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17 Answers

Recently our contractor indicated he was complete with the insulation installed with cellulose in the existing walls at our home and wanted a signoff for customer satisfaction. Our home has cedar shingles, tar paper and pine tongue and groove sheathing. He removed the outer shingle and drilled through the tar paper and pine sheathing to install cellulose. THen he installed a styrofoam plug and put shingles back over. However, my husband was concerned that the area that was drilled and then filled with styrofoam may have moisture or leakage.

Asked By Katie Nunez | Aug 10 14
Answers

We are designing a house in a 5A climate zone and am wondering if anyone has any experience using a desiccant wheel system for residential cooling?

Asked By Nathan Kipnis | Aug 14 14
2 Answers

I'm about to break ground on a 1.5 story, 2100 sf Cape Cod house on Cape Cod (lots of knee-walls). The first floor is to be heated with Wirsbo Joist Trak. Also, the large room over the garage will have an insulated floor to allow for future conditioned space(mini-split). The house will use 11 7/8 I-Joists exclusively due to the open concept design and all floor surfaces above I-Joists will be glue and screw 3/4 plywood. My building code requires I use/meet the energy star checklist.

Asked By A Guy | Aug 13 14
42 Answers

Hi all,
Can editors step out from behind the curtain to ask opinions, too? I'm planning to redo my garage shop this Fall and although my primary heat for the space is a woodstove, I'd love to have some supplemental heating, and cooling in the summer would be great, too. I'm no schlep when it comes to remodeling work, but have never installed or seen a mini split install. Would I be a fool to try the install myself or have the kits gotten streamlined to the point that its basically plug and play, complete with factory-charged units and quick connect line sets, etc?

Asked By Justin Fink | Aug 22 13
6 Answers

Is there a safe way to tile a shower floor with a drain if I don't use the plastic tray like most showers have?
I heard someone mention there is a plastic tray that you can tile over?
I know the tray has less leakage and mildew mold but the tiles look so much nicer and richer.

Asked By maria teri | Sep 8 10
1 Answer

Hi everyone,

I'm looking at caulking the corners of the floor of my tile shower and looking into using AFM Safecoat Caulking Compound vs Eco-bond kitchen/bath. Has anyone had any experience with either product and would you recommend/not recommend either?

thanks!
Lee

Asked By Lee Taylor | Dec 30 13
9 Answers

This letter to the editor was published in our local paper:
________

Energy efficient AC units may cost more in the long run

I'm a contractor who was an engineering professor at A&M. I'd like to address the issue of air conditioning efficiency.

For some people, efficiency seems to have religious overtones. If you just want to be cost effective, the higher efficiency model may be more expensive in the long run.

BTU has suspended its rebate program while College Station Utilities continues its program, but has raised the minimum SEER energy-efficiency rating from 14 to 15.

Asked By Hugh Stearns | Aug 8 14
8 Answers

In reading various posts, I have noticed some innuendos and outright comments regarding the difficulties of installing windows and doors in framed walls with out-sulation and double stud walls. Being a novice at best, I would really love to hear opinions about the trials and tribulations involved. To structure the discussion a bit, please assume two wall designs.

Design 1: Drywall, 2x6 24” OC studs filled with R-23 MW batts, taped plywood sheathing (air barrier), 3” MW, WRB, furring, siding.

Asked By Rob Shuman | Aug 11 14
1 Answer

Hi there, I laid some engineered wood flooring on concrete with Mapei Ultraplan M20 self-leveling compound over a week ago. The bags said zero VOC premixed.

There was an awful sweet/fruity chemical smell when I mixed it. I called Mapei and they said it would go away when dry.

However, the smell is still here. I would have thought the underlayment (AirGuard Roberts 3-in-1) would cut the smell but it's bad.

I need to level plywood subfloors upstairs to finish this job and wondering if anyone can recommend an equivalent product that doesn't stink.

Asked By Brooke Beloso | Aug 8 14
1 Answer

I am about to install solar panels at my home. I want to do mini-splits in my house, but because if have a Cape with many small-ish rooms, I would need multiple indoor units. I live in Central VT, so the hyper heat units would be the way to go (it is cold here). However, apparently I can only do one indoor unit per outdoor heat pump on the current hyper technology. I've been told that Mitsubishi has the technology and will release it to the market any day.

Asked By DANIEL GOTTSEGEN | Aug 12 14
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