Clippings by emmachas

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RE: Please Help Leak Under Window (Follow-Up #34)

posted by: Renovator8 on 12.29.2014 at 11:43 pm in Building a Home Forum

There is little reason to flash a window sill twice. Grace Perm-A-Barrier flexible wall flashing has been the preferred flashing for brick cavity walls in commercial construction for 30 years. You can recognize it by its bright green color.

A brick rowlock sill is obviously very porous and must be steeply sloped to keep water from entering the cavity during a heavy/windy rain. If the low sloped sill has no drip groove it will also draw water into the cavity from below the sill brick. If the sill must be low sloped it is better to use a continuous cast stone with a cast drip.

In this situation I can see no other solution than removing a foot of brick on all sides and down to the brick shelf and flashing the window properly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Perm-A-Barrier

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Tue, Dec 30, 14 at 0:07


clipped on: 01.04.2015 at 08:35 pm    last updated on: 01.04.2015 at 08:35 pm

RE: Personal Item you put into your build? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mtnrdredux on 01.16.2013 at 03:37 pm in Building a Home Forum

In our old house (which was built in 1902), we had a small. rectangular vestibule (maybe 6x12 or so?) from the front door into the entry hall. I struggled with how to decorate it. It had a high ceiling, marble floor and very nice moldings.

It was the kind of place you could use a flashy color or elaborate wallpaper. Neither of which was really my style. But it was brick Georgian colonial and formal, so it needed to feel formal.

Instead, I found a woman who creates custom monograms from various fonts and styles and flourishes etc.. I had 3-letter custom monograms created for all of our family members. We painted the walls Farrow's Cream and had someone stencil the monograms in a pattern in a matt gold. Between the ceiling and a molding piece below, it was just a band of our last initial running around the room. It looked nice, although you probably would not notice at first what it was. My kids loved it. I am sure it is painted over.


Love this idea
clipped on: 01.16.2013 at 09:33 pm    last updated on: 01.16.2013 at 09:33 pm

RE: Basement waterproofing (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: Renovator8 on 11.15.2011 at 12:57 pm in Building a Home Forum

TUFF-N-DRI (H8, XTS, or AF) is a Tremco 40 mil thick modified bitumen (rubberized asphalt) waterproofing membrane that is cold spray applied to the exterior of poured-in-place concrete basement walls. In my area it has been the most cost effective method since the early 80's.

A porous board is usually placed over the membrane to allow water to drain to the footing drain system, to protect the membrane from damage from backfill and to provide thermal insulation. That material can be anything from rigid fiberglass (Warm-N-Dri from Owens Corning or Barrier Board by Tremco) to rigid plastic foam with grooves to plastic waffle sheets or a combination of materials.

Tremco makes a drainage board (Drain Star Z-Drain) that solves the problem of drainage over the edge of the footing. They also make a perimeter drain system (DrainStar Stripdrain) that eliminates the need for gravel and filter fabric.

Don't confuse "waterproofing" systems with "dampproofing" systems. Damproofing will do little or nothing to keep a basement dry.

Be very careful about using imitation products. The TUFF-N-DRI Basement Waterproofing System is installed only by contractors trained by Tremco.

Tremco acquired the TUFF-N-DRI system when it bought Koch Waterproofing Solutions in 2003.

Here is a link that might be useful: TUFF-N-DRI


clipped on: 01.08.2013 at 11:55 am    last updated on: 01.08.2013 at 12:07 pm

RE: Basement waterproofing (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: aidan_m on 10.24.2011 at 05:19 pm in Building a Home Forum

There are 3 separate things to consider:

1. The natural water table. Groundwater levels vary seasonally and from year to year. It is important to build the basement floor level higher than the highest level of the water table. If this is not possible, an inside sump and dewatering system is essential. Water will inevitably enter the basement if the surrounding ground water table rises above the floor level. It is VERY important to learn about the natural groundwater table before you do anything else.

2. Perimeter drains and waterproofing. French drains around the perimeter of the foundation must be built properly with perforated pipe, porous granular drain rock, and geotextile fabric, to collect liquid water while filtering sediments. Additionally, the exterior of the foundation must be coated with multiple layers of asphaltic emulsion to make a waterproof membrane.

3. Surface drainage- the grade outside the home should slope away from the foundation on all sides. The downspouts from the roof shall be diverted into the storm drain system, or into solid pipes discharging at least several feet away from the foundation.

If research indicates the groundwater table is ever at or above the level of your basement floor, you need to design a dewatering system for INSIDE the basement walls. A perforated pipe around the inside perimeter of the foundation, under the slab, some weep holes, a sump pit in one corner, might be a necessary secondary drainage system, if the water table is high.


clipped on: 01.08.2013 at 12:05 pm    last updated on: 01.08.2013 at 12:07 pm

RE: Water Leaks - Architect says to not use French Doors??? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mightyanvil on 04.24.2009 at 12:02 pm in Building a Home Forum

Marvin makes a swinging "French Door" in only one model, the "Ultimate". I have specified it many times and it is a first rate product.

Andersen makes a "Hinged Patio Door" in three models listed in order of decreasing quality: Architectural series, 400 Series, & 200 Series.

Pella makes a "Hinged Patio Door" in three models listed in order of decreasing quality: Architect Series, Designer Series, & ProLine.

