Q&A: A Forum for Green Building Experts and Beginners

[Click map to enlarge]

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

The usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration:
Under the box labeled "More explanation," look for the words "File attachments."
Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!

5 Answers

We bought a home that has a beautiful pool area with patio pavers all the way around. There is an area that retains moisture I couldn't understand. I looked at the original lot map, the house had a concrete patio that looks to be the same size of the moisture issue. I believe they laid the pavers over the concrete and that area retains moisture. is there anything that I can to correct this or prevent moisture?

In General questions | Asked By Paula Johnson | Dec 8 11
4 Answers

Climate zone 5, I'm building a high-performance home, on the exterior walls I used zip wall system with tape joints as my sheathing. I used 2-1/2" cap nails to install DOW 1-1/2" Styrofoam T&G with tape joints over the zip wall system. No furring strips over the Styrofoam. I'm placing home slicker as a drainage plane over the Styrofoam. Since I did not use furring strips I'm concerned about what type of siding to use. My thoughts are to use red cedar shingles nailed with 3" stainless steel hand nails seems to be the best approach.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Peter Fusaro | Dec 8 11
10 Answers

I'm wondering if you can lay tlle over a concrete subfloor without compromising the thermal mass capacity of the concrete.

Would an uncoupling system, using something like Ditra, have a negative impact? Should we be looking at using sand instead?

Our building site has great orientation for passive solar, but we'd prefer tile versus a finished concrete floor.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Christa Campbell | Dec 3 11
2 Answers

Per my roof installer, the roofing shingle I have specified (Certainteed Presidential) cannot be woven in the valleys. He says it voids the warranty. He says we have to go with metal flashing (over the usual Ice and water barrier). Is there any other product I should be looking at besides the aluminum (.032) or copper (unknown gauge) he offers? Pitches are 6 1/2 and 8. The reason I specified this shingle was the "heavy texture" appearance so I assume any similar shingle will have the same restriction.

In General questions | Asked By Jim Orasky | Dec 8 11
2 Answers

If so, describe the recommended method. The building is 40 or so feet tall, surrounded by trees that brush the structure on 3 sides, and neighbors are within 30 feet both right and left. The building is not elevated compared to the surrounding topography. Thanks

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Stephen B | Dec 4 11
8 Answers

Passivhaus question: Do hardwood floors contract and gap in winter as noticeably as they do in a conventionally-built house?

My husband and I are building a Passivhaus in Vermont and want to install hardwood floors. I'm tempted by pre-finished flooring, since we wouldn't have to go through the mess and expense of sanding and finishing on-site. But I hate the little dirt-strips that inevitably form in the micro-beveled edges.

In PassivHaus | Asked By Andrea Lemon | Dec 6 11
5 Answers

I've been reading a lot about the importance of having a rain screen/venting behind clapboards. I seen the product Home Slicker, but also know that you can doing furring strips too. If I choose to use furring strips, would it be wise to use a product that would not rot? Such as some sort of pressure treated wood, or a plastic of some sort? If so, what would you suggest?


In General questions | Asked By Holly Ward | Dec 6 11
3 Answers

I have a 1950's ranch style house with what appears to be a botched insulation job in which fiberglass was blown in the walls. During some renovation work a couple years ago I discovered that the 4inch wall cavities were only filled to about 40-50%. I would like to redo the insulation with something that I know will fill in the entire wall cavities. I once considered airkrete, but have been unable to find an installer in our area (Kalamazoo, MI).

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jay Hoinville | Dec 6 11
5 Answers

Hi, I'm considering putting an ERV in a home in the Carolinas (hot humid in summers, occasional cold in winter). This has been a great site for info, but I had a couple of questions:

In General questions | Asked By Brian Jackson | Dec 5 11
2 Answers

I am planning a lake home in the mountains, elevation 3000 feet. I will not be living there full time and am looking for a tight envelope. I want a logical approach that will balance cost with results. Builder is on the old fashioned side. Thanks

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Timothy Guy | Dec 6 11
Register for a free account and join the conversation

Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!