Matt Risinger

Matt Risinger, Austin, TX, US
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Matt Risinger
I'm the Principle of Risinger Homes in Austin, TX. We are a high performance building & remodeling company that specializes in Architect driven work. We strive to build the best homes in Austin and our focus is efficient, healthy, and durable construction.

Gender: Male

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Holiday Gift Guide - Best ideas for Knives, Flashlights, & Man Gifts

Holiday Gift Guide - Best ideas for Knives, Flashlights, & Man Gifts

What do you want for the Holiday's this year? He's a list of my top gift ideas for Builders.

Stucco - Best Practice Method using Delta Dry Stucco & Stone

Stucco - Best Practice Method using Delta Dry Stucco & Stone

Stucco is one of the dominate materials used in the South & SouthWest, and I see a lot of installs that look like future issues waiting to happen. Here's a video on a Best Practice method that will give your Stucco facade a fighting chance at draining & drying without getting your building wet.

Board Formed Architectural Concrete

Board Formed Architectural Concrete

Architects love board formed concrete, but it's a tricky process and requires a careful craftsman to ensure it looks good. See this video and pictures of a house I'm building where we used Board Formed Concrete for foundation and house walls extensively.

Wood Walls - 3 Tips

Wood Walls - 3 Tips

Everyone loves wood interior walls! In this video I'll show you three tips to ensuring your wood walls look great after installation. The wood in this video is reclaimed from the 30's house we were remodeling and was used originally as a wallpaper backer.

Quiet Plumbing Pipes

Quiet Plumbing Pipes

Have you ever heard the embarrassing sound of a toilet fish in the middle of a dinner party? Here's the way to eliminate that!

How Quiet is a Mitsubishi VRF AC Compressor?

How Quiet is a Mitsubishi VRF AC Compressor?

Has a noisy AC Compressor outside a bedroom window ever bothered you? Mitsubishi claims to make the quietest AC Compressor on the market. Let's test and see if their claim is true!

Squeak Free Floors - 3 Tips for Strong Sub Floors

Squeak Free Floors - 3 Tips for Strong Sub Floors

Have you ever walked by a china cabinet and the contents rattled? Or does your house have an annoying squeak in the floor as you walk down the hallway to your baby's bedroom? In this video I’ll give you three tips for framing a sub-floor that’s beefy and squeak-free!

PL400 vs DAP SmartBond SubFloor Glue Strength Test

PL400 vs DAP SmartBond SubFloor Glue Strength Test

PL400 has been the gold standard in SubFloor glue for years, but is it the best choice for Advantech Decking? Watch me put these two glues to the test.

Joe Lstibureks Perfect Wall explained - The 500 Year House

Joe Lstiburek's "Perfect Wall" explained - The 500 Year House

I'm a huge fan of Building Science teacher Joe Lstiburek and I'm finally building my first house with his "Perfect Wall" concept. Join me as I explain this theory for extreme durability and efficiency (and show off a house I'm building in Austin).

Cheap Housewrap Challenge - Should I pay for a premium product?

Cheap Housewrap Challenge - Should I pay for a premium product?

We've all been in this situation... two identical looking products on the shelf, but different prices. Which should I choose? Well, when it comes to housewraps not all are alike, nor will they perform the same. Have a look at this test that will give you an idea how these two white rolls will perform on YOUR house.

Simple Recessed Medicine Cabinet

Simple Recessed Medicine Cabinet

This simple medicine cabinet is recessed flush into the wall. Simple, yes but it takes a Craftsmen to pull off crisp details. Watch this video for some tips for your bathroom remodel project.

The 4 Major Window Frame Types - Southern US recommendations

The 4 Major Window Frame Types - Southern US recommendations

The 4 major window frame materials are Vinyl, Fiberglass/Composite, Aluminum, & Wood. In this video we will discuss the pros/cons of each type along with my recommendations for the Hot/Humid Southern US.

Revolutionary New HVAC Equipment - A Split Dehumidifier!

Revolutionary New HVAC Equipment - A Split Dehumidifier!

I'd venture to guess that most houses in the Southern US aren't very comfortable. They are either too cold or too hot! The missing component in HVAC is Dehumidification. Ultra-Aire has a new Dehum that I think is a game changer.

Temporary Job Site Power Box - Plans to build your own

Temporary Job Site Power Box - Plans to build your own

Have you ever been frustrated by a lack of power available at your job sites? Look no further than this custom designed Temp Power Box to handle all your needs. Including a parts list to build your own!

Demystifying Window Labels - SHGC? U-Factor?

Demystifying Window Labels - SHGC? U-Factor?

Learn to decipher the codes on the window labels, and know what stats to look for in a good window (and what meets current building codes). In this video I'll explain in plain english what U-Factor means (and how to relate it to R-value), as well as the meaning to SHGC.

Sticky House Wrap? - Delta Vent SA Review

Sticky House Wrap? - Delta Vent SA Review

Sticky House Wrap? Yes, that makes perfect sense. I just completed my first job with Delta Vent SA a house wrap from German company Cosella-Dorken. Here's my impressions.

Oil vs Latex Paint for Millwork (Ben Moore Aura Review)

Oil vs Latex Paint for Millwork (Ben Moore Aura Review)

Classic argument among Custom Builders: Oil or Latex for Millwork. I've been an Oil fan for years but I'm finally coming around to Latex and I think I've found the right paint for the "Crisp" paint job that I demand in my houses.

Mesquite Hardwood Floor Install - Tips & tricks from a wood geek

Mesquite Hardwood Floor Install - Tips & tricks from a wood geek

This Mesquite Hardwood floor is stunning and this video will show you the start-to-finish process. I've included some tips from a geeky Custom Builder that you won't find anywhere else.

Hardware Geek - Accurate Pocket Door Hardware Review

Hardware Geek - Accurate Pocket Door Hardware Review

I'm a hardware geek, and I think hardware can make or break a house. Here's what I think about Accurate's full mortise pocket door hardware.

Siga Wigluv - Air Sealing Tape Review

Siga Wigluv - Air Sealing Tape Review

There are 4 things every house must control (in order of importance). 1. Water 2. Air 3. Vapor 4. Thermal Codes have only started to address air control and I think many builders in the US are behind in this area.

