Thursday, July 22, 2010

Foam Based Sealant for Closing Joints and Cracks

Owens Corning Announces New Foam Insulation Sealant to Complement its Batt Insulation Products

Mark J. Donovan

The new foam insulation sealant from Owens Corning is part of its EnergyCompleteTM insulation product line. The foam sealant is a low expanding air infiltration barrier product that utilizes a flexible seal technology that makes it ideal for using around doors and windows, as well as in sheathing joints and cracks. It is also ideal around duct work and construction joints.

Using a portable sprayer, it is easily applied and foams in places. In addition, it does not require the use of a mask or full body protection when applying it. Also, because of its low expansion level it is ideal to use around doors and windows.

The foam based sealant sets up in less than 30 minutes. Once fully set, batt insulation can then be installed over or adjacent to it.

Insulating with rolled or batt insulation around doors and windows and in construction seams is slow and ineffective in many cases. Using a foam sealant such as this product can save time and insulation installation costs, as well as make for a better insulated home.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Attended Lakeside Living Expo in Gilford, NH

By Mark J. Donovan

This past Saturday I attended the Lakeside Living Expo in Gilford, NH and got a chance to see some of the latest in green technology. Of particular interest to me was the geothermal heating and cooling system offered by Dragin GeoThermal of Meredith, NH. In the winter time, a geothermal system works by drawing BTUs from the ground to heat a home. In the summer time, the processed is reversed by drawing BTUs from the home and sinking them into the ground to provide air conditioning. The geothermal HVAC process is relatively simple in function however it provides a much higher efficiency than oil and gas furnaces. In addition, geothermal systems are eligible for energy efficiency tax credits.

Besides geothermal, there were other neat booths that showed off the latest in solar and wind energy systems designed specifically for the home.

I was also impressed with a steel roofing product that is designed to emulate the look of architectural asphalt shingles. It is guaranteed for 50 years, and from just a few feet away looks like any other standard architectural asphalt shingle. The material cost of this type of roofing is about 30% higher than standard asphalt shingles; however the labor costs are on par, to a little less, than installing standard asphalt shingles. They are also designed to support wind velocities of up to 100 MPH.

There were also a number of lake home builders in attendance showing off pictures and sketches of their lakeside home construction projects around the New Hampshire lakes region area.

Furniture and accessory suppliers who cater to lake side homes were also in abundance. Some of the furniture was quite ornate in appearance. Natural building products and faux fauna indigenous to the area were heavily emphasized in the displays.

There were also a couple of chainsaw wood carvers/artists who were showing off and demonstrating their work. Each made a variety of bear and other animal statues out of White Pine logs.

Overall the show was very interesting, however the weather was quite warm and humid.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summers the Time for Deck Construction

Increase the Value of your Home by Building a Deck this Summer

Mark J. Donovan

What better way to enjoy the great outdoors than with a backyard deck. Summer is the perfect time of the year for deck construction. A deck addition provides exterior living space to your home and is highly prized by homebuyers.

Before contacting a deck building contractor make sure to initially jot down your top level deck requirements, and preferred decking materials. Also, sketch out the size and location of your deck, making sure to include dimensional information. Documenting deck addition plans upfront will ensure that your discussions with prospective deck contractors will be fruitful. In addition, your deck construction quotes should be more accurate and the chances of getting a constructed deck to what you’ve envisioned will be dramatically improved.

See my Deck Installation Bid Sheet if you would like more tips on how to build a deck and hire the right deck contractor.

If you are in need of help in finding a local and pre-screened deck building contractor visit Find Local Deck Building Contractors at

Monday, July 12, 2010

Double Dip Housing Market Looms Ahead

Mark J. Donovan

Not surprisingly new housing sales data suggests that the United States is entering a double dip housing market recession. Home sale prices stagnated in June, only increasing 0.1% and in a number of areas of the country home sale prices actually declined several percentage points.

As I have said before, this should not come as a big surprise to anyone who has their own reasoning skills. With employment at nearly 10% officially, and nearly 20% unofficially, and the end of the home buyer tax credit what else could be expected. Add to these facts looming tax increases for everyone with the soon to end “Bush Tax Cuts” and tight mortgage lending, and it is no wonder why the American public is skittish on purchasing high priced items such as homes.

So what’s causing this second double dip housing market? Not surprisingly, Keynesian economics. With Keynesian economics the government takes a more active role in managing the flow of money through lower interest rates and “stimulus spending”, such as the home tax credits that have been handed out up until the end of April. Though the home tax credit provided some instant gratification for a sagging housing market it has negatively influenced the housing market for the long haul. Pent up home buyer thirst was slaked by the home tax credit that has now expired. Unfortunately, like a camel, the housing market thirst has been quenched for some time to come.

As a result, don’t be surprised to see any real improvement in the housing market until sometime in 2011, and only if federal economic policy has begun to change. Let’s all hope so. A continued economic policy of stimulating an economy by mainly giving out government handouts with fiat money, while at the same time having no private sector job growth, is a recipe for national economic disaster.