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15 Answers

Still getting 'Access Denied'. Jim Wright

Still getting the 'Access Denied' message on the 'Q&A' section.

In General questions | Asked By Jim Wright | May 16 14
6 Answers

Installing insulation board over cedar siding on unsheathed & uninsulated (filled with brick) walls of 1890s farm house

Hi. I've been trying to read up on the best way to add insulation to the walls of an 1890s farmhouse but I haven't come across a similar situation/reply.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Keith Miller | May 22 14
6 Answers

My outdoor spigot when opened has no water coming out

My outdoor spigot when opened has no water coming out. Valve is open inside house as well...
What is internally in the spiogot to not allow water flow?

In General questions | Asked By Kenneth Clement | May 14 14
3 Answers

Best insulation for a mix of brick & wood?

There's a lot to be found about insulating brick, and about insulating wood...but what's the best solution for interior insulation for a combination of both? This is for a wall in a multi-wythe brick home, and this particular area has some wood framing in it (the wood frame goes to the roof of a portico). (See photo)

My instinct is to use rigid foam, pressed up as close as possible to close conductive loops. But clearly, there will still be lots of air in the wood-framed area.

What's your take on this?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kimberly Howell | May 21 14
1 Answer

Wood basement drainage?

My understanding is that very well executed drainage is vital to the success of a PWF basement.
The designs I've seen typically have a crushed rock or washed gravel layer under the basement's walls and floor, 4" or 6" thick. They also backfill at least 1/2 way up with the drain rock. My questions are: Would a 1" layer of Roxul " Drain Board be a proper replacement for the back fill rock? Is filter fabric on the outside of the wall's drainage medium needed?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jerry Liebler | May 21 14
6 Answers

Do wireless switches save energy?

I know zip about electricity. Consider two homes almost exactly the same, both conditioned by heat pumps (to drop gas out of the equation). But, one has traditional electrical wiring/conduit to all loads and switches. And the other only has wiring and conduit to the loads but no wiring and conduit from loads to switches because the switches generate radio frequencies and are self-powered (flipping them or ambient room light solar generates enough power to send the signal). Considering the whole electrical load (including heating/cooling in Northern Zone 5a), which home uses more energy?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Gordon B | May 19 14
17 Answers

Floor insulation, Roxul vs closed foam

The foundation of my house (1152 sq/ft) is post and pier and there is no perimeter enclosure.
The bottom of the 2x8 floor joists are about 40" from the ground.

I am considering two methods of insulation.

The first method is 7.25" thick Roxul batts (R30) that are covered with 7/16" OSB sheets.

The second method is 1.5" (R10) of sprayed closed cell foam.

The cost to me of both methods (if I don't count my labor with the Roxul) is nearly identical, about $2000.

The Roxul has the advantage of about 3x the R value of the foam.

In General questions | Asked By Jim Wright | May 14 14
7 Answers

Insulating a sloped wall & attic

We're renovating a 2.5-story 1924 brick house in Brooklyn (right at the line of zones 4A and 5A). For historic and budgetary reasons, we're not gutting the place. Instead, we're trying to insulate/air-seal/tighten where we can maximize environmental impact and minimize sledgehammer impact. Something along the lines of the "Pretty Good [Retrofitted] House."

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kimberly Howell | May 19 14
3 Answers

Locating ducts in attic underneath a thick layer of cellulose

Building a two story house with basement in climate zone 5A. Attached to the "main" portion of the house is a one story "wing" with a laundry/mudroom and the garage (this portion is built on slab...insulated with EPS to ~R-22). Walls are R-48. Raised heel (16") trusses in the attic with blown cellulose to at least R-60.

My plan was originally to keep all ductwork to the slab "wing" inside the conditioned envelope and soffit around the ducts.

In General questions | Asked By Robert Kohaus | May 20 14
3 Answers

Warmfloor versus hydronic heating set in gypcrete or Maxxon Therma-flor?

I'm an architect in WA. A client is building a new home in Eureka, CA. I had specified hydronic radiant heating set in a Maxxon Therma-Floor (similar to gypcrete) base. There is no supplier in the Eureka area. Apparently it comes out of Santa Rosa or Sacramento. The owner and contractor are now thinking about using Warmfloor (electric radiant heating). I have heard that the heat fluctuates more with Warmfloor because there is no mass. Does anyone have experience with Warmfloor? or any suggestions about gypcrete supplier/installer for the Eureka area?

In General questions | Asked By Karla Forsbeck | May 16 14
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