Clippings by sugiman_in_nyc

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RE: Where are your CV outlets? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: okpokesfan on 01.14.2013 at 04:52 pm in Building a Home Forum

Thanks Laura. A doc-it system is similar to hide-a-hose in that the hose retracts into the wall. Different in that it uses its own electric power (rather than the vac motor) to retract the hose and the hose stays in a storage compartment built into the studs.

I contacted the company and the woman I talked to said that was crazy (I agree!) and she would talk to the men about finding another place for the Doc-It.


clipped on: 01.31.2013 at 01:03 am    last updated on: 01.31.2013 at 01:04 am

energy efficiency specs

posted by: energy_rater_la on 01.23.2013 at 03:07 pm in Building a Home Forum

this is a short version of the spec sheet I give my
clients for building an energy efficient home.

lots of posts about lots of things here, but
over and over I read about things that could
easily have been dealt with in planning & early
construction phases of the build.
hopefully, this will help to bring some of these
to light now in the decision making phase of
your build.

things that don't 'show' are important choices.
efficiency costs are always upfront & savings long term.

Summary of Energy Efficiency Specifications

Air Infiltration Goal is .25 Natural Air Changes per Hour�heating. Gaskets such as Owens-Corning FoamSeal R or Dow Sill Seal between sole plate and slab is recommended. For 2nd story or bonus rooms, insulate and seal openings between floor joists, under walls with foam board sheathing material. Seal all windows and doors jambs with minimal or non expanding foam.

Seal all wire penetrations especially those through top plate.
Incorporate Airtight Drywall Approach throughout home. Run sheetrock all the way to bottom plate behind showers and tubs, seal plumbing penetrations under tubs especially on upper floors.

Minimize use of recessed lights or install Insulation Contact Air Tight (ICAT) lights. Existing recessed lights that are not air tight can be retrofitted with air tight trim kits. Get name brand and model numbers of lights to order trim kits.

Windows Double-glazed with Low-E glass and non-heat-conducting frames are recommended. Look for U-values and SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) of less than .3 for best performance in this area. Go to to learn more about window types and labels on windows.

DOORS Steel, polyurethane foam core (R 2.5 to 5.0) with high quality weather-strip. Solid wood door with double-glazing allowed for front door. Exterior-type foam-core doors with good air seals on doors to all attic spaces and knee-walls.

Walls 2x4 walls R-15 un-faced insulation with double sided 1" foil sheathing boards. 2x6 walls R-19 also with double sided foil sheathing boards.

Face unprinted side to exterior. Sheathing must cover top plate to sole plate. Seal all seams with foil tape. Use �" foil sheathing in between 2X headers instead of plywood. Insulate behind tub and shower units before installing units.

Ceilings R-30 minimum with a Radiant Barriers are recommended for this climate. Visit Florida Solar Energy Center�s web site for more information on radiant barriers

Seal and insulate attic accesses when in the conditioned areas. If attic staircase s in conditioned area, seal with attic tent or build a box with 2x12 with �" plywood for top, insulate and weather-strip to seal well.

Unvented attics Open cell foam. foam must meet R-value
code requirements. No quanitive values accepted.
foam must fill rafter bays and faces of rafters.
Foam must seal from roof to attic floor to create true
unvented attic. Full inches to be installed, not
'average' fill. No areas with 1/2" of foam to 9" of
foam to be averaged for overall R-value. Unvented
attic with foam is a semi conditioned attic.

Use only closed cell foam in floors for homes
on piers. install minimum of 3"

Use Energy efficient (O.V.E.) framing at corners and partition walls, See LaDNR Builder�s Guide To Energy Efficient Homes in Louisiana or Doug Rye video.

Continuous ridge vents ( with wind baffles) and continuous soffits vents. One square foot of net free area for every 150-sq.ft. of attic floor space, divided equally between ridge and soffits vents.


Duct Leakage and Insulation Duct loss must be no more than 5%. Before insulating hard pipe seal all joints & seams. Use Mastic or an approved UL-181 rated mastic tape, such as Hardcast #1402 mastic tape.

Have HVAC contractor size A/C system using Manual J. Design duct layout using Manual D.
Upgrade insulation values from a standard R-4.2 to R-6 or R-8 is recommended.

