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6 Answers

Retrofit insulation in walls with no sheathing or WRB?

My house is a one-and-a-half story bungalow built in 1906, in Portland, OR. Balloon framing. Rabbeted shiplap 1x6 siding nailed directly to the studs, no sheathing or felt. Lath and plaster on the inside. The siding is in good shape and there's little evidence of water in the studwall cavities (that I've seen.)

What options, if any, do I have for insulating the walls that won't risk accumulating moisture in the cavities or result in rotting the siding or loosening the exterior paint?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Ray Sten | Jul 3 14
6 Answers

Insulating under in-floor radiant heat

I have in-floor heat. The tubes are in metal attached to the undersides of the subfloor.

I put 3-inch fiberglas insulation between the joists and then stapled plastic to cover it. I was told the the fiberglass is absorbing the heat instead of reflecting it back up. Should I get the foil bubble type so it reflects the heat back up?

I want it to be as efficient as it can. The house is about 3000 sq. ft. It's a log home.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Rodney Coryer | Jun 19 14
6 Answers

Aloha everyone. I'm a newly converted addict to this website and to green building

Aloha everyone. I'm a newly converted addict to this website and to green building. I live in Hawaii, more specifically, the island of Maui, and I'm trying to find some info on how a high-performance home would look like here in Hawaii?

In General questions | Asked By Isaiah Kamalii-Ligsay | Jul 5 14
4 Answers

What to do with energy audit advice?


Last fall, I purchased a 1940’s cape style house located in New England, and my first winter was tough with high heating bills and ice dams. My energy audit detected wool batting in the walls, fiberglass batts with the paper upside over wool insulation in the attic. I have a roof ridge vent, gable vents, no soffits, and plaster & steel lathe in the knee walls and gable end walls.

My energy auditor has recommended a energy plan that differs from the insulation contractors, and I am confused by this, and would greatly appreciate your feedback.

In General questions | Asked By beth webster | Jun 30 14
6 Answers

Restore or replace vintage windows?

I'm considering three options to improve the performance of the 10 double-hung windows that remain in my 100-year-old house in Zone 4C: replacement with inserts; retrofitted weatherstripping; storm windows.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Ray Sten | Jul 3 14
19 Answers

Insulating between studs with polyiso scrap?

Wasn't sure what category to put this in, but my situation is that I had most of the exterior of my house covered with foil-faced polyiso insulation (Rmax Thermasheath-3). The walls between the living space (bathroom, laundry, pantry, hallway) and garage did not get this treatment, but they still need insulation. I ended up with some scrap due to normal wastage, as well as some extra sheets (since we had to buy some of it by the pallet). My plan has been to cut it to fit in the stud bays and foam around to hold it in place/air-seal.

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Scott Heeschen | Dec 30 10
7 Answers

Pine ceiling

We are putting a pine ceiling in our farmhouse kitchen. We think that we want to use 6 inch white pine boards that are not tongue and groove. We plan to paint them white. When we look for examples on the internet, all we see is tongue and groove. Is there a reason that we should consider tongue and groove? We are going for the old time look of a farmhouse.

In General questions | Asked By Lisa Williams | Jul 4 14
1 Answer

Can I install a room addition footer over a geothermal loop?

Our house is at the end of a ridge that falls off steep on three sides. Existing geothermal loop system runs along one side of the house and goes to the front yard. We want to add a garage to the front, but would need to put a corner over the existing loop lines. They are about 5 feet deep. Is it acceptable to just go right over them? I think my footers will be 4' deep, not sure exactly what code here is. We're in zone 5a - NW Indiana. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

In General questions | Asked By Matt Bosma | Jul 5 14
6 Answers

Flooring for a passive solar

I am building a home that will use a combination of a mini-split and passive solar in the Pacific Northwest. For thermal mass it has a concrete slab floor with insulation underneath.

My question is about flooring. I was planning on an engineered wood floor but my builder pointed out that this would prevent the sun from heating the slab. He suggests a stained concrete floor or tile. I really do not like either of these options.

How bad is a wood floor? Would a Terrazzo type floor using recycled glass such as Enviroglass be a good option?

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Stephen Carlton | Sep 17 12
4 Answers

Making your own minisplit linesets?

I have purchased several Mini-splits for a rental building I manage (which currently touts window ACs (yuck!)).

With the cost of linesets being so relatively high, what is the problem with purchasing copper and cutting and flaring my own. I have purchased a couple of sets, but find nearly 6 of 12 feet is coiled. I am contemplating cutting in half and reflaring...

I understand the flares are different. And, thus far I havent found a good source of the flare nuts for the new refrigerant. Suggested sources?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By John Granoski | Jul 1 14
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