Building Performance

Air Leaks From Your Home to Your Attic Need to Be Sealed

If a house has an attic, there needs to be an air barrier that keeps the attic space separate from the rest of the building. Read more

What You Need to Know About Attic Kneewalls

Building a kneewall probably seems simple enough to those who aren't building performance geeks, but it can drive experts nuts. If you want your building enclosure to perform well, you need to start with good design details—especially for kneewalls. Read more

The "Perfect Wall" Concept

Did you know that you can build a wall with a life cycle of 500 years? It's all about layers and putting them in the correct order. Texas home builder Matt Risinger writes about the importance of putting layers in the right order to build a better—and longer lasting—wall. Read more

Is Tyvek Worth the Price?

Housewraps may look the same on a shelf at a home improvement store, but their prices often read otherwise. Do you really get more when you pay more? Texas home builder Matt Risinger says yes, and shows why with a simple test. Read more

Get Smart: Home Tech Integration and the Contractor Get Smart: Home Tech Integration and the Contractor

Home technology integration is easier than you think—as long as you start the planning process early Read more

How to Treat Mold

Mold is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Here's what the experts at THIS OLD HOUSE suggest homeowners do when they discover it. Read more

HVAC for a ‘Pretty Good House’

Homeowner Matt Mesa is looking to build a "pretty good house"--a home with above-code levels of insulation, but falling short of the energy performance or airtightness requirements of the Passivhaus standard. Here's what green building experts advised. Read more

Why R-value Math Doesn't Always Add Up

Adding up the R-Value of insulation combinations may seem simple enough, but the basic math may not add up properly in reality. In this article, building science experts battle it out over whether it's best to stick to the codes or get creative. Read more

Help Your Clients Prepare for Wildfire Season

California and a few other Western states are bracing for an intense wildfire season that is expected to start earlier than normal. This means that its time to help clients start thinking about protecting their homes. The people who can help the most? Roofers, deck builders, and remodelers. Read more

The Difference Between Air Barriers, Vapor Barriers, and Drainage Planes

There's widespread confusion about the roles of the materials used in construction. It's important that know when and how to use the different materials--and especially to know when to not use the term "vapor barrier." Read more

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