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2 Answers

Footing to foundation capillary break

Can a regular exterior latex paint we used for the capillary break between the footing and foundation, if one puts on a couple of coats. This is in a very dry climate, and the likelihood of any foundation water is almost non-existent. This is merely an extra added precaution. Footing poured today so we have the weekend to paint :-)

Thank you!

Asked By Steve Wilson | Jun 24 16
11 Answers

Geothermal vs. air-source heat pump

I have researching and getting quotes on hvac for a while now.. It is getting to crunch time.
Well insulated, tight house.

All three quotes include:
3 units, 3 air handlers, each zoned 3 times. Rigid Trunks and short flex runs.

option A. Carrier 18seer 25vna08... 5 stage. ( I don't like the potential harmonics problems of their greenspeed)

option B. Lennox x25 top of their line variable.

option c. Waterfurnace 7 series geothermal units. horizontally drilled ground loop.

Asked By Dean Sandbo | Jun 22 16
13 Answers

Now that outsulation is "out," what next?

Zone 5, Northeast US, two story residential home. Planning for exterior "true" cement stucco and areas of stone and brick veneer. After many permutations and consults, I have concluded, NO on outsulation. Two engineers, one architect, one stucco contractor, one mason and a few general contractors all said the same thing. The same thing that a while back was told to me here on GBA by Martin, "it is not proven and risky, be very careful".

Asked By Sal Lombardo | Jun 20 16
3 Answers

What should I use on the exterior of a dormer?

Climate code 5, old wood siding removed, 1/2" fiberboard in place, no insulation in the 2 x 4 walls. I will be installing vinyl siding. Mostly concerned that the dormer breaths and drys properly and not concerned with adding any R value. Thank you for your time.

Asked By Kris Burkett | Jun 24 16
7 Answers

Seeking insulation recommendations

I work with Habitat for Humanity in upstate SC (zone 3 - warm-humid), and we are researching practices to improve the energy efficiency of the houses we build.

We have been insulating the attic ceiling with blown-in fiberglass but are leaning towards insulating the whole building envelope now (cathedral ceilings and sealed crawlspaces).

First, is it cost-effective to put the HVAC unit and ductwork in the conditioned attic rather than the crawlspace?

Second, what type of insulation should we use in the roof?

Asked By Dylan Hillman | Jun 23 16
68 Answers

Why haven't steel-framed homes become more popular?

I am in the planning phase of building a home in the NJ-NY area, Climate zone 5. As I investigate my options; SIPS, double wall stick 2x4 wood, 2x6 wood, ICFs, CMU, Larsen trusses, etc.. and the myriad of permutations to insulate each one (spray foam, cellulose, hybrid batt & flash, exterior rigid foam/iso panels, etc....) I came across STEEL. My goal is as high R-value as I can get within reason $$, with hope of upwards of R-30 final values. That said, I need some objective input.

Asked By Sal Lombardo | Dec 27 12
1 Answer

Hello. I own a small 2 story semi-detached home 1024 sq ft in all. I'm chemically sensitive and the neighbor uses lots of pesticides that make me ill. I would like to keep these VOC's out. Air purifiers have not worked for me.

The walls holding the kitchen and bathroom cabinets adjoin and there are huge leaks between the units. In the living room the stairways adjoin. Is there any possibility of being able to completely seal my unit off from my neigbor's so that it's airtight? I read about someone doing this with builders foil. I don't want to move, but I don't want to waste money on something that's unfeasible either. Thanks so much for your knowledge and insight.

Brenda Koehler

Asked By BRENDA Koehlert | Jun 24 16
9 Answers

Insulation options?

Zone 3 remodel (gutted)

Please help decide how to finish off the insulation on the inside.

from the outside
zip r6 sheathing
1" xps
block wall

essentially r11 on the outside of the block.

I have started to put 1" xps on the interior of the block wall and 1" furring strips... I am realizing that this is taking up 2" of space... and I have the ability instead (and probably a lot easier) to just frame a 2x4 wall on the inside instead.

I am spray foaming the roof deck with 8" of open cell.

Asked By Dean Sandbo | Jun 22 16
12 Answers

Eastern Canada 'pretty good house' Insulation strategies

I've read so many articles my head is spinning. I'm building in New Brunswick Canada which appears to be equivalent to your climate zone 7. I'm endeavouring to build a pretty good house meaning efficiency to the point of diminishing returns aka maximum value. One of the major challenges I have here is reconciling good building practices I'm reading about here with the capabilities of local contractors. With that said, I have a few questions.

Asked By Barry Reicker | Jun 14 16
2 Answers

Roof buildup - Zone 4B

Curious as to this Shed Roof Build-up:

EPDM Roofing
2" Thermax Rigid Insulation Board (R-13)
Roof Underlayment
5/8" CDX Sheathing
2x12 DF#1 Rafters @ 24" o.c.
Layered Roxul Batt Insulation (R-46)

Any issues or potential problems?

Asked By Peter L | Jun 24 16
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