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2 Answers

Where to find zero VOC doors and cabinets?

We are building a new house in California and need a lot of doors and cabinets. The price delta between the "regular" products and low-VOC products are huge.

1. Are there online or local stores in California that sell reasonably priced good quality zero/low VOC doors and/or cabinets?

2. If the zero/low VOC products are above my budget, is there a way to reduce the VOC such as applying some sort of sealer? I figure I probably will run into the same issue with buying furnitures also.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Rian Bart | Jan 22 12
1 Answer

I have a 50 year old home with a vented slate roof. The HVAC system is in the attic.

The HVAC system is in the attic.....not efficient. Is it reasonable to spray foam the attic ceiling below the slates, and seal the attic? I'm trying to make the home more comfortable and save money on

I have not got a definitive answer from my builder, and I don't want to regret something down the road.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Charles Garbett | Jan 22 12
3 Answers

I would like to know what to do to make my open fireplace , that is my main heat source, more efficient .

I have an open stone fireplace. When it was built the builder made it so that there are open vents on the bottom in the stone and the inside of the fireplace is lined with metal which at the top where there are more vent holes there is a metal insert with 3 circular vents. The idea is that the cold air goes up and then out through the top. For this to be efficient I think I should use a blower. What kind would work? Any suggestions at all would be great. It is our main heat source for the house. I thank you for any help in advance !

In General questions | Asked By Denise Predovich | Jan 22 12
6 Answers

Where to find a flashing detail for patio to house connection?

The architectural plans show a patio area which is surrounded on 3 sides by the house - almost like a courtyard. The homeowner would like a no step entry into the house.
I believe this is in conflict with the foundation and framing plans which call for a framed floor system on top of the foundation wall. Code requires 6" of clearance from finished grade to framing/exterior cladding. If we keep the top of the patio 6 inches below the top of the concrete foundation wall, we will have 18 or 19 inches to the top of the subfloor.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Beth Robinson | Jan 6 12
7 Answers

Air quality testing for my home?

I posted a question last September. I had spray foam insulation applied to my attic roof deck.
It smelled like rotten fish. GBA advised me to have it removed. The removal is complete.
The manufacturer's rep and the insulation company have been to my home. They went into my attic and did a sniff test. They deemed the attic and home to be free of the fish odor.

We disagree. There is still a faint odor that drifts into the garage and living area, especally when it is hot.

I am looking for an independent air quilaty testing company who will fairly represent me and my family.

In General questions | Asked By marty donnelly | Jun 2 11
9 Answers

Confusion on Flash and Batt

I know there has been a lot written and a lot discussed about flash and batt. I thought I understood the pros and cons. The most import design criteria is to ensure the flash is thick enough to keep condensation point to the inside of the flash barrier. In the case of my location (17026-PA-climate zone 6), 2" of closed cell foam should be thick enough. I have been talking to foam installers in the area and this is what I got back from one of them

"...we do not flash and batt nor will I flash and batt for anyone that is a mold night mare it will destroy you house in under 5yrs! "

In General questions | Asked By Jim Orasky | Jan 19 12
3 Answers

Full filling of Masonry Cavity wall construction with polystyrene blown in insulation beads. YAY or NAY?

Hey guys, basically I'm just looking for any opinions on the subject of insulating masonry homes in terms of moisture build up and structural issues (outer and inner leaf of concrete blockwork, with a cavity between, of at least 100mm (4") gap and exterior face usually stuccoed or pebble dashed over this).

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Tim O Brien | Jan 20 12
3 Answers

Double Bubble for Underslab insulation

I found a thread on GBA "discussing" the pros and cons of using foil based radiant barrier products for insulation of ducts and attic spaces. One of the foundation contractors bidding on my new house project wants to use "Double Bubble" under my basement and garage floors. Can I believe the hype in this application? Would appreciate any thoughts or advice.

In General questions | Asked By Jim Orasky | Jan 21 12
2 Answers

Air/vapor barrier question

My house was built in the 50's, and as is typical for homes in this area, has 1/4 drywall with a real plaster job over it. My question is is this a better/worse/same air/ vapor barrier than standard drywall, taped at seams etc. I'm asking because I'm a little concerned about trapping moisture in the wall now that I've added 5 1/4" or EPS to the exterior. Thanks.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Aaron Vander Meulen | Jan 20 12
3 Answers

How to insulate a new, small basement slab pour within an existing slab

Deep energy retrofit combined with extensive remodel of early 60's modern architecture home overlooking Puget Sound. Using cameras we found drain pipes under the basement slab were compromised. We took this opportunity to remove the slab in these areas as well as over areas where two bathrooms are being built, one existing and one new for the master bath, to accommodate hydronic radiant heat. The idea is to install hydronic radiant slabs in these two areas but we want to isolate them from the surrounding slab as well as from underneath.

In General questions | Asked By Greg Lindstrom | Jan 19 12
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