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Old 11-05-2008, 12:49 PM   #16
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Drywall alternative(s)


bjbatlanta (and all) - no worries here - not offended by anything in this thread - appreciate the honest feedback - you make good points - which is why i post here..

if you quote your customers on the different options, and include your honest advice to go along with it, that's the best anyone can ask for.

i asked the question earlier about t&g over drywall on a ceiling - knowing it's more expensive - just not sure if it had to be in addition to drywall or a substitute (thanks bjb for the reply)

Marvin Gardens - would like to know (just a bit) more about your solar hot water - I don't have the $ to spec out solar electric (my neighbor has a nice setup that supplies more than enough juice for his home - but from what I gather a huge investment). Long term gain, but the budget is today's reality for me. Is there such a thing as a decent "home grown" solar hot water system that I can look at for a reasonable investment in $ and time? Or am I opening another can of worms here..?

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Old 11-05-2008, 01:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by rtoni View Post
bjbatlanta (and all) - no worries here - not offended by anything in this thread - appreciate the honest feedback - you make good points - which is why i post here..

if you quote your customers on the different options, and include your honest advice to go along with it, that's the best anyone can ask for.

i asked the question earlier about t&g over drywall on a ceiling - knowing it's more expensive - just not sure if it had to be in addition to drywall or a substitute (thanks bjb for the reply)

Marvin Gardens - would like to know (just a bit) more about your solar hot water - I don't have the $ to spec out solar electric (my neighbor has a nice setup that supplies more than enough juice for his home - but from what I gather a huge investment). Long term gain, but the budget is today's reality for me. Is there such a thing as a decent "home grown" solar hot water system that I can look at for a reasonable investment in $ and time? Or am I opening another can of worms here..?
Environmental control is takes the vast percentage of energy dollars. Heat in the winter, cool in the summer, water heated for bathing, cloths and dishes. This consumes at least 70% of the energy costs of most homes.

I buy all my sruff used on craigslist.

Just bought a complete solar how water system with 3 panels (the good copper ones), an 82 gallon heat exchanger, a pump, a differential temperature controller, and lots of copper pipe for...are you ready for this....$100. Yes I had to go up on the roof and cut the stuff off and pull out the pipes. It took me a day to do it.

Tomorrow I am picking up 2 of the really heavy solar panels that are the 4x10's that are the Cadillac of the industry for $100 (for both panels). These are copper with aluminum heat fins and really put out the heat.

My wind generator was $50 and all it needed was a fuse. It is a 1000 watt unit. The guy didn't want to mess with it and the company wanted $200 to come out for a service call. I got the generator and all the stuff to put it on the pole. Yes I had to take it all down and that took me a day to get it all out.

My solar panels were about $1.50 per watt. All used and on craigslist. Average price new is about $4-$5.50 per watt. Most of these were just old motor home panels or rejects from the factory that didn't put out the advertized wattage.

I just sit and wait. I watch CL all day long when I am not working. Even when I am working I look at CL during breaks and lunch. I just so a search for "solar". Some times I have to move fast to get this stuff. Other times I just wait as I know they will get more desparate to sell the stuff. Many times I just email them with and offer in case they can't sell them for what they want. Most of the time I get it for the price that I want.

I am considered a bottom feeder in the retail trade. The only thing I am interested in is deals. Retail prices are for those who don't know how to deal. Americans have been trained to just accept the price of stuff. Not me, I am a negotiator or I will just do without if I can't get it on my terms.

The same place I got the solar setup had 800 board feet of 8" CVG fir T&G that I got for $50. It is worth $6 a linear foot. The house was going to be torn down. I will either use it or sell it for $4 a board foot.

Right now at my vacation home I have 2000 watts of solar, 1000 watts of wind, 14 solar hot water panels and over 1200 gallons of hot water storage. If the sun shines for an hour I can make enough hot water to heat my house for 2 days. If the sun shines for 8 hours I can heat my home for a week.

My main home is getting set up with solar preheating. It will heat up the water in the exchanger and then go through the tankless. If it needs some more heating it will add heat. If not then it will just pass through.

In both places I have hydronic cooling that cools the air via a pipe in the ground that cools the water and is blown through an old air conditioning A coil.

I would never buy all this stuff if I had to pay what they want for it retail. As you have pointed out the payoff is very long. The only thing that makes it worth while is that energy prices will increase 10% a year for the next 20 years so in 20 years having a roof full of solar panels will be a good thing.

Now that 0bama is in expect energy to go way up as he is a spender of other peoples money and will cut any tax credits for big energy companies who will just pass the costs on to us. Most people don't know this but almost all big energy is into alternative energy. In fact BP is one of the largest seller of solar panels. So windfall taxes (taxing companies for doing well) will just drive the prices up.

Since investors will sell off the shares of big oil to make more money elsewhere big oil will have to borrow money for further expansion and this will cut profits even more. Walmart makes 13% profit but when Exxon Mobil makes 10% profit (yes that is all they make) they get hammered as the bad guys. When I had my camera stores I made 16%. My logging company made 22%. My custom auto business made over 30%. No one ever complained to the government about me making a ton of money.

