Are Code-Mandated Air-Sealing Tests a Financial Burden to Builders?
Planning to build his own house in Washington State, Frank Keeler has run into a snag: state-required blower-door tests. The relatively simple test measures how much air leaks through exterior walls, doors and windows, and provides an indication of how energy efficient the house will be.
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However useful it might be in helping people build tight, energy-efficient houses, this requirement has Keeler worried. There’s apparently no limit on the number of times his house might have to be tested before it is approved, and each test could cost hundreds of dollars.
“The project is scary enough without the thought of spending weeks and thousands of dollars on test after test,” he writes in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor. “It’s all too much. To me this signals the end to the owner/builder beause of the inability to budget for ramifications of unforeseen number of tests.”
Are Keeler’s fears well-founded? Or is anticipating problems that aren’t nearly as big as he imagines?
That’s the subject of this week’s Q&A Spotlight.