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BS* + Beer

The BS* + Beer Show: Diagnostic Tools

Green building pros Doug Horgan and Randy Williams share insight into some commonly used data-collecting gadgets

Photo courtesy of Doug Horgan

This episode of the BS* + Beer show features guests Doug Horgan and Randy Williams talking about building diagnostic tools. Doug get things rolling with an entertaining and edifying homemade game. Using a thermal camera, a pinless meter, and a pin meter, he demonstrates the importance of understanding not only the tools themselves but also the materials being tested. Despite 30 years in the field, Doug freely admits to making ongoing mistakes but values the ways in which new technologies and software help him arrive at problem-solving information faster than the naked eye. Randy shares a building-science mystery that we hope to see him solve. His clients came to him after applying spray foam to a formerly unconditioned attic space only to experience moisture-related problems that include exterior peeling paint. He plans to use a few diagnostic tools to sleuth out the problem. The discussion also includes talk of psychrometers, manometers, blower-door technologies, and datalogging. Gadget geeks will love this one.

Enjoy the show!

Join us on Thursday, October 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST, when guests Mike Guertin and Jake Bruton will explore the topic of permanent wood foundations (PWFs), which are built using pressure-treated lumber with crushed stone footings. Crazy idea or a viable alternative to concrete or block foundations? We’ll talk about what the residential code has to say about PWFs, discuss some of their advantages, and tackle some tough questions from skeptics. If you’ve ever worked with PWFs, join in and share your experience. If you’re new to PWFs, bring your questions.

Host Michael Maines will add to the discussion with a description of a kitchen addition he is designing for his own house. The plan is for a concrete-free slab; and he will use pressure-treated 6×6 timbers as a perimeter beam. He’s also giving thought to using a mix of mineral wool and low-emission rigid foam.

Guest bios

Mike Guertin has spent 40 years tackling every facet of residential construction—from excavation and foundations to interior finishes and tilesetting. He has shared what he has learned through hundreds of articles, books, videos, and live events. He is a contributor to Fine Homebuildng, Journal of Light Construction, and Professional Deck Builder magazines, as we all as a media personality at JLC Live, the Remodeling Show, IBS, IRE, and other trade shows. 

Builder and remodeler Jake Bruton is the owner of Aarow Building in Columbia, Missouri. At Aarow Building, Jake works to help ensure that all the company’s houses are built to last, and are energy efficient. The company has a collaborative spirit and believes that project development should be between the builder, architect, and client to help ensure that the final product is a home that will not only look good, but feel good to live in and stand the test of time.

Use this link to register for The BS* + Beer Show

BS* + Beer Book Club

Because the hosts of the BS* + Beer Show all love to read, we thought we would celebrate the authors in our industry by adding a book club to the show every few months. We’ll announce the book, give you a few months to get it and read it, and conclude with a BS* + Beer Show episode where we will invite the author to join us, present, and take questions.

We have selected our second book: Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity by Joseph G. Allen and John D. Macomber.

We hope you will pick up a copy and join the discussion on Thursday, December 17, from 6 to 7:30 pm.


-You can contact Kiley Jacques at [email protected]


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