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Top Questions To Ask A High-Performance Home Builder

Top questions to ask when interviewing Builders who claim to be knowledgeable about High Performance construction techniques.

Top Questions To Ask A High-Performance Home Builder 1
  1. How do air barriers differ from vapor barriers?
  2. What is a Breathable Vapor Barrier?
  3. When and where is a breathable vapor barrier used in a house envelope?
  4. When is a breathable vapor barrier not required?
  5. What direction does warm air move toward?
  6. What direction does moisture move?
  7. What causes mold?
  8. Explain how & when you “Air Seal” on the outside and inside of a house.
  9. What is a Thermal Boundary used for?   
  10. What is Thermal Bridging and what would you to cause one? (Trick Question)
  11. What is a Thermal Break and how can you avoid one? (Trick Question)
  12. What is a blower door and what is its purpose?  How often do you use it?
  13. What is the difference between R-value and U-values? 
  14. What is a HERS rating used for?
  15. What types of Air Exchangers have you used? 
  16. Have you ever installed Mini-Splits and other heat pumps?
  17. What do you know about Heat Pump Water heaters?
  18. What do you think about ICF foundations?
  19. Explain your favorite method of preparing for under slab?
  20. Vapor Barrier type and method of sealing
  21. Horizontal Insulation ( How much? )
  22. Vertical insulation
  23. Slab Edge protection
  24. Explain the difference between open and closed-cell foam insulation and how you would install each one correctly?
  25. Explain when you would prefer foam instead of cellulose of fiberglass?
  26. How do you ventilate a house?
  27. Attic
  28. Rafters
  29. Trusses
  30. Bathroom Vents
  31. Is there a time when you wouldn’t ventilate a house?
  32. Have you ever installed GeoThermal systems in a house? If yes, explain
  33. Do you install Solar PV and HW?  
  34. What do you know about triple glazed windows?

Have you ever built a double-wall house? 

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