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2 Answers

Upgrading a crappy HVAC setup

My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a new home in Northern NJ. The home was built in 1986 with forced hot air heat and withOUT air conditioning. Air conditioning was added later.

As a result, the house has two sets of ducts. One set feeds heat to both floors from the basement. The other feeds conditioned air to both floors from the attic - but there are too few ducts on the first floor for the A/C to work well for that floor.

The furnace uses oil and is likely nearing the end of its life. Also, the house has a pellet stove.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Matt Culik | Jun 24 16
3 Answers

Atlas ThermalStar X-Grade Reviews?

Does anyone have experience using Atlas's ThermalStar Product -- X-Grade?

I am looking for an alternative to XPS in a below grade product. It will be used beneath the thickened edge (essentially a footer) of a monolithic slab on grade. The 25 psi version of this product seems like it could be a winner for me but I wonder if others have tried it out? What is your opinion of it?

I recently spoke with Bob Murphy of Universal Forest Products about this EPS foam board and it sounds like it has a lot of promise.

In Green products and materials | Asked By michael Iacona | Jun 24 16
8 Answers

I am thinking of an unvented cathedral ceiling

Hi. I am thinking of an unvented cathedral ceiling. Living in Hazelton, BC (Zone 4A, I believe), and would like advice on my proposed insulation plan. Staring from the underside: vapour-retarding paint; sealed gypsum board; 3/4" strapping; 2" or 3" Roxul board.

I would like to achieve at least an R50.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Mike Tomlinson | Jun 24 16
5 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!

In Green building techniques | Asked By Steve Wilson | Jun 24 16
2 Answers

Double stud wall with a mid-wall vapor retarder

I'm starting the process of building a double stud house in the Milwaukee,WI area and am looking to find more information on double stud walls with plywood on the outside of the inner wall. I have already searched this site, but I wanted to see if I missed any articles/Q&A blogs that provide information on this wall system. I wanted to provide the builder with some information on why I chose this particular design. Any information/documentation links would be greatly appreciated.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Brad Depies | Jun 24 16
5 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?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Peter L | Jun 24 16
14 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".

In Energy efficiency and durability | 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.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kris Burkett | Jun 24 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.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Sal Lombardo | Dec 27 12
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.

In General questions | Asked By Dean Sandbo | Jun 22 16
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