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16 Answers

Double Staggered-Stud Wall vs. 2x3 + Foam Strip + 2x4 Wall

My new house will be in a part of climate zone 2B in Arizona where the winter nights often dip into the 30s and the summer days often rise to 100 with around 45 days of "monsoon season" mostly in August when we'll get an hour of thunderstorms once or twice a week. We have moderate to severe termites.

Asked By Jeff Cooper | Jan 23 15
11 Answers

Does a flexible stainless steel chimney flue really need an insulation wrap?

I am preparing to install a stainless steel flexible liner inside an unlined masonry chimney on an exterior wall to provide draft for a wood stove. Every internet website selling the liners stresses the need for an insulation wrap to keep the vapors warm, improve the draft, and diminish creasote buildup. This has also been emphysized at GBA for similar reasons on multiple occasions. The available wrap liners are typically alkaline earth silicate (AES).

Asked By W. Timothy Ward | Jan 26 15
1 Answer

Order of upgrades

In an older house, is there a particular order in which air sealing and insulating upgrades should be made? I understand every situation is different, so I am looking for general guidelines. I am looking at possibly purchasing a 40 year old house and planned on trying to air seal the attic and rim joists of the crawlspace right away as well as duct sealing. Any big holes like pull-down attic stairs would also be addressed. After completing the most obvious work I'd like to have a blower door test done.

Asked By Daniel Gillen | Jan 28 15
28 Answers

Rheem's condensing water heaters (storage)

Hi,

My 14-year-old electric water heater is starting to look a little long in the tooth. Time to upgrade.

So, I'm looking for intel on Rheem's Professional Prestige Series: High Efficiency Condensing Power Direct Vent (RHE50) or its sister sold by Home Depot - Rheem EcoSense High Efficiency Power Direct Vent (ECORHE50).

I can't find any online reviews of either product (save one favorable review on HD's site).

For several reasons, I'm looking at a high efficiency storage water heater instead of tankless.

Asked By Michael Brahmey | Oct 11 14
0 Answers

Yet another window question (YAWQ): Pella Impervia feedback?

Hello,

I'm building a house in central Oregon (zone 5). It's a mostly passive solar design, with CMU shell construction that is insulated on the outside (my builder has a patented method to attach insulation to exterior of CMU walls) and this plus a mix of tile and concrete floors means I have a huge amount of thermal mass.

So we're considering using Pella Impervia with their high SHGC "Natural Sun" glazing for five of the main south-facing 42" x 112" windows (Alpen and their better U-value is planned for the other 30+ windows).

Asked By D Wadsworth | Jan 28 15
0 Answers

Adhesive and ignirion barrier for unfaced polyiso?

I got couple pallets of polyiso from insulation recycler. It is NRG Insulation 1.5" stuff. But it isn't foil faced.
Will be installing those in my basement with poured concrete walls.

Two questions

1. What is the best adhesive (I can hopefully get at Home Depot or Amazon) to glue those polyiso panels to the basement wall and how much of it do I use per panel.
2. Since it is not foil faced polyiso, can I use FSK paper for ignition barrier or is there another alternative, besides drywall?

Thanks!

Asked By Apollo S | Jan 28 15
0 Answers

Workshop/Garage Unvented Attic & Insulation Questions

I live in a mixed-dry area (Lubbock TX). Technically I am within Zone 3B but from a practical standpoint, I am right on the border of Zone 3B & 4B. We average about 18” of rain a year but it’s been much less in recent years.

Asked By D C | Jan 28 15
2 Answers

Advice for basement wall and flooring on an uninsulated basement slab

I am insulated a basement with a very low head room and cannot add any insulation to the floor. I am insulating the exterior walls and I have a trench drain and sump on the interior perimeter of the basement. This had been installed before moving in to the house. No water has shown up in the basement in the last 4 years.

The walls are fieldstone and I intend to use spray foam and provide a dimple mat along the fieldstone wall to funnel any water into the trench at the perimeter. Not sure if this dimple mat should go up the side completely or not.

Asked By E M | Jan 22 15
7 Answers

Flooring questions

Hi guys,
I just did the flooring in the basement, and on a different forum in the midst off a question got told off for the flooring I did.

I did concrete slab, 6 mil poly, 1 inch XPS, 1/2 inch OSB.

I was planning to put floor finishings on top. However I was told that it needs to be redone or else the wood will rot.

Does what I did look that bad? Is there a way out of it short of a re-do?

Thanks

Asked By sr kod | Jan 27 15
10 Answers

Got cellulose insulation, how to fix the interior holes?

They drilled two holes and loose filled it (i know, it should be dense packed). The holes are 2 inches wide, and plugged with styrofoam discs about 1in thick. Some are reasonably tight, some are loose. What is a good way to fix this, if i drywall compound and paint many of these will move over time. I was thinking of using a few cans of spray foam, cutting flush with a painting razor and painting. Would this work well, or do i need to sand and plaster before painting or is there a better way?

Asked By Alan B | Jan 22 15
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