It is possible to make useful statements about the quality of Marvin's doors but Andersen and Pella make too many models for any non-model-specific statements to be useful, but I will say that I stay away from the lower end of all product lines and avoid Pella altogether because of their poor reputation for order accuracy and field service not that they don't sometimes perform as promised.


clipped on: 04.27.2009 at 09:50 pm    last updated on: 04.27.2009 at 09:51 pm

RE: Anyone put in a whole house Continuous Ventilation System? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bdpeck-charlotte on 11.13.2008 at 08:01 am in Building a Home Forum

I'd let an HVAC professional hook up an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator). Most require some tweaking to balance the pressure so you don't get wheezing noises at your HVAC registers. And they're energy efficient, using the outgoing air to warm/cool the incoming air.


fresh air/air tight house
clipped on: 11.13.2008 at 09:21 pm    last updated on: 11.13.2008 at 09:21 pm

RE: Installing casement windows (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: worthy on 11.10.2008 at 09:38 am in Building a Home Forum

The question will be how you retrofit sill pans and flashings into a finished home. I must say that the "standard" installation here would just be house wrap and filling the void between the frame and structure completely with poly foam. Window flashings, let alone sill pans, are only just appearing on high end homes.


windows with flashing and sill pans!!
clipped on: 11.10.2008 at 07:13 pm    last updated on: 11.10.2008 at 07:14 pm

RE: Housewrap vs Drainage Wrap? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mightyanvil on 11.06.2008 at 08:14 am in Building a Home Forum

Most house wraps are made of polyethylene or polypropylene. Some are cross-woven with a micro-perforated coating, some are porous film laminated to scrim, some are non-woven spun-bonded, and there are other variations. The micro-perforated ones are the least water-resistant. I recommend using the non-woven ones like Tyvek, Typar and WeatherSmart (Fortifiber) and would only use one of the others after testing it for water-resistance.


tyvec wrap
clipped on: 11.08.2008 at 05:04 pm    last updated on: 11.08.2008 at 05:05 pm

RE: Dow Styrofoam SIS(Structural Insulated Sheating) (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: worthy on 08.27.2008 at 03:13 pm in Building a Home Forum

Not available here yet. Pricier than I thought.

An alternative would be to use t&g XPS as sheathing, if permitted, or add it to the exterior of the OSB with or without a housewrap.

In a cold climate, following Building Science's recommendations, on this home I used 1" t&g XPS as sheathing with no housewrap, blocking the 2x6s all way around on both floors.

51 Chel. ext. XPS i
Tongue and groove expanded polystyrene boards used as sheathing provide R5 thermal insulation, act as drainage
plane behind the brick paper, and as a vapour barrier and airblock. (The bays were covered in EIFS)


clipped on: 08.31.2008 at 10:37 am    last updated on: 08.31.2008 at 10:38 am

RE: Help please - Tropical Storm Fay downspout, water & carpet is (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: worthy on 08.23.2008 at 03:32 pm in Basements Forum

Here's what I do--run standard plastic flexible weeping tile a foot up the downspout, then run the tile a few inches underground resting on a 2" bed of free-draining gravel 20-50 feet into the yard, terminating in a "popup". This waters the grass, prevents ponding on my or my neighbours'
yards and complies with local Code requiring that stormwater drainoff stays on the property.

Connecting downspout to weeping tile prevents water pooling near the home.


Weeping tile connected to NDS "popup" at end.


Good idea for draining from gutter downspouts
clipped on: 08.30.2008 at 05:33 pm    last updated on: 08.30.2008 at 05:34 pm

RE: bedroom over garage? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: worthy on 08.24.2008 at 04:22 pm in Building a Home Forum

As long as local zoning permits a bedroom over a garage, there's no problem at all as long as the space under the floor, including the rim joists, is insulated with closed cell spray foam such as BASF Walltite. No other method even comes close.


clipped on: 08.24.2008 at 08:49 pm    last updated on: 08.24.2008 at 08:50 pm

RE: How to choose open vs closed basement system (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: worthy on 08.15.2008 at 10:35 pm in Basements Forum

What do you mean by closed and open system?

The most effective waterproofing will involve excavating around the entire perimeter of your home to the footings and --then 1) treating the cove; 2) putting in screen-covered weepers on a free-flowing gravel bed topped with fabric 3)coating the wall with crystalline waterproofing or a liquid membrane, 4) covering with a Delta type plastic membrane.

Of course, you still deal with exterior water sources by being sure all surfaces around your home slope away and eavestroughs empty to downspouts that take the water away from the perimeter of the home. Depending on the soil, you may even want to backfill with sand or loose granular material.

Lower budget inside approaches would employ crystalline waterproofing combined with sealing any cracks or other entry points.


waterproof basement
clipped on: 08.18.2008 at 09:54 pm    last updated on: 08.18.2008 at 09:54 pm

RE: Basement waterproofing quote-NJ (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: worthy on 08.18.2008 at 07:04 pm in Basements Forum

Have I got this straight? After excavating around the entire perimeter of your basement, all they're going to do to the wall is reparge it (cement) then cover it with a vapour barrier (6 mil plastic). (I assume that's where they intend to put the plastic.)

If you want to keep water out of your basement, this is inadequate. Ideally, if the exterior wall is cleanable, it should be covered in a liquid waterproofing membrane, not a layer of cutback asphalt. The cove to wall joint--a common source of leakage--should be packed with a waterproofing material from one of the crystalline waterproofing manufacturers--then the wall should be wrapped in a waterproof foundation membrane, such as Delta brand (there are a number of other manufacturers). The new perimeter drain covered in free-running gravel is fine.

Treating your interior wall with a mould containment material does nothing to keep water out of the basement. BTW, you should have a dehumidifier running to keep humidity below 50rh.

