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5 Answers

Is natural slate tile worth the price?

My wife and I are looking at a product called CUPA Slate we found here http://www.abedward.com/cupa-natural-slate/

We were wondering if natural slate is worth the upgrade to say "fake slate". Also does natural slate fade with time? Any help would be great!

In General questions | Asked By Tom Seilheimer | Oct 14 15
4 Answers

Heat pump for frost protection in an unoccupied house?

We have a vacation home that gets only very occasional use in the winter. Currently, the only source of heat there is a Rinnai 560 WTA propane heater, which we set to 42F when we are not in the house. This has worked to keep the water pipes from freezing, but propane bills can run quite high.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Irene Heim | Oct 14 15
2 Answers

Catheralized attic insulation upgrades

I have a new energy star rated home, HERS score of 60. The builder installed blown in cellulose insulation into a netting at the underside of the tile roof. (R-22) This is a non vented attic with Cathedralized attic insulation. The home is located in a Phoenix suburb. Is there a way to upgrade the insulation? Can I add spray form over the top of the cellulose and the wood trusses to stop thermal bridging? Can have insulation added to the attic floor?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Scott Kutylowski | Oct 14 15
4 Answers

Geothermal Hyperloop

I've read about geothermal on this site and understand the downsides of the incredibly high installation costs. However, I just recently came across some info on hyperloops - which are supposed to take up much less space than conventional horizontal closed loop systems. Has anyone had any experience with one of these systems? Do they offer any significant break in terms of lower install costs? Are they more fragile or any less dependable or efficient? Here's a video I found that describes what it is:


In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Brian W | Oct 13 15
1 Answer

Can I put rigid insulation under patio pavers, and should I have a permeable system right against the house?

I am considering replacing the patio outside my walk out basement of my 1959 house in northeast Ohio (zone 5). I would like to put rigid insulation under the new patio to help keep the uninsulated floor slab inside the house a little warmer, similar to a frost protected foundation. In a perfect world I would also like to have the new patio be permeable to minimize rain water runoff. However I ran across a publication from the state of Minnesota that recommends a minimum distance between a permeable pavement installation and a building foundation. So I have several questions:

In Green building techniques | Asked By Hallie Bowie | Oct 13 15
1 Answer

Attached garage wall detail 2x6 vs 2x4

Building a house next Spring in Northern IL (climate zone 5). We are using 2x6 wall construction and hoping to do 2" of XPS on exterior.

We got our plans back and they show 2x6's on the perimeter for the house and attached garage, 2x4's interior.

The one wall I was wondering about was the wall between the attached garage and the house. The plan shows this wall as a 2x4.

Is there any reason this wall shouldn't be 2x6?

Do I insulate this wall as I would an exterior wall with 2" of XPS on the garage side?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Adam Peterson | Oct 13 15
1 Answer

Should we install a vapor barrier or no?

Our house was build in 1958 and a recent termite inspection led to a recommendation that we have a vapor barrier installed in our crawl space. We have never had one before (living in the house for 20 years) and it never seemed to be a problem. Do we need one?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Carol Hepler | Oct 13 15
2 Answers

Post-blow snow woe (snow loading and depth after deep energy retrofit)

This post asks two questions about snow after insulating , (A) changes in loading and (B) changes in the snow line and how to flash for it.


In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Mark Baker | Oct 13 15
9 Answers

Advice regarding adding insulation to log home with added siding

Hi, we have an unusual situation and I just want to make sure I'm not about to do something stupid! We have a log home that was not well-maintained, so we ended up putting board-and-batten siding over two of the walls to try and arrest the further decay of the logs. We couldn't afford to add insulation at the time. We ended up adding house wrap on top of the logs and then the builders put 2x4's horizontally along the logs (although in some places they had to build out further because of unevenness) and applied the siding.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Debbie Baskerville | Oct 12 15
5 Answers

How do you assess flash-and-batt installations?

We have begun to see more Builders and Insulators use flash and batt installation and I am not sure how to assess the R-value of the installation and if the installation actually meets the intent of code and programs. Let me make the case… First premise it that RESNET grade one installation is equivalent to meeting the intent of the code as the code only say that insulation must be installed in accordance with manufacture instructions.

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Robby Schwarz | Oct 11 15
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