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13 Answers

Is my siding pine or cedar?

My wood siding needs repairs, and a couple of contractors who looked at it were not sure whether it was pine or cedar. It is not painted, just stained. How do I determine whether the siding is pine or cedar so I can make sure that the new boards match the old?

Asked By Moya Mim | Oct 31 12
3 Answers

Heat loss - attached garage slab

Hi, if i want to use radiant floor heating in the slab foundation but not in the attached garage, will there be heat loss into the garage? If so, any suggestions on a better way?

Asked By Linda Ingalls | Nov 1 12
4 Answers

Aluminum or vinyl gutters for Northeast?

Adding gutters for house that never had them in the Northeast. Cold, wet, snowy area. Lots of trees with leaves above the house. 1.5 story house (low gutters).

What is a better choice, aluminum or vinyl?

In either case, should I specify any particular features (thickness, size etc.)

Asked By Moya Mim | Nov 1 12
2 Answers

Do building code officials actually support IECC Performance Paths?

Pretty much all of the IECC code revisions for both residential and commercial include a whole building performance option for code compliance. As far as I can tell this path is not supported in RESCheck or COMCheck which only check prescriptive requirements or envelope tradeoffs. In your experiences do building code officials actually support these paths? What software programs do they allow for proof of compliance? Where (which state/region)?

Asked By Nick Sisler | Nov 1 12
4 Answers

Conditoning a crawl space: process and materials

I'm trying to find a contractor to do a job that I cannot do due to medical issues. But, what I can do is have specs in the proposal consistent with what I expect. I have read Martin Holladay's comprehensive article on how to condition a crawl space.

Asked By william phillips | Oct 31 12
18 Answers

Is a WRB necessary with a rainscreen?

I'm about to enter the WRB stage of my house. I've avoided the use of a WRB on my roof, and would like to go without on my walls.

Covering an entire house with a WRB seems excessive in a rainscreen system. Capillary water seems to be the only enemy of a rainscreen wall. Impermeable furring strips, or an impermeable strip at the furring strip layer would appear adequate at preventing capillary moisture from migrating into the wall from wet siding. Asphalt felt, or plastic housewraps do not seem ideal for this task.

Asked By Richard Baumgarten | Oct 29 12
3 Answers

Media recognizes USGBC for greenwashing

The cover story today (with two complete inside pages!) for USA Today is a scathing attack on the USGBC and LEED for certifying all-glass buildings and even an over-the-top Las Vegas Casino. The article is chock-full of information which is going to be hard to ignore, I think.

Asked By JoeW N GA Zone 3A | Oct 24 12
10 Answers

Insulating a flat roof: ventilated or unventilated?

I have a (very sligthly sloped) flat roof deck held up by 2x8's to which the ceiling for the upstairs room is attached. Therefore, the space between the ceiling and the roof deck is about 7 inches - much like a cathedral ceiling, except that it's basically flat.

In each 16" wide channel there is a pitiful layer of R13 fiberglass batt attached to vapor barrier paper laid against the ceiling, with cold air blowing continuously over and arround it from openings at either end ("vents").

Asked By H Hummel | Dec 12 11
4 Answers

Do you carry on a discussion about remodeling with energy savings, retrofitting existing residential buildings?

Do you carry on a discussion about remodeling with energy savings, retrofitting existing residential buildings? The new stuff is great but we seem to have to make significant compromises for existing properties.

In my residential construction business, homes can have 20-25% of each window in trouble. Repair and add storms or replace, kits or units?

Also, when retrofitting basements I understand the insulation details for walls but how should the existing concrete floor be handled in a 1950-60's home? The basement will remain a basement, usable space other than storage anticipated.

Asked By Glenn Berger | Oct 17 12
2 Answers

Are there any issues with Spray-foam next to Batt insulated walls?

We have a project where we there are additions and renovations to an existing residence that has batt insulation throughout. We have specified closed cell spray foam insulation to be used in the addition walls floor and sloped ceilings and batt in flat ceilings. In the existing part of the house where some exterior walls will be renovated we have specified spray-foam. The remaining existing house will not receive new insulation. My questions is, are there any issues with condensation using both insulation types adjacent to each other?

Asked By Martin Brown | Oct 31 12
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