Journal of Poor Homebuilding

Post image for The Worst House Ever Audited (Was Built in 2008) Part 3

    To recap: Last post I started reviewing possibly the worst house I ever audited. The house had built in 2008, which hit one of my pet peeves: That new automatically means good. But to reiterate a buddy’s favorite saying, “a house built to code is the worst house you’re legally allowed to build.” […]

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Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding – Blobs of Cellulose Mold

      This was a first. I’ve never seen dense pack cellulose in a basement. The sills had been netted and packed with cellulose. The netting and been pulled down in some places but the packed cellulose remained. This may not have been a problem if not for the surrounding swamp. The house had […]

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Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.16 – More Giant Chimney Holes

    I posted an example before of the massive chimney hole that lives in many northern homes. This one is a little different. The previous post was of a gable end chimney that had been framed in when a previous homeowner built a garage and great room over the garage. This is a more […]

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Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.15 – VENT ALL THE GARAGES!

      Image from Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and A Half. She is wildly hilarious. Go read it. This is another classic. I was going to write ‘Maine classic’ but really this found everywhere in new construction with attached garages. I’ve written other posts about the challenges of insulating a finished room over a […]

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Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.14 – Got Wood?

by Erik North on September 1, 2012

Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.14 – Got Wood?

    I’ve written before that Maine is known for a lot of things: Lobster, autumn foliage, when the spring rains turn the state into a county mud derby. In fact our whole tourist industry is based on the idea that you’ll come to see the foliage, eat some lobster rolls and maybe get stuck […]

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Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.13 – Pop Quiz, Re-Ducts

    So, what was this homeowner trying to do? It was a classic attempt to move some heat into an otherwise unheated part of the house. There are, however, two minor issues. One, there was no positive mechanical pressure moving the air along and as we all know, heated air will always move horizontally […]

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Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.13 – Pop Quiz, Hot Shot

    I’ll reveal this in a couple days but can you guess what this homeowner was trying to do with this ducting?    

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Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.12 – The One That Got Away

    While going through the archived photos, I had a few specifically in mind. Some old boilers, specific construction issues I’d seen, etc. But one image I keenly wanted was from a Westbrook turn of the century old-style colonial. It was one of my first audits for the old Maine State Housing HELP loan […]

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Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.11 – Heat Loss Is Blowing In The Wind

    I’ve talked a bunch about wind washing and how it affects insulation and comfort. This infrared shot is of a house with a vented attic during heavy, gusting winds. The cold air is blasting right into the attic and wall framing. In a nutshell, Maine and most of the East Coast has…well, a […]

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Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.10 – Release The Kraken!

    This image comes from John Poole of A Preservationist’s Technical Notebook via Allison Bailes over at Energy Vanguard. It’s a well traveled picture. We don’t have air ducting as often in Maine as other sections of the country. Less need for air conditioning means less need for ducting for air conditioning. These installations […]

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