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4 Answers

Rainscreen behind cedar shingles

I'm very comfortable using strips of wood ( usually ply) behind lap siding and it SOP for me. I haven't done it with shingle yet. Can I assume that I nail up the strips horizontally and leave some gaps here and there so air and water can flow? Any detailed drawings or better instruction that i can check out?

I could also go with cedar breather ( spun) but not sure if that's more expensive or not. I plan to try and push for using poly-iso boards on the exterior if I can get the client to budget for it.


In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Steve Greenberg | Feb 24 12
21 Answers

Basement next-day headache stumper

Hi all,

I've hesitated to ask this question because I don't know how weird the thread will get ... but what the heck.

I've recently been spending more time in the basement. I've been typically finding that the next day--not the same day--I feel headachey, knotted, sore, vaguely ill, etc. While we can't possibly solve for all the unknowns here and I'm not asking for medical advice here, my best guess is that there's something in my basement. Maybe I'm wrong, but maybe not.

However, I'm stumped on what I'd mitigate.

Here's what I don't think the problems are:

In General questions | Asked By Minneapolis Disaster, 6B | Jul 26 12
2 Answers

Tremco ExoAir Trio substitute

Is there a less expensive but just as effective way to insulate, air and water seal window installations? I like the Tremco product but cannot justify paying >$300 per roll on my larger windows applications. Does low expanding foam sealant in a can work just as well? Thanks.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Matthew Michaud | Jan 7 13
2 Answers

Anyone have the details on the 2012 energy efficiency tax credits that were just retroactively approved by Congress?

I keep hearing about the credits being renewed back to last year but the DSIRE website isn't showing anything yet.

In General questions | Asked By Carl Seville | Jan 4 13
5 Answers

Are natural vent gas stoves green, or even safe in a tight home?

There are three types of Vermont Casting gas stoves: Unvented, direct vent and natural vent. Natural vent relies on a 12ft straight pipe for draft. I have been gifted one and I'm wondering if there's anything I can do with it. I've got tight a home, a loose home and uninsulated camps and barns as options for its future.. Would like to use it in my zone 5 loose home that has natural gas supply but currently uses an oil furnace.

In General questions | Asked By stephen edge | Jan 5 13
2 Answers

Insulating a concrete block bathroom addition

I'm in zone 5A. This is our second winter in our 1948 ranch built out of concrete block. In the master bedroom there was an addition put on, also concrete block but a slab on grade floor. Needless to say, the heat in that room could also use help.

In General questions | Asked By Nick H | Jan 7 13
5 Answers

What is the best method to insulate beneath PEX pipes installed under floor joists for radiant heat?

In our new house construction PEX pipes have been installed beneath the first and second floors to provide radiant heat to the rooms above. The pipes have been attached beneath the floors in a crisscross loop design between the joists.
Is it possible and is it advisable to also install heat transfer plates where the pipes do not run in straight parallel lines?

Is the type of reflective barrier that has foam insulation sandwiched between the 2 reflective layers sufficient insulation? If not, what is the best way to insulate beneath the pipes and what R value is recommended?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Maureen Ryan | Jan 6 13
11 Answers

Formula for calculating amount of thermal mass for floor of passive solar house?

Hi all,

I'm trying to figure out how to calculate the proper amount of thermal mass to put in the flooring of the main level of a house I'm building. My goal is to size the floor so that:

1) it won't have so much mass that it can't heat up sufficiently to have a high enough delta T to warm the air over it after the sun goes down


In Green building techniques | Asked By Jay Hersh | May 18 11
4 Answers

More information from Gary Proskiw on south-facing glazing

I just received a copy of an interesting e-mail exchange between Peter Amerongen, the developer of the Riverdale Net Zero project in Edmonton, and Gary Proskiw, the author of a study on the cost-effectiveness of large expances of south-facing glazing.

I have appended Gary's response to Peter to my September 2012 blog on the topic (Study Shows That Expensive Windows Yield Meager Energy Returns).

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Martin Holladay | Jan 3 13
8 Answers

Pole barn fiberglass insulation help...

I have farmed a shop inside my pole barn. I have 6mil plastic under the concrete by no insulation. I do not plan to to heat and cool it very often. Also, I was given 12 rolls of unlaced R25 fiberglass insulation. The siding has been up for over a year it does not leak. My plan is air seal the exterior walls with caulk and cans of spray foam. I also plan to use a 6mil vapor barrier over the fiberglass and behind the OSB interior walls. The rolls of fiberglass are 6 feet by 25 feet and 8" thick.

In General questions | Asked By James Eric | Jan 1 13
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