Two building science experts, a builder and a consultant/teacher, take your calls to answer questions you have about the energy efficiency DIY project you are thinking of doing on your house or to give you our advice about proposed work to be done by a contractor. Ask Jim and Chris with more than 20 years of combined building science experience here in Vermont they will have an answer for you!
More About Roofs and Why Icicles are Bad
This week Chris and Jim return to roofs because this late winter we see lots of icicles! We discuss why icicles form and their cousin the ice dam. What it means for the wasted heat and the durability of your house. We also discuss when to replace a roof (shingles or metal) and what you need to keep in mind before hiring a roofing contractor (ie when it is a straight roof replacement and when you need to consider insulation of slopes/dormers, etc). And as always listener calls.
Membranes for Air Sealing, Moisture Control, and More
This week Jim and Chris discuss membranes. What do we want membranes to do? Air sealing, moisture control, and more. What is a perm and how do I know I'm building a safe assembly (wall, roof, slab, etc.). What is a "vapor sandwich", why we don't want one and how to avoid this common, building science mistake. And calls from you, our listeners.
Regulatory Rules and Issues for Residential Contractors in Vermont
This week Chris and Jim take a look at the regulatory environment in Vermont regarding Contractors. We are speaking specifically about Residential Contractors. Commercial Contractors already have lots of regulations protecting consumers/owners from nefarious builders. Not so for Residential Builders. The Vermont is called "The Wild West of Builders" by our eastern cousins in New Hampshire. We look at the current situation and what the State and various stakeholders think about how things should change. We speak with Vermont State Representative Scott Campbell who is sponsoring the bill H.157 to introduce a statewide Contractor Registry. We also listen to your calls. Take a listen to the important consumer protections that such a light touch Contractor Registry can mean for our state.
Passive Houses Part 2: Elements and Benefits
This week Chris and Jim finish their discussions on Passive House and super insulated houses. We cover topics such as the Passive elements and move into the active elements (like ventilation, heating, etc.) as well as cost benefit and other benefits of Passive house. We look at a few other building standards as well as answering listener phone calls.
Passive Houses: What Are They and How Do They Work?
Today Jim and Chris discuss the benefits of super insulated houses known as the Passive House. These houses, when built correctly, use almost no energy to heat and cool. A 1200 square foot house in Charlotte was using an average of $20/month to heat (averaged over the entire year)! How do we attain these efficiencies? Are these houses safe to live in? These questions, answering your calls, and more answered during this episode!
Insulation Part 2
Jim and Chris just didn't have the time to get through all of the points about insulation last week so we are returning to the land of Insulation! They finish fluffy or batt insulation and go on to discuss the pros and cons of various rigid insulation boards. Where we should and shouldn't use them. What to look out for when using them. They also answer listener questions. A great episode!