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2 Answers

Cape houses - insulation & ventilation

I live in a cape in Syracuse, NY. I'm having some work done and have received a nbr. of estimates on insulating my house. Some have suggested that I don't need to insulate the sides of the house that it's the roof that needs insulation. Some have suggested using cellulose spray in and others are suggesting foam (I suppose I would have to remove the ceiling sheetrock to have the foam). I now realize how difficult it is to insulate and ventilate a cape.

In General questions | Asked By Denyce Lott | Jun 11 14
3 Answers

Insulating and sealing an old house


I am renovating a 1920's summer cottage. It is in poor condition, but needs (deserves) to be preserved and updated. The structure has survived because it can dry both ways, interior/exterior. Wall system is to be upgraded and insulated. Attached is a proposed typical wall section and a interior photo The 1/2" Zip is being placed over the 3/4" board sheathing for bracing/racking (no bracing exists). Interior finish will vary: 3/4"pine beaded board and 5/8" drywall. Air sealing is at the Zip layer

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Chris Hawkins | Jun 11 14
3 Answers

Interior drainage mat (waffle board) alternative

I am currently retrofiting an interior drain tile in my basement and insulating with rigid foam. The front half of my house is 6' below grade and the rear is 6" above grade. I have installed waffle board against the interior side of the block foundation walls, where we are below grade, to direct any water that makes its way to the interior, into the drain tile. It wraps the entire perimeter and terminates 2' above the slab (3' wide roll). However, I have found that this waffle board/drainage mat material is very expensive!

In General questions | Asked By Charles Chiampou | Jun 10 14
6 Answers

Personal experiences with Daikin Quaternity ductless heat pumps

I've read many times about the independent humidity control of Daikin's Quaternity models. I've even found myself jealous of them after installing a Mitsubishi and feeling muggy in my house on a mild spring day when there is little need for cooling, and the dry mode makes us feel too cold. There are illustrations and videos on the web showing how it works -- the indoor coil is split into two parts, one of which can be hot and one of which can be cold (at the same time), which allows for dehumidification without cooling.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Nick Welch | Jun 10 14
9 Answers

Best low-flow shower head?

I'd like to know what low flow shower heads folks are happy with. Let's define low flow as 1.5 gallons per minute, bonus if it's 1.25 and honestly does a decent job.

I previously obtained a Niagara Conservation 1.25gpm unit free from my utility company. I used it for a while but found the performance so unsatisfactory I was taking much longer showers than neccessary, particularly in the winter. Everyone in the house agreed when I yanked it in favour of the old supersoaker type.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Jonathan Dalton | Jun 9 14
3 Answers

Insulated plenum in conditioned space?

Good evening!

My wife and I are completing a large addition. We have tried to follow many GBA tips for building a good and energy efficient house.

We are having a problem with the HVAC contractor.

When he bid the job he said "No problem" to everything, but then in the middle he kept trying to cut corners.

He did fix some things in the middle when I complained, but now he's done and it's still sub-par.

We did all new ducts and systems. He bid it as a typical install in an unconditioned space.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kevin Darville | Jun 9 14
7 Answers

Adding more insulation to damp-spray cellulose?

I've got an old pier and beam house with stucco skirting and about 1-2" of damp spray cellulose over the subfloor and joists. I was thinking that rather than deal with the complexity of keeping the closed crawlspace and conditioning or dehumidifying, that I'd take it off and add more insulation. I can't figure whether I can spray more (damp) cellulose, or whether I should just put foil afced foam over the bottom of the joists, or remove (?) the cellulose and replace with closed cell spray foam. I'm in Austin, TX - hot & humid, zone 2A

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Matt Desloge | Jun 1 14
4 Answers

HVAC help!

I am a homeowner with a 3500 sq ft. home in New York. 10 years ago I purchased an American Standard 16 seer ducted HVAC system. When temperatures go below freezing I have to back up this system with baseboard heaters. Some of my baseboard heaters are newer and some are very old (and probably extremely inefficient). I would love to have a net zero house but I’m not sure if this is possible. Last year I added insulation to the basement and attic. I have solar water heater which is fantastic. I also have sunpower solar panels and wood burning stove that can heat 3000 sq.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Randi Gustafsson | Jun 9 14
3 Answers

Installing and sealing windows without a flange

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to re-install and seal windows without a flange?

These were replacement windows that were installed 10 years ago and the flange had been removed to facilitate installation into the existing opening.

We are redoing the siding and would like to re flash the windows.


In Green building techniques | Asked By Aaron Gatzke | Jun 5 14
1 Answer

Spacing and attachment of rain screen materials (specifically Sturdi-Strips)

Our wall system is double stud, the outer wall is 2x4s 16" OC with 1/2" Advantech sheathing. Siding is quarter sawn spruce clapboards (longest pieces are 6').

We are planning (and have purchased) to use Cor-A-Vent Sturdi-Strips and the SV-3 vents, this is a 3/8" rain screen gap.

My assumption is that best practice would be to:
-staple (about 1-1.5" length staples) the Sturdi-Strips in line with our 16" OC studs?
-then the clapboards would get nailed along this same interval?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Brian Post | Jun 9 14
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