Water Heaters Compare Energy Factors (E.F.) Gas E.F. of .65 on a standard tank and E.F. of .95 on an electric standard tank.

Adding an insulating blanket can also increase the efficiency of water heaters.

Instant, tankless gas water heaters have higher E.F. of .85.
Electric tankless water heaters are not efficient.
instead look at standard hign EF electric tanks
The most efficient for electric Heat Pump water heaters (also called heat recovery or desuperheaters) provide 90% to 100% free hot water in summer months.

Cooling 14 SEER, 0.75or less Sensible heat fraction (SHF) mandatory minimum requirement. 15 to 17SEER is recommended.
Heat pump if all electric.

Two speed or variable speed system if over-sizing of tonnage.
Consider Zoned system versus multiple units.
700 sq. ft. per ton as opposed to old
rule-of-thumb of 400 to 500 sq. ft. per ton.

Bigger is not better!

Heating Gas furnace AFUE 80% minimum.
Efficiency on these units up to 94% (condensing unit with PVC flue).
For Heat Pumps specify a minimum of HSPF of 8.0. Variable speed heat pumps will have up to 9.0 HSPF.
(May change to higher AFUE with IRC code changes)

Lighting Use fluorescent lighting whenever possible. Compact Fluorescent in all fixtures like recessed lights.

IC Air Tight recessed lights are mandatory requirements. Existing recessed lights can be retrofitted with air tight trim kits available at lighting stores and box outlets.

Appliances Purchase Energy Star Appliances for high efficiency, especially refrigerators, freezers and water heaters which run 24/7.
Look for Energy Guide labels in the lower range for more efficiency.

Additional Links:
La. Energy & Environmental Resource Building Science Corporation
LSU Ag Center Hot Humid Climates Builder�s Guide
Energy Star Program


clipped on: 01.31.2013 at 12:25 am    last updated on: 01.31.2013 at 12:26 am

RE: We won the Pocket Door battle - and no we have a problem with (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: brickeyee on 03.18.2007 at 09:32 am in Remodeling Forum

The Johnson kits are pretty decent, but I never use the 'pre-framed' ones.
I build out a thicker wall (about the same as a wet wall). This allows electrical boxes to be installed.

Johnson has a number of different ratings on the hardware.
The 111PD line is more than adequate for most interior doors and keeps the track under 1.25 inches wide.

One of the 'tricks' is to never mount the track directly to a weight bearing header.
The header should be moved up a few inches, then a section of 2x mounted with clearance from the header, and the track attached to the 2x.
This is not required in non-weight bearing walls, but avoiding any sag in a weight bearing header will ensure the pocket hardware functions for a long time.
The only other problem I encounter is the plastic tabs used to prevent the door from swinging. They tend to scratch the portions of the door that rub against them.
I put aluminum angle in the bottom of the pocket and cut a matching groove on the bottom of the door. If the groove is stopped before the 'show' edge of the door it cannot be seen.
Another trick for panel doors is to add a strip of wood to the pocket edge the same thickness as the door and about 1-2 inches wide.
This allows the full width of the door to be used while leaving some in the pocket for noise and swing control.
Adding a stop on the non-pocket jamb also helps with sound and blocks sight (if you really want to reduce sound 'brush seals' or even felt seals around the door can help).
The split trim jamb on the top of the door should be mounted with screws (on at least one side). You will need to remove it to get the door off the bogies. Trim head square drive screws provide a good option here.

Pocket door hardware is definitely finish carpentry, not framing.
Make sure you have the correct kind of carpenter.


clipped on: 10.02.2007 at 12:45 pm    last updated on: 10.02.2007 at 12:45 pm

RE: Reduce Pocket Door Sound (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: brickeyee on 02.07.2007 at 05:49 pm in Remodeling Forum

You add trim to the top to fill the gap above the door.
Mount at least one side with some screws so you can remove the trim to get the door off the track.
A stop on the non-pocket side (or even two stops) will helo with noise here.
Resource Conservation Technology (Baltimore, MD) has a number of brush and felt seals for weatherstripping that can also be used to help reduce sound transmission.
Brush seals work best for stopping sound if the opening is as small as possible.
You should be able to get the floor gap down to about 1/16 of an inch.
If the floor is not level add a sole plate and level it to the door.


clipped on: 10.02.2007 at 12:42 pm    last updated on: 10.02.2007 at 12:43 pm