Podcast 390: Lengthy-Lasting Porches, Much less-Slippery Steps, and Constructing Partitions on Laminate Flooring

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George alerts us to further house batteries. Adam cooled his cape with a ducted minisplit. Shaughnn has some ideas on Mike’s drawback tile ground. Doug asks for recommendation fixing his porch. Larry asks the best way to paint his porch steps and make them much less slippery. Steve needs to construct a closet on high of his laminate ground.


Editor Updates:


  • Rob’s travels
  • Mark’s home and his ProTalk Podcast
  • Jeff’s deck redux
  • Patrick’s stairs

Listener Suggestions 1:


Charles along with his home on Lake Winnipesaukee writes: Expensive Patrick and FHB Crew, please let your viewers know that, along with the Generac product talked about in episode 384 there are various US producers that make this gear reminiscent of Midnite Photo voltaic, Outback Energy, and Xantrex (now owned by Schneider) and others.
Your questioner must do a number of issues:

1. Dimension the battery financial institution. That is the costliest a part of any battery system. Kilowatt hours are costly.
2. Choose a battery inverter and dimension this based mostly on the height hundreds (kW not simply kWhr)
3. Make sure that the battery inverter and the generator can speak to at least one one other.
4. Get an electrician savvy sufficient to wire the entire thing collectively

I personally have had nice luck working with the folks at Outback Energy who’re very effectively versed in what kind of system your listener wants. Perhaps good folks to have on the ProTalk sequence?

Thanks a lot, George


Listener Suggestions 2:


Adam in Waterdown Ontario writes: In episode 384 you all spoke concerning the concept of an air handler for cooling the second ground of a Cape. I’ve an identical scenario with 3 bedrooms and a shower and that’s the answer I selected. I’ve a Mitsubishi ducted minisplit air handler with one air consumption within the hallway and 4 outputs one in every bed room. I’ve included a ground plan and some photos of the setup. It’s undoubtedly a dear choice however needs to be far more environment friendly and loads much less duct work consuming up rooms should you may even get it the place you want it.  The ducted unit takes care of bed room 1, 2, 3 abs the lavatory. And there’s a minisplit head in the main bedroom to do it and the grasp tub. The heating in shoulder seasons might be taken care of by the warmth pump however within the winter I’ve hydronic warmth within the flooring. I might love if anybody has perception on heating an present basement with hydronic warmth. I really like the thought of conserving the heating loops within the ground however I’m not keen to tear up and insulate the ground and re-pour it. Currents the partitions have closed cell spray foam with a steady vapour barrier on the prevailing slab. I really feel like me choices are 2” r8-10 foam then flooring with a pair radiators or a hyronic flooring system like Roth radiant panel system then flooring in high. Each are round 2” in top. The basement is 7’ tall so I’m a little bit involved with the top top. Do you assume the in-floor warmth is viable with this quantity of insulation or are the radiators a greater concept?  The one different choice I can consider is radiant panels on the ceiling however I can’t discover any data on that and I do not know if that’s viable. Lastly, I’d like to keep away from placing a subfloor on high of the froth because the slab isn’t very degree and I don’t need to should drill anchors by the vapour barrier. Ideas? Thanks for all of your assist. It has been invaluable in constructing/ renovating my households new house!

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Listener Suggestions 3:


Shaughnn writes: Hiya FHB staff, Whereas listening to episode 386 and listening to about Mike’s drawback tile ground, I discovered that it was an ideal alternative to attract consideration to Tile Council of North America’s “Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation.” Particularly, the failure featured within the podcast episode may have been “largely” averted had the installer adopted TCNA suggestion EJ171 for Enlargement Joints. A correct ANSI 118.4 (or higher) thinset mortar and satisfactory protection may additionally be in play right here? And, the telegraphed wandering crack by the sector of the porcelain does certainly counsel some quantity of motion within the slab. It’s doable that this motion is going on at a management joint within the slab although, by which case we refer again to TCNA suggestion EJ171.

An uncoupling membrane would NOT, as was advised within the episode, shield this set up from tenting on it’s personal. Enlargement joints and an open perimeter are the primary line of protection towards tenting. The uncoupling membrane lends itself after these precautions have been taken.

Cheers! –– Shaughnn, Gross sales Skilled, ARDEX Tile & Stone Set up Merchandise

Hello Patrick, Sure. I used to be a tile installer for 32 years earlier than turning into a producer rep for ARDEX. Whereas an installer, I used to be additionally an admin over on the John Bridge Tile Your World discussion board. I really like the commerce and actually take pleasure in serving to folks noodle by their tasks so the discussion board was a pleasant technique to decompress after 12 hour days on my knees.

Tenting is commonplace. It’s most frequently skilled in business or manufacturing installations as a result of the tempo is excessive and the extent of satisfactory coaching is low. There’s additionally the issue that the required enlargement joints are often unwelcome by designers, house owners, and contractors. The telegraphed crack is one other separate problem although. As was talked about, I’d be curious to see the backs of these tiles to verify protection, notch dimension, and to see if latent contaminates had been left on the slab previous to spreading thinset.



Query 1: What’s one of the simplest ways to vent the house beneath my porch to forestall rot?


