The optimal insulated home..


Old 12-20-01, 05:53 PM
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Question The optimal insulated home..

My home begins framing tomorrow. I'm looking for information on things to do to make the home more energy efficient.

Vital details are:
Kansas City area
9' walkout basement
2 x 4 construction
Living space over the garage
Hydronic radiant heat system for basement/garages

Of course, the builder will provide the standard insulation, but I'm looking for the optimal that I can do to make it better. I plan to insulate the garage myself. The builder also suggested that some home owners go through before drywall and thoroughly caulk everywhere. Any ideas for me?

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Old 12-21-01, 01:45 AM
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It's good that you're thinking ahead, most people involved with new construction are overwhelmed with the other aspects of building and then think about other things they could have done. One of the things overlooked in new construction is basement water proofing. This is because the home is new and you shouldn't have a problem with it. But doing it now is a lot cheaper and better than doing it later. Read the forum on basements and you'll see what I mean. Ask the electrician to put a dedicated outlet in the garage and basement for power equipment, like a compressor, battery charger, table saw, etc. This outlet could be used for other things.

As far as energy conservation is concerned, click on the little house icon with www next to it at the bottom of this message. Read topics "Insulation, Thermal Boundary, Air Boundary and Ventilation". I would also recommend you read topics "Lighting, Appliances and Water Heating". In most cases, all these topics are overlooked in new construction.
Old 12-22-01, 03:06 AM
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You can read all you want to, but you will probably just get more confused. Fact: You have 2x4 walls. You can only put 3 1/2" of insulation in them. But as your builder said, you can chaulk all the cracks and seams. In Kansas City, you live in the banana belt.
One thing you could do, is after the walls are insulated, and before drywall, cover your walls with 6ml black plastic. That is code farther north of you. Good Luck
Old 01-02-02, 08:20 AM
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Get a few cans of Foam-in-a-can and seal around all the utilities as they pass thorough walls/floors/ceilings. This will help stop draft.

Think about using some unfaced insulation on the walls around the laundry room to limit noise transmission. You might put insulation in other interior walls. Like maybe the master suite, guest room, or kids play room.
Old 01-04-02, 06:38 AM
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Thanks for the advice guys..

They have the first floor deck done now as well as a couple of the garages walls. I have someone to come in and do some work for me this weekend. I'd like to get him started on caulking seams. The front elevation of the house is stucco, and the rest is wood siding sheets.

The questions are....

Where should I have him caulk? I'd rather go overboard and caulk more than I need. Cost of caulk is insignificant. What kind of caulk should be used keeping in mind temps are in 20's?

Old 01-04-02, 10:28 AM
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Are you going to use a geo source heat pump?? The ones that uses well water for heating and cooling? The only other type of insulation not mentioned is a radiant barrier (aluminum foil) You can read up on at

good luck
Old 01-04-02, 04:25 PM
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are you caulking to eleminate air penetrations? If so caulk between all doublers and at the bottom and top of plate..

Not sure what caulk to reccommend for the cold.. But If your caulking for air penetration I would do that just before I Insulated.. The reason being If it were to rain on your project prior to installing the Roof and shingles It might cause additional moisture to be trapped in the wall prior to installing the drywall..

This could cause a mold problem ..
Old 01-10-02, 01:36 PM
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Wether or not your bath is on an outside wall, insulating it will make a big diff in sound transmission. I've been in quite a few new houses and you can hear someone taking a shower... or flushing for that matter.. Just something to keep in mind.

Old 01-16-02, 12:19 PM
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Tony, I live in Overland Park, in a 8 year old subdivision. Nearly every house in our area that has stucco are having bad wood rot problems around windows and various decorative trim wood. Also, an upscale custom home builder (relative) who has been in the business for 30 years will now only use all vinyl or vinyl / alluminum clad windows. He has experienced too many problems with wood rot and poor workmanship in the last 5 years. He indicated even with the better window manufacturers, quality in their low to mid range wood windows is a problem.

Be sure all exterior wood is properly primed & painted. Also have them put up proper flashing under the stucco and/or house wrap for any exterior wood or openings. From your picture it appears this has not been done.

Good Luck.

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