Cheap Trick - Recessed Dryer Box Model 425 Review

Cheap Trick - Recessed Dryer Box Model 425 Review

If you've ever installed a clothes dryer you know the vent at the back is in danger of being choked & pinched the moment you push the unit into place. This little $30 part is worth it's weight in gold!

CREEs New Linear LED Fixture Review SL24 & SL40

CREE's New Linear LED Fixture Review SL24 & SL40

I think this new CREE fixture might finally signal the end of the T-5 Fluorescent Fixtures.

Gift Guide for Builders

Gift Guide for Builders

Here's a few gifts for the Builder on your list. $10-$$$$. All approved and used by Matt Risinger.

How to Use Spray Foam to Meet New Energy Codes in Warm Climates

How to Use Spray Foam to Meet New Energy Codes in Warm Climates

As a builder in the hot and humid South, I regularly use spray foam in my houses. Spray foam makes it much easier to encapsulate my attic (where most HVAC systems in Texas live) so that my ducts are inside the thermal envelope.

Using Soss Hinges for a Concealed Door

Using Soss Hinges for a Concealed Door

Hidden Doors are super cool, but it takes some slick hardware and a skilled carpenter to pull one off successfully. See how my crew used Soss Hinges for this concealed door to a master bathroom toilet.

Hidden Door House

Hidden Door House

I love hidden doors and this house has 4 really cool ones. This is a 1930's whole house remodel my company did with Austin Architect Hugh Jefferson Randolph.

Maintain your Tankless, or else!

Maintain your Tankless, or else!

Your fancy Tankless Water Heater needs maintenance, and if you neglect this annual flush you may be destained for trouble. See this 5 minute video on how to do a vinegar flush to remove calcium deposits from your tankless unit's boiler.

OSB vs Plywood Sheathing - or Both?

OSB vs Plywood Sheathing - or Both?

OSB vs Plywood Sheathing is a question that comes up often in my Custom Builders Group. In this video I'll explain why I use both, and share some secret methods to building a house that will last for generations.

How to Insulate a Slab Foundation

How to Insulate a Slab Foundation

Have you ever wondered why Slab Foundations aren't insulated? Two reasons, your house needs to be pretty efficient first before it's necessary, then it's darn hard to accomplish without making an easy path for termites. In this video I'll show you how we used Borated Treated Perimeter foam to insulate a Texas Slab on Grade Foundation.

Garage AC - Wrong Way & Right Way

Garage AC - Wrong Way & Right Way

Who wouldn't love their garage to be Air Conditioned? In this video I'll show you two methods to accomplish that cool garage.

Hidden Giant Medicine Cabinet

Hidden Giant Medicine Cabinet

Everyone loves a medicine cabinet, and this is the biggest one I've ever seen. Scott Ginder the Architect on this remodel designed this med cab with all the features; Tons of glass shelves, LED lights, and an electrical outlet for my clients toothbrush.

3 Best Practice Deck Building Tips

3 Best Practice Deck Building Tips

Here are my three top tips to double the lifespan of your new deck! Hint: They all deal with water and rot issues. -Matt Risinger

CREE CR6 LED Recessed Light Review - 2 years later

CREE CR6 LED Recessed Light Review - 2 years later

We installed a house full of these CREE CR6 LED bulbs 2 years ago and I had a chance to interview the Architect/Client about his experience.

Water Heater thats also an AC!  ATI66 Heat Pump Water Heater Review

Water Heater that's also an AC! ATI66 Heat Pump Water Heater Review

I like Heat Pump Water Heaters, they heat water and they throw off cool & dehumidified air! Seems like the perfect product to have inside our Hot Texas homes. See my full review of the AirGenerate ATI 66 gallon HPWH.

Tankless vs Tank vs HPWH - 10 Year Costs Estimates - Large Custom Home

Tankless vs Tank vs HPWH - 10 Year Costs Estimates - Large Custom Home

Most large custom homes that I've seen are relatively in-efficient in their hot water strategy. Many homes above 5000sf have 2+ 75 gal tank water heaters with a circulation pump. I thought this 7000sf home I'm about to break ground on would be a good case study on what some more efficient water heaters might cost over a 10 year period. This is some geeky stuffy...Enjoy! -Matt Risinger

The Lexus HVAC system - Variable Refrigerant Flow Technology

The "Lexus" HVAC system - Variable Refrigerant Flow Technology

Air Conditioners are sized for the Hottest day of the year. This results in rather uncomfortable AC about 70% of the time, as well as electric bills that are needlessly high. Enter Variable Refrigerant Flow Technology. This allows your AC to run at any capacity from 15% up to 100%. Join me for a system overview

Southern HVAC Best Practice Videos

Southern HVAC Best Practice Videos

This is my collection of my 9 best HVAC related videos. Most will be relevant no matter your climate but many speak specifically to best practice for the Southern US.

Ventilation Strategies for Houses in the Hot-Humid South: Good/Better/Best

Ventilation Strategies for Houses in the Hot-Humid South: Good/Better/Best

Build tight, ventilate right. I learned that from building science guru Mark LaLiberte. But what is the right way to ventilate a house in Texas (or anywhere in the hot/humid South)? I'll give you my recommendations for three strategies.

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

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

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.

Nest Review - Builder Perspective

Nest Review - Builder Perspective

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.

Best Practices: Methods for Installing Brick or Stone Veneer

Best Practices: Methods for Installing Brick or Stone Veneer

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Drying Wet Framing Lumber

Drying Wet Framing Lumber

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.

What Happens if your Framing Gets Rained on?  (Learn to use a Moisture Meter)

What Happens if your Framing Gets Rained on? (Learn to use a Moisture Meter)

Rain during framing is hard to avoid, so how do you know the house is dry enough to move ahead with construction? We've all experienced "settlement" cracks in new houses. While cracks and gaps may not be completely avoidable, checking your framing with a moisture meter will te you if the house is "dry" and ready for insulation and drywall.

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

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

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.

Insulating an Advanced-Framed House - A Hybrid Approach

Insulating an Advanced-Framed House - A Hybrid Approach

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

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.

Advanced vs Traditional Framing

Advanced vs Traditional Framing

Advanced Framing isn't all that difficult and the benefits can be tremendous. In this video I'll show you a traditionally framed house and compare that to an Advanced Framed house.