With no investor money for big oil to expand, their profits will be down in the 8% range which is really poor. So to make up they will just increase prices. No matter what government does they will make a decent profit.

I will be in a really nice position to benefit from that since my energy bills are next to nothing already. Everyone else will have to pony up.

When energy bills for homes is at $400 a month yearly average and mine is $0 I will smile. All I can say is "bring it on". I am ready. Increase those prices all you want to.

The problem is that 0bama might come to me and say that I have to "share" with everyone else. I guess in his world punishing people for doing well is normal.
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:28 PM   #18
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sounds like you started reasonably small and then built up from there - that's the approach I'd like to take - just to get my feet wet, so to speak, without getting into trouble (or debt)

really appreciate all the detailed info - thanks again
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:50 PM   #19
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sounds like you started reasonably small and then built up from there - that's the approach I'd like to take - just to get my feet wet, so to speak, without getting into trouble (or debt)

really appreciate all the detailed info - thanks again
Find a used solar hot water panel and play with it. Cap off one side of the bottom and put a hose connection on the other end. Then cap the top on the same side as the hose connection on bottom and leave the opposite top corner open.

On a sunny day turn on the hose at a slow rate. Wait till the hot water comes out the other end. But be very careful as it can get to over 200 degrees and can burn you in heartbeat.

This will get you into the mode. You will be really pumped at seeing how much energy you can get by the sun and all of it free.

With one panel you can add some heat for your house in the winter. Just put the panel in the sun, plumb some copper to it with a small hot water pump ($75), and plumb the water into the house in an area that gets some air flow. Just like radiant hot water plumbing.

- you would need a temperature differential unit like the Delat T to sense when the pump needs to come on, ($150 new)

- a valve to restrict the flow so the water doesn't move through the system too fast, ($5)

- a T&P (temperature and pressure) valve rated at 212 and 100 psi, ($20)

- small expansion tank would be good to keep the pressure down and a pressure gage, ($40)

- a purge valve at the highest point to let out air ($5)

If the sun is shining turn on the pump. It's that simple.

Total cost is less than $500 and you are on your way to a great start. Then get another panel or two and add that into the system.

Soon you will want to get a storage place for hot water when you don't need it in the house.

The idea is have sufficient heat generating capacity to supple your needs and then have sufficient storage capacity to keep your heat till it is needed.

The system can start small and continue to grow as needed.
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Old 11-05-2008, 03:13 PM   #20
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cool - this is definitely on the list now (mind you, the list is getting pretty long, but I'll get to it)

thanks again for taking the time to provide the details
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:13 PM   #21
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just a recap (back on topic on the original post) - bjbatlanta you say I don't need drywall under t&g, and marvin gardens you made the case that any expectation that there's something "better" is maybe just hype, at least right now.

so, for my task (vaulted ceiling) if I do decide that t&g will be the finish, I might just scrap the idea of drywall on that ceiling altogether. Especially if there is no "light and fluffy" drywall like alternative around. Is this a bad practice - would there be any compelling reason to put drywall up first, then the boards, on a vaulted ceiling? This may be obvious to you guys, but I need to really know if it's worth the extra pain...

thanks once again

Last edited by rtoni; 11-06-2008 at 02:14 PM. Reason: typo's
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by rtoni View Post
just a recap (back on topic on the original post) - bjbatlanta you say I don't need drywall under t&g, and marvin gardens you made the case that any expectation that there's something "better" is maybe just hype, at least right now.

so, for my task (vaulted ceiling) if I do decide that t&g will be the finish, I might just scrap the idea of drywall on that ceiling altogether. Especially if there is no "light and fluffy" drywall like alternative around. Is this a bad practice - would there be any compelling reason to put drywall up first, then the boards, on a vaulted ceiling? This may be obvious to you guys, but I need to really know if it's worth the extra pain...

thanks once again
My one argument for drywall and then the T&G is that you can tape off the drywall (called fire taping) which will do two things. It will slow the spread of fire into the ceiling and it will hold in heat that could slip past T&G.

Plus I am thinking that code might require some drywall.

My brother in law has a home that is nothing but wood over OSB and it is not sealed. This is okay for code in his area but for me having wood over wood is a guarantee that if there is a fire it will spread real fast.
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:17 PM   #23
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Rock under t&g isn't NECESSARY. Marvin brings up a good point about code......you might want to check. Regular 1/2" rock won't give you a lot of fire protection, but some is better than none if it will bring you some peace of mind. Using 5/8" is better, but heavier of course. If you decide to go without the rock, you can use a vapor barrier (plastic) to seal things up after you insulate.
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:12 PM   #24
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once again appreciate the feedback

i've got the insulation up and 6 mil poly covering it - i'll check to see if the code requires the drywall - thanks for all the replies in this thread

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