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15 Answers

What's wrong with this wall?

From inside out...
1/2" Drywall
2x4 framing
Diagonal T brace or let in 2x bracing
2" XPS caulked and taped (doubles as WRB)
Horizontal Furring strips
Extira Siding

2x4 framing w/ 2"XPS makes window bucks easy. Extira (exterior grade MDF) is the probable siding choice as the desired look is approx. 2'x4' panels, and smooth texture is preferred. Running the furring strips horizontally allows the panels to be fastened in a location the makes sense for the panels, as well as allowing some customization of panel size. What am I missing/overlooking

In Plans Review | Asked By Aaron Vander Meulen | Jan 3 12
3 Answers

A question about Guardian UltraFit DS blown-in fiberglass insulation

A insulation contractor gave me the option of a wet spray blown-in fiberglass product. Made by Guardian, UltraFit DS appears to be applied like wet spray cellulose. Any insight, pros/cons would be appreciated.

Home located in North Central Washington State. Climate zone 5.


In General questions | Asked By Thomas LaCrosse | Feb 28 12
5 Answers

Dedicated ERV system and Bathroom Exhaust

We are designing a dedicated ERV (recouperator) duct system in a high efficiency remodel. The question has arisen regarding the bathroom exhausts and whether we can utilize the ERV exhausts in each bathroom and a booster switch (dual function timer) in lieu direct vent bathroom exhaust fans. Thoughts? Ultimateair does not to take a strong position on it in their literature.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Patricia Shields | Jan 2 12
1 Answer

Radiant Floor Heating Efficiency

I have a brand new home in Northern Virginia. The home has a 9' high full in-ground basement that is currently unfinished. I am wondering when we decide to finish this in the coming years what is the most efficient way to do so.

In my experience the basement tends to be cooler or cold and damp. We should have adequate drainage through the drain tile system, sump pump, and foundation water proofing.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Shaun Kennedy | Feb 28 12
4 Answers

Can a hydronic radiant heating be used in a ceiling?

I am building a well insulated house in NW Ontario, Canada I have been debating on the method of heat supply. I am leaning towards hydronic radiant heating, I plan to build using a slab at grade with a frost wall, the slab will have radiant heating. The 2nd floor I don't want to install the tubing within the floor system since the floor joists and subfloor will be exposed, sort of a timber frame look nor do i want to pour a slab on the 2nd floor.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Jody Brinkman | Feb 23 12
17 Answers

Insulating a crawl space

We have a single level ranch style home with crawl space that connects with the basement living space. The crawl space is located at the end of the ranch home. This crawl space has a vapor barrier over the rocky dirt floor, originally installed as part of radon remediation. The concrete walls in the crawl space contribute to cold air and possibly some moisture. At this point, though, I think that it is safe to say that no water seeps through into the crawl space.

In Green products and materials | Asked By william phillips | Feb 24 12
18 Answers

Please explain radiant barrier comments

Quoting from "Radiant Barriers: A Solution in Search of a Problem":

In Green products and materials | Asked By John Mattson | Sep 29 11
3 Answers

Open-cell SPF in an attic with no vapor barrier


I live in Pittsburgh and am doing a renovation of an old home. I'm doing a lot of the work so far myself, with the help of my father. At the same time I've been working with an architect to figure out the overall project. And there is disagreement between my two spheres on how to insulate the attic.

The (hopefully) key points: it's currently a vented attic, I'm going to be putting HVAC and ductwork in that space.

My father is recommending I keep the attic as vented, put down batting on the attic floor, and do various things to ensure the HVAC unit is leak free and insulated

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Will Oberman | Feb 26 12
12 Answers

Insulation help

I am planning to build a 32x40 garage, gambrel trusses with a bonus room in the second story. I also plan to have radiant floor heat in the slab and in the joists to the bonus room. I live in Mid-Michigan.

My question is what is the best way to insulate. I would like to spray foam a portion of the building (roof/ceiling) and conserve costs by going with batting on the walls. I am having 2x6 construction on the walls which will give me some extra room there.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By John Matousek | Feb 23 12
5 Answers

Opinions on "quartz" countertops?

OK, so whats's greener... a granite slab, or a quartz slab from a company like Silestone, Ceasarstone, etc? It looks like the manufacturers are using "quartz" (where does that come from?) along with resins and dyes to make their product. On the face of it, it sounds like it might be less environmentally harmful than quarrying blocks of granite and shipping them around the planet. Any thoughts?

In Green products and materials | Asked By David Meiland | Feb 26 12
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