3 Reasons to Choose Spray Foam Insulation for a Remodel

3 Reasons to Choose Spray Foam Insulation for a Remodel

Remodeling presents special challenges for the insulation choices. In this 1 minute video I'll show you the three reason's I almost always choose spray foam insulation for my remodel projects.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I cant install this - Poka-Yoke on the job site

"I can't install this" - Poka-Yoke on the job site

How do you prevent job site mistakes? The Japanese Management Technique of Poka-Yoke of course! See how I use this principle on my jobs to ensure we don't cover up a mistake that could cause problems years down the line. -Matt Risinger

Building A Modern Craftsman Staircase

Building A Modern Craftsman Staircase

Building an exposed stringer staircase with reclaimed Long Leaf Pine is the job for a Master Carpenter. See my carpenter Darryl build this modern detailed staircase in a 1920's house my company remodeled.

Douglas Fir Stained Siding - How To Details For Enduring Beauty

Douglas Fir Stained Siding - How To Details For Enduring Beauty

I was back to do a one year service call on this guest house my company built a year ago, and I was struck by the beauty of the Doug Fir Siding. It looked as good as the day we installed it. In this video I'll tell you the How To tips to ensure your wood stained siding has beauty that endures.

Cheap Tricks for Soundproofing

Cheap Tricks for Soundproofing

Soundproofing can be a very expensive addition to the price of construction, but there are some cheap tricks that will make a huge difference for not much cost. In this video I'll review 5/8" vs 1/2" drywall, the use of QuietPutty pads over outlets, double sheetrock, and Cast Iron drain pipes. These solutions can be much less expensive than using soundproofing drywall everywhere, but still make a tremendous difference towards achieving a quiet/peaceful house. -Matt Risinger

Wood Siding - Best Practice Installation Method

Wood Siding - Best Practice Installation Method

You don't see much real wood siding on houses anymore, but wood can be a durable (and beautiful) option if we take the care to install it correctly. In this video I'll show you the tricks to a wood siding installation that will set you up for decades of beauty for your home.

Smart Design Advice for Hot & Humid Climates (i.e. The South)

Smart Design Advice for Hot & Humid Climates (i.e. The South)

Architect Peter Pfeiffer talks about how to utilize smart design for a house in a hot climate zone. His green building advice is practical and following his advice will result in a house that's well designed for the rigors of a hot climate. If you want a comfortable, efficient, durable house and you live in the South then this video will give you tons to think about.

HVAC Ducting: Rigid Metal vs. Flex

HVAC Ducting: Rigid Metal vs. Flex

In our Texas climate a well installed HVAC system is a must for a new home. I'm surprised by how few builders are using Rigid Metal ducting anymore. Come see how my crew uses both Rigid Metal & Flex for great air distribution in the homes I build.

Building Wood Windows On The Job Site

Building Wood Windows On The Job Site

Nothing says Fine Craftsmanship like a site built wood window. In this video see how my carpentry crew build 5 large windows from Oak, African Mahogany, & Poplar.

Installing Commercial Windows In A Residence - Best Practice

Installing Commercial Windows In A Residence - Best Practice

I love the look of Modern Architecture, but these modern details involving no overhangs & commercial windows require a lot of fore thought on the part of the builder. In this video I'll show you the Best Practice Install for Commercial Windows in Residential Construction.

Pier & Beam vs Slab Foundations

Pier & Beam vs Slab Foundations

In the South there are two main foundation types. Concrete Piers with Wooden beams that elevate the house above the ground, and concrete slab foundations that sit on the ground. In this video I'm discussion the merits of these two options with Building Science expert Mark LaLiberte.

Using Pivot Hinges for a Master Bedroom Closet

Using Pivot Hinges for a Master Bedroom Closet

Pivot hinges make a bold statement in these floor to ceiling veneered closet doors, see how we used them in the Master Bedroom of a 60's remodeled house.

Maintaining & Flushing a Tankless Water Heater

Maintaining & Flushing a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters need an annual service to get the maximum life out of your unit. This is a simple process of de-scaling using vinegar and cleaning your in-line filter. This video will show you how to do it.

Best Attic for Hot/Humid Climates

Best Attic for Hot/Humid Climates

Most houses in Hot/Humid climates don't have basements so that means that most ductwork in Southern house runs through super hot attic spaces. In this video I'll show you a rather civilized attic space that really makes for a comfortable & efficient house!

How to Prevent Termites: Pretreat Without Harsh Chemicals

How to Prevent Termites: Pretreat Without Harsh Chemicals

The old school way to prevent termites from eating your house was to dump noxious chemicals on the ground around your house. The green way to do it is to use a borate treatment on your framing lumber. In this video I'll show you the right way to prevent infestations.

Window Flashing - New-Construction Best-Practice Tyvek Method

Window Flashing - New-Construction Best-Practice Tyvek Method

In this video you'll see my carpenters setting an Andersen 100 series window utilizing DuPont Tyvek products. I consider this the best practice method for setting a window in new construction.

How to Soundproof a Bedroom using Green Glue & Double Sheetrock

How to Soundproof a Bedroom using Green Glue & Double Sheetrock

Almost every project I build has some sound proofing needed. Media Rooms, Master Bedrooms, Meditation Rooms, Home offices... these can all benefit from some careful planning & sound abatement techniques. In this video I'll show you how we used Green Glue between two layers of 5/8" drywall to provide soundproofing between a Master Bedroom and an adjacent kids bedroom.

Air Sealing with Owens Cornings new Energy Complete system

Air Sealing with Owens Corning's new Energy Complete system

I'm a huge believer in Spray Foam for air sealing, but foam will only air seal the cavity that it's sprayed into. Here's where Owens Corning's new Energy Complete has a leg up on Foam. In this video you'll see how their system does an excellent job of air sealing so that their total-fill fiberglass system doesn't have any air flow issues to deal with. -Matt Risinger

How to Soundproof a Wall Separating a Bedroom From a Family Room

How to Soundproof a Wall Separating a Bedroom From a Family Room

In this video you'll learn some easy techniques for Soundproofing a bedroom from a noisy Family Room next door. We're using Quietrock which is a specialized drywall made for reducing noise transmission along with Hilti Putty Pads for air sealing outlets and Acoustical Sealant. These simple techniques make for a very quiet bedroom.

