Category Archives: Construction Tips

How to Insulate a Cold Floor

Properly air-sealed floors exposed on the underside to outdoor temperatures will have better energy performance Floors that are exposed on the underside to outdoor temperatures are often poorly insulated. Such floors can be found in homes with post foundations, in … Continue reading

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Air-Sealing a Basement

Once you’ve sealed the air leaks in your attic floor—the cracks where warm air escapes from your house during the winter—it’s time to turn your attention to the basement or crawlspace, where cold air leaks in. If you turn off … Continue reading

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How to Seal Air Leaks

How to Seal 4 Typical Hidden Air Leaks in Your House A 1⁄8-in. crack doesn’t seem like much to worry about, but a 1⁄8-in. crack that runs the length of your house amounts to a square hole 8 in. on … Continue reading

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Roof Ventilation

A Crash Course in Roof Venting Understand when to vent your roof, when not to, and how to execute each approach successfully So much information has been devoted to the subject of roof venting that it’s easy to become confused … Continue reading

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Airtight Window Installations

 Installing a window is tricky. The first challenge is to do a good job with the flashing and water-management details. But once the window is fastened to the wall, you’re still not done: Now you have to pay attention to … Continue reading

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Shear Bracing Foam-Sheathed Walls

4 Options for Shear Bracing Foam-Sheathed Walls In many parts of the United States, it’s becoming common for builders to install rigid-foam sheathing on the exterior of framed walls. However, this raises a potential problem: Because rigid foam isn’t structural, … Continue reading

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APA Panel Ratings

What’s the Difference: Panel Ratings Decoding the APA Stamp About 70% of North America’s structural sheet-goods manufacturers voluntarily participate in a third-party auditing and certification program through a nonprofit organization called APA—The Engineered Wood Association. More than likely, when you … Continue reading

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Tile Thinset Mortar

What’s the Difference: Tile thinset mortar Meeting the standard The most common adhesive for setting tiles is thinset mortar—that is, mortar designed to be applied in a layer no more than 3⁄16 in. thick. Most of these mortars are available … Continue reading

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Can Homes be to Tight?

Can Houses be “Over Insulated ” or “Too Tight”? No. Green homes are insulated well, tightly built, and well ventilated Let’s take these issues one at a time. The “too tight” theory holds that houses need to breathe. Traditionalists can … Continue reading

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Wood Trim Alternatives

  Fiber cement, cellular PVC, or wood composite While solid wood continues to be the most popular material for exterior trim, its vulnerabilities leave big openings for alternative products. Builders who choose not to use wood typically look instead at … Continue reading

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