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3 Answers

I would like to add foam board to the exterior of my house to beef up the R value. The walls currently are 2x6 with fiberglass batts and plastic sheeting as a vapor barrier between the studs and drywall. Most of the stuff I've seen says you don't want a vapor barrier on the inside so your sheeting can dry to the inside but I haven't found much information on what to do if the vapor barrier is already in place. Thanks!

In General questions | Asked By Jacob Roark | Aug 28 14
1 Answer

I've seen the Geyser RE mentioned on this forum numerous times, so I am hoping someone can help me troubleshoot my unit. I installed one this summer, connected to a new 80 gallon State electric water heater. It worked for a couple of days and then starting tripping the circuit breaker. It was a 15 amp circuit (I was using a 25' 12 gauge extension cord to reach it which tech support had ok'd beforehand). I thought maybe the combo of a 15 amp circuit and the extension cord was the problem, so I wired a new dedicated 20 amp circuit right next to the unit, but the problem persisted.

In Mechanicals | Asked By austin jamison | Aug 28 14
6 Answers

Hi all,

New owner of a 1 1/2 level cape here. Finished upstairs. Zone 5. I'm experienced with home renovations and DIY, but new to Capes.

Trying to bring upstairs environmentals in line with lower level conditioned home temps year round without running the mechanicals 24 /7.

No insulation to speak of. No ventilation. No vapor barrier. Planning to make the attic "outside space".

I've blocked all of the underfloor joist bays, sealed all chases and penetrations, insulated the kneewall hatches very well, etc. This has helped a lot.

Next steps:

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By M Welch | Aug 27 14
12 Answers

I'm in zone 4 (NYC suburb) and the original house is a 2 1/2 story wood framed house heated by gas fired one pipe steam. Cooling is from window units. Our addition (currently rough framed and dryed in) is two stories with an 18' x 15' exterior footprint. 3 foot block stem walls make the lower level slightly smaller than the upper. The upper level, which connects to our main floor, will be our new kitchen, and the lower level, which connects to a walkout basement, will be a play/TV room.

In Mechanicals | Asked By mike mcguirk | Aug 25 14
3 Answers

I am in the process of trying to determine how much strapping spacing is needed on a ceiling to support 22" of blown-in cellulose above it. The strapping is 1x4 pine and I plan on spacing 16" OC whixh makes the space between supports of 12". The strapping is holding 6 mil poly up against the bottom chord of the truss. There will be some ballooning of poly downward in those squares between truss and strapping. 5/8" Sheetrock will be used up against strapping to finish. Thanks in advance.

In General questions | Asked By Matthew Michaud | Aug 26 14
2 Answers

We have a 1950s house in Saskatoon, SK, Canada (climate = warm summers, very cold winters and ~ 350mm moisture/year). Our neighbours re-built their house and the landscaped surface is now ~12" higher than ours (about level with our stucco siding). One of their downspouts also drains directly onto our property (don't ask). There is 3 ft between our outside wall and the property line. They have a concrete sidewalk between their house and the property line.

We have had several suggestions for dealing with drainage on our side:

In General questions | Asked By Colin Kindrachuk | Aug 27 14
2 Answers

I recently installed this model Zehnder HRV, and now need to learn how to balance it. The manufacturer's installer manual is too brief on this procedure to be helpful. Is there anyone out there who can anyone give me the detailed procedure on how to balance this HRV?

My main concern is to ensure the intake/exhaust is balanced and that I am not pushing too many CFM's into/out of the house. I don't care too much about getting each room's cfm perfect at this point - since I'm going to be continuing to renovate the house. I just don't want to be pushing moisture into the walls right now.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Matthew Robinson | Aug 27 14
3 Answers

I have a 1-story dwelling with an attic (cold space) that has approx. R-30 insulation but NO plastic vapor barrier between the sheetrock and the insulation....

I am considering adding a radiant foil barrier on top of the the blown insulation.
What are potential problems could I have, as a result of this installation? Moisture problems? Our home is in Northfield, MN 55057

In General questions | Asked By gary schutte | Aug 27 14
1 Answer

I have a question about cladding. I’ve always liked brick, but it’s easy to screw up and moisture management and insulation questions abound. So, I’ve been thinking about fiber cement siding with a rain screen. However, it appears that it’s difficult to put rain screen strapping on over exterior insulation without having bowing, and this tends to telegraph through to the cladding. This leads me to ask about mortarless bricks like Novabrik. If you don’t have mortar and do have a rain screen gap, don’t most of the moisture and insulation issues with brick veneers go away?

In General questions | Asked By andrew c | Aug 27 14
8 Answers

I got a quote for windows from Intus and thought it the quote was high. But I do like the windows themselves.

A 24 x 48 fixed window was $385 with a simple grid pattern white - thats 48.13 sft
A 36 x 48 operable window was $745 white - thats $62.60 sqft faces west
and a 42 x 72 operable window white $1000.00 thats $47.62 faces west

I read somewhere on GBA blog that a typical Intus window was $30-35 sft fixed and $40-$45 operable, I have 34 windows and only 7 are operable and totals $28,000, is this reasonable or not???

In General questions | Asked By Sam smith | Aug 26 14
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