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15 Answers

Do I really have to insulate my basement slab?

I am finishing my 1940 basement, with 2 inches of rigid foam on the walls, covered with sheet rock.

My question: should I really insulate the floor? If so, is it avoid condensation on the slab, or because of heat loss?

There's not a lot of headroom, which is why I'm reluctant to insulate the slab. And if I do, can I get away with 1/2 rigid foam instead of 1"?

Thanks much.

In General questions | Asked By Alexander Lane | Jan 14 18
3 Answers

Condensation on storm windows

I live in a 1920's house, climate zone 4, with the original interior wood double-hung windows and triple track storms on the exterior. We have quite a bit of condensation on the interior of the storms and a few of the windows are so bad they get a pretty thick ice buildup on the interior of the storm glass when it's really cold. I've even had to drill additional weep holes in the storms to let the water out when the ice melts. And it causes large ice cycles to form on the siding below the windows as the sun melts the ice then runs out the weep hole and refreezes.

In General questions | Asked By Michael Mohr | Jan 13 18
14 Answers

Monitoring heat-pump kWh usage

Hi,
I am looking for a device to monitor the kwh usage of my heat pump. A whole-house monitor that breaks usage down by device or circuit would be good too. Any recommendations are appreciated. Thank you.
Matthias

In General questions | Asked By Matthias Paustian | Dec 14 16
7 Answers

SHGC of north-facing windows?

I'm beginning the search for windows for my new home in Detroit, CZ5. South windows will have a high SHGC. West windows will have a low SHGC. The east windows get summer shading from a large oak tree so will have a high SHGC. My question is about north windows. Of course they won't be subjected to sunlight, but my first thought is that a window with a low SHGC will better reflect indoor heat back inside? I would prefer to be wrong because high SHGC windows let in more light.

Douglas Higden

In Green products and materials | Asked By Thrifttrust | Jan 13 18
9 Answers

Constructing a ceiling service cavity?

My plan includes a ceiling service cavity. The primary air barrier will be the top of the service cavity, the interior visible ceiling will be the bottom. Is there any reason that drywall can not be used both places? My 3" tall service cavity will be framed by a lattice of flat wise 2x4s, consisting of an upper layer perpendicular to the trusses and a lower layer parallel to the trusses all screwed together..

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jerry Liebler | Jan 15 18
6 Answers

Rainscreen for vertical cedar siding?

Hi all,

My builder is concerned about all the trim around my remodel due to my wish for 4" tongue-and-groove western red cedar (WRC) vertical siding. I will be mixing things up with about 1/3 of the outside coverage with WRC shingles so the product depth is not an issue.

In General questions | Asked By David Flinn | Jan 12 18
1 Answer

Vinyl Windows with Synthetic Stone (2)

I posted this question last week, but it appears it was closed. We have Vinyl Windows installed, some with integral J Channel and some with Brick Molding and integral J Channel. On one wall of the home, we plan to instead install synthetic stone. I have been researching how best to use these windows with the stone.

I have contacted the stone manufacturer, and they had zero advice to offer. I also contacted the window manufacturer, and they have been no help either.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Kathleen J | Jan 15 18
8 Answers

Layout for ducted minisplit?

My house's floor plan has too many partitions to depend on comfortable heat distribution with ductless so I'll take the slight efficiency hit to use duct ed distribution. The plan is to keep the ducts inside the "conditioned" envelope and very simple and all in the ceiling service cavity, both supply and return for the air handlers. My house is a rectangle with the long side running east to west. A central hallway divides the north and south areas. My proposed layout uses two air handlers, two zones, one "bedroom" zone on the east and a "daytime" zone on the west.

In Plans Review | Asked By Jerry Liebler | Jan 13 18
74 Answers

1952 Cape Cod

Hello,

First-time poster. In the past 2 months, I’ve read a hundred or so GBA articles and comment threads; I’ve been amazed by the expertise and generosity of the community. I’ve also read extensively at buildingscience and finehomebuilding -- I’m new to but very interested in building science. Here’s why:

BUILDING BACKGROUND

In Plans Review | Asked By Emerson W | Dec 11 17
41 Answers

Region 5 below grade basement insulation techniques with intention to finish

I've probably read most or all of the articles on the subject 5-6 times over, but am still left with many questions as the advice can quickly change as the circumstances do, and it's difficult to keep track of all these factors.

My goal is to finish my below grade basement in 18301 Region 5. Cape cod style home built in 1968. 954 sq ft basement.

In General questions | Asked By Ryan O'Rourke | Nov 19 17
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