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Old 01-08-2010, 01:20 PM   #61
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


Very interesting Bob, thanks...!

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Old 01-08-2010, 07:49 PM   #62
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Bob,

Audit parties.... Very clever marketing concept
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by ccarlisle View Post
Willowgirl:

I, for one, would be interested on what else is in your report, particularly the recommendations of what needs doing, the anticipated Government rebates and the costs (if any) associated with these recommendations...It is a pet peeve of mine the way we do "energy rating" things up here and thus I address this partly to 'Energyrater' being one who is 'in the business'.

One of the main, IMO, 'weaknesses' of our "Energy Retrofit"-type policies (there are a few different names to them) is that it is too political in nature for it to be useful to citizens.

On the one hand, politicians made big news about how many billions of $$ they are going to make available to citizens for energy saving programs, to retrofit existing homes with for example Energy-Star appliances...However, the system requires the ordinary citizen, like willowgirl in this case, to get an energy audit from a licensed energy auditor. An 'Energy Auditor' is in turn licensed by private certification companies. These certification companies receive most of the audit fees directly from the Government, so the citizen pays very little and the actual auditor makes minimum wage.

Therefore, shortages of energy auditors. Therefore, fewer audits. Therefore subsidies left on the table. The citizen who does get an audit receives wild recommendations as to what (theoretically) ought to be done but most recommendations are impratical.

Like "replace all 20 windows, get a $1000 rebate and save $400 a year"

That's all very good but at $500 per window, that's a $12,500+ investment. So, the citizen can't really take advantage of the rebates. So the citizen paid $350 for the audit, and of that the auditor got $100, the training company got $250.

There's no point to this; the Government looks good, the trainer makes a fortune and the auditor looks for another line of work. Net loss.

With the subsidy monies that the US - and the Canadian - Governments are making available, I wonder if their progams actually reach the right hands?
I'll try to scan some of the report and post it when I have alittle more time. The money thing though is kind of an issue.
There are a few things that I do and some that I don't agree with. One thing I didn't agree with is that they thought I should blow more insulation in walls that already have blown insulation. (I have no vapour b either on the because my place is the plaster.) I though the doors and windows were one should maybe have been at the top but I could be wrong. ) My back door is an old wood door which is impossible to stop the draft around it.
I called for cost from a few contractors and window company's to have the ext. of house insulated, siding, windows and doors. The cost was around ave. $36,000.00 which totally floored me. The next part was when I started asking questions and break downs of cost. I was amazed at the lack of info. they had for me. I'm very particular now about getting break downs, exactly what's done and type of materials. Also the way it was going to be done, ex type of widow and installation process. Non of the company's would get the permits either, I'm the one that's responsible to get them.
I have a large wrap around front deck with a roof that goes around over it. No one even brought up the this deck/porch. I really didn't think of it till one day and called to see if any of the places had taken it into consideration and not one did. If someone is going to pay $36000 into there house I don't think there going to leave a deck on that is falling off the house. Also for them to do the work correct, I believe they would need to fix the deck, or remove it and put it back on to get the proper wrap and stuff.
Some of the company's also weren't going to take off the old siding and wanted to go over it. It may be an excepted way of doing things but I don't feel its the proper way. I think you need to go right down to the house to make sure everything is ok and so you can get a good seal when putting on the ext insulation.
Sorry I know I'm rambling on about stuff, but I feel its hard to find company's that take everything into consideration when doing a job. And will take the time to go over the information to make sure the home owner understands what's being done and if anything is being left out.
I added the next 2 pages of the energy eval.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:08 PM   #64
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I just wanted to show a picture of an older home I was taking the siding off of. A couple of people suggested i just paint the singles and others said I should go right over them. I've seen many place's that they have gone over the old siding and just doesn't seem good to me, either trapping in moisture or wood that may be rotting, a place for bugs or mice to live etc.
This place seems that had done the same and went over the old ext. of house with singles. I found alot of moisture damage and problem areas.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:12 PM   #65
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This wood must be removed. Then install 5/8" plywood and a new roofing shingle.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:33 PM   #66
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This wood must be removed. Then install 5/8" plywood and a new roofing shingle.
Yes I know, thats why I took a pic of it and measured it. In the spring any place that has issues like this will be replaced. Its actually thicker than 5/8". I was showing this picture as an example of why I think people need to remove old siding before putting new on, so areas like this can be fixed instead of covered.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:38 PM   #67
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Just curious -- how is VIP status determined on this forum?
I was wondering the same thing?
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:46 PM   #68
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When it comes to getting an energy evaluation to help with heating cost ect. I'm ok with needing to pay to have one done so I know what needs to be done and then there is a report to go by when things are done. Then you need to get your funds from the government. Heres my concern, what if you've gone through the expense of doing what they say needs to be done but the numbers don't add up correct. So now you've spent alot of money so can qualify for the grants and you don't get them. Or maybe the work done isn't they way the government wants it done. I really think there needs to be some kind of list of contractors, that have gone through some kind of test or training to do things they way you need it done by the government. Same with the cost, you can get cost that are different by thousands of dollars.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:32 AM   #69
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This is how it works now. The grants in CANADA and the proposed tax credits in the USA only apply for costs from work done by a certified building analysist (BPI) or home energy rater. (HERS) A full report is issued detailing the ratings and where a house needs work. Emphasis of the work suggested is on items that give the biggest dollar return. This is why the audit is the way to go. You are fixing what is most uselfull not blindly sealing everything. And more importantly you also address the issue of being too tight in which the house is unsafe. Both leaks and ventilation need to be equally addressed. The house must be treated as one entire system. Builders usually build too tight or miss many common problem areas. Either way at least 80% of homes need fixing.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:11 AM   #70
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Thank you, willowgirl, for giving us the detail of your home audit. Also, pretty well what I thought you'd say about the process and very much in line with the state of affairs here. IMO, sad...

