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Insulation

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    Retrofitting an Insulated Cold Roof

    Installing insulation and ventilation under a new roof can solve heat-loss problems and prevent ice dams.

     
  • JLC Extra Q&A: Compressing Fiberglass Batts

    Q: I've heard that if you use 5 1/2-inch-thick fiberglass batts in a 2x4 wall, the insulation will have a higher R-value than standard 3 1/2-inch batts provide. But some people say that compressing fiberglass batts lowers the R-value. What's the story?

     
  • Does Radiant-Barrier Paint Work?

    Q: My painting subcontractor is recommending Thermo-Tek, a paint the manufacturer says is a radiant barrier. What can you tell me about products like this one or similar coatings made with something called ceramic microspheres that claim to have thermal characteristics and promise significant...

     
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    Innovative Products 2008

    Our annual pick of products designed to help you work smarter, faster, and better.

     
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    A Close Look at Common Energy Claims

    Understanding energy consumption and moisture movement in the homes we build is hard enough; rampant half-truths and misconceptions only make it harder.

     
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    Products

    Housewrap; asphalt roofing

     
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    Air-Sealing Attics In Existing Homes

    For best results, locate the heat loss with a blower door and an infrared camera.

     
  • Glued Wall Sheathing

    Q: Is it okay to glue OSB or plywood sheathing to the wall framing before fastening the sheathing with nails? It seems that this would be a simple and cost-effective way to add strength to a wall assembly while reducing air infiltration.

     
  • Flash-and-Batt Insulation: Good Idea or Bad Practice

    Q: Is the flash-and-batt technique - where an inch or two of spray-foam insulation is applied to the interior side of roof or wall sheathing before fitting rafter and stud bays with fiberglass batts - a good way to insulate?

     
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    Weather Barriers for Coastal Conditions

    According to general contractor Bill Robinson, the building industry is going through a renaissance of sorts when it comes to weather protection. He predicts that as the current best practices become standardized, even more detailed requirements will be brought back to the codes. And that's a good...

     
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    Products

    Exterior trim; housewrap

     
  • Energy & Moisture Matters

    We ask a panel of building scientists and builders — all keen, experienced observers of wood-frame performance issues — to answer some of the questions that never seem to go away.

     
  • Roof Ventilation Update

    The construction industry's leading researcher explains why what we think is true often isn't, and how some of our best hunches, based on observation of field performance, have paid off with problem-free attic assemblies.

     
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    Rain-Screen Retrofit

    Improper flashing, unprimed cedar, and a southern exposure had all contributed to a moldy mess.

     
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    Open-cell foam in unvented attics; code clarification; bees in brick; Alaska energy code

     
  • Stopping Condensation Behind Knee Walls

    Q: A house we built about eight years ago here in Tennessee has ductwork running through the space behind the upstairs knee walls. The exterior side of the framing has been developing condensation, but only in extremely cold weather. There are no vents in

     
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    A Builder's Guide to Energy Codes

    A close look at current energy codes - and where they're headed.

     
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    Insulating Unvented Attics With Spray Foam

    Closed-cell polyurethane foam provides the insulation, air barrier, and vapor retarder necessary for an unvented attic assembly.

     
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    On the Job

    Strong gable overhang; on site with Durisol

     
  • Block Walls, Vapor Barriers, and Solar Vapor Drive

    Q: With a cavity wall assembly consisting of load-bearing 8-inch CMUs (concrete masonry units), 2 inches of rigid foam, a 2-inch air space, and 4-inch concrete bricks covered with cementitious stucco and an acrylic color coat, how important is dampproofin

     
 
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking