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6 Answers

Patrick McCombe, an editor at Fine Homebuilding, e-mailed me this link to a YouTube video reporting on how one British builder handles deadbeat clients:

In General questions | Asked By Martin Holladay | Jan 5 12
15 Answers

Does this practice (flash and batt) work with single wall construction where the foam is sprayed against housewrap?

Some builders in the KC metro area use single wall construction. To meet efficiency expectations they are wrapping the home, spraying 1/2" to 1" closed cell foam and filling the cavity with batt insulation. Does this cause issues with moisture migration?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Bruce Chyka | Jan 4 12
6 Answers


We have just completed construction of an addition on our home in zone 5A. The addition has a walk out basement that does not have a heat or a/c duct located in the space. The walls were built with concrete block to above grade (floor to about 38") and then the rest is a 2x6 studded wall (about 58") The wall construction as of now is as follows from outside in. Brick veneer - 2" vent space - OSB sheathing attached to 2x6 stud wall OSB is wrapped with Tyvek on the exterior.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Martin Miller | Jan 5 12
3 Answers

I have an energy makeover project for a client with an older log home. Beyond the usual infiltration issues we need to repair/upgrade the roof.

Current: asphalt shingle, tar paper, OSB in fair shape -- some rot and rodent damage, but not past fixing.

One plan is to strip back to OSB, repair as needed, add tar paper, 4" SIP Nail board, More tar and paper and a standing-seam metal roof ready for PV.

Thoughts? Ideas? Criticisms?


In Green building techniques | Asked By Bruce Glanville | Jan 4 12
4 Answers

So, for blocking little air leaks around the perimeter of the door slab: of the typically available options--the felt stuff, the foam tape, the molded plastic fin stuff, the teardrop-shaped stuff, etc.--what's the best plan of attack? What's useless?

I've got some of that typical compression door seal stuff (whatever it's called) installed on the jambs, and there's a triple-seal sweep already installed, but it's not really close to perfect yet.

I'll also be installing it around my vent panel.

For what it's worth, I have indeed looked at this:

In General questions | Asked By Minneapolis Disaster, 6B | Dec 26 11
9 Answers

Hey all, looking for thoughts on my heating upgrade. After reading and reading I think I know enough to ask questions (but not have the right answers) so i figured the voices of experience could help.

I'm in the process of installing radiant heat in my 1,800 sft single level home in Long Island NY. It will be PEX in the joist bays over a crawl space and basement. the crawl space has a concrete floor over a vapor barrier and the basement is unfinished without any underslab/exterior insulation. I'm trying to figure out the best way to insulate so here are my thoughts on the process

In General questions | Asked By Michael schlee | Jan 3 12
1 Answer

I am in the Chicago area. The last opportunity that I had to build a home, the local waste haulers did not offer any recycling options for construction materials. One company did offer some specialized recycling, but there was a significant premium for their services (about 100% more).

In General questions | Asked By John Hansen | Dec 29 11
1 Answer

I want to increase insulation in my cathedral ceiling.

It currently has paper-faced 6" fiberglass between 2x8 rafters with continuous soffit venting strips and gable-end vents. I have to replace shingles soon and would think solid iso foam sheets of R-20.

This should be a common problem of houses built in the 70's. Are there pieces you wrote that address it already?


Don Hegeman
Chatham, NY

In Green building techniques | Asked By Don Hegeman | Jan 4 12
5 Answers

I have purchased a Quadra-Fire 7100FP Wood Burning fireplace for my new home. It has an "Auxiliary Convection Air" feature that can be routed to the outside or as a cold air return to another part of the home. I am assuming this should be routed as a cold air return inside the home so as to not bring in outside air in that will then pressurize the home. What do you think?

In General questions | Asked By Andrew Homoly | Jan 3 12
2 Answers

I am wondering if open-cell foam (specifically Icynene) is OK to spray on the underside of a roof deck of an unfinished attic of a 1920's home in Connecticut.

The attic is a walk-up attic from stairs in a bedroom. The house has a basement which is where the boiler is located and there is no air conditioning. The walls have all been done with the closed-cell pour formula from Icynene.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Josh Ayers | Jan 3 12
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