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1 Answer

Material Recyclers

I am in the Chicago area. The last opportunity that I had to build a home, the local waste haulers did not offer any recycling options for construction materials. One company did offer some specialized recycling, but there was a significant premium for their services (about 100% more).

In General questions | Asked By John Hansen | Dec 29 11
1 Answer

I want to increase insulation in my cathedral ceiling

I want to increase insulation in my cathedral ceiling.

It currently has paper-faced 6" fiberglass between 2x8 rafters with continuous soffit venting strips and gable-end vents. I have to replace shingles soon and would think solid iso foam sheets of R-20.

This should be a common problem of houses built in the 70's. Are there pieces you wrote that address it already?


Don Hegeman
Chatham, NY

In Green building techniques | Asked By Don Hegeman | Jan 4 12
5 Answers

Should a wood burning fireplace (with outside combustion air intake) pull auxiliary convection air from outside or inside the home?

I have purchased a Quadra-Fire 7100FP Wood Burning fireplace for my new home. It has an "Auxiliary Convection Air" feature that can be routed to the outside or as a cold air return to another part of the home. I am assuming this should be routed as a cold air return inside the home so as to not bring in outside air in that will then pressurize the home. What do you think?

In General questions | Asked By Andrew Homoly | Jan 3 12
2 Answers

Is open-cell foam good/bad sprayed on the underside of a roof in Connecticut?

I am wondering if open-cell foam (specifically Icynene) is OK to spray on the underside of a roof deck of an unfinished attic of a 1920's home in Connecticut.

The attic is a walk-up attic from stairs in a bedroom. The house has a basement which is where the boiler is located and there is no air conditioning. The walls have all been done with the closed-cell pour formula from Icynene.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Josh Ayers | Jan 3 12
7 Answers

For a small home, what about using infrared space heaters as primary heat source? A fraction the cost of a ductless mini-split.

I live just north of Seattle and am remodeling a 1200 sq. ft home. I've had an energy audit done, and insulated and air sealed as much as was reasonable. But still it's far from a well-insulated home primarily because of the cathedral ceilings and tongue-groove wood paneling (no air barrier) for a ceiling. I've spent 2 years trying to figure out the best way to heat. Currently I have a natural gas fireplace insert as the primary heat, but even with my creative use of fans it doesn't circulate the heat throughout the house. Advise???

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Julie Morse | Jan 2 12
11 Answers

Insulated siding question

I am looking at building a home in southern Ohio. I want to use 2x6 walls with dense packed cellulose, drywall, Osb sheathing, tyvek house wrap, and progressive foam insulated siding. Does this seem ok as far as moisture issues / breath ability? Is it even worth it for energy savings to use the insulated vinyl siding? I like the thermal break that it would provide. I am very new at this so any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Aaron Schirm | Dec 31 11
8 Answers

What type of heating system makes the most sense for a small, very well insulated home?

I am building a 1300 sq foot home in Durango, Colorado, in zone 5b. According to what I can find on line, we have a bit more than 7000 heating degree days here . The house I am building will have real (house is exterior foam wrapped for thermal break) R-30 walls and a little over R-50 ceilings. It will be tightly constructed and blower door tested. It will also have an simple bath fan exhaust system for air exchange (from three bath fans on the different levels).

In Mechanicals | Asked By Eric Hutt | Dec 27 11
12 Answers

When insulating a portion of a structure such as an addition or re-roof, how can code compliance via the performance analysis method (ref MEC 402.2) be demonstrated without doing a whole-house analysis?

Architect and code official are obsessed with the prescriptive method. I want to use a solid foam nailbase system with better overall performance and a thinner profile. How can I satisfy 402.2 for a small area of the roof without doing a full structure modeling analysis?

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Al Cobb | Nov 23 11
11 Answers

How do I fix these insulation issues?

My home was built in 1998 and the design specifications and materials seem to
be good quality: 2x6 wall framing, Tyvek, and 6" fiberglass bats covered with
8" of blown fiberglass in the ceiling. The home is two stories though the 2nd
story floor space is much smaller than the 1st. Also, the entry way and living room on
the 1st floor have 12' ceilings while the rest of the 1st floor has 9'
ceilings. Some of the entry way space is taken up by a built in closet which
has a 9' ceiling.

First problem: inspecting the insulation above this closet, I found that the

In General questions | Asked By D Mikulec | Dec 5 11
6 Answers

Wood Floor, Concrete slab, and Moisture

Hi all, I had a question about proper installation of a wood floor on a concrete slab.

Assuming the slab has been moisture tested (and passes with flying colors), would it be alright to just put a plywood subfloor and finished wood floor on top? Or would I still be at risk of a mold issue in the future?

In Interior design | Asked By Jay Sheth | Dec 29 11
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