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8 Answers

Converting old outbuilding to heated workshop

I have a wooden garage, built in 1929 in coastal Maine, in remarkably good shape. It's got a post and pier foundation and had the front ripped off to convert to a 2 car garage in the 90's. I plan to reconvert it to it's original intent as a workspace. Like most of these old outbuildings in our neighborhood, the lawn has grown up to the base of the siding (or maybe they were intended that way) and there is a major negative grade inside, kind of like an earthen crawlspace foundation. When I started digging around and found this out, I got very worried about rot.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By A. Bradford | Mar 20 15
2 Answers

Should I air seal and insulate above the ceiling of my attached garage?

My house has an attached garage. The attic spaces above the house and the garage are not separated; there is no wall between them in the attic--it's all just one big attic. I am currently having the part of the attic over the conditioned space air-sealed and insulated. Should I additionally air-seal and insulate the ceiling above the attached garage? Even though it's not conditioned space? There is a water heater in there FWIW, and the garage does get cold in winter and hot in summer.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Nathaniel G | Mar 30 15
1 Answer

Two questions: Rigid foam in attic space

1. I have some knob and tube wiring running about 3 inches above the 1st floor ceiling, behind a kneewall. After having an electrician look at it I'm going to box it in with plywood, leaving a good size air gap. This will decrease the R value for this area. Is it ok to put 1 inch rigid foam on top of the plywood? This would make from bottom up: 1st floor ceiling, wiring with air gap, 1/2 plywood, rigid foam, cellulose, open attic and then roof.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jeremy M | Mar 30 15
7 Answers

New home buyer — metal roof in Maine with no sheathing

Hello all,

I am a first time home buyer and looking into buying a new home. My wife and I have found the perfect home here in Maine, but found out today that the metal roof was attached directly to the perlins. I know typically there is supposed to be sheathing and a vapor barrier in between. I have found information on both sides of the argument, which have led me here. Is no sheathing adequate? How will it affect my energy use? and will it be a condensation issue? Is this ok for a cold climate here in Maine?

In General questions | Asked By dimitrios maniatakos | Mar 28 15
5 Answers

Review of insulation/air sealing retrofit plan...

For a cathedral ceiling, still a popular subject of concern I see. I have gotten advice before and used this site to increase my understanding of many building issues. The ceiling currently, from the inside, has V-groove pine boards, then a 12" kraft faced fiberglass batt, no air sealing. There is a vent channel above the fiberglass of unknown thickness and quality (I ran into the builder and asked if it was 2", and he replied "probably less"). The decking is 3/4" OSB, asphalt shingles above (now at 25 years).

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Howard Gentler | Mar 28 15
5 Answers

Old house, wet brick

The picture pretty much says it all. We had terrible ice damming this year, as did just about everyone in my area; houses both old and new saw wet walls and rainy windows for the first time ever. My house was built in 1850, and I have to imagine this has been a problem before. But this was our first full winter here. I'll try to explain the situation as best I can:

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Chris Ermides | Mar 26 15
10 Answers

Interior plywood for earthquake areas — can it replace a vapor retarder?

We are renovating a 1925 Pacific Northwest house, Everett WA, right on the coast. It is earthquake territory here. So it would be good to keep this house up through any quakes we may get, when it can be relatively easily done. We have double studded the kitchen wall now. Making it 8" deep. The north wall became 9" deep. Now we are in low need of any vapor retarder for our climate I understand, zone 4C. Interior air barrier never hurts BUT, and here is my question... Would interior plywood sheathing be a good choice to replace the air barrier, caulking the seams.

In General questions | Asked By Jan Verschuren | Mar 29 15
9 Answers

Cold climate (6) standing seam metal roof leak

I have concerns my entire roof is leaking due to improper detailing of my standing seam roof. I also think this discussion could help others who might be thinking of a standing seam metal roof. They are not what they're all cracked up to be. Please look at enclosed photos.

Some details:
I have a shed roof (Structure are I-Joists) with a 3 1/4: 12 pitch. R-60 insulation in cathedral ceiling--"flash and batt." "Flash" is 4-6" closed-cell polyurethane spray foam. Hot roof: Fully Zip taped, Zip sheathing and GAF underlayment. And finally: 1" single-lock standing seam Galvalume.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By David Metzger | Mar 28 15
19 Answers

Fresh air distribution for hydronically heated house?

Currently have a leaky hydronically-heated house.

I plan on removing the siding, installing blueskin VP peel-and-stick, then 2 layers of Roxul R6 ComfortBoard IS from the roof right down to the footings.

Because this should really improve the air leakage, how should I get fresh air in/out of the house to control humidity / air quality / etc?

Do people run a set of air ducts throughout the house from a HRV?

One of the appeals of using hydronic heating is that sound / dust transmission is significantly reduced.

What would you recommend??


In Mechanicals | Asked By John Charlesworth | Mar 26 15
1 Answer

Basement insulation

Hi Everyone-

In the process of having my 1970's basement renovated. Looks like it is simply batt insulation between 2x4's with wood paneling, no drywall. I do not seem to have any moisture intrusion (no stains, mold/mildew smell) but will not know until the paneling comes down and the batt out.

What are my options for insulating this space? I do not want to take down the existing 2x4 frame.


In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Mike G | Mar 30 15
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