Journal of Poor Homebuilding

Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.9 – Electrician Meet Air Barrier

    I have love for anyone who throws on a tool belt for a living but just like I don’t REALLY know electrical, this contractor didn’t quite get the whole air barrier thing. This is an infrared shot from inside the house’s living room. The electrician had tied in some garage electrical to the […]

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Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.8 – The Case of The Missing Insulation

    A classic example of, hey, just not insulating a few wall bays. The house had formerly been uninsulated. The owner hired an low bid insulation contractor who blew in and out in two days. While we can’t speak to whether the cellulose is uniformly dense without tearing out some walls, we can sure […]

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Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.7

by Erik North on June 25, 2012

Journal of Poor Home Building

    Dryer vents…you can’t point them just ANYWHERE. The surrounding loose fiberglass had been soaked and dried repeatedly over the years and had congealed into solid matts. The patch of moisture damage fiberglass was about a yard across. The roof sheathing overhead showed loads of evidence of moisture condensation – staining, small amounts of […]

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Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.6

by Erik North on June 15, 2012

Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.6

    *Sigh* Recessed lights…so sleek and discreet. So modern and sometimes, so lousy. This is one of a string of recessed lights in a ranch house. They were all of the same flavor: Insulation contact but unsealed, letting air flow through unimpeded. This particular recessed light was about two feet from the vented soffit, […]

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Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.5

by Erik North on June 8, 2012

Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.5

    Ohh, attic hatches…one of the most common symptoms of a problematic attic hatch is dirt and dust getting caught in the fiberglass insulation surrounding it. As some auditors say, as an insulation, fiberglass is an excellent air filer. This photo shows the fiberglass surrounding an unsealed and uninsulated attic hatch. Years of excessive […]

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Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.4

by Erik North on May 25, 2012

Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.4

    All too common bathroom and home problem in cold climates. The infrared picture shows where the poorly laid fiberglass is causing extreme dips in ceiling surface temperature. The temperature is dipping below the dew point, causing bathroom moisture to condense and spurring some surface mold growth. Yummy! Related links: What is Humidity? What […]

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Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.3

by Erik North on May 19, 2012

Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.3

    Week three…this is a New England classic. So many homes in the northern US predate oil and gas heating and have (or had) wood heating. Chimneys were basically a giant, centrally located thermal mass that helped warm the building. We’ve seen some of the problems with the framing around the chimney. Here’s a […]

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Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.2

by Erik North on May 12, 2012

Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.2

    Week two…this isn’t poor homebuilding so much as former best practices that didn’t turn out. Asbestos at one time was a miracle substance. Great insulator, nearly indestructible on a residential scale and fire impervious. I mean, stone fibers don’t exactly light with a matchstick. Here’s the photo. From an energy history standpoint, this […]

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Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.1

by Erik North on May 4, 2012

Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.1

    After publishing my ‘Cool Pics’ post last week, a reader and fellow efficiency buff, Mr. Tightwatt pointed out that these aren’t ‘cool pics’ so much as problematic ones. And he’s right; no matter how geeked out I get over house problems and solutions, they remain problems. So I’ve renamed the series, the Journal […]

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New Feature – Cool Pics

by Erik North on April 25, 2012

Post image for New Feature – Cool Pics

  In putting together some info this weekend for an Earth Day conference event, I realized…I have a LOT of photos. So I’ll be posting cool photos that illustrate real world examples from audits of things I’ve written about here. And first up is a photo that isn’t even mine. But I got it today […]

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