Stealth Door With Heavy-Duty Hidden Hinges

Stealth Door With Heavy-Duty Hidden Hinges

Have you ever picked up a piece of nice hardware and smiled? If so, then you're an official hardware geek like me! Check out this amazing Hidden Hinge from Sugatsune we used in a door install we like to call our "James Bond" door. -Matt Risinger

Flashing for Hose Bibs - QuickFlash Review

Flashing for Hose Bibs - QuickFlash Review

We as builders are so diligent about using flashing boots on our roofs but when it comes to wall penetrations we're so lax about holes! In this video we'll show you how we use QuickFlash boots to correctly seal the water out of our walls. -Matt Risinger

Radiant Barriers for Exterior Walls

Radiant Barriers for Exterior Walls

You always hear about radiant barriers for roofs but why not treat your walls the same way? In this video you'll see how we're using a foil facing on our South & West facing unshaded masonry walls.

Framing Super Straight Walls With LSL Studs

Framing Super Straight Walls With LSL Studs

No one will notice if you frame your houses with straight walls, but your clients will definitely notice if they are wavy. This LSL stud makes a super straight wall for your kitchens, baths, and tall walls. They are more expensive than pine or fir studs but there is no cull and you will eliminate surprises.

How to Retrofit A Radiant Barrier: Paint it On

How to Retrofit A Radiant Barrier: Paint it On

This 10 year old house didn't have a radiant barrier on the roof and replacing the plywood wasn't an option. We sprayed on Sherwin William E Barrier paint for an easy retrofit that should easily pay for itself with lower attic temperatures. Simple, affordable, easy. Pretty nice.

Roof Top Rigid Foam - Taking Efficiency Through The Roof

Roof Top Rigid Foam - Taking Efficiency Through The Roof

Over the last year I've really been working on how to get my houses to the next level of greater energy efficiency and this video will show you my latest secret. We're laying down a thick layer of rigid ISO foam boards on top of the roof.

Blower Door Testing Prior To Remodeling

Blower Door Testing Prior To Remodeling

Blower Door testing is a way to measure how "tightly" your house was built. You're heard me preach about Build Tight, Ventilate Right. Well, this is the way we ensure that we've Built Tight. This essential test is required if we have any hope to tighten the building envelope while remodeling. In this video you'll see how it's performed and what can be learned. -Matt Risinger

Make Up Air For Commercial Exhaust Fans in Homes

Make Up Air For Commercial Exhaust Fans in Homes

My clients specified a huge gas commercial range with a high CFM exhaust fan. I was worried that this fan wouldn't exhaust properly with a fully spray foamed tight shell. In this video I'll show you how we provided make-up air so that the exhaust fan would have enough air coming in to exhaust.

Reclaimed Pine Boards Milled Onsite Into Flooring

Reclaimed Pine Boards Milled Onsite Into Flooring

In this video my finish carpenter uses a table saw and router table to mill some reclaimed pine boards into hardwood flooring.



Recent comments


Re: Cheap Housewrap Challenge - Should I pay for a premium product?

Mike,
It's not a perfect test for sure, but it does make me suspect to the long term bulk water hold out of pin-punched materials. I'm noodling some ideas for another long term test with nail holes. Matt

Re: Cheap Trick - Recessed Dryer Box Model 425 Review

@ejkessler: I would look into the MAS-1 from Field Controls. That's a great unit. Another option might be a manual solution like a 4" hole in your Laundry wall with a damper you open for the hour your dryer is going. Close your laundry door and you've got a simple solution. I think Panasonic makes a "Passive Inlet" fresh air damper too, but that's a fancy version of a 4" duct with a guillotine style open/closer. Best to you, Matt

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

@Sneaky: I'm not familiar anyone in Nashville. But, I'd ask around to see if a hardwood floor installer has done this. I've done floor safes in hardwoods that were pretty obscure. Or, look for a high end finish carpenter and he will likely have done one or would LOVE to do one! Best, Matt Risinger

Re: Ductless Minisplits for DIYers

Wow, This is really cool! One of these units is a perfect for for anyone planning to use a garage for a workshop or part-time workout room. I could also see a DIY detached home office using one of these. I hope they sell a TON (no pun intended) of these units. I'd love to see mini-split systems become common in American households. The inverter driven compressor will make these super energy efficient and the fact that these are designed for a non-pro install is amazing. Kudos to Friedrich.
Matt Risinger

Re: Revolutionary New HVAC Equipment - A Split Dehumidifier!

@ejkessler : ERV vs HRV is a frequent question for people in the middle 1/3rd of America like you. North of you is all HRV country, South is all ERV. You probably could go either way. Remember that an ERV is not dehumidifying your inside air. It's simply rejecting SOME of the incoming moisture from the air stream coming from outside. If you are dealing with humidity issues the stand alone Dehum is the way to go. Martin Holiday has a great article on GBA about this topic.
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/hrv-or-erv
Regarding the heat pump water heater and the XT105 Dehum, I think those would work well together in your basement. The Dehum will produce "some" heat and the HPWH will product some cool air when running. Depending on the model you can get 1/3-3/4 Ton of AC when it's making hot water, but remember that it's going to run mainly after hot water events like showers/baths/laundry/etc.
Hope this helps, Matt

Re: Revolutionary New HVAC Equipment - A Split Dehumidifier!

@humperdink: I see no reason why this SD-12 would have any problems running below 50 outside. You might call them to verify before purchase, but I don't see why it would have a problem at that outdoor temp. Regarding your sound question, yes these units when running do make noise. The SD-12 is much quieter because the compressor is outside so it's mainly fan noise. The other all-in-one units like the XT105 make more noise as the compressor/condensor is all in one package. Debra Judge Silber did a great "How it Works" article in this months' issue that shows the inner workings of the Ultra-Aire XT105. Here's the link http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-to/departments/how-it-works/dehumidifiers.aspx
I've been putting Dehums in my houses for about 4 years now and I've yet to get a noise complaint. Best, Matt

Re: Revolutionary New HVAC Equipment - A Split Dehumidifier!