Here is a link that might be useful: Delta Membrane


clipped on: 08.18.2008 at 09:48 pm    last updated on: 08.18.2008 at 09:49 pm

RE: Huber Zip system vs Normal Sheathing/Tyvek (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: mightyanvil on 08.13.2008 at 03:54 pm in Building a Home Forum

Vapor permeable acrylic coatings are the future of weather/air barriers because there is no space for moisture to collect like there is with a plastic wrap. The disadvantage of this system is the joints. I wold ask Huber if there is a primer for the tape.

If you like this idea the ultimate version of it is a liquid applied system like STO GoldCoat because it wraps into the openings and covers the reinforcing mesh at the sheathing joints and it has been used for a much longer time. Unfortunately few home builders are familiar with it unless they also do commercial work.


House wrap options
clipped on: 08.16.2008 at 10:23 pm    last updated on: 08.16.2008 at 10:23 pm

RE: Foam Insulation Yes or No? (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: mightyanvil on 08.03.2008 at 10:04 am in Building a Home Forum

If I were going to use a thin layer of foam I would put it on the outside face of the wall to help reduce heat loss from the studs. Using foam to make up for a poor air barrier doesn't make sense to me but then I don't use plastic air barriers if I can avoid them; I've never seen one installed well.

Regarding the leak detection issue, when rafters are insulated with foam I always cover the entire roof with Ice & Water Shield underlayment. It's cheap insurance so I often do it anyway. I recently found a custom home builder who insisted on doing it over a conventional uninsulated attic.


ice 7 water shield
clipped on: 08.04.2008 at 10:57 pm    last updated on: 08.04.2008 at 10:58 pm

RE: Tile Roof: Clay or Concrete - or Conventional (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: dixiedoodle on 07.28.2008 at 12:10 pm in Building a Home Forum

I'm a little surprised that a price tag of $40K has caught you off guard. Where were you thinking you'd like to be in terms of cost per square? In my area for materials/installation, these are some prices that you could expect: Grand Manor $250-$350/square, Real Slate $800+/square, Tile $700+/square, Lamarite or Duraslate $550+/square, Copper $1000+/square, Metal Roofing $450+/square (possibly less depending on material quality), Regular asphalt shingles $150/square.

You mention 9700 sq ft under roof, but that doesn't really equate to how much roof you have...1 story vs. 2 story, pitches are equally important. Our house is about 5000 under roof with 53 squares used. Just for a quick comparison, that would mean that for my house a real slate roof would have been over $40K and my house is half the size of yours.

If you were expecting a lower price, then I think your builder/architect/designer misled you somewhere along the way.


cost/ roofing options
clipped on: 08.03.2008 at 09:29 pm    last updated on: 08.03.2008 at 09:30 pm

RE: Summerlake pics (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: homeagain on 07.04.2008 at 02:20 pm in Building a Home Forum


I emailed you thru the address listed in the opening post. As to posting photos Mighty Anvil said it best...

To post a photo:

go to (it's free and no sign up is required)

select "browse" and go find your jpg, png, gif, or tif photo file and select it (it will be automatically downsized to 250K)

select the "upload image" button

copy the contents of the "HTML" window and paste it into the text part of your message.

Now preview your message. If you can see the photo, submit the message.

I'm sure all of our readers would love to see your photos!


how to post photos
clipped on: 08.03.2008 at 09:21 pm    last updated on: 08.03.2008 at 09:21 pm

Garage Separation

posted by: tom_in_sc on 04.01.2008 at 01:52 pm in Building a Home Forum

We have a garage in one end of the basement. I know that the garage area must be drywalled (1/2" on the walls, 5/8" type-x on the ceiling). What I am not sure about is whether the side of the walls facing the basement (not the garage side, but the other side) need drywall on them? There is a utility room on one side of the garage, and the main part of the basement on another. Both are unfinished.

309.2 Separation required.
The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to the garage side. Garages beneath habitable rooms shall be separated from all habitable rooms above by not less than 5/8-inch (15.9 mm) Type X gypsum board or equivalent. Where the separation is a floor-ceiling assembly, the structure supporting the separation shall also be protected by not less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board or equivalent.


clipped on: 08.02.2008 at 09:34 pm    last updated on: 08.02.2008 at 09:34 pm

RE: Yet Another Insulation Question. What would YOU use? (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: teddas on 04.16.2008 at 09:31 pm in Building a Home Forum

We just used a product called Demilac Sealation 800. We did the building envelope and had to install a Fresh Air system. Important if you go this route for this as well as making sure the windows are efficient. This foam makes an air lock in the house. VERY important to include roof.
You mentioned the garage and dividing wall. IS there anything on top of the garage? Might want to consider spraying the garage roof if so.


fresh sir system
clipped on: 05.17.2008 at 08:19 pm    last updated on: 05.17.2008 at 08:20 pm

RE: Yet Another Insulation Question. What would YOU use? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: energy_rater_la on 02.20.2008 at 01:30 pm in Building a Home Forum

5 1/2" of foam in the walls? For $5,000?
Thats a pretty good price. Are you sure they
are pricing 5 1/2" of of foam?

And the roofline is a good idea also.

But what would I do?
conventional insulation in walls with air tight drywall approach. My foam would be to exterior of wall in the form of polysyrene sheathing.
No recessed lights that were not Insulation Contact AirTight (prolly no recessed lights cause I just don't like them)
Windows with .35 or lower solar heat gain coefficient.
Unvented attic with radiant barrier & conventional insulation.
That is if I couldn't afford SIPS.

