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The gang hear from listeners about insulating brick buildings and how to be a good apprentice before tackling questions about about missing ductwork, construction details for a watertight deck, and a 15-point plan for improving a heating and AC system.

Jon writes,  Hi Guys, I just listened to Podcast 184 that covered insulating brick homes. I am a contractor in Newburgh, NY which is the second largest historic area in New York outside of New York City and we predominately deal with brick homes in our renovation and restoration projects.



Because we live in a historic area we are limited by the ARC (architectural review committee) about how we can deal with exterior facade work. In addition to those requirements many homeowners like the look of brick and want to maintain the brick facade.

I think everything put forward from Martin Holladay’s GBA article was very informative although there is one great detail that could be added – when we frame out new walls on the interior of a masonry building we will pull the framing 1″ off the brick to allow closed cell spray foam behind the wood framing and eliminate thermal breaks. Cutting the pocketed beams back is also a must to avoid wicking, while engineering a revised load path into the basement.

Ian also writes about episode 184, Your Bay Area emailer touched on a topic that I believe plays a major role in keeping craft alive—how we as established tradespeople train the next generation in the field. I strongly believe that those of us in the field are a point of leverage for making a difference. I have some advice for apprentices based on my time as an apprentice.

Aaron from North Dakota writes,  Great show! I really enjoy listening in the car. Everything here in North Dakota is so spread out I can easily get through the episodes.