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8 Answers

I know it won't be cheap, but I want to shift my energy use from oil to Solar PV.

Currently I have a hot water system and baseboard hot water heating.
I plan on installing a Solar array and so I would like to convert to an all electric design.

Do I take everything out and install electric baseboard heaters and an electric Hot water heater?

Or would it make more sense to use my current system and just find a way to heat the water with the PV array instead of with oil?


In Mechanicals | Asked By chris eaton | Sep 20 11
4 Answers

My home in Santa Rosa, CA (zone 3c), has a stucco exterior and uninsulated 2x4 walls. I was hoping to make gradual improvements to the envelope as my budget allows. However, a termite problem has accelerated my schedule, at least in the bathroom, which I have now stripped down to the studs, inside and out. I would like the exterior finish to stay uniform, so I thought a good option for increasing insulation would be to use some kind of batt in the walls with 2" or so of rigid polyiso on the interior.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Mark Morley | Sep 22 11
1 Answer

In particular, pex piping for radiant floor heating needs.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By DANIEL LAJOIE | Sep 21 11
1 Answer

I'm looking to install new vinyl siding. The house was built in the late 40's and has currently has two layers of siding on it. The top layer is cedar board and batten. The second layer is clapboard, but I'm not sure of the material type.

I've met with three contractors. One wants to remove both layers while the other two were planning to side over both of the existing layers removing only the batten. The last contractor went back and forth before deciding that siding over both layers would be ok.

In General questions | Asked By Chris Maida | Sep 21 11
4 Answers

I live in Minneapolis Minnesota. Is there any problem with installing a polyethylene barrier in the ceiling? The insulation installer wants to use it to hold up the blow-in cellulose before the drywall goes up. I was planning on just using a vapor retarding primer/paint. One concern I have is that If I ever do have a leak in the roof I won't know about it because the poly sheeting will block the water from reaching the drywall.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By David Adams | Sep 21 11
3 Answers

We were reviewing some details in our office the other day and I noticed we had been showing backer rod and sealant between a "flanged" window and siding/trim. It get me thinking about all the articles I have seen in JLC, FHB, etc and never recall seeing the backer rod. Even Martin's recent details in FHB don't show it. Then I checked several window manufacturers and Andersen was the only one I found so far that says backer rod and sealant. Of course, they do say to leave 1/4" gap, which to my knowledge is the smallest backer rod available.

In General questions | Asked By Glen M | Sep 20 11
1 Answer

Referencing GBA diagram "Plan detail // cement board lap siding // 1 1/2" rigid insulation" as a starting point, If I am attaching the furring thru the foam to the studs, what is the fastening requirements, specifically screw size, spacing and stud penetration depth? Thanks

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Jim Orasky | Sep 21 11
77 Answers

I would like to preface my question with an apology to the few architects I respect who regularly post on this website. This question/opinion is not directed at you.

So apparently Robert Riversong has been banned from this website. I don't know this for certain... but if it is true it's a DAMN shame.

This website will not be the same with out his entertaining perceptive and intelligent posts.

But why do people get into arguments on this website? I have spent the last couple of days going back and analyzing the threads that contained heated discussions.

In General questions | Asked By Brett Moyer | Jan 26 11
2 Answers

My wood stove's double wall insulated stove pipe goes from the first floor through the second, into the attic, and out the roof. The pipe radiates enought heat into the attic to melt snow on the roof and form ice dams at the eaves. What can I do to reduce the heat into the attic? Can you wrap the double wall pipe with insulation without making a fire hazard?

In Building Code Questions | Asked By greg george | Sep 20 11
6 Answers

Hi... bought a house last year, knowing about the owner-built additions and general substandard conditions, however, last summer was DRY. THIS summer was WET. The additions on grade bring have no foundations, perimeter drainage or underslab drainage. Those ends of the house are basically 80% humidity, and the beautiful grooved wood paneling we bought the house for is starting to mildew/rot/turn color. We think the wet summer has caused a high water table (we also have basement dampness problems)... What is my biggest problem? How do I start? I can do some of the work myself.

In General questions | Asked By kate sandberg | Sep 19 11
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