@rickrobson: I'm not sure I've got much advice on your current system. I'm not a GSHP expert. I would however tell you that a stand-alone application for a Dehumidifier would work very well. The Ultra-Aire SD12 or the all-in-one Dehums like the XT105 are pretty easy to install in a stand-alone duct fashion. One return grille, and one supply and you can easily dehumidify the whole house. That might be the simplest installation for your house. Best, Matt Risinger

Re: Revolutionary New HVAC Equipment - A Split Dehumidifier!

@looselumber: I've never used a high velocity HVAC system before. I'm not sure about integration. These Ultra-Aire dehums and specifically the SD-12 are pretty simple to duct as a stand-alone system however. You just need a good return and supply grille. Humidity inside a house is generally pretty even (unlike temperature) so one location ducting for the Dehum and you'll be able to handle the whole house easily. Hope that helps. Best, Matt

Re: Revolutionary New HVAC Equipment - A Split Dehumidifier!

@ejkessler: Dang, great questions. First, it sounds like a cool house you are building. Under 2ACH50 is a great goal for air tightness. My initial recommendation would be to run your HRV separate from your HVAC system (go VRF!). Your HVAC+D system is easier to run as a system with the filtration and the Ultra-Aire Dehum in line. Your climate is a bit on the border with needing the cooling benefit of the SD-12. You might be better served with an XT105 as the waste heat inside your conditioned space may not be as big of a deal. That being said I lived outside of DC for seven years and I remember summers being HOT and HUMID! Austin Summers are HOT but not as humid, it's the spring/fall that's a bear hear. 90 degrees outside and 85% RH isn't much fun.
I hope this helps.
Matt

Re: Revolutionary New HVAC Equipment - A Split Dehumidifier!

@ChuckB: This is the only split degum I know of in the marketplace. Ultra-Aire is the leader in Dehum's for residential use and this new SD-12 is unique out there. I'm excited to get a few installed so I can review them further. It's really first-stage cooling as well as dehumidification. Come visit anytime Chuck! It's going to be 70 today in Austin...
Best, Matt

Re: Sticky House Wrap? - Delta Vent SA Review

@oreganocrk: Yes this system eliminates the need to tape the plywood seams. This whole system is like a BIG roll of tape for the whole house! That does help offset the cost. Good question Chuck. Best, Matt

Re: Oil vs Latex Paint for Millwork (Ben Moore Aura Review)

@RichieRich: The can has a SW label because it's a color match to SW. BM does have a great color selection but I find most Interior Designers in Austin use the SW fan deck. Thanks for all the great comments guys and advice on brushing. Best, Matt

Re: Hardware Geek - Accurate Pocket Door Hardware Review

Thanks Matt! These doors in the pictures are standard 1 3/8" thick doors. Do your best to convince your clients on the extra for this hardware. In my experience, I've always had clients be happy about extra money spent on hardware upgrade. I've had clients regret extra money spent on fancy lighting or controls, and I've had clients be upset that they didn't upgrade hardware, but solid smooth hardware is always a winner!
Best, Matt

Re: Oil vs Latex Paint for Millwork (Ben Moore Aura Review)

@JSSL: Good question. I would assume it would work well with a brush too. Do you often sand between coats when brushing? My concern with brushing it would be having the finish "lay down". In my custom homes I always spray the millwork, but in past remodels on my own home I've used Floetrol and had good success. I'm not sure the extra cost is worth it if you're using brush only. Any Pro Painters reading this that care to comment based on your experience?
Matt

Re: Cheap Trick - Recessed Dryer Box Model 425 Review

@PKB: Nice work! Way to take the ball and do it right! I love it! Matt

Re: Cheap Trick - Recessed Dryer Box Model 425 Review

@noalarms The plywood is there as an inside shear wall as detailed from the engineer. That's unusual to see inside a house. Best, Matt

Re: Siga Wigluv - Air Sealing Tape Review

@ptermin: I've not used Zip yet, but I would be sure to detail the taped joints exactly as specified by the manufacturer and do a thorough inspection prior to moving on to cover. I would also highly recommend an air gap behind your cladding in front of the Zip (rain screen). I think Ice/Water at the rim joist is a great idea for air & water infiltration of this notoriously leaky area of a house. Let me know what you think of the insulated Zip.
Best, Matt

Re: Siga Wigluv - Air Sealing Tape Review

@ArmandM: I like to use Pressure Treated plywood for the bottom 2' of my sheathing. In my years of remodeling almost all the rot on exterior walls happens in this zone, so this is my belt/suspenders method to ensure durability of the wall. OSB doesn't react well over time to the presence of moisture. The Carlisle CCW 705 is a 40 mil product that I run over the foundation and up the wall a foot. This helps protect the bottom of the sheathing and gives a nice lap at the bottom of my Tyvek weather barrier. I did a video on this method you can see here.
http://youtu.be/H4eUGi4uWgM

Best, Matt

Re: Siga Wigluv - Air Sealing Tape Review

@mjncad: I wish I built there too! Just Austin, TX for the foreseeable future. Best, Matt

Re: Cheap Trick - Recessed Dryer Box Model 425 Review

@ sethmeisterg : It's hard to say exactly, a retrofit could be very easy and straightforward. On the other hand, if your dry sits on an exterior wall it's more difficult as you'll need to use some rigid foam behind the Dryer Box and do some creative insulating. You might also verify your stud spacing in that bay you intend to install the box to ensure you have the room to recess this. It works best on an interior non-insulated wall. Good luck. Matt

Re: CREE's New Linear LED Fixture Review SL24 & SL40

@pernambuco and @Lightsourceon:
They are selling these at selected Home Depots now, but only for in-store purchase. Search their site for "Cree 40 in. LED Surface Linear Fixture" .
$139 for the 40" model

Re: Cheap Trick - Recessed Dryer Box Model 425 Review

@edgarbrian: I checked out that link. Looks like a good idea, but you'll need the right client to be willing to reset it each time they do a load. Here's a link to the valve I like to use.
http://amzn.to/1eomkZG
and the braided stainless hoses
http://amzn.to/1alqRcx

Re: Cheap Trick - Recessed Dryer Box Model 425 Review

@edgarbrian: Thanks! I'll check out that auto valve. I typically use a combined hot/cold shut off valve that kills both with one down stroke. That way a client can kill both valves when going out of town easily. Your idea sounds even better! Don't forget the braided stainless hoses too. Best, Matt

Re: CREE's New Linear LED Fixture Review SL24 & SL40

@Pru_Jr: Great info, I didn't realize the starter was the issue with my circular fluorescent fixtures. That's a pretty standard fixture for Texas builders in Laundries and closets. Great info. Best, Matt Risinger

Re: Advanced vs Traditional Framing

@Stepford: The house I shot this video on was completed 9 months ago and after a visit recently the drywall looked fantastic. I think your fears about Advanced Framing are common among builders but aren't founded in my experience. I built this house for a local architect with a modest budget and we are proud of the results.

@TLM80209: Thanks for the help on this one! Sounds like you've had some good experience with Advanced Framing. Appreciate your comments. Best, Matt

Re: Hidden Giant Medicine Cabinet

@Dreamcatcher and HWG: Thanks guys! Appreciate your comments, and agreed that the detail work and interesting/different designs make the job fun.

Good comments guys about the mirrors being deep and it being nice to have a secondary fixed mirror. If you are designing one of these I think those are valid comments.
Best, Matt Risinger

Re: The "Lexus" HVAC system - Variable Refrigerant Flow Technology

WOW! That's a lot of watch comments on a blog post about HVAC systems. Anyone else find this odd?

Re: Tankless vs Tank vs HPWH - 10 Year Costs Estimates - Large Custom Home

@cornwalker: Good points. I agree that 2 tankless units could have been utilized in the garage but that eliminated the benefits on short runs. In my experience the 199k BTU burners on Tankless units require annual flushes for areas of hard water. I realize there are many other options, but I wanted to give some thought to how a large house would be serviced with these three choices. Thanks for commenting. Matt

Re: Tankless vs Tank vs HPWH - 10 Year Costs Estimates - Large Custom Home

@yeltdogt: If your house is truly a weekend house and you are only using it 4-6 days a month then you are probably best served with an inexpensive electric tank heater. I would put a switch on a prominent wall then flip it on when you arrive, and off when you leave. Your payback on anything else is really not there. The only reason to go Propane Tank would be to use it for supplemental heat, OR because of high demand with multiple guest and a full house. I've got an Architect friend who loves the Polaris for running to a Hydronic furnace as a heat source. You could potentially do that with the 100k BTU AO Smith Vertex too. They have taps on the side of the tank for this purpose. I would keep it simple and use an electric tank if it were me. When/if you move there full time you can switch to another more efficient option. Best, Matt

Re: Nest Review - Builder Perspective

@dave8976: Thanks for commenting, I never thought about how this could work for a rental property. That really makes sense especially for landlords who are paying the electric bill. I'll bet this is a whole marketing direction that Nest hasn't considered.

@austin_newbie: I looked at the website for Eversense 2.0. Looks pretty promising. Best, Matt

Re: Best Practices: Methods for Installing Brick or Stone Veneer

@Rozz. You want to detail your drainage layer per the Manufacturer's rec's. In this case it's DuPont Tyvek Drainwrap with Dupont Flexwrap at the window sills and Dupont Straightflash around the head/jambs of the window flanges. Then, when you apply this rainscreen product you simply cut it flush to the windows on all sides. It's not acting as a weather barrier, it's simply creating an air gap to allow water to drain out of the assembly.

@skoeber: Good question. This is running in the $.50-.75 per sq foot range. Pretty affordable considering this might add about 5% to the price of the rock installed.

Re: A Conversation with Tedd Benson About the Road from Fine Carpenter to Fine Businessman

Excellent article! I love how Ted talks about a house needing beauty in order to be durable. Ugly houses are not cared for and ultimately don't last because no one cares for them. I'd be willing to bet these timber framed beauties last 300-400-500 years simply because they are unique and people will always resonate with the beauty of exposed wood structure. Thanks for sharing. Matt Risinger

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

@thedoktor: I believe that the house wrap on top of the sheathing is the EASIEST way to detail the waterproofing correctly. I like the crinkly Drainwrap from DuPont and then I always put my foam on top of that. I did a blog post a few weeks ago showing some of the deep flashings I'll use around windows to give the depth for the foam, rain screen, and siding.
Texas is general seems like it's cranking into high gear in 2013. I think we're in for some roller coaster issues with shortages of labor/materials and rising pricing. Yes the 2012 IECC is going to force some change in our industry. Hopefully it'll drive people to Fine Homebuilding to learn how to do things correctly!
Best,
Matt Risinger

Re: Drying Wet Framing Lumber

@rkammeraad: That mobile furnace is from Dri-Eaz and it puts out 85,000BTU of dry heat. The model in the picture is discontinued. The replacement is called the "Dragon X2" and it's a 100,000BTU model, mounted on a trailer! http://amzn.to/Wj6KqC
Thanks for commenting, Matt

Re: Airtight Wall and Roof Sheathing

Martin, Great post! I've been noodling the idea of using Huber Zip because of the airtightness, but I've not done it because I'm concerned about long term degradation & bulk water issues. His quote about "I don't use the Huber Zip System without a housewrap" makes me think I'm not the only one with this concern. Seems like a bulletproof system with Zip for airtightness then Tyvek Drainwrap for bulk water, then Exterior Rigid foam. That's basically Joe Lstiburek's "Perfect Wall". What's your take?