Well, this is the way parts of it works up here i.e. the Government way of flashing subsidies around so that homeowners, like willowgirl, are encouraged to spend $35,000 on their homes to take advantage of, what $5,000 in tax rebates, only if they have the work done by a 'selected' contractor?

Who wins here? If the HO spends the recommended $35,000 on these upgrades, does the value of her house increase? Nope. Is the Government out any money for having encouraged this process? Nope they get back their monies from the sales tax (12%). Does the auditor make money? Nope; he gets $150 gross for four+ hours work.

The people who make the money may be the 'selected' ie, approved-by-the-Government contractors and, the trainers of the auditors.

What is needed here is for a BPI-trained independent contractor/energy auditor to do an evaluation that makes sense to the HO and carry out the work that the HO requests in light of the savings it will generate.

That's one weakness of the present system: no-one can tell the HO how much savings per year these recommendations will generate, what the payback period is, and what effect these alterations do on the value of the home i.e. as I think Bob said, a global view of the home.

If someone told me to replace my 30 windows, I'd laugh. Then ask him what experience he has in construction. Then, I'd ask for a refund.

It just seems so...can't find a better word for it: "political" in nature. In then end you have a disgruntled homeowner, who most likely will not go through the process of blindly spending $36,000 to improve her home's comfort. What she will do is (a) do the work herself or (b) look for an under-the-table handyman or (c) hire a proficient, licensed, BPI contractor and do things in stages according to the budget, with permits where necessary.

Oh, and nothing good ever comes from covering things up in the renovation industry.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:35 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willowgirl View Post
When it comes to getting an energy evaluation to help with heating cost ect. I'm ok with needing to pay to have one done so I know what needs to be done and then there is a report to go by when things are done. Then you need to get your funds from the government. Heres my concern, what if you've gone through the expense of doing what they say needs to be done but the numbers don't add up correct. So now you've spent alot of money so can qualify for the grants and you don't get them. Or maybe the work done isn't they way the government wants it done. I really think there needs to be some kind of list of contractors, that have gone through some kind of test or training to do things they way you need it done by the government. Same with the cost, you can get cost that are different by thousands of dollars.
Exactly my point. It's not the home inspector's job to tell you what you need doing, his mandate by law is only to report what he sees. And from what I see, the auditor who did your job, did the same What is needed is precisely what you said: an independent contractor with construction experience and with auditors training - so has IR training and a blower door.

An example. If a "home inspector" inspects an older home and finds knob-and-tube wiriing, he can only report that. Can't fix it, nor recommend a contractor who can. Now an independent contractor will also report that but be able to fix it, not personally, but using an subcontracting electrician who works with him and who pulls the permits.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:42 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by willowgirl View Post
When it comes to getting an energy evaluation to help with heating cost ect. I'm ok with needing to pay to have one done so I know what needs to be done and then there is a report to go by when things are done. Then you need to get your funds from the government. Heres my concern, what if you've gone through the expense of doing what they say needs to be done but the numbers don't add up correct. So now you've spent alot of money so can qualify for the grants and you don't get them. Or maybe the work done isn't they way the government wants it done. I really think there needs to be some kind of list of contractors, that have gone through some kind of test or training to do things they way you need it done by the government. Same with the cost, you can get cost that are different by thousands of dollars.
Yup. And there's no guarantee you'd even get the money from the Government - even if you did all the repairs in the audit; says right on the NRCan website that these ecoENERGY subsidies are "available as long as their is money for that" or words to that effect.

So, just at the time when the US has spent some $800+billion in subsidies and our Government $100Billion, they're both looking for more money input - not output like these grants. So they can pull the plug at any time.

And guess who's holding the bag?

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