To get the best performance from insulation, either the framer has to build an airtight shell or the insulation contractor has to install an airtight product. It's a proven fact that insulation R-values are compromised by uncontrolled air leakage into the building shell. Convective air currents moving through wall and ceiling bays can bypass poorly detailed insulation almost as if it weren't there at all, with consequences that can come back to haunt the builder.

As a GC who also specializes in diagnosing home energy performance, I receive a steady stream of calls from homeowners, property managers, and other builders requesting help with energy-related issues. Surprisingly, most of these problems occur in new or newly-renovated homes. Common problems include drafty interiors, frozen pipes, high heating...

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