Good luck with your build.


la insulation
clipped on: 05.17.2008 at 08:11 pm    last updated on: 05.17.2008 at 08:11 pm

RE: Foam Insulation/Icylene (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: embie on 10.22.2007 at 01:41 pm in Building a Home Forum

I read an article from the Journal of Light Construction last week that states the following:

'You and your building code inspectors may be
unaware that the 2006 version of the IRC for one- and
two-family dwellings permits attic construction with no
ventilation of the attic cavity. This new provision,
R806.4, is largely due to the efforts of Joseph Lstiburek,
Armin Rudd, and their colleagues. In brief, unvented
conditioned attic assemblies are permitted when an airimpermeable
insulation such as rigid foam is applied in
direct contact to the underside/interior of the structural
roof deck, with sufficient thickness given the climate
to prevent condensation on the underside.'

Perhaps mentioning the specific code with documentation to your local building department would convince them that venting the attic is not necessary?


unvented attic
clipped on: 05.17.2008 at 08:07 pm    last updated on: 05.17.2008 at 08:08 pm

RE: builder nixes foamed attic (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: emilynewhome on 02.23.2008 at 11:14 am in Building a Home Forum

This link advises against open cell for roofs


la link
clipped on: 05.17.2008 at 08:01 pm    last updated on: 05.17.2008 at 08:01 pm

Must read this

posted by: bus_driver on 05.17.2008 at 08:55 am in Building a Home Forum

For your new house, this is crucial. Energy costs are not going to decline.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ductwork


important ductwork details!
clipped on: 05.17.2008 at 05:46 pm    last updated on: 05.17.2008 at 05:47 pm

RE: hvac & ventilation in very tight sip / icf house? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: duluthjeff on 04.19.2008 at 09:34 pm in Building a Home Forum

We are finishing the design of our new house which will be very tight (though not SIP construction). Here in Minnesota, an energy recovery ventilation system is mandatory according to code. Our architect has specified that no bathroom exhaust fans or stove hood be used. The ERV blower can be timer-switched into high mode from a switch in the bathroom or kitchen. There are disadvantages to this (potential grease build-up in the ERV exhaust lines from the kitchen) but it maintains the ventilation and pressure integrity of the house. We never fry on the stove anyway, and don't plan to start in the new kitchen.

Installing a 300-900 CFM exhaust hood over the stove would depressurize the house. Most ERV units couldn't fully adjust to the exhaust fan's outflow. Unless you open a window, you'd create a pretty strong backdraft down your chimney if you have one.


clipped on: 04.19.2008 at 10:00 pm    last updated on: 04.19.2008 at 10:01 pm

RE: clogged french drains?? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: brewbeer on 02.04.2008 at 07:56 pm in Basements Forum

The drain under the floor should be set in gravel. A geotextile filter fabric should be used between the native soil and the gravel to keep the fine soil from clogging the gravel and the drain.

An exterior french drain system is superior to an interior system.

If you are re-doing the french drain anyway, have them install clean-outs so that if it happens again, you can have it cleaned out.


geotextile filter fabric
clipped on: 04.05.2008 at 10:49 am    last updated on: 04.05.2008 at 10:51 am

RE: Stone window sills (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: oruboris on 01.02.2008 at 05:04 pm in Building a Home Forum

Inside will be wood, but outside, windows surrounded by stone will have stone sills. Since I'm using Owens Corning cultured stone, the sills will be of that-- the company molds them in different dimensions for this use.


clipped on: 01.02.2008 at 11:11 pm    last updated on: 01.02.2008 at 11:11 pm

RE: choosing a ventilation hood (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: judiegal on 07.28.2007 at 08:25 am in Kitchens Forum

We purchased an exhaust fan seperately that was installed on the roof of our house since we had such too long of a distance for the hood vent to handle. It was then wired to the 45" hood in order to use the on/of switch. (we removed the actual fan that was preinstalled in the unit) The roof fan has more cfu to carry out the exhaust. It is extremely quiet and efficient


clipped on: 09.20.2007 at 08:51 pm    last updated on: 09.20.2007 at 08:52 pm

RE: Brands/Products That I'd Use Again (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: badin on 09.19.2007 at 03:28 pm in Building a Home Forum

Panasonic exhaust fans, hands down favorite because they're so very quiet. I learned about them here and will be forever thankful.

THS is also where I learned about plugmold. The electrician who installed it wasn't too thrilled at first, but in the end even he admitted how nice the backsplash looked without all of the usual outlets.


clipped on: 09.19.2007 at 08:24 pm    last updated on: 09.19.2007 at 08:24 pm

Brands/Products That I'd Use Again

posted by: worthy on 09.19.2007 at 01:57 pm in Building a Home Forum

Gotta have a counterpoint!

My most pleasant surprise over the last few years have been Danze plumbing fixtures. Low-priced vs. competition but very durable and reliable. (Free replacement cartridges too.)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Danze Opulence single-handle faucet in copper, Mexican copper vessel, granite counter, Canac Cabinetry, accessories from Bombay Furniture


clipped on: 09.19.2007 at 08:23 pm    last updated on: 09.19.2007 at 08:23 pm

RE: vented or unvented attic (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: txgal06 on 03.08.2007 at 04:52 pm in Building a Home Forum

We are using Icynene. We are finding that the sealed attic concept is still new enough here that we've had to educate ourselves in order to educate other subs. Our Icynene salesperson was a wealth of knowledge and worked with the plumber and HVAC guys to get everything as it should be. We are using gas water heaters and gas furnace so we had to spend more up front to get sealed combustion units, but we will save in the long run by using gas instead of electric. And of course, the HVAC system was sized down due to Icynene. More up front cost that will pay off in the future. You will find varying opinions on these boards about the sealed attic concept. Some love it, some hate it. All I know is that the attic is around 80 degrees at it's hottest and we are talking August in Texas where the attics easily are over 120 degrees! Also, no dust getting on everything inside.


gas water heaters in unvented attic
clipped on: 09.04.2007 at 10:33 pm    last updated on: 09.04.2007 at 10:33 pm

RE: Venting Question with Icynene and a Steel Roof (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: mightyanvil on 03.20.2007 at 07:19 pm in Building a Home Forum

I don't know of a metal roofing system that requires a vented space below it but you should read the roofing manufacturer's specifications carefully to see what they recommend and what they will warranty. If an air space is required it will probably be above the sheathing rather than below it.

The only precaution I am aware of for metal roofing in a hot climate is to use an underlayment that can tolerate the high heat and that will prevent any possibility of water penetrating the roof sheathing and entering the insulated roof cavity. WR grace makes a self-adhering underlayment called "Grace Ultra". It is butyl based instead of modified-asphalt based like all their other products.

Here is a link that might be useful: WR Grace roofing underlayments


clipped on: 09.04.2007 at 10:23 pm    last updated on: 09.04.2007 at 10:24 pm

RE: Has anyone used Infloor electrical plugs (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: cork2win on 08.30.2007 at 09:39 am in Building a Home Forum

Oh my gosh, did you see the cool pop up outlets on that site? Holy cow are they expensive, but cool!!

Here is a link that might be useful: pop up floor outlets


floor outlets
clipped on: 09.01.2007 at 10:22 am    last updated on: 09.01.2007 at 10:23 am

RE: self cleaning windows other than Anderson??? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: oberon on 08.14.2007 at 07:28 am in Windows Forum

Window glass described as "self-cleaning" has a special photo-catalytic coating - titanium dioxide - applied to the surface. The titanium dioxide coating makes the glass surface hydrophilic which means that water will sheet and flow off the glass.

As a comparison, most after-market coatings (such as Rain-X) are hydrophobic which results in the coated glass surface repelling water causing it to bead up on the surface. A hydrophobic coating will leave dirt and mineral deposits (spots) behind when the water evaporates whereas a hydrophilic coating results in a surface layer of glass that is "slippery" to water which then sheets off carrying the dirt along with it.

In addition to being hydrophilic, the titanium dioxide coating chemically reacts with the ultraviolet rays in sunlight to oxidize organic material on the glass. This process, called photo-catalysis, breaks down dirt and other organic materials and prevents them from sticking to the glass. It works on organics, but the coating does not break down inorganics.

Some of the folks that produce glass with the titanium dioxide coating like to say that their glass is self-cleaning (Pilkington, PPG, others), whereas some manufacturers (such as Cardinal) avoid the term "self-cleaning in favor of "easy cleaning" which is how Andersen describes the coating as well in their literature.

While the difference between "self-cleaning" and "easy-cleaning" might be considered to be trivial, there is some concern in the window industry that eventually the titanium dioxide coated glass will need to be cleaned even if it is simply a matter of spraying the windows with a garden hose which will lead to grumbling from consumers about being mislead by the "self-clean" description. .

Still, this is a very nice add-on product and it does work as advertised as long as people realize that "self-cleaning" requires sunlight and an occasional wash-down with water be it rain or a garden hose to remove whatever debris might be on the glass surface.


clipped on: 08.17.2007 at 12:14 am    last updated on: 08.17.2007 at 12:15 am

RE: Andersen 400 vs Marvin Ultimate clad (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: mightyanvil on 10.19.2006 at 11:21 am in Windows Forum

Andersen makes two different 400 series double-hungs, a Woodwright and a Tilt-Wash. They are very different windows. The Tilt-Wash is not in the same league with the Marvin Ultimate Double-Hung since it has a PVC compression jamb and no sash cladding so I will assume you are talking about the 400 Series Woodwright.

As an architect, I have always avoided Andersen windows for reasons of poor detailing especially at the sill but I think the Woodwright is a very impressive window and it has a great sill. I don't know how long the new plastic and wood fiber (Fibrex) cladding will last and the lack of color choices is sometimes a problem but it is detailed extremely well. Marvin, on the other hand, seems to have forgotten how to make a sill relying on an ugly reglet at the sill nose to act as a drip. I can never understand where these companies get their design ideas ... not from architects or waterproofing experts I can assure you.

The Marvin Ultimate Double-Hung is made with an aluminum cladding system so well designed that it should be considerably more expensive than the Woodwright so the pricing you quote is surprising.

Although I can find nothing wrong with the Woodwright if you like one of the colors (except the risk of ordering thru Home Depot - get written verification that Andersen got the order) I would probably choose the Marvin Ultimate DH because you appear to be getting an incredible price and Kynar on aluminum has the best track record of any cladding material exposed to the weather.

But you should definitely consider how the windows look and feel to you since they're both acceptable windows.

For installation, I always instruct the contractor to use the Jeld-Wen instructions that call for using sill flashing in the rough openings and then putting the windows in and flashing their frames to the sheathing (not the underlayment) with Vycor or butyl tape being sure to cover the fin-to-frame joint and allow drainage at the bottom. A surpising number of contractors tell me that's the way they install windows now.

I have searched for the best windows for homes for forty years and have not found them but I have learned through painful experience to not rely on the opinions of window sales people and builders.


clipped on: 08.05.2007 at 11:02 pm    last updated on: 08.05.2007 at 11:02 pm

RE: I need help dressing up my breakfast bar. (photos) (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: chisue on 07.23.2007 at 05:53 pm in Building a Home Forum

I LOVE my undercabinet lights. I seldom use my recessed lights because the undercabinet ones put the light just where I want it. Mine are Juno track lights so I can add or subtract bulbs as needed. I've been amazed that I have replaced only about half the bulbs and we've been in the house six years. If you didn't wire for this, you can always get "stick-ups".