Doug from Bemidji, Minnesota writes: Expensive FHB crew, First off, I need to say thanks on your dedication to creating, for my part, one of the best podcast on the market on constructing and constructing science. I at all times appreciated Matt’s enter on subjects and am very unhappy to listen to that he’s leaving. I’m certain you’ll all do a fantastic job filling in for him with all the building-code particulars and building-science geekery of wall assemblies and venting.

Doug's covered porch Doug's covered porch

Okay, now for my query. I’m engaged on restoring my house that was in-built 1915 up right here in northern Minnesota, local weather zone 7. This previous home has been testing my resolve since we bought it nearly two years in the past with shock after shock behind each wall and beneath each ground. My most up-to-date venture is the massive lined entrance porch, which is uncommon on properties in our space however it occurs to be our favourite function of this home. I’m at the moment engaged on repairing ground rot and reinforcing the ground joists to scale back ground deflection. As you’ll be able to see from the photographs, the porch is open to the weather from the edges reminiscent of rain and snow. I’m planning so as to add ground drains to forestall standing water the place the water doesn’t drain by the porch fir flooring. My most important concern is venting beneath the porch which is the place all the moisture finally ends up and appears to remain trapped. I’m considering this has contributed to the ground rot that I’m repairing now. The porch is skirted with vertical boards which have a 1/8″ hole between them. Can I add vents to encourage airflow beneath? Ought to I take into account a vent fan that’s both at all times on or has a humidistat?
Thanks on your assist!

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Query 2: Ought to I exploit paint or stain for my porch stairs and is there something I can apply to make it a non-skid floor?


Larry in Evanston, Illinois writes: Hey Patrick and the gang! Love the podcast–listening to it provides me the motivation to maintain engaged on transforming my 1925 bungalow, which is at the moment in yr 5 of an initially projected 1-year venture. A lot for my estimating expertise (or lack thereof). The steps to my enclosed again porch must be refinished, because the stain utilized by the prior house owners wore off way back. I’ve a few fast questions:

1) Would you advocate paint or stain? I’ve no desire apart from wanting a end that may final so long as doable.
2) Is there something I may apply to the end to offer a non-skid floor? Though the steps are largely protected by the roof overhang, snow and ice do accumulate at occasions throughout our chilly northern Illinois winters. My 13-year-old canine has hassle navigating the steps and I’d love to do no matter I may to forestall her from slipping on the steps (wouldn’t harm for me, both). Can I add sand or a gritty substance to the paint or stain? Might I apply non-slip treads to the steps after refinishing them? Different prospects?
3) What caulk would you advocate between the treads and risers? I’m assuming a water-proof silicone?

I understand this query will not be about air sealing, roof building or blower door assessments, however hopefully you’ll be able to assist me out. Respect any recommendation you may need.

On a very unrelated subject, you’ve talked about all-electric properties in just a few podcasts lately and I believed you may discover this fascinating. My Dad constructed (actually) our small 3-bedroom ranch home in northwestern Ohio in 1955 and one of many fascinating options was radiant warmth embedded within the popcorn plaster ceiling. I by no means gave it a second thought rising up in the home however my older brother (a retired HVAC tech) has instructed me it was a really environment friendly mode of heating, particularly since we additionally heated the total basement. Apparently, we paid a set month-to-month quantity, and every year the electrical firm billed us for the distinction between used and paid. My brother indicated that usually we didn’t pay something that month. It was one of many first Gold Medallion Reddy Kilowatt properties in our space – right here’s a link regarding that program. I recall that it was a good, albeit dry warmth, most rooms had their very own spherical Honeywell thermostat, there was a ton of fiberglass bat insulation within the attic, and upkeep was clearly non-existent. BTW, the partitions have been additionally tongue-in-groove knotty pine all through many of the home. Why? I do not know, however I don’t assume I’ve ever been in a daily house since then, i.e., not a cabin within the woods, with knotty pine partitions. Only a little bit of historical past on your enjoyment.
Sustain the unbelievable work!

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Question 3: What’s one of the best methodology to take away laminate flooring to put in a brand new wall?


Steve writes: A couple of years in the past, we put in laminate flooring on a plywood subfloor in 24’x36′ second ground room. Now that we’ve used the house awhile, we need to add a wall to create a closet. I do know one of the best strategy is to chop out the laminate to make a channel for a sole/ backside plate. The massive draw back is that this may create a variety of very high quality mud, there’s a variety of furnishings, and that facet of the room has no home windows.

I’d quite reduce a 4″ gap within the laminate each 2 toes, then use 3″ spherical items 3/4″ thick to create platforms for the only plate to sit down on. This is able to enable the laminate ground to maneuver, and controlling the mud can be far simpler.
I’m not seeing any downsides to this strategy, however possibly you guys would….

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Finish Observe:


Shallowness and commerce work: In Gary Katz’s interview with Mason Lord for FHB’s fortieth Anniversary, Gary talks about having the sensation of inadequacy as a result of he’s a carpenter. Commerce work is just not sufficiently valued on this nation together with many different sorts of necessary jobs. Gary’s phrases have actually caught with me. I discover what he stated actually troubling. I’d prefer to ask readers in the event that they’ve had related emotions of inadequacy owing to their jobs. Do you continue to really feel that means? If not, how did you get by it?



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