New home in Orlando…lots of questions
Hi all, signed up today and will be doing a lot more reading. I had previously built an ICF house back in 2007 with Icynene open cell to seal the roof/attic (which was apparently a mistake).
This go around, I will be using the ICF again (likely Nudura), but am really struggling to understand the attic insulation. I’ve got the floor plan laid out and decided to use ICF for the 2nd floor too. For the cost of insulating the upstairs walls, I decided the strength and sound are hard to beat even if it isn’t max insulation. For the attic insulation, I’m leaning towards a few inches of closed cell and then I’m not sure what to do to increase the R value, or even what R target makes sense in Florida (light colored metal roof).
As for HVAC, I had a zoned system in the old house and had a love hate relationship with it, so this house will have multiple units. I’m looking for a good HVAC designer and think I stumbled across Energywise on this site at some point, but open to other suggestions. It seems the options for the attic are to feed some conditioned air or use a dehumidifier if my research is correct. The dehumidifier makes more sense in my mind, especially for Florida… I also plan on conditioning the garage, but not sure if I should do something different with the insulation out there since it is not a shared attic space and will be kept much warmer and likely used less.
I’m thinking of using PGT Winguard Low-E vinyl windows/doors, but I’m open to other ideas there too. We have had good luck with the one install we did with PGT, but I can find plenty of horror stories. It also seems their sliders are not very waterproof which means they aren’t very energy efficient.
I had started to go down the path of electric tankless water heaters, but think I’m back to a hybrid in the garage with a recirc loop (researching recirc with Pex). The tankless power required and lower and lower flow faucets seem like a recipe for headaches.
This is my “forever” home, so trying to do it right and open to any advice you can give me. For the record, it will be very hard to talk me out of ICF as the house is close to the airport and I grew up going through hurricanes. I just don’t see anything better for strength/sound.
If I do any home automation, I think I will use systems that integrate with Google, rather than a centralized system that will be outdated in a couple years.
I’m not doing this to be zero energy or anything like that, but just trying to be efficient and do what makes sense. The rear roof points S/SW so would be ideal for solar, but not sure the returns are worth it yet. I know next year is the last tax credit though.
I’m sure there is more, but that’s a good start. Attached some rough sketches.
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