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4 Answers

Aluminum or vinyl gutters for Northeast?

Adding gutters for house that never had them in the Northeast. Cold, wet, snowy area. Lots of trees with leaves above the house. 1.5 story house (low gutters).

What is a better choice, aluminum or vinyl?

In either case, should I specify any particular features (thickness, size etc.)

In General questions | Asked By Moya Mim | Nov 1 12
2 Answers

Do building code officials actually support IECC Performance Paths?

Pretty much all of the IECC code revisions for both residential and commercial include a whole building performance option for code compliance. As far as I can tell this path is not supported in RESCheck or COMCheck which only check prescriptive requirements or envelope tradeoffs. In your experiences do building code officials actually support these paths? What software programs do they allow for proof of compliance? Where (which state/region)?

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Nick Sisler | Nov 1 12
4 Answers

Conditoning a crawl space: process and materials

I'm trying to find a contractor to do a job that I cannot do due to medical issues. But, what I can do is have specs in the proposal consistent with what I expect. I have read Martin Holladay's comprehensive article on how to condition a crawl space.

In Green building techniques | Asked By william phillips | Oct 31 12
18 Answers

Is a WRB necessary with a rainscreen?

I'm about to enter the WRB stage of my house. I've avoided the use of a WRB on my roof, and would like to go without on my walls.

Covering an entire house with a WRB seems excessive in a rainscreen system. Capillary water seems to be the only enemy of a rainscreen wall. Impermeable furring strips, or an impermeable strip at the furring strip layer would appear adequate at preventing capillary moisture from migrating into the wall from wet siding. Asphalt felt, or plastic housewraps do not seem ideal for this task.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Richard Baumgarten | Oct 29 12
3 Answers

Media recognizes USGBC for greenwashing

The cover story today (with two complete inside pages!) for USA Today is a scathing attack on the USGBC and LEED for certifying all-glass buildings and even an over-the-top Las Vegas Casino. The article is chock-full of information which is going to be hard to ignore, I think.

In General questions | Asked By JoeW N GA Zone 3A | Oct 24 12
10 Answers

Insulating a flat roof: ventilated or unventilated?

I have a (very sligthly sloped) flat roof deck held up by 2x8's to which the ceiling for the upstairs room is attached. Therefore, the space between the ceiling and the roof deck is about 7 inches - much like a cathedral ceiling, except that it's basically flat.

In each 16" wide channel there is a pitiful layer of R13 fiberglass batt attached to vapor barrier paper laid against the ceiling, with cold air blowing continuously over and arround it from openings at either end ("vents").

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By H Hummel | Dec 12 11
4 Answers

Do you carry on a discussion about remodeling with energy savings, retrofitting existing residential buildings?

Do you carry on a discussion about remodeling with energy savings, retrofitting existing residential buildings? The new stuff is great but we seem to have to make significant compromises for existing properties.

In my residential construction business, homes can have 20-25% of each window in trouble. Repair and add storms or replace, kits or units?

Also, when retrofitting basements I understand the insulation details for walls but how should the existing concrete floor be handled in a 1950-60's home? The basement will remain a basement, usable space other than storage anticipated.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Glenn Berger | Oct 17 12
2 Answers

Are there any issues with Spray-foam next to Batt insulated walls?

We have a project where we there are additions and renovations to an existing residence that has batt insulation throughout. We have specified closed cell spray foam insulation to be used in the addition walls floor and sloped ceilings and batt in flat ceilings. In the existing part of the house where some exterior walls will be renovated we have specified spray-foam. The remaining existing house will not receive new insulation. My questions is, are there any issues with condensation using both insulation types adjacent to each other?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Martin Brown | Oct 31 12
6 Answers

What can be installed to feed air to my house when the fire place is operating?

I have constructed a new house that is tight. I have both a fireplace and wood burning stove. I have trouble establishing flow when lighting the woodstove when the firepalce is operating. The air is being pulled down the woodstove flue with burning newspaper placed at its opening. I have to open a window in the house to get the air to move up the woodstove flue.

In General questions | Asked By Tom Tyrrell | Oct 30 12
12 Answers

Looking for an effective R-value for polyiso as outboard insulation

I live in zone 6 (and not happy about it). I was looking for an effective R-value for polyiso as outboard insulation over 7/16 OSB, 16'' O.C. 2x6 stud wall with high density cellulose. R-value needed.
Paul (new to site and love the reads)

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Paul Falcone | Oct 25 12
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