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3 Answers

We recently experienced light 'flooding' of my unfinished basement that I was in the middle of framing. In order to get items away from potential water damage, I moved 10+ rolls of unfaced batt insulation into my crawlspace (which is 3 feet above the height of the floor of my unfinished basement). Well to get the rolls in the crawlspace, I had to open the rolls and layout it out directly on the dry vapor barrier. I proceeded to take care of the water on the unfinished basement and left the insulation on the floor of the crawlspace.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Ben Johnson | Oct 9 11
7 Answers

I have a row house in Philadelphia that suffers from constant dampness. I have dehumidifiers running constantly, but really need to address the "antique" foundation. Half of the basement is ancient brick (c. 1890) and half very thin concrete (1-2"). The problem is the there is no way to have concrete poured into the space as it is:
a. set back off the street and surrounded by an iron fence
b. down some extremely steep stairs
c. only accessible from the exterior by two small windows
I don't think I could even get a mixer in the house and down those stairs.

In General questions | Asked By Hayley Gresens | Oct 15 11
5 Answers

Hi all,


I live in an area where temperature's varies from -40 to +38 deg Celsius. I have a home built in the 1940s and I have a question about increasing the insulation in exterior walls. Note, my foundation footprint is a rectangle.

At construction, loose coconut fibre was placed between the studs, and no vapour barrier was installed. I've done some research and have found that about 4" of loose cocounut fibre equates to about an R3.

In General questions | Asked By Robin Moll | Oct 13 11
6 Answers

I recently entered a home purchase in SE Michigan and now find myself with a cathedral roof problem. There are cathedral ceilings throughout the upper level of the 2 story home; built in 1979. The main floor living room area is open all the way cathedral roof, and also to the basement with an open stairwell (serious stack effect going on). There is evidence of condensation on the walls coming from the cathedral wood panel ceiling which is attached to the underside of the rafters.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Brian S | Oct 13 11
6 Answers

I'm planning on residing my 1970's house soon.
- I currently have T-1-11 nailed on the studs (both sheathing and siding) with 15# felt under it.
- I will do lap siding & shingles over battens to create a rain screen over the T-1-11.
- Location is western Oregon (temperate & wet)

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Thomas Farwell | Sep 26 11
15 Answers

For an upcoming article on insulation choices, I'm looking for up-to-date information on insulation costs.

I'd be very grateful if GBA readers could share information on costs. If you are a GC, have you received more than one bid for a recent insulation job? Please share your numbers.

The most useful information would include R-value information and square feet. But even if you don't know the number of square feet, it would be useful to know that the bid for fiberglass batts was $4,000, while the bid for spray foam was $9,000. Or whatever.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Martin Holladay | Oct 13 11
8 Answers

I am in the planning stage for building a cottage. An existing cottage will be torn down and a new one built to replace it. The basement will be made using ICF (currently no basement or reliable foundation on existing cottage). The decision that I need to make is whether to continue with the ICF for the upper two floors to the roof or to build the upper two floors with traditional wood framing.

In General questions | Asked By Kelly Zytaruk | Oct 13 11
1 Answer

I'm looking to buy 3" polyiso from a local seller that is reclaimed from commercial roof tearoffs. Two Questions: 1. The seller says they have a hard covering on one or both sides. I've used foil faced polyiso, but am not familiar with the hard covering that (I'm assuming) is used in commercial roofing. Any problems using this as outsulation on a house? My thought is it can't be any less vapor permeable than foil faced, so it should work the same from that standpoint. How about difficulty of installation with the hard covering?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Bill Costain | Oct 14 11
8 Answers

In general, where have you found the best price on XPS and Polyiso? Lumber yard? Big box stores? Other? We are in the design stage of a new custom home project and I want to analyze price/performance as we are creating the plans. In the past I have relied on my stucco sub to provide it in his bid, but we will install on this project. Thanks for your input!

In General questions | Asked By Bill Costain | Oct 11 11
4 Answers

I plan to insulate my now uninsulated poured concrete basement walls. I think I have a pretty good idea of how it should be done using XPS on walls and floors, wood framing inside the foam and with further insulation between the studs,, with a code compliant fire "retardant' cover like drywall. I base my plans on research here, at Fine Home building, and at Building Science Corp.

In General questions | Asked By Andrew Alden | Oct 13 11
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