior Walls for R-12.5. Here's a note from their website about the walls:

Asked By Kevin Hoene | Jul 28 15
7 Answers

Final countdown: Will 2 inches of rigid foam be worth it for me?

Hello all!

I have been asking questions and researching energy efficiency for the past two years. Finally I am getting around to building my own home and will be installing, or not installing, rigid foam in the next couple weeks!

My house build is financed mostly by a construction loan.

  • I have calculated $2,380 in the cost of rigid foam
  • $160 in material to bump out window and door openings 2"
  • $80-$160 in Aluminum
  • $300-$500 for labor to get Aluminum fabricated for the bottom
  • $40 in cap nails
Asked By Nicholas C | Jul 28 15
2 Answers

How to bend straw bales? Are twine or wire bales better for this?

Right now, I'm planning a round structure in zone 5A (western NY state, rural, frequent rains).

Books keep telling us that "you can bend straw bales" to conform to round walls.
They don't mention any way to do this.

I tried just whomping them over a log, which seemed to deform a (wired) test bale, but not enough.

-Is there some standard method that straw bale builders can recommend?
-And which are better for bending? Twine or wire?

Our farmer/friend/supplier would like to know one we want, and I don't know.

Asked By Jon Kendrick | Jul 29 15
9 Answers

Question on finishing brick-walled basement without exterior waterproofing

Some background info on the house:

It's a semi detached, about 100 years old, multi-wythe brick foundation, and it's in Toronto.
The basement windows are above grade.
The basement has a poured concrete floor.
The ground at the front (West) of the house never gets wet due to the front porch. Along the south there is an asphalt driveway which slopes decently - there are a couple of spots where the water ponds a few feet away and downslope from the walls. The remaining wall I can't see because it's covered by the back deck. Gutters and downsputs are good and drain away from the house.

Asked By Jon Haque | Jul 15 15
3 Answers

Feedback on 2x8 exterior walls with 2x4 studs to limit thermal bridging

I live in Eastern Washington, Zone 5 A. 100 degrees in the summer to zero in winter with 1-3 ft of snow. I will hopefully be building a home this summer, 2016. I originally looked at SIPs but am convinced that if they are not installed perfectly I may end up with moisture problems later on. My brother suggested 2 X 8 top and bottom plates with 2 X 4 studs, (1/2 inch gap between them to break the thermal bridging), and blown cellulose insulation. Then two separate pieces of 1 inch ridgid foam insulation on the outside.

Asked By Thomas Flanagan | Jul 28 15
11 Answers

We were looking to replace our front door which has 2 flanking sidelights

The door appears original to the house which was built in late 1890s (all glass is single-pane and the door has no weatherstripping). Needless to say, it's very drafty (we use rope caulk to seal gaps and plastic to cover windows in winter).

We've had 3 estimates for the work, all ranging between $3,000-$5,000 bucks. All contractors cite unknown condition of framing, subfloor, etc.

Asked By Christian Rodriguez | Jul 27 15
13 Answers

Insulating a wall that is exterior on 2nd floor, interior on 1st.

I hope the topic of this question is understandable. Imagine a floor plan that is a simple 2-story box (ie, 40x40) that has a single-story wing to one side. The common wall between the main structure and the wing will be both an interior (1st floor) and exterior wall (2nd).

Asked By Clay Whitenack | Jul 28 15
4 Answers

Pretty Good House in Iowa

I am planning on building a "pretty good house" in the MidWest (Des Moines). After throwing around ideas on different wall structures (double stud, 2x6 with wet blown cellulose and rigid foam exterior), I'm curious what the prevailing thoughts are on building a 2x4 wall (16" o.c.) with 1/2" exterior plywood sheathing. 2" rigid EPS would go exterior, with WRB being Tyvek, then furring strips and hardi-plank siding.

Asked By Thomas R | Jul 27 15
8 Answers

Insulation for 1:12 standing seam metal roof

Hello all,
Newbie to GBA but we are interested in building an efficient home. We live on the edge of zones 4 and 5 in Illinois. 100% of the exterior will be EIFS. The plan is for our exterior walls to be 2x6 with cellulose in the cavity and rigid foam over the sheathing.

My question is about how to ventilate our standing seam metal roof (1:12 pitch). Our architect didn't seem to have a good grasp on green building techniques.

My questions to architect:

Asked By Kevin Hoene | Jul 22 15
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