Re: What Happens if your Framing Gets Rained on? (Learn to use a Moisture Meter)

See the follow up post to this about drying wet framing here:
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/27129/drying-wet-framing-lumber
Thanks, Matt

Re: Drying Wet Framing Lumber

See the part 1 of this post here. http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/26842/what-happens-if-your-framing-gets-rained-on-learn-to-use-a-moisture-meter

Re: Insulating an Advanced-Framed House - A Hybrid Approach

@Daniel G: Super Tragic story, I'm so sorry to hear about your friends house. Yes, foam is not without danger. This is a good reminder to use a trained & certified installer. I get bid solicitations all the time from new/random foam installers and I'm not fooled by a low bid. I only solicit foam bids from companies I trust, have been in business for a long time, and are certified installers. Look for two certifications. #1 The manufacturer of the foam they're spraying #2 http://www.spraypolyurethane.org These guys are an industry group that trains & certifies.
I believe the rewards are worth the risk but that's a choice every client & builder needs to make an informed decision about. The riskiest thing we do every day is drive a car, when we buy our cars we research the model, check the crash ratings and eventually most of us decide the reward of driving is worth the risk.
Thanks for the reminder on this important topic. Best, Matt Risinger

Re: What Happens if your Framing Gets Rained on? (Learn to use a Moisture Meter)

@user-214653: Yes, many roofs get put on wet and with a traditional vented attic they will dry to the bottom and be perfectly fine. What I'm mainly talking about here is framing that will be buried on both sides by other construction materials. Remember that our houses have less and less solid wood that can absorb water and release it. OSB and other "was wood" products don't take a wetting very well. They either have so much glue that they don't absorb water, or if they do absorb it, they blow up. Houses from the 1940's and earlier had solid framing lumber, solid 1x sheathing, solid 1x decking, etc. I've heard Joe Lstiburek say that a typical pre-1950's house could absorb 50+ gallons of water and that a new house today can soak up less than 10 gallons. I'm digressing, but the main point of this post is that framing that will be buried needs to dry to lower moisture % so future problems in finishes can be avoided. Thanks for the comments everyone. Best, Matt

Re: What Happens if your Framing Gets Rained on? (Learn to use a Moisture Meter)

@eastcliffe: Great examples of issues that come from wet houses. In general we're not talking about structural failures but cosmetic issues that can be avoided. On the other hand, if you have saturated lumber with Moisture contents above 19-20% rot can happen. It takes a LONG time for a 2x4 buried in an exterior wall to dry from a saturated state and rot can happen even in a new house.

Re: What Happens if your Framing Gets Rained on? (Learn to use a Moisture Meter)

@BGodfrey: I actually built houses in Portland, OR for three years and learned a TON about this subject while living there. This technique of checking for moisture with a meter and drying prior to SR is VITALLY important for your climate. I saw a ton of rot in 1-2 year old homes from houses that were framed wet and moved right to sheetrock. It's not easy for a house to dry when the studs are wet and Sheetrock is on one side of the wall and a pin punched weather barrier is on the other. Add to that MDF that's painted with Oil based paints and everything is caulked tight. Disaster can ensue.

@rgunth: Same rules go for OSB, except saturated OSB has a hard time drying. Once it "poofs" out it's time to replace it. Same for wet MDF. This is one reason I like sheathing my houses with a base course of PT Plywood 2" around the bottom course of sheathing then going up from there with OSB (or plywood if the budget can take it). The plywood is much more forgiving with moisture.

Re: What Happens if your Framing Gets Rained on? (Learn to use a Moisture Meter)

@Olitch: Thanks for the complements and the plug for my video blog! I grew up as a fan of This Old House and my video blog is my way to pretend to host TOH. I've been blessed with some great Clients & Architects who have provided interesting work and it's fun to share. Best, Matt

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

@TheTimberTailer: Thanks! These doors are really fun for my whole team to build and it's fun to show off our craftsmanship. Be sure to look up St Louis Designs, killer hardware and not easy to find! Best, Matt

@HobbesJourney: The Powder Room under the stairs is all clad in MDF panels that were fitted then painted at my cabinet makers shop with an Automotive finish. That was really tricky because it's all glossy and couldn't be touched up easily . Next time I do that design I'll figure out how to site paint it. Best, Matt

Re: Insulating an Advanced-Framed House - A Hybrid Approach

@Hicks273: Cost was the main driver on this. With 2x6 advanced framed walls it's less expensive to get a bigger R-value with BIBS than with Open Cell foam. But, as you saw in the video I really believe there is no substitute for foam in a few key locations. That garage ceiling with living space above is nearly impossible to insulate well without using foam. The air sealing of the foam is also super important in a house with an attached garage. The common walls really need foam to seal to the highest possible level of air tightness. Thanks for commenting, Matt

Re: "I can't install this" - Poka-Yoke on the job site

@rw7810: Those are corrugated plastic furring strips, similar to the ones made by CorAVent. There's a plastic supplier in Austin that sells 4x8 sheets of the material and we rip it to the sizes we need. It ends up being a nice savings over a commercial product. On the starter course we wrap an aluminum bug screen over the bottom. Works great, no rot, great ventilation, and we can custom size based on the material getting attached. Matt Risinger

Re: Douglas Fir Stained Siding - How To Details For Enduring Beauty

@DanMorrison. Thanks!
@linzhanfh. What? Dang robots, isn't there anything FHB can do about these posts? No one on this forum is buying a Guucci bag.

Re: Building A Modern Craftsman Staircase

@7thLakeCarpentry. Yes, Amen.
@CarolinaNomad. No holes. We tilted the treads into the routed stringer on the right and ran those slots to have room to squeeze out extra PL400 without it oozing out the top.

Re: "I can't install this" - Poka-Yoke on the job site

@Gough & 7thLakeCarpentry: I think a lot of these issues start with the Builders that are bidding multiple subs looking for the lowest price. You get what you pay for, and finding the cheapest trade to work on your job will result in some sacrifice somewhere. Hunger wins over Integrity every time. If there is little or no profit on the job then you have little incentive to waive the "stop" flag. -Matt Risinger

Re: Douglas Fir Stained Siding - How To Details For Enduring Beauty

@tomgold: This video was shot 1 year after completion and I didn't see any insects. But, with that 3/8" space between boards it could be a concern. Here in Texas it's usually wasps or mud daubers. Both are easy to eradicate and they both come regardless of space behind the siding or not. Best, Matt Risinger

Re: Searching for Clues to Wet Sheathing

Hey Scott, Great post! I've been using Tyvek successfully for 10 years and you're right it's ALL about the install. I've seen many, many houses under construction using Tyvek (and other house wraps) with incredibly poor install details. Follow their (Tyvek's) excellent install directions, use their full system, including sill pans for your windows using Flexwrap, and Straightflash Butyl based window flashing tape and you set your houses up for a weather tight exterior for the next 75-100-125+ years. Matt Risinger

Re: Stealth Door With Heavy-Duty Hidden Hinges

@hardwareguy: Excellent information, thanks for sharing. I need you on my supplier list! Good hardware is what I dream about at night... Matt Risinger

Re: HVAC Ducting: Rigid Metal vs. Flex

@cutting_edge_wood_work. Agreed that most customers don't want to pay for the upgrade to flex. I've done two things for this dilemma. #1 Don't give them the choice. That's what most people do with flex duct. I do the same thing with Rigid. I'm the expert that my clients are trusting to build them an excellent house at a price they can afford. In my opinion, this is the ONLY way to build a quality house. #2 Give them the flex price, but be sure to sell the upgrade & STRONGLY recommend they do the upgrade. This method is less successful I think because rigid metal is a tough sell to an uneducated non-building professional. But, this will keep your budgets more competitive with the builders who aren't even bringing this option up with clients. If you're in a competitive bid situation this is your opportunity to show your clients a low price to compete but also show off your expertise. #1 is the way to go, but I understand about feeding your family so maybe #2 has a place.

