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13 Answers

First time General Contractor

First, let me begin by saying that I have never built a house. I have, however, lived in 2 homes that I had built. Also, I am a skilled in finished carpentry, tiling, plumbing, and can hold my own in general framing and electrical work. For over 35 years I worked in Information Systems (my day job) specializing in project management.

In Project management | Asked By Mike Turner | Dec 24 12
1 Answer

Electric clothes dryer unventing

Regrettably in the US there are NO vent less heat pump clothes dryers. Obviously simply not venting would cause unacceptable heat gain and really bad humidity gain. However, With a small hack on essentially any conventional electric dryer it's inlet air supply can be collected to a single duct, it's outlet is already in a duct. Now these two ducts can be routed to a "passive" HRV, mounted above the dryer in the laundry room, ( a passive HRV has no fans) and the other two ports of the HRV simply left open to the room. The drain lines from the HRV would be routed to the laundry sink.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jerry Liebler | Jul 6 13
1 Answer

Vermont septic system laws

I have two questions for those familiar with VT septic laws:
1. What's the best way for an owner-builder to save money on a septic system?
2. What's the best way to get around them in order to live on site while building? Camper?


In Building Code Questions | Asked By Eli Madden | Jul 5 13
5 Answers

Closed-cell foam vs. fiberglass

I have a shop bldg and am planning on insulating it for comfort. I was thinking of using closed cell foam on walls and should be straight forward. My question comes to the ceiling insulation. I have 9 1/2 inch manufactured H beams at 2 foot centers. I have a metal roof on top of bldg. I have soffits in front of bldg for air flow.

How can I insulate the ceiling with spray foam and not loose the ability of the cavity to breathe from soffits??


In Green products and materials | Asked By dave hebel | Jul 3 13
4 Answers

Which attic configuration is best?

I am going to build a home in Melbourne, Florida, climate zone 9B or 10A depending on the source. The home will have wrap-around porch varying in depth from 6 – 10 feet around the majority of the exterior. I will be installing a white metal roof and cold formed steel trusses. I have read a fair amount of literature on the topic of attic/roof configuration, including papers, reports and forums. There are two configurations which I believe would perform the best energy-wise. The first is a vented attic with ductwork contained in the conditioned space below and insulation above the ceiling.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Trevor Bowden | Jun 30 13
1 Answer

Rigid foam board as a vent baffle

In a vaulted ceiling, if using one inch rigid foam board furred out a min of 1" to provide ventilation from soffit to ridge vent followed by fiberous insulation such as fiberglass batts ......is this proper? would the one inch of foam used as a vent baffle be prone to condensation in a cold climate or does this particular situation not call for the min R-20 of foam? thank you in advance for the help.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By thomas muller | Jul 4 13
5 Answers

Best practices for minimizing roof penetrations?

My house will have a gable roof with standing seam metal roofing. I'd like to minimize the number of penetrations to reduce the potential for problems over the long term.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Steven Knapp | Jul 1 13
26 Answers

What are the REAL downsides of ICFs?

Let's say i've set eye on 2 building methods
( sorry if my view is always toward cold climate building ..bear with me )



I've read discussions on this board and other websites,
thought about it ..heck it was my first idea all along!!!
PERSIST building method has to be the most efficient type of building
for passive and or very low energy haus

( why is not everybody building that way on cold climates if it is the best method neway ??? )

But then if we introduce ICF in the discussion

In Green building techniques | Asked By Jin Kazama | Jan 7 13
2 Answers

Stud spaces as air ducts

Are there any code issues with using the stud spaces of interior walls (dry walled) as forced air ducts?

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Jerry Liebler | Jul 3 13
5 Answers

Low-pitch-roof and wall ventilation

I would appreciate advice and feedback on venting the walls and roof of a SIP house with a 1/2:12 pitch roof. 3/4" furring will provide the walls' rainscreen gap. Air space above the flat roof SIPs will be 24" o.c. 2x's with a 1"-to-11" taper.There won't be much stack effect, and I'm uncertain whether the venting at the top of the low-side wall will be drawing air in or out. I have attached a .jpg illustration. Thanks!

In Green building techniques | Asked By Mark McCain | Jul 1 13
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