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8 Answers

Another basement finishing question

I recently purchased a home and would like to turn the area into a family room with a wet bar with porcelain tile floors. I am having trouble figuring out what the best way to do this.

Facts about basement area:
- Frame house with brick veneer built in 2006
- Climate Zone 4
- Utilized previously as storage / laundry room
- Semi finished
- 800 sq ft & 9 ft height
- 66% below grade
- Cheap carpet over the concrete slab as flooring
- Drywall seems to be directly affixed to the concrete (see attached picture)

In General questions | Asked By James Wong | May 7 16
6 Answers

Peel & stick membrane on top of ICF exterior walls?

I am building a house with ICF walls....the lower level (3 walls in-ground) we are planning to finish using wire lathe & stucco on the exposed portion and the 1st Flr Level (all above grade) we are planning on installing 3/4" vertical lathe and horizontal Hardiplank.

The question is should I install a peel & stick membrane on top of the EPS foam as a WRB or is the EPS foam sufficient for this purpose? If the peel & stick is recommended, can you recommend a particular make(s) to use? Thanks!

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jonathan Scholl | May 9 16
15 Answers

Using far infrared heating for in-floor heating of a house

I came across a product....Geo Dream carbon film .....at the GreenBuild 2015 Conference in Washington DC and I am interested in anyone's comments about its use and performance. I have spoken with the North American supplier ....located in Vancouver BC... and some of their installers and everyone speaks very highly of the product and the fact that it can be used as the sole source of heating for the home. We are building an ICF home in Climate Zone 5 and are quite interested in using the product.


Comments welcome! Thanks.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Jonathan Scholl | May 9 16
4 Answers

Serious problem with anti-siphon valves

We have anti-siphon valves on our exterior spigots, as code requires. I understand why these are necessary and that they are important. But they spray water out all over the house siding every time the water pressure changes i.e., if the washing machine is running or someone inside uses a faucet. We are beginning to have problems at the area of the house that is constantly wet. I'm seeing carpenter ants now. Isn't there some better way to prevent siphoning from the garden hose without this issue of water spraying out all over the house siding continually?

In General questions | Asked By L H | May 7 16
2 Answers

Do basement stairs have to be enclosed?

Hi all,

Just checking code. I will have a basement, and at the top of the basement stairs I will have a door. Does the staircase down to the basement have to be enclosed, and a door at the bottom of the stairs?

If it matters, I will have engineered I-beam floor joists between the basement and 1st floor, which I understand have a little bit different fire code requirements?

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Clay Whitenack | May 9 16
7 Answers

Roof structure, insulation and lighting

I am planning a new home in northern Idaho climate zone 6 and have some questions regarding the roofing structure/insulation and lighting within this system. this will be a mostly cathedral ceiling with a flat part across the middle in which I intend to put the lighting and ceiling fans. The thought is to keep these items out of the insulated roof. It will be a non vented roof. I have attached two drawings to help illustrate my thoughts. I would like to build the roof as follows from top to bottom:
1. Dutch Seam metal roofing
2. 2x4 furring strips

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kyle Rice | Apr 28 16
8 Answers

New construction insulation plan and conflicting advice

My location is upstate NY, climate zone 6. New construction is timberframe with full dimension 2x5 exterior insulation frame that gets sheathed with 2) 1" layers xps, and dense pack cellulose in stud bays. Painted sheetrock provides air barrier and I'll use Intello-Plus smart vapor retarder where walls get wood paneled. Ive gotten a few insulation quotes and a couple installers are strongly recommending closed cell foam in the walls instead of the cellulose explaining that it prevents moisture issues more effectively...but then I need an exhaust fan devoted to removing moist air.

In General questions | Asked By daniel f. vellone | May 7 16
14 Answers

How does efficiency in a mini-split vary over various operating levels?

It is my understanding that a SEER rating is determined by simulating the operation of a particular make/model air conditioner over a hypothetical season, presumably assuming various temperature and humidity levels throughout the year.

In Mechanicals | Asked By david jensen | May 3 16
18 Answers

Can someone explain the science behind a mid-wall vapor barrier on a double stud wall?

In order to save money, I've switched my wall assembly last minute from using exterior rock wool board to a double stud wall construction. I would like to speak with my county inspector about using this approach to make sure I don't have problems during construction. I'm struggling to understand how I'm going to explain how a vapor barrier on the back side of the inside wall is a good idea.

I'm in climate zone 5, and here is my intended wall assembly:

From inside-to-out:
Insulweb netting (affixed to stud to hold cellulose)

In Green building techniques | Asked By Adam Peterson | May 4 16
5 Answers

Smart vapor retarder over open-cell SPF on underside of roof in Zone 4 (Washington, DC)?

I am having open-cell foam installed under several attic roof areas (collar attic, knee wall.areas, etc.) I have seen lots of statements about the need for a vapor retarder in Zones 5 and higher, as well as the general advice in any zone to add a supply and return (this would be complicated to install this, because it is not simply one big attic space and in any event our heat is from radiators, not forced air ducts).

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Elizabeth Hilder | May 5 16
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