Now, I'm not going so far as to say the lighting has improved my cooking... I've deteriorated into a "defrost/nuke" kind of cook since we became empty-nesters.


clipped on: 07.24.2007 at 10:53 pm    last updated on: 07.24.2007 at 10:53 pm

RE: 2x4 or 2x6 Exterior Walls? What do you have and why? (Follow-Up #27)

posted by: chiefneil on 01.10.2007 at 12:51 pm in Building a Home Forum

I don't think I've ever lived in a 2x4 constructed house, but I do think there's much more to a solid house than 2x4 vs. 2x6. My previous house was 2x6, as is my current house, and they do "feel" significantly different in terms of how quiet they are, how "solid" they feel when the winds are whipping up, and how comfortable they are during temperature extremes.

My current house just feels overall much more solid and well-constructed than the previous house. It also has feels like it has more "thermal mass" - it's slow to heat up or cool down in response to outside temperatures and the temperature throughout the house is more consistent. As I said, they're both 2x6 construction with the same type of sheathing, exterior insulation, and siding, but they feel completely different. The only big difference I'm aware of is that my builder alluded to some kind of local "green" program he was participating in, which mostly seemed to involve putting additional hard insulation (grey stuff that looks similar to hardibacker) here and there. I'm not sure what other factors come into play, but I'm sure the builders on this forum know.


clipped on: 07.13.2007 at 10:32 pm    last updated on: 07.13.2007 at 10:32 pm

RE: 2x6 framing. Good idea or not? (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: chiroptera_mama on 06.22.2007 at 10:41 am in Building a Home Forum

Actually thermal bridging over the wood studs is reponsible for a good bit of heat loss/intrusion. For example a 2X6 stud wall with "R19" insulation only has an R value of 13.5 when the thermal bridging of the wall structure is taken into account (see whole wall calculator).

That's one reason foam sheathing over the exterior sheathing of the house is so effective. It cuts that bridge. Done properly it also adds to the structural strength of the building.

We've gone the foam sheathing route (as a part of our ADA) and our house is draft free, quiet and needs far less conditioning than non-sheathed home. With energy prices going up and up, it's well worth the extra cost.


clipped on: 07.13.2007 at 12:01 am    last updated on: 07.13.2007 at 12:01 am

RE: How much did you pay for your interior doors? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: carterinms on 07.10.2007 at 09:47 pm in Building a Home Forum

About $165 for 8' tall, two panel, knotty alder, slab only, no frame. I believe that they had 6'-8", pre-hung 6 panel, solid fir doors for $100. Not sure how reputable the dealer is - they pretty much come out and say that their doors are manufactured in Louisiana, but I have since heard from two separate sources that the doors are from China., if you are interested.


clipped on: 07.10.2007 at 10:09 pm    last updated on: 07.10.2007 at 10:09 pm

RE: Window Leaking (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: chiefneil on 07.09.2007 at 01:24 pm in Building a Home Forum

That really sucks. Your windows probably have their raincoats tucked into their pants, so when it rains they get water down their pants (figuratively). The "drainage plane" that people are talking about is the raincoat - it's some sort of moisture barrier like tar paper, felt, tyvek, etc that covers the sides of the house from top to bottom. Your windows have their own moisture barrier (the pants) - the flashing that everyone is talking about. The flashing at the top of the window should be tucked under the house's moisture barrier, in effect hanging the raincoat over the pants.

You should take this very seriously. Do find an expert, or at the very least contact your window manufacturer and read their installation installations and see if you can get one of their reps out. At a minimum I expect you'll have to remove the siding above the window to see if the drainage plane and flashing are properly installed.

Here is a link that might be useful: I think this is what jca1 is recommending


avoid window leaks
clipped on: 07.09.2007 at 11:00 pm    last updated on: 07.09.2007 at 11:01 pm

RE: source for cast stone columns??? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: anthem on 07.09.2007 at 02:30 pm in Building a Home Forum

Most of the column manufacturers all have a cast line now. I'd look at Chadsworth Columns and Melton Classics. Both are excellent in terms of customer service, lead time preditions and quality. They can give you small columns all the way up to 36" diameter columns. If you want to get into some really large columns, there is another outfit in La, but they usually only do 24" and larger concrete columns.


clipped on: 07.09.2007 at 10:49 pm    last updated on: 07.09.2007 at 10:49 pm

RE: Whats your dream laundry room? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: seekingadvice on 12.12.2005 at 09:30 pm in Laundry Room Forum

We just redid our laundry room, too. Actually, we redid the kitchen and our new laundry room was our old kitchen. We took out everything and started from scratch. It is also a pantry/serving area, too, so we had to squeeze a lot of things into a relatively small space (8 x 10). There is a fridge, which has come in extremely handy and was something I fought hard to keep out (turns out dh was right about that), washer/dryer, sink, and folding counter along with pantry and cabinets.

I didn't have a huge budget for it so I bought cheap travertine for the floor (HD, $1.98 sq ft) and reused my old fridge and washer/dryer. I was going to use laminate for the counter, but because there is one area that needed to be notched, the cost was kind of high. I got Ikea butcher block instead for $120 plus $20 for the wood backsplash trim. The cheapest laminate I could get for that space was over $300.

I have a double-swing door (no room for a pocket) so I can open it with my hands full and it closes automatically. It also holds open in each direction at about 90 degrees. I have reed glass in it so I don't accidentally bonk anyone on my way out.

