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2 Answers

We have a 1950s house in Saskatoon, SK, Canada (climate = warm summers, very cold winters and ~ 350mm moisture/year). Our neighbours re-built their house and the landscaped surface is now ~12" higher than ours (about level with our stucco siding). One of their downspouts also drains directly onto our property (don't ask). There is 3 ft between our outside wall and the property line. They have a concrete sidewalk between their house and the property line.

We have had several suggestions for dealing with drainage on our side:

Asked By Colin Kindrachuk | Aug 27 14
2 Answers

I recently installed this model Zehnder HRV, and now need to learn how to balance it. The manufacturer's installer manual is too brief on this procedure to be helpful. Is there anyone out there who can anyone give me the detailed procedure on how to balance this HRV?

My main concern is to ensure the intake/exhaust is balanced and that I am not pushing too many CFM's into/out of the house. I don't care too much about getting each room's cfm perfect at this point - since I'm going to be continuing to renovate the house. I just don't want to be pushing moisture into the walls right now.

Asked By Matthew Robinson | Aug 27 14
3 Answers

I have a 1-story dwelling with an attic (cold space) that has approx. R-30 insulation but NO plastic vapor barrier between the sheetrock and the insulation....

I am considering adding a radiant foil barrier on top of the the blown insulation.
What are potential problems could I have, as a result of this installation? Moisture problems? Our home is in Northfield, MN 55057

Asked By gary schutte | Aug 27 14
1 Answer

I have a question about cladding. I’ve always liked brick, but it’s easy to screw up and moisture management and insulation questions abound. So, I’ve been thinking about fiber cement siding with a rain screen. However, it appears that it’s difficult to put rain screen strapping on over exterior insulation without having bowing, and this tends to telegraph through to the cladding. This leads me to ask about mortarless bricks like Novabrik. If you don’t have mortar and do have a rain screen gap, don’t most of the moisture and insulation issues with brick veneers go away?

Asked By andrew c | Aug 27 14
8 Answers

I got a quote for windows from Intus and thought it the quote was high. But I do like the windows themselves.

A 24 x 48 fixed window was $385 with a simple grid pattern white - thats 48.13 sft
A 36 x 48 operable window was $745 white - thats $62.60 sqft faces west
and a 42 x 72 operable window white $1000.00 thats $47.62 faces west

I read somewhere on GBA blog that a typical Intus window was $30-35 sft fixed and $40-$45 operable, I have 34 windows and only 7 are operable and totals $28,000, is this reasonable or not???

Asked By Sam smith | Aug 26 14
4 Answers

We are retrofitting a slab on grade portion of our home that has an existing 4" thick concrete slab with a thinnish layer of insulation underneath. We are going to install radiant heating over top of this existing slab. There's an existing fireplace in the room and the hearth is 3 inches above the existing slab.

So to keep the new radiant overall thickness to roughly 2 1/2 inches to allow for 1/2 inch for wood flooring I was going to install 1/4 inch thick extruded poly (Owens Corning fanfold) then Hilti wire mesh, then 5/8 tubing, then gypcrete.

Asked By chris hoy | Aug 26 14
33 Answers

Does anyone know if there are any companies that offer residential fuel cells on a lease program?

I met someone at RESNET this year who worked for a company that was offering such a program, but I have not been able to reach him since mid-March.

I'd like to utilize one to carry the electrical load on my future home.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Asked By Mike Collignon | Jul 24 12
6 Answers

Wondering if someone can identify a specific product for this application. The merits of the application might entice some to debate, but I am neither a code writer nor building inspector, just a guy caught between them.

I have a job with a woodstove in an art studio space. It does not have a direct connection from the firebox to an outside air duct, and it would be difficult and costly to accomplish that, because the stove is on a concrete slab, it is against a wall with a garage on the other side, and it's 12' from any exterior wall.

Asked By David Meiland | Aug 26 14
2 Answers

I have a 1950 house that originally had grooved red cedar shingle siding, 14" exposure with doubled up courses. I'm in Portland Oregon and there are many mid-century houses still with this style of siding and I love the character of it. Unfortunately, in the early 90s, a previous owner covered it up with depressing grey vinyl siding with no window trim at all and it looks pretty bleak. Today I took the vinyl off a small rear wall to asses the shingles. Here are the photos:

Asked By Nick Welch | Aug 26 14
6 Answers

I live in North Vancouver, BC, marine zone 4/5 and am renovating an older home.
The basement was finished years ago as a suite, to about R30 so I am not interested in redoing it.
The problem is we don't have enough ventilation in some of the rooms due to the fact that it is mostly a direct vent gas fireplace heating it.
Cold air returns are virtually non existent.

I was thinking of installing an HRV to provide more ventilation.

The spaces in the basement are a bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, a kitchen/living area and a separate family room.

Asked By Aaron Gatzke | Aug 24 14
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