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13 Answers

Crawlspace insulation

Hi everyone - Looking for some clarification around how to best re-insulate a crawlspace that has falling fiberglass batts.

The crawlspace is under an enclosed 3 season porch (no heat or AC), the crawlspace has insulated steam pipe and h/c water pipes running through it. The vents were previously covered with plywood (but not air sealed). The house also had termites, so I need to be able to continue annual termite inspections.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By oldhouse7 | Feb 1 17
2 Answers

Question on insulating barn

Hi everyone,

Heard about this awesome website by listening to Martin talk the FHB podcast, what a great depth of knowledge that man has!. Now I have a question that I hope to get an intelligent non biased answer for! I currently am in the middle of a project of retrofitting a portion of my barn in order to create a roughly 6' x8' bathroom/shower in a room that's about 16' x 24. That all is well and good but like I said it's....a barn, which means there's is absolutely zero insulation or finished wall surface and the outside wall is also the ship lap exterior siding.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By betterman0908 | Feb 20 17
3 Answers

Under tile electrical heating - Schluter Ditra Heat system 2017

Clients have asked me to install under tile electric heating. I've hear good things about the Schluter Ditra Heat system, however I've also read two things that worried me when this system was new to the US.

1. The thermostat only allows the heat to warm up to 84 degrees. You might feel this on your feet but it seems unlike to warm or dry the air above, even as a secondary heat source. Other systems allow 104 degrees. Is this still correct?

2. The Ditra heat thermostats produce a very loud clicking sound that is annoying and wake some people up.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Ryan Kennedy | Feb 20 17
11 Answers

Cracking slab

I had a basement slab poured in May, and it recently cracked in several locations. I am upset that the cracking did not follow control joints. The slab is about 5" thick, and I was aggravated to find that the control joints are only 1/2" deep. From everything I can find, 25% of slab depth is standard. Do I have a leg to stand on in asking the contractor to recut joints to appropriate depth and repair cracks? Slab is 4k psi with rebar on 2' centers poured over poly, 2" XPS, and ~9" crushed stone, in case it is relevant. Thanks for any input.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Jim Tyler | Feb 20 17
3 Answers

Garage Door Perimeter Seals

I am finishing up a garage build in New Hampshire. The garage space will be heated and the garage doors are the biggest issue as far as air infiltration goes. I have gone with a two inch thick polyurethane door. Each door section has a sealing strip inbetween to seal air infiltration. The issue that I am having is finding a good high quality perimeter seal. Garaga brand double seal was recommended for its good sealing qualitys and the vinyl rubber seal is supposed to be very flexible down to low temps.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jonathan Sinclair | Feb 20 17
2 Answers

Filling a sunken floor and laying Tile.

! have a sunken living room floor and intend to raise it to the level of adjoining rooms. The floor has porcelain tile on it, is not cracked and has been in place 10 years. The present depth is 4 3/4" below adjoining rooms. The present plan is to raise the floor with 2x4's, plywood, hardboard or equivalent and use porcelain tile to finish it off. Is it feasible to leave the existing tile and build up over it?

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Sammie Hodges | Feb 20 17
15 Answers

Building a "pretty good house" in Southwest Michigan

My husband and I are in the blueprint & planning process of our post-frame barn home build; we are building in Southwest Michigan (zone 5A). While we are not a financed build and are not going all out Passivhaus or net-zero energy, we are planning on doing what we can afford using green and passive solar concepts for heating, air exchange units and to use Roxul insulation and Prosoco weather barrier. All of which my husband could describe in grander detail...think Martin Holladay's "pretty good house" concepts :-)

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Brant Quinn | Jan 6 17
10 Answers

Installing LP Smartside over foam and 24 inch centers

We’re building a new home (SW Virginia) with 2x6 studs on 24 inch centers. We had hoped to use 1.5 to 2 inches of EPS rigid foam to the exterior of the sheathing, then 3/4 inch x 4 inch plywood furring strips, then LP Smartside lap siding. We knew we had to use the 76 series Smartside product for the 24 inch centers. Then I discovered that LP’s installation instructions specify 1.5 inch x 3.5 inch furring strips for foam greater than 1 inch in thickness, so I guess that would basically mean a 2 x 4 stud for every 2x6 stud in the wall.

In Green building techniques | Asked By William Costello | Feb 17 17
6 Answers

Heat-pump water heater availability and reliability

I was set to buy a geospring until I found out that they discontinued them. Does anybody have an opinion on the other brands out there?

In Mechanicals | Asked By user-6765908 | Feb 15 17
17 Answers

Electric tankless hot water

My name is John, and I'm an instructor at Madison Area Tech College in Madison Wi, in the Construction and Remodeling Program. We train or students in a 1 year diploma program how to be wood frame carpenters. We build super high efficient tiny homes with the students, that we sell. We incorporate lots of things talked about on this site. One thing we are trying to figure out: How to efficiently heat water without taking up too much space.

In Mechanicals | Asked By John Stephany | Feb 7 17
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