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1 Answer

What would be the best way to improve the walls in a 1000-square-foot house that currently has 2x4 walls with fiberglass batt insulation covered with OSB, felt paper, and vinyl siding?

I want to replace the vinyl siding with fiber cement plank siding, and thought this would be a good time to add some XPS insulation between the OSB and the siding. The felt paper undoubtedly will be damaged by removing the vinyl siding, so I am guessing I need a house wrap (Tyvek or other) and then the XPS sheets.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Stuart Murray | Jul 10 14
1 Answer

I've just uncovered some ductwork in my house that needs to be addressed. It is a 1400 square foot two storey brick house, no wall insulation, in climate zone 5. It's a narrow and tall Victorian house and the ductwork in question feeds the rear of the house on both storeys - kitchen on the first floor and a bedroom on the second. These rooms have been poorly heated ever since I've lived here but last winter, which was particularly testing, the rear bedroom was basically uninhabitable without backup electric heat.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Jonathan Dalton | Jul 10 14
13 Answers

From a practical perspective mobile homes have a fatal flaw…no indoor storage space.

Now that awesome construction is available, it’s time to bring mobile homes into the mainstream by re-thinking space and floor plans, especially storage space requirements!

There is no space for the stuff a normal family/person needs to store. So what happens? The place starts to look like a junk heap because there is no storage space. People start to store stuff outside, maybe put up a shed…maybe they rent a storage unit…there goes the supposed savings.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Anneal G | Jul 9 14
1 Answer

I am considering floor heating for my bathroom remodel even for my first floor kitchen and family room. I now have gas forced hot air heating.

For electrical wires under the floor, I have concerns on EMF. But for hot water pipes under the floor, then leaking is my concern.

Please advise.

In General questions | Asked By meitien hsing | Jul 10 14
21 Answers

I have decided to write an article on the topic of Cut-and-Cobble Insulation. Even though I sometimes scoff at the technique, calling it an unprofessional method beloved by homeowners, I must admit that I have used cut-and-cobble myself. Sometimes, the method makes sense.

For those who don't know, the term refers to the insertion of strips of rigid foam between studs or rafters. Each rectangle of rigid foam is sealed at its perimeter with caulk or canned spray foam.

So I'm asking for help.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Martin Holladay | Nov 13 13
2 Answers

A client's deep energy retrofit got started but stopped about 16 months ago, right after the foil-faced polyiso was installed but before the siding was installed. All polyiso joints and almost all edges were taped and sealed. The tape looks great (pretty amazing after two very hard zone 5 winters).

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kristen Simmons | Jun 25 14
4 Answers

I have just enjoyed reading 2-3 years’ worth of blog posts on the site and (Living in Australia) I am intrigued by how much effort and resources (foam) is used to insulate a home’s slab/basement from the ground in some of the high performance builds.

Surely doing this just introduces complexity and opportunity for movement of the slab? Should houses even have basements anymore? They seem like they make it much harder to insulate your building envelope. The only advantage would seem to be if you wanted to utilise the thermal mass of the slab.

In Green building techniques | Asked By David Hall | Jul 2 14
4 Answers

In the Allison Bailes interview with Dr. Iain Walker http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/building-science/intervie...
the emerging concerns about formaldehyde transfer (or non-transfer) are discussed at the end. As stated in the interview, it's hard for the purchaser to know the exact extent of the issue with particular units, but Dr. Walker does describe the 2 methods of exchanging moisture, wheel and membrane with the latter being preferred.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Greg Wilson | Jul 8 14
4 Answers

I'm looking for a good way to air seal metal electrical boxes. Local code requires conduit for all electrical, and no plastic boxes.

All of the solutions I've found are for romex and plastic boxes. I know there must be something for conduit and metal boxes.


In Green products and materials | Asked By James Lenihan | Jul 7 14
2 Answers

Hello all,

In Mechanicals | Asked By Brian Gray | Jul 2 14
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