Paul Fisette

Paul Fisette is a wood technologist and former director of the Building Materials Technology and Management program at the University of Massachussets in Amherst, Mass.

Paul Fisette's Posts

Reusing Barnboard

Q: I was wondering what should be done to old reclaimed barnwood before it can be used inside a home. I plan on using it for wainscot in a basement remodel; should it be treated to kill any bugs or mold? Read more

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Which Window Area Ratio Is Better?

Q: I've seen window glazing area recommendations for energy-efficient houses stated in two ways: as a percentage of conditioned square footage and as a percentage of exterior wall area. Which is most useful, and why? Read more

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Roof Venting in a Wet Climate

Q: I'm planning to reroof an expanded Cape Cod on a barrier island off the East Coast, where strong winds and moisture from the ocean are common. Read more

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How Should I Finish an Existing Basement Wall? How Should I Finish an Existing Basement Wall?

I am about to start a basement remodel project in a cold climate. I plan to apply a waterproofing product to the inside of the basement wall, then stick a sheet of polyethylene directly to the basement wall over the waterproof coating. Once that is in place, I'll frame a 2x4 wood-frame wall on the inside, insulate it with fiberglass batts, and staple a poly vapor barrier to the inside face of the studs. Does this seem like a good approach? Read more

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Wrong-Side Housewrap

While preparing for an extensive remodeling project, we discovered that the housewrap was installed underneath the exterior 7/16-inch plywood rather than on top. According to the scope of work, we are supposed to install 1/2-inch foam board with taped seams over the entire exterior. Will the plywood sandwiched between the housewrap and foam cause a problem with moisture buildup or anything else? Read more

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