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7 Answers

Sound transmission and ventilation

From a practical perspective the ideal ventilation system might be a fan (or HRV) connected by several very short runs to the rooms it serves.

Is there a point where the runs are too short and form a path for sound transmission between the rooms? Do the small ducts used by systems such as the Zender work better at preserving acoustical privacy? should the ducts be configured so they all enter the fan or core so that there is no shortcut for sound transmission?

In General questions | Asked By Malcolm Taylor | May 18 18
7 Answers

Cathedral ceiling and lights

We're building an ICF home with an unvented attic (rigid insulation over sheathing) and metal roof. The living room and kitchen will have a cathedral ceiling (roof 4:12 pitch). Living room will have a combination of sconces, pendants, LED strip lighting (indirect), and floor lamps.

The kitchen is another issue. The south wall will have two levels of windows with a counter and no overhead cabinets. We will have an island and plan to place pendants over the island. The north wall will have overhead cabinets with under-mount LED lights and LED strips for indirect lighting on top.

In Interior design | Asked By User-7022224 | May 18 18
2 Answers

High Sierra Showheads, any reviews


We are building a pretty good house in Colorado, zone 6b. There will be a master bath with a curbless shower that will have a bench and also standing area. Separately we will have a tub shower combo. My husband likes both a regular shower head and hand held, in some configuration.

We would like all metal parts for their reliability, but the number of companies that offer that without charging loads of money is limited. Also water sense rated, low flow also is a preference. Any suggestions? I can across High Sierra Showerheads, any feedback from users?

Thanks in advance,

In General questions | Asked By LYDIA SEGAL | May 19 18
1 Answer

How to insulate a gambrel roof?

I have a house with a gambrel roof and every year I have major ice dam issues as well as interior wall damage on the lower pitch on the second floor. I have attached a few pictures of the problem as well as photos of the original plan sheets.
I am in need of re-roofing the house this year and I would like to fix the problem.
Is there a fix? This rafters on this house are 2X4's.

In General questions | Asked By Darwyn Heme | May 18 18
8 Answers

“Picture frame” method for outie windows

i am installing outie windows in a house with 4” of exterior rigid insulation. the windows are all triple pane in the following sizes: 24” x 24”; 30” x 30”; and 32” x 64”. the method that i would like to use to install the windows is mentioned in the article http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/articles/dept/musings/installing-win... :

"Install a picture frame of 1x4 lumber, installed on the flat, on the exterior surface of the rigid foam. The 1x4 picture frame is screwed through the rigid foam to the sheathing and framing."

In Green building techniques | Asked By Loretta Gurr | Apr 28 18
2 Answers

I'm not off the grid.. the grid's off me

We've had enough power outages here in the Hudson Valley that it is time to talk about unintentional "off-grid" living. To that end, I am interested in starting a discussion about the possibility of resiliency in high(re) performance homes. Some topics for conversation are:

  • What -if anything- can be run off off a battery? induction stove? ERV? Minisplit? Well pump?
  • How can a solar-power house be allowed to operate while the power is out - a grid cutoff?
  • What are other ways for a designer/homeowner to prepare for when they are unintentionally "off-grid"?
  • In Mechanicals | Asked By Ethan T ; Climate Zone 5A ; ~6000HDD | May 16 18
    4 Answers

    Frost-free hose bibb for a superinsulated house

    I can't be the first person to face this problem, but it feels like it because I can't see any product that addresses the problem. How the heck do you install a frost free hose bibb or sillcock without having a fitting inside the wall, when your wall is 21" thick? The longest one I can find is something like 16".

    In Mechanicals | Asked By Trevor Lambert | May 10 18
    21 Answers

    Heat-pump water heater in Canada?

    I live in Nova Scotia in zone 6B. We're thinking of installing a heat pump hot water heater (my husband would do it himself) and not sure of how efficient it would be. We just bought the house, and the inspector told us (he used an infrared camera) that the house is well insulated. It was a Kent Home built in 1986; a split entry. We are going to have someone install a mini-split ductless heat pump in the living room upstairs. The rest of the house is heated by baseboard heaters. We pay 14.8 cents per kwh (no time of day billing).

    In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Sarah Poulin | Jan 25 16
    0 Answers

    I thought I was done for a while...


    I just found 1280 sqft of 2 inch reclaimed xps for $320 on kijiji. Fingers crossed I can get it before it goes. And I thought it was going to take a few thousand to insulate my basement slab.

    In General questions | Asked By Calum Wilde | May 18 18
    2 Answers

    High Sierra showerheads


    My spouse and I are building a new home in Colorado. This website and the Q and A have been extremely helpful.

    We are looking at showerheads that are durable, ie made of metal, water efficient and stylish. We looked at the typical brands including Kohler, Moen, etc and were impressed by the price. Wow, and not in a good way. Future searching brough me to High Sierrra shower heads.

    Does anyone have experience with this company?
    Does anyone have suggestions?

    Thanks in Advance,


    In General questions | Asked By Lydia Segal | May 17 18
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