I also bought the MTI sink. At first I was tempted to get the Jentle Jet, but it required an outlet, more space, and was hugely more expensive than the same sink without the jets. It seemed to me it was more of a gimmick than anything since you still have to manually drain the water and rinse the handwashables. I do love the jetless sink, though - it has the washboard front, is nice and deep and has a soap holder. It was a little over $100.

I use my counter for folding clothes, hobbies, and serving prep. I have to disagree with making the counter taller than a kitchen counter. I find it much, much easier to fold at a lower height, but then I'm pretty short. I made my counter height 34" in the laundry room.

I also have very long drawers for wrapping paper and hobby supplies. I have a pullout that houses my sewing machine with a tabletop above it that pulls out. It has an outlet in the cabinet so it can be left plugged in and I just have to lift it up to the pullout table when I'm ready to sew.

Above the washer/dryer I have a cabinet that has doors on either side and open shelves in the center. I left one section of cabinets opposite the fridge as open shelves also. I have a few regular uppers and between the W/D and the fridge there is a ~2' wide x 2' deep, floor-to-ceiling pantry with pullouts all the way up.

I found a fold-down drying rack at Target that I like. It mounts on the wall and is white wire. It's almost flush to the wall when closed, then opens out once for hanging dainties with a drying shelf above and opens out again to make a large drying shelf. I'm trying to decide whether or not to put in a rod, but so far I haven't really needed one so I may skip that.

A couple of things I DON'T have that I wish I did are: broom-type closet where I could keep my step-stool and ironing board, or a built-in ironing board (but I don't have anyplace to put one).

Here is a picture of the counter side. Across from that is the fridge/pantry/washer/dryer wall.

Here is a link that might be useful: laundry/pantry


Ikea butcher board counter top
clipped on: 07.05.2007 at 09:52 pm    last updated on: 07.05.2007 at 09:52 pm

RE: If you have a larger house (3,500sq ft +)......... (Follow-Up #35)

posted by: finesse on 01.15.2007 at 12:01 pm in Building a Home Forum

We'll be in SWFL with one 105-gallon electric water heater by Marathon. They have a unique design and besides being very effecient offer a lifetime leakage warranty. I posted a link below.

We're not going with a recirculator because we're installing a Manabloc Plumbing System, which is a home-run system where every fixture gets its own run from the main water supply - no tees, splices, shared lines, etc. Their info is at:


Here is a link that might be useful: Marathon Water Heaters


clipped on: 06.30.2007 at 11:53 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2007 at 11:54 pm

RE: Basement wall insulation. Interior or exterior. (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: vhehn on 01.26.2007 at 11:55 am in Building a Home Forum

i think after doing my research i will go with outside insulation. it seems to be the best way to go.
Exterior basement insulation
The preferred method, from a building science
perspective, is to insulate the wall on the outside
with rigid insulation suitable for below-grade
installationssuch as extruded polystyrene or rigid
The advantages are:
Insulating the outside of the basement works
well with dampproofing and foundation
drainage. Insulation can act as a drainage
layer, keeping surface and ground water away
from the foundation.
The basement walls are kept at room temperature
protecting the structure, reducing the risk
of interior condensation and increasing comfort.


clipped on: 06.30.2007 at 11:27 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2007 at 11:27 pm

RE: Basement wall insulation. Interior or exterior. (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: building_in_maine on 01.19.2007 at 09:11 pm in Building a Home Forum

We insulated using 1" Dow blueboard and taped the seams with the red tape that is recommended for that. Before the blueboard we sealed the foundation with a black sealant which was rolled on with rollers much like you do paint.
It's 24 below here and our basement is toasty :)
We also insulated under the floor before the foundation contractor poured the concrete.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here is a pic


clipped on: 06.30.2007 at 11:25 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2007 at 11:26 pm

RE: desperate for advice on partial basement (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: lsst on 05.20.2007 at 06:10 pm in Building a Home Forum

We are on a slope- front to back. The front half of our house is a crawl space and the back half is a walk out basement.

We have a concrete wall that seperates the two. This wall is a load bearing wall.

Our foundation is very secure but we have clay soil. I do not know what kind of soil you have though.


clipped on: 06.30.2007 at 11:16 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2007 at 11:16 pm

RE: desperate for advice on partial basement (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: bus_driver on 05.21.2007 at 07:45 am in Building a Home Forum

My suggestion is to plan a higher wall than the desired depth of the basement, at least one block higher if using the standard concrete blocks. Put the perimeter drain outside plus put a perimeter drain inside, both protected from silt intrusion. Use 6" of washed stone fill inside to get the floor level above that of the drain system. Use heavy poly vapor barrier on top of the stone, then concrete. Should groundwater under the floor ever be an issue, this system will carry it off and the floor will remain dry. In this case, you will need all the expertise. The contractors are not going to learn all this for just your one job. You learn, design, and instruct them. That is the only way to get what you want under these circumstances. One of their reasons for reluctance is that they do not presently know how to do any of this. Do lots of Internet research. Design as if water will be around and under your basement. Give the water some easier place to go rather than into your basement.

Here is a link that might be useful: One link


clipped on: 06.30.2007 at 11:12 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2007 at 11:12 pm

RE: basement drainage (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: bus_driver on 05.21.2007 at 07:51 am in Building a Home Forum

Consider this for the interior drain- with the stone raising the floor slab above this system.

Here is a link that might be useful: Consider this.


clipped on: 06.30.2007 at 11:11 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2007 at 11:11 pm

RE: Closet Designs (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: luckymom23 on 05.06.2007 at 01:17 am in Building a Home Forum

Niff, Looks great!

