'Job Site Diaries' Blog - Fine Homebuilding


Job Site Diaries

Job Site Diaries

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Indoor-Air Quality and Ventilation for Homes in Hot-Humid Climates

Indoor-Air Quality and Ventilation for Homes in Hot-Humid Climates

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The weather in the Southern United States poses a unique challenge to the issues of ventilation and indoor-air quality. Here are my opinions and suggestions on how to address these issues if you are building or remodeling in the South.

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Nest Review - Builder Perspective

Nest Review - Builder Perspective

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The Nest thermostat has a ton of buzz, but is it worth the price? In this review you'll hear my perspective as a builder.

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Best Practices: Methods for Installing Brick or Stone Veneer

Best Practices: Methods for Installing Brick or Stone Veneer

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Brick is a wonderful building veneer and is the original "Rain Screen" method of separating your cladding from your building with an air gap. Rock on the other hand is often devoid of that air gap here in the South and can lead to building failures. In this post I'll show you a Best Practice Rock veneer approach with a vented air gap.

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High-Performance Homes Dos & Donts: Mark LaLiberte Seminar Notes

High-Performance Homes Dos & Don'ts: Mark LaLiberte Seminar Notes

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Mark LaLiberte is an amazing building-science teacher. Read my blogging notes from his seminar titled "Building High-Performance Homes Dos & Don'ts," which I attended in Austin, Texas. Remember that this is focused on Texas construction, but there is plenty to learn here for anyone in the U.S.

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Kohlers New Musical Shower Head

Kohler's New Musical Shower Head

I attended a builder luncheon the other day and was blown away by this cool new shower head called the Kohler Moxie. It has a magnetic bluetooth speaker that magnet holds into a standard shower head. The sound was fantastic and I love the idea.

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Modern Hardie Siding Details w/ Exterior Rigid Foam

Modern Hardie Siding Details w/ Exterior Rigid Foam

In this video I'll show you some modern hardie siding details we used to overcome the issues encountered with exterior rigid foam installation.

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Drying Wet Framing Lumber

Drying Wet Framing Lumber

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It's not unusual for a house to get wet during construction before it's "dried in". In this post I'll share some techniques I've used to dry my houses prior to sheetrock. This is a follow up to my last post about using a Moisture Meter.

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Hidden Doors, Secret Rooms, and the Hardware that makes it possible!

Hidden Doors, Secret Rooms, and the Hardware that makes it possible!

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Everyone loves a house with hidden door or secret rooms, but these are tricky details to pull off successfully. Here are a few of my recent projects with hidden doors and my favorite hardware to accomplish these works of craftsmanship.

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Insulating an Advanced-Framed House - A Hybrid Approach

Insulating an Advanced-Framed House - A Hybrid Approach

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Insulation advertisements would lead you to believe there products are perfect for every situation. In fact a hybrid approach is more likely to yield the high performance home I'm after. See this video to see how I used three types of insulation on this new Advanced Framed House I'm building in Austin Texas. -Matt Risinger

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Bargain ERV for Hot Climates - Panasonics Whisper Comfort Review

Bargain ERV for Hot Climates - Panasonic's Whisper Comfort Review

In our Hot Humid Texas climate an ERV does a great job of bringing in Fresh Air but rejecting the humidity (Energy) that typically comes with that air. Panasonic's bargain priced ERV is a great choice for fresh air in our climate.

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Texas Deep-Energy Retrofit Remodel

Texas Deep-Energy Retrofit Remodel

When you hear about a deep energy retrofit project most people think of the snowy North Eastern US. I can tell you that the strategy for a Northern remodel with energy efficiency in mind is very different that our strategy for Hot/Humid Texas. In this video I'll show you 6 things we are doing to making a dramatic difference in this 1950's slab on grade house's energy bills.

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Flashing A Recessed Window using Liquid Tyvek

Flashing A Recessed Window using Liquid Tyvek

Flashing a recessed window is tricky, this new product from DuPont Tyvek called Fluid Applied (Liquid Tyvek!) makes the process much simpler. In this jobsite video we will take you through the steps to form a water tight, air tight, and vapor permeable window install.

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Hot Water Without Wasting Cold - Metlund DMand Pump

Hot Water Without Wasting Cold - Metlund D'Mand Pump

How long does it take for your faucet to get hot water? As you wait for that hot water a typical faucet might dump 1-2 gallons of water down the drain. The solution for this problem is a smart circulation pump. Metlund makes a great system to deliver how water to your faucets without waste.

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How To Work With TimberStrand Headers

How To Work With TimberStrand Headers

Window & door headers are typically a large source of thermal bridging. In this video I'll show you how to frame with TimberStrand engineered headers and easily achieve a well-insulated & very strong header.

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How To Prevent Termite Infestion - Using Stainless Steel

How To Prevent Termite Infestion - Using Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel, what builder doesn't love using SS? Check out this video on how to use SS Termite Barriers for a lifetime of protection for Slab Foundations.

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