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6 Answers

1974 construction retrofit

A friend is looking to replace siding and windows on his 1974 house in climate 4 marine. The main floor and upstairs walls are 2x4 and the basement walls are 2x6. There is timber framing inside that I suspect bridges to the ext sheathing w/o any insulation. Where he has removed some of the vinyl siding, he found fiberboard sheathing (R1.32 stamped on it). I don't know what is under that. (The garage is just studs + fiberboard + siding). The gable walls have 3" overhangs and the roofing is 2 years old.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Mark Walker | Apr 25 17
5 Answers

Manufactured foundation drains, e.g. Z-Drain

Our builder wants to install the foundation drain on top of the footer instead of alongside of it. We complained that this would potentially give us a line of standing water above the footer/foundation wall joint (though it would remain some inches below the basement slab level. ) We will have Tremco Tuff n Dri waterproofing all along the wall and along that joint, so if it does a perfect job indefinitely then we should be fine. But if not, we could get some wicking up that wall.

In Green building techniques | Asked By William Costello | Apr 26 17
2 Answers

Moisture control / insulation for new cinder block shop with loft / den.

Hello Folks

I've been reading through the forums for an answer to this question, but haven't been successful in finding one. I'm building for the first time, so this is a learning curve for me.

I live in west Florida, and have a project in the works. I'm going to be building a 55ft x 38ft workshop, that will be 2/3 work space, and the remaining 1/3 will be a loft / den living space with a small kitchen, laundry area, and bathroom. So around 1400sq ft. I am planning on controlling climate with a 3 air handler mini split system.

In General questions | Asked By brew0688 | Apr 24 17
1 Answer

Linseed oil paint--your experience wanted!

Through the years there have been a couple mentions of the stuff (Allback, Viking--old school linseed based paints) on the Q+A section here, but to date I haven't seen any candid reviews or recaps of folks' experience.

In Green products and materials | Asked By jonathan nagar | Apr 26 17
4 Answers

Tar Paper vs Red Rosin Paper

I'm having hard wood floors fixed and the contractor wants to use Tar Paper vs. Red Rosin Paper. Is one more health-safe than the other?

I'm very sensitive to smells and chemicals. We had Fiberlock put down on the subfloor that I was sensitive to. The contractor said the Tar Paper would serve as more of a vapor barrier to it, but i don't want to add more chemicals if Tar Paper is less safe than Red Rosin. Thanks!

In Green products and materials | Asked By Masb H | Apr 26 17
7 Answers

Deep blown in cellulose for attic - questions

I have a few questions regarding deep (beyond R60) blown in cellulose for an attic. Cellulose is relatively cheap and I'd like to maximise my attic insulation without causing any other issues:

1. Several manufacturers of cellulose insulation have depth/R-value charts that stop at R60. Is there any practical reason for this, or is it just because most people don't bother going above R60?

2. Does compression above a certain depth negatively affect the performance of the insulation in any way? I.E. does your R-value/$ go down appreciably beyond a certain depth?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Lance Peters | Apr 24 17
16 Answers

All-electric vs. natural gas in Zone 2

I'm building a house in Houston, Texas. It will probably be a 'pretty good' house - dense pack cellulose and exterior rigid foam installation with an encapsulated attic and targeting an ACH50 of <3 with an ERV system for ventilation. I will have a sizeable solar PV array on the roof - 6-8 kw so I have been debating whether to use natural gas as in my current house for multiple appliances or go all electric. Pros and Cons as I see them are:

Benefits all electric:
No standing monthly charge of $25 for gas since consumption is below threshold 9 months of year

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By user-6822325 | Apr 22 17
15 Answers

Raycore - is it the product for me?

I was pretty much on board with buying Raycore for the 4500 s.f. home I am building in downstate NY, which is steel framed, so I actually don't need any structural value out of the exterior walls other than for supporting the windows and doors (and supporting the walls themselves). I am also going with a wire lathe and stucco on the exterior - Raycore told me I could direct apply the wire lathe and did not have to use any sheathing if I did not need the shear strength, but I am hesitant to do so.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Joe McCarthy | Jul 14 14
1 Answer

Can rigid foam insulation be used on brick and mortar walls?

Hello, I am looking to finish my basement. I live in Chicago. 2/3 of the wall is poured concrete foundation. The top 1/ 3( which is mostly above grade) is brick and mortar. The brick and mortar section is also recessed from the face of the poured foundation by about 2in. I was orginally thinking of using ridgid foam but now after research I feel unsure about which type would best in my application. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you , Steve

In Green products and materials | Asked By sburban | Apr 25 17
1 Answer

Should I place a vapor barrier on an inside wall?

I have built a wine room and have been advised that I should create a vapor barrier on the walls outside the wine room since I do not want water vapor to seep through the walls when the cooling is running. Is that correct.advisable? I live in New Mexico and have had a smaller wine room for eight years with no discernible problems and am wondering if I should do that. Also, I have been advised to place a vapor barrier on the outside stucco walls as well. Any comments and advice would be welcomed

In General questions | Asked By Sabawa | Apr 26 17
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