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4 Answers

Windows — difference between standard, Home Depot double-hung vinyl and a Marvin Infinity or better?

Good morning. Fixing up an old house and replacing single-pane windows. I would like "better" windows but pushing the budget and wondering if I'm not better off spending the difference in cost somewhere else.

How do I determine if/when they will pay for themselves?
Thank you, Mike

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By mike snow | Dec 26 13
4 Answers

Windows — difference between standard, Home Depot double-hung vinyl and a Marvin Infinity or better?

Good morning. Fixing up an old house and replacing single-pane windows. I would like "better" windows but pushing the budget and wondering if I'm not better off spending the difference in cost somewhere else.

How do I determine if/when they will pay for themselves?
Thank you, Mike

In Green products and materials | Asked By mike snow | Dec 26 13
1 Answer

Can an 80% efficiency furnace be installed in an attic in zone 6B?

I just bought a house with a 97% efficient furnace in the attic; I live in zone 6B. After several service calls the contractor who installed the furnace -for the previous owners-told me that this furnace should not be in the attic in Wisconsin due to condensate freezing problems-which has happened twice since I moved in in October of this year.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Anne Sullivan | Dec 26 13
1 Answer

Can a windbreak be planted on the south side of a home with a passive solar design?

My family recently moved into a home with a passive solar design in a winter climate. We love the way it is performing. However, we have strong and persistent wind from the south/southwest for most of the winter. I would love to plant a windbreak to reduce wind (and snow drifts), but don't want to block our solar gain. Recommended distance for trees maturing at 50 feet high is 150-200 feet from the house. Any thoughts on whether or not this would block our winter sun? Thx!

In General questions | Asked By lisa miller | Dec 26 13
5 Answers

Best way to build a cathedral roof for a garage?

Hello to all;

I am in the 6A zone just north of Montreal, Quebec. I am in the process of building a garage separate from my home. It will be an L shaped garage with main section being 24' by 20' and the L part at 7' x 11'.

I am seriously considering a Cathedral roof and would like to know from any experts here if you can please look over the following design I have made.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Leon Stepanian | Aug 4 13
4 Answers

Cellulose insulation in basement?

We are putting a granny suite in our walk-out basement (newly constructed house) and are thinking of insulating the knee walls (wood framed walls between the top of the stepped foundation and first floor deck) and the ceiling with cellulose. The cellulose in the ceiling would butt up against closed cell spray foam at the rim joist. The floor above will be concrete (radiant heating).

In GBA Pro help | Asked By jessie pratt | Dec 23 13
1 Answer

Should I add batts or loose fill above a 2 foot dropped ceiing?

I have a 100+ year old 4-square house with 2 courses of brick for walls. I'm planning on adding rigid foam to the exterior which will extend up to the eaves and the level of the original attic floor.

I'm planning to go to R-40 on the original attic flooring, but I'd like to keep the 2 ft. cavity created by the dropped ceiling accessible. Would it help to add batts or fill between the joists of the lower ceiling? Would any moisture problems be created between the two ceilings?

In GBA Pro help | Asked By John Loughran | Dec 25 13
3 Answers

Insulating walk-up attic space

I own a house in Detroit (zone 5) that I am renovating and will probably sell when ready. The house has a basement, 2 floors, and a walk-up attic. The total square footage per floor is about 550 square feet.

The house has cedar shake siding with no insulation in the walls. It has about 2 inches of vermiculite insulation below the floor boards in the attic. The attic has a peaked roof and measures about 11 feet from the floor to the ridge board. There are no soffits and no venting (other than generally being vented or leaky everywhere.) There is a window at each gable end in the attic.

In General questions | Asked By Gregory Worrel | Dec 23 13
0 Answers

Sun Windows

Does anyone have any experience with Sun Windows? They make an affordable aluminum clad window with pretty impressive customization but I cannot for the life of me find any significant reviews online. The few I do see seem like they were so-so to negative back in 2002-2003 but the more recent posts from 2010 forward have been reasonably positive, but just anectodal.

Their website is www.sunwindows.com

I would appreciate any feedback if anyone here has had experience with them, thanks.

In Green products and materials | Asked By A KG | Dec 24 13
4 Answers

Follow-up issue with 6 inches of open-cell foam

Following up on the earlier question someone had about 6 inches of open cell foam on the underside of the roof. Icynene is saying 5 1/2 inches of open cell spray foam (R20) is equal in energy efficiency as R38 cellulose or fiberglass because the foam blocks all air infiltration as opposed to the cellulose or fiberglass. I may be over simplifying the answer so you can read it for yourself here. I hope this link works.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/it-s-ok-skimp-ins...

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Mitch Groves | Dec 22 13
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