Re: HVAC Ducting: Rigid Metal vs. Flex

@renosteinke: Well, not EVERY hvac guy right? Otherwise we'd be seeing a lot more rigid metal out there. Not sure of your geographic location but here in Texas it's 99.9% flex in production homes and 98.9% flex in custom homes. Thanks for commenting, Matt

Re: HVAC Ducting: Rigid Metal vs. Flex

@renosteinke: Well, not EVERY hvac guy right? Otherwise we'd be seeing a lot more rigid metal out there. Not sure of your geographic location but here in Texas it's 99.9% flex in production homes and 98.9% flex in custom homes. Thanks for commenting, Matt

Re: Window Flashing - New-Construction Best-Practice Tyvek Method

Let me see if I can address some of the comments/questions above.
@Dreamcatcher: I misspoke, not every window will leak. Some windows may leak would be more accurate. But, that doesn't change my assertion that windows need to be installed with a sill pan so that the 1 out of every X windows that leaks over the next 50+ years of that windows life won't cause a building failure. When I remodeled my 1920's house a few years ago in Portland, OR I found that nearly every window had signs of leakage. But, with no insulation in the walls the house dried out. That house had lots of moisture holding capacity with "real" lumber and plaster (and shiplap sheathing and cedar shingles). Houses we build today have much less moisture holding capacity and way less chance to dry if they do get wet in the walls.
@WallaWallaBuilder: The sills on these windows have a small slope in the framing, then we use backer rod and caulk at the sill and 6" up the jambs. We finish with low expansion spray foam to ensure a tight air barrier.
Thanks for the comments, I appreciate that we all care about the final durability of our houses and we can have a good discussion about "Best Practice". -Matt Risinger

Re: Air Sealing with Owens Corning's new Energy Complete system

@ADupuis: Thanks for the comments. Good question on the settlement, my honest answer is I'm not 100% sure. It's packed in there so tightly I can't imagine it settling but I would need to ask my OC rep about testing. I would expect that they've done testing on that issue. Regarding the exterior rigid foam, I would consult the Builders Guide book for your climate by Joe Lstriburek. This method works for my Hot/Humid climate but I'm not sure if this is right for your climate. Remember that I'm in a Air Conditioning dominated climate. Thanks! Matt Risinger

Re: Stealth Door With Heavy-Duty Hidden Hinges

Thanks for all the comments guys! One of my favorite parts about being a builder is working with craftsmen who enjoy what they do AND the satisfaction of a home well built. I believe it's my duty as a builder to serve my clients like I would serve my Lord. -Matt Risinger

Re: Flashing for Hose Bibs - QuickFlash Review

@MikeGuertin: Yes they are hard to find. When I worked in the Pacific NorthWest they were stocked at my local lumberyard. Now that I'm in Austin, TX I order mine online. My usual source is efi.org. Call them for "builder" pricing rather than ordering online. Great company with lots of hard to find products for high performance building. Appreciate the comments. Matt Risinger

Re: Radiant Barriers for Exterior Walls

@MikeGuertin: I would agree with you on 99% of what you said. In this case we had some unshaded South & West facing walls and we had already done the "low hanging fruit". We used 3/4" rigid exterior foam and full depth spray foam inside the walls. It was not a huge expense to add it to these walls and we wanted to build the most efficient house we could within the budget parameters. Bottom line for me, take care of the other essentials first but if you've covered all your bases this radiant barrier is the icing on the energy saving cake. Matt Risinger

Re: Roof Top Rigid Foam - Taking Efficiency Through The Roof

@DanMorrison: Thanks for catching that answer for me on the dew point. The inside of the house will get 5.5" of open cell spray foam which is a great air barrier & a total fill insulation so I've not had any condensation issues with this type of assembly over the years I've been building this way.
@DArcyM: This may seem like a small R factor but it's not all about R values here in the hot/humid south. We're most concerned about heat gain on 100 degree days and by moving the thermal envelope to the outside of the roofline I've moved all my HVAC equipment into the "conditioned" attic. My attics are usually 5-7 degrees hotter than the house on a typical July day. Compare this to most Austin attics that are vented and have HVAC equipment and R-6 ducts running through a 130 degree attic space. This house had a Manual J showing 800 sf per ton of cooling so it's going to be a very efficient little house. -Matt Risinger

Re: Blower Door Testing Prior To Remodeling

@MikeGuertin: Good point Mike! In this case, the clients had moved out prior to this test and all the gas appliances were outside of the house envelope. The gas furnaces & gas water heaters were all in the attic so there was not chance of backdrafting. Also, good point about BPI certification. -Matt Risinger

Re: Reclaimed Pine Boards Milled Onsite Into Flooring

@mgaudet: This is a 50's slab house we remodeled so we laid visqueen on the slab, then shot 3/4" CDX down. Next was a layer of 15lb felt and this floor was nailed (and some trim head face screws) down.

@johnmocha: So for the nail holes we filled them with black epoxy then sanded and finished the entire floor with an oil based poly for the ambering. In regards to glueing up the floor strips, I'm not sure what to tell you, sorry.

@nvman: This was a total house remodel so no clients in the house. We covered the vents and went to town. Lots of shop vac work when we were done but the rains outside didn't affect us! Also, no relief kerfs underneith. It's only been down and finished for 6 weeks but so far so good. We did a double vapor barrier underneith the floor, hoping for the best on that...