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3 Answers

Ceiling service cavity

I'm sold on having a service cavity. In the walls, it's easy to see how to implement one with double stud walls but. However the ceiling is not so apparent. Is it easier to delay building interior partitions till after the trusses are in place and the air barrier material installed on their bottoms? Should the interior partitions be the same height as the exterior walls or only to the bottom of the cavity? Is there a "preferred method of attaching the "ceiling joists"?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jerry Liebler | Jun 21 14
3 Answers

An unhappy “insulating paint” company

A manufacturer of "insulating paint" is bummed out about GBA articles reporting that reputable research labs have found that so-called "insulating paint" is useless when it comes to reducing residential energy bills.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Martin Holladay | Jun 23 14
4 Answers

Summer in Vermont

We've been having a beautiful stretch of weather recently in Vermont. To mark this joyful season, I decided to post a couple of items that have no connection whatsoever to energy efficiency or green construction -- simply to celebrate the recent solstice.

I hope everyone has been getting some good weather recently.

First, here is a recent video from the automatic wildlife camera on our land:

In General questions | Asked By Martin Holladay | Jun 23 14
2 Answers

New bath addition with tile walls inside: What is most foolproof wall assembly?

Will use rain screen approach outside. Will use a layer of 3/4" plywood behind Durock or similar on inside of wall to attach grab bars anywhere in future. Plywood behind wall finish is suggested by various websites for handicap bathroom. Closed-cell spray foam is in budget. Using all pressure-treated lumber. Will use sealants in all appropriate locations to prevent air leaks.

Will install bathroom fan with humidistat.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Guy Wachtel | Jun 23 14
5 Answers

My new "older" home & whole home solar

I've recently relocated to the Clear Lake area in CA and am very interested in upgrading to whole home solar; electricity, radiant flooring and hot water. I'm the only resident, approximately 1400 sq foot ranch style home, one level with wooden foundation with crawl space. Home has really not been updated, except for HVAC system, since construction in the 80s; VERY energy inefficient.

In Interior design | Asked By Cynthia Koehn | Jun 23 14
5 Answers

Adding insulation while roof being replaced in a Cape Cod

We have a Cape Cod style home in Zone 5 and I'd like to add some insulation while the roof is being replaced. We had continuous soffits installed, air baffles and blown in insulation in the attic (up from R30 to R49). The second story attic has two main rooms with tall knee walls, one is 6' the other is 8'. The roof is sloped 8/12 and there is a bit of a short cathedral ceiling of about 3-4 feet long in the room with the 6' knee walls to the ridge. There is some fiberglass insulation stuffed into the bottom of the knee wall/cathedral but I don't believe it goes all the way to the top.

In General questions | Asked By HD S | Jun 20 14
11 Answers

ICF Cape Cod design worries: the roof deck nightmare

Last summer/fall my wife and I started designing a retirement home and after posting my worries on moisture to this blog, I received some great advice that gave much “cause for pause” to study more and also to provide the more detail members needed to better understand the design and what I was trying to accomplish. Since then, and as members of both GreenBuildingAdvisor.com and FineHomeBuilding.com, I’ve studied everything I could get my hands for 9-months from these two websites to help me with my Zone 4 Potomac River/Chesapeake Bay region home.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Eric Kessler | Jun 16 14
4 Answers

I think I have a foil bubble "insulation" nightmare in the making?

From inside to outside of my wall- sheetrock, foil bubble, studs, foil bubble, plywood, typar, cedar shingles. I am watching my husband (under the direction of my uncle who has worked in construction for 40 years) build my house and I am really concerned that this is not good. We live in Maine, so it gets pretty cold. Also, I was told by another carpenter that this could possibly rot the frame? Am I panicking over nothing or is this going to be a disaster?

In General questions | Asked By casey dragon | Jun 21 14
3 Answers

Metal roof: pros and cons of going white

My shingles need to be replaced and I'm having a standing seam roof installed. Buy once cry once... Anyway, I'm a little bit torn on the color. Aesthetically, I'm pretty flexible, since I'm also having the stucco re-done soon and will be able to color it whatever will look good with the roof. I live in zone 5b in New Mexico. We need more heating than cooling, but the summer heat can be pretty unbearable. I use evaporative cooling due to the low humidity so my cooling bills are fairly low.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Nathaniel G | Jun 21 14
3 Answers

Stucco and air gap question with Home Slicker

I am remodeling my house down to the studs. Put In cellulose insulation and OSB - 2x4 walls. Going with stucco on bottom half. I read that this is a dangerous combo without an airgap. So I forked out the bucks and bought Home Slicker stone and stucco to create a 1/4 inch air gap. We have installed standard Tyvek and have the Home Slicker Stone and Stucco over it. So my big question is do we need another layer of felt on the outside of Home Slicker or is the layer of stucco blocking fabric that comes attached to Home Slicker good enough?

In General questions | Asked By joel kauffman | Jun 22 14
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