Q&A: A Forum for Green Building Experts and Beginners

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

If you want to post a question, the usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration: Under the box labeled “More explanation,” look for the words “File attachments.” Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!

3 Answers

With the use of Superior Walls for the basement level, what would be the best interior insulation for a finished basement?

With the use of Superior Walls for the basement level, what would be the best interior insulation for a finished basement?

In General questions | Asked By RICHARD BOWER | Nov 23 13
3 Answers

Siding replacement questions

I apologize in advance because I know that these questions have been discussed in the past but I couldn't find them.

Question #1
We are creating a detail for adding 1/2" rigid foam and a 1/2" or 3/" rain screen vented at top and bottom. If we move the window out 1/2" is this enough to do a good job of getting foam around the reset window if there is a wood interior trim that we are trying not to disturb?

Question #2

In Green building techniques | Asked By Hugh Stearns | Jun 9 15
3 Answers

Wall insulation Oakland county Michigan

My wife and I are planning to build a new house in Oakland County Michigan. It's going to be a walkout ranch with a Superior Walls XI foundation and 2x6 framing. We're trying to decide on the best way to insulate. After reading a lot of articles and blog posts, we're really intrigued by the Roxul mineral wool for exterior insulation - the comfortboard IS.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Brian W | Jun 9 15
8 Answers

Insulating a "3-Season Room" or Sunroom in the Mid-Atlantic

My house was built in 1955 with a north-side carport (driveway extended under, roof extended over - including attic with loose-fill insulation, supported by four load-bearing brick columns presumably with footers below) - in the 70s, it was closed in (2x4 framing, plywood, vinyl siding, and jalousie windows. It was ducted for heat and air conditioning although the ducts remain closed. Since we moved in, we replaced the windows with nicer/newer/normal vinyl, and we replaced our HVAC and had them size it such that it would support the sunroom if it were ever insulated/sealed.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Cory McConnell | Apr 13 15
3 Answers

Reverse board and batten siding and rainscreen details

I am trying to make some final decisions on my rain screen and siding and would really appreciate some advice. I am in climate zone C-4, Oregon coastal mountains = lots of rain. I am planning on using locally milled rough cut reverse board and batten. My wall plan at this point is 2x6's on 24" centers sheathed in OSB, then covered with a 1" layer of XPS rigid insulation, then wrapped with my WRB (RainGuard 3D), this is where my windows will be installed. On the WRB I am planning on running horizontal rough cut 1x3's (equal to 5/4) on 24" centers as nailers and a air gap.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Kail Zuschlag | Jun 7 15
6 Answers

Flashing and trim details for doors and no-fin windows with board-and-batten siding over furring and exterior foam board

Hello GBA,
After looking thru a lot of details here, and at FHB and BSC, I haven't found one that's quite right for my situation yet, and I hope you can help me.
I have a garage that was made to look like a small barn (22' x 32', 2 stories, gambrel roof). It was built in the early 1990's, with 2 x 4's 16" on center, 1/2" OSB (plywood at the corners), no insulation, no WRB, and lap siding that seems like particle board with a stamped grain pattern.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Ben Rush | Jun 6 15
3 Answers

Minisplit vibration on ICF wall?

I'm looking into details on how I would install minisplits on a new home I'm planning a build for. I may do an ICF wall from basement to roof. I've seen mix things reported online with the minisplit vibration being heard when the outdoor unit is mounted on the wall. ICF walls should be very quiet normally (due to all the concrete) but I'm not really sure if there is more or less chance of vibration noise coming through because of the possibility of the wall resonating due to how rigid it is. Does anyone have any thoughts/experiences about this issue? Thanks.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Nick Hall | Jun 8 15
7 Answers

Rainscreen design advice

Did a search on this and came up with nothing... The question centers on a rainscreen design for verticle cypress siding on rigid foam over CMU. Zone 2. Block house. One story.

Thinking 1" rigid foam then horizontal furring topped with a core vent type product then siding.

Interested if this is proper design, if core vent is over or under furring strip and how far apart to place furring strips. Install attaching furring strips over the foam to CMU via tapcons would be a heck of a lot easier with the vent on top of the strips.

Thanks for the time to answer.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Robert Brown | Jun 7 15
14 Answers

Minisplit advice

I have figured out the BTU of my house and would like to install a mini split system. I think I need a 6000 BTU unit for each of 6 rooms and I would like to put a 18,000 BTU compressor on each of the sets of 3, but I don't see them marketed in those combinations. My house is about 30,000 BTU total. How do I find out if my plan is appropriate and how do I go about buying 6 - 6000 BTU ceiling cassettes and 2 - 18000 BTU compressors? Thank you.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Jim Robson | Jun 3 15
4 Answers

How to insulate rafters in 1.5 story cape to reduce thermal bridging?

Hi All,

I live in a 1.5 story cape in Nassau county on Long Island (zone 4a). The house is a fairly typical
Levit with no dormered additions, meaning little to no attention was spent on insulation much less air sealing. As anyone who has lived in one of these houses can attest, the second floor is stifling in the summer. We have a geothermal heating/cooling system with ductwork running through the kneewalls.

In Green building techniques | Asked By William Duerr | Jun 7 15
Register for a free account and join the conversation

Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!