I would start with some 1/4" graph paper and your measurements. Keep in mind the type of doors on your closets and what you want to see when you open your door...or just leave your door open. Also the things that you need to access most. From there the amount of space and how you like to store things will determine the layout.

Things to think about for women: 3 -4 heights of hanging. Long - 60" (Long Dresses, Full Length Coats, One piece items like ski suits), Mid 42-48" (Pants & Capris if you hang them long, long skirts etc.), 'Standard' 36" (for most tops & Jackets) and if you have alot of shorter skirts, shorter length tops and shorts you might want a 24-30" hanging area.

The more space you have the more you can 'divide and organize' it. Actually look at your current closet and measure how much of each you need and plan a little extra if you have the space.
For shelves if you can't do adjustable so that you can figure it out when you move in then measure how many lineal feet you will need for various things. Actually measure how wide your shoes are so that you can get 'pairs' of them on the shelf, there is nothing worse than being able to get 2 1/2 pairs on or wasting that extra space! 12" deep works fine for shoes and most folded clothes, if you have any large items you want to keep on shelves you might want to do some 15" deep with 12" deep on the upper portion. Unless you have a specific need for a certain width 24" to a max of 36" works best for shelves. Generally speaking it works better to have shelves above hanging as the clothes project out about 22" and will block your view of anything under them.

Depending on the size of your closet keep in mind that if space is tight it works better to have shelving across from hanging in a closet with and open 'aisle' in the middle so you don't feel as hemmed in by the clothes. Another idea is to start the longest hang towards the back and work forward with progressively shorter hanging and more shelves. If you have a really spacious closet think about an 'off season' area.

For men, if he is taller than average then 42" is better for standard double hang if you have the height. My husband has a row of hooks to put clothes on that he will wear again. He won't hang them back up so this saves me having them laying all over the bedroom.

If you want to add any drawer units now or later they have a depth of 22"-24" so plan for that in your design.

For adults a fixed system is usually fine, you figure it out and it works forever. For kids adjustable is great because their clothes are small allowing for more toy storage and then as they get older less toys and shelves and longer hanging sections. I like a deeper shelf section on the bottom of the kids' closest for bins of toys or a laundry basket as a hamper.

For the rest of the house think about your coat closet and perhaps dividing it in half if there is space -half for long coats and half with shorter jackets on the bottom and shelves above. For linens you might even want a hanging rod if you like to hang your tablecloths. I would prefer having some 'vertically divided' space in a linen closet to keep certain things in their place and not falling onto other items.
I hope all this makes sense and that something helps!


clipped on: 06.30.2007 at 10:57 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2007 at 10:57 pm

RE: Our builder said that 'We don't normally install footing drai (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: mightyanvil on 06.28.2007 at 09:42 pm in Building a Home Forum

I would automatically include foundation drainage in a basement design no matter what the conditions; it's just too cheap to install and later problems can be so expensive to correct.

I have never seen drainage installed or recommended for a crawl space foundation but I suppose there are conditions could justify it; I just can't think of any that couldn't be dealt with in some other better way.

If your foundation is below the water table a drainage system isn't going to help much; you would need either a serious pumping system or waterproofing installed under the entire house by a company that knows how to do it.


clipped on: 06.30.2007 at 10:47 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2007 at 10:47 pm

RE: Our builder said that 'We don't normally install footing drai (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: worthy on 06.28.2007 at 08:21 am in Building a Home Forum

The weepers are what you are calling the footing drains. That's one way to do it---as long as the water is channeled away from your basement/crawl or foundation.

apparently nobody much is checking the engineering the county made us pay for

Don't expect much from government inspectors. You have to depend on your builder, yourself or an independent inspector.


clipped on: 06.30.2007 at 10:44 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2007 at 10:44 pm

RE: Spray insulation Soy vs poly (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: bj_inatlanta on 06.30.2007 at 05:09 am in Building a Home Forum

I am never an "early-adopter" of anything. Especially not anything this critical to the performance of your house. $500. is small potatoes in the overall scheme of things. We're sticking with Icynene because it has been around for so long and is well proven, the bugs are out (assuming it's installed correctly), and the manufacturer has deep pockets, in case anything goes wrong.


clipped on: 06.30.2007 at 10:33 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2007 at 10:33 pm

RE: Our builder said that 'We don't normally install footing drai (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: mightyanvil on 06.27.2007 at 02:05 pm in Building a Home Forum

Make sure the drain lines are placed below the level of the slab and that there is gravel over them and a filter fabric on top. They should go to daylight or to a sump in the basement. If the soil does not drain well use a foundation insulation or a drainage panel that drains to the footing.


clipped on: 06.27.2007 at 10:20 pm    last updated on: 06.27.2007 at 10:22 pm

RE: Show me your slab drawers (pic) (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: cloud_swift on 06.20.2007 at 09:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here are ours - slab for any drawer less than a certain height (8" IIRC), Shaker for taller drawers:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


beautiful kitchen
clipped on: 06.21.2007 at 12:20 am    last updated on: 06.21.2007 at 12:21 am

RE: Show me your slab drawers (pic) (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: cloud_swift on 06.20.2007 at 11:10 pm in Kitchens Forum

It is azul do mar. It is a quartizite - hard and non-porous, but not easy to find - we felt very lucky to find slabs large enough to do the island with no seam and one seam in the L.


beautiful stone for kitchen
clipped on: 06.21.2007 at 12:18 am    last updated on: 06.21.2007 at 12:19 am