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38 Answers

How am I doing?

I just finished the first two weeks of monitoring my water heater. It looks like we're averaging ~5.5kWh/day. There's two adults showering twice a day, and two elementary school aged kids showering every few days. The dishwasher runs about 8-9 times per week. My rough estimates puts us at around an average of 20 gallons of hot water per day.

Can anyone chime in with their usage and family makeup so I can get an idea of home we're doing?


In General questions | Asked By Calum Wilde | May 2 18
6 Answers

The $700 question

I want to beat a dead horse just a little bit more. The horse's name is "Sill Sealer." In our soon to be built house, the difference in cost of materials for sealing the 2x8 plate with the standard pink or blue foam vs. a 7 1/4" x 1/2" Denarco Sill Seal is $700. Is it worth it? Is there a reasonably priced alternative I am missing? I have looked at Protecto Wrap and Weatherbloc products and neither has a 7 1/4" version, though Protecto will custom make one($$$$).

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kevin Spellman | May 9 18
6 Answers

Exterior foundation waterproofing

I recently had my foundation wall treated with a spray on waterproofer. I noticed a week later that there were little pin pricks throughout the black layer. Some of the pin pricks you can see concrete through. Is this a typical occurrence or should I have the company spray the wall again? I am mostly worried that it will cause the waterproofing to be defective due to moisture instrusion. Thanks!

[Editor's note: Photo below.]


In General questions | Asked By Chris Roche | Jul 16 17
5 Answers

Why is there condensation on my cathedral ceiling?

It’s warm outside (80 degrees) and 75 degrees in the inside thermometer. The roof is in full sun all day so it's hot up there. The is nothing except insulation between the ceiling and roof and the condensation only forms along the beam at the peak of the roof inside.

It’s a split level home with a crawl space under the living room and the finished basement is below the upper level kitchen.

I've attached pictures of the space. Or there also in this link.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!!

In General questions | Asked By Candi163 | May 9 18
7 Answers

Retrofitting walls with interior vapor barrier?

My house is in climate zone 6a, has 2x6 exterior walls, sheathed with OSB, with batt insulation, and an interior vapor barrier. Is there any way to retrofit these walls with exterior insulation that won't cause issues as they can't dry to the inside?

In General questions | Asked By Calum Wilde | May 9 18
11 Answers

Massachusetts three-decker: energy retrofit during re-siding


In Plans Review | Asked By Al Dhanji | Apr 8 18
16 Answers

Still confused about cathedral ceiling insulation and vapor barrier with a T&G ceiling

Had massive roof rot over master bedroom which has a vaulted ceiling that was constructed with: T&G cedar -> plastic vapor barrier -> mostly unfaced fiberglass batts -> air channels (cardboard I think) from soffits to ridge -> roof sheathing. Recessed can lights of course, not air tight back then.

I'm in the process of tearing out the T&G cedar to fix this, to put up sheetrock first before T&G cedar. Do we still need the plastic vapor barrier?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Karen Loo | May 8 18
9 Answers

Surface 4 low-e... condensation issues?

I'm just about to order windows for a project, and leaning towards spec'ing some of the units as double-pane with low-e on surfaces 2 and 4. My sales rep is trying to get current information on exactly which coatings are available, but it appears to be Cardinal 180 on surface 2 and i81 or similar on surface 4. He mentioned that there was uncertainty about the surface 4 coating because there had been some condensation issues when this product line came out.

In General questions | Asked By David Meiland | Apr 10 13
7 Answers

Air sealing sill plate while allowing permeability

Have an older home, with the lower level 4' below grade, zone 5. Currently remodeling, sill plate sits directly on the stem wall (no gasket), which is pretty much at grade level (some grading will occur, but not possible everywhere).

Before I build my interior wall, which will be a challenge, as I need to meet U<0.45, there is vapor barrier on the exterior, and some occasional moisture (no bulk) in the wall.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Rossn1 | Mar 28 18
10 Answers

Insulation on existing wood floors above a crawlspace

Hello. I am turning a home into a duplex in northern PA, zone 5, that is built on a 1' crawlspace. The crawlspace walls are uneven hand-laid stone. The soil after lots of rain is damp, but no standing water. The joists have no rot and are dry to the touch. It is an old grange, so it is currently an empty shell of a late 1800's built home (no heating, plumbing, electric, insulation.) The floors are original wood floors in good shape, but I will be covering them with laminate as renters are rough on things.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Reeno23 | May 6 18
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