Latest Posts

Dan's List: Media, Products and Services With not much of an apology to Angie

By Dan Curl | Mar 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

Homes on TV Tearing houses apart makes for a show, not an inspection.  The inspector’s goal is not to entertain but to assess and recommend cost-effective repairs. If Tom tells Kevin “We’ll just have to tear it out and start over” he’s spending money most of my clients don’t have.   The success of This Old House created a market for home-style reality…

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Open Up

By Dan Curl | Mar 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

For 28 years I’ve seen the windows of neglect: bound with paint, sashes screwed shut, locked-never to be opened, damaged hardware and screens, rotted sills. No matter what type home, town or country, big or small, rich or poor, black or white, folks do not open windows.   Windows are designed for the simultaneous and independent control of: Natural illumination Natural ventilation:  The subject of…

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Ice, Snow and Old Houses

By Dan Curl | Feb 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Notes on Stormageddon and the Decatur Old House Fair In my capacity as an engineering technician I’ve learned to evaluate storm damage.  Keep me in mind if you’ve got tree-on-the-house. I spoke to an arborist who told me many firms do not charge to assess trees.  They make their money on surgery, trimming and removal. Public adjusters assist homeowners by ensuring hazard insurance…

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Cold-Weather Comfort and the three-legged stool

By Dan Curl | Dec 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

Cold, Comfort and Energy Cold-Weather Comfort and the three-legged stool Building Science has shown there are three components required for comfort and efficiency:   A source of energy  A building enclosure in which the flow of energy is controlled   A system of delivering energy from a source to the enclosure  Of these three sources of…

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Tips for Home Christmas Gifts

By Dan Curl | Dec 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

Comfort, health, safety and efficiency are great presents for your whole family Open on Christmas Eve:  Decorative handles remind you to OPEN and CLOSE your chimney damper.  Open dampers are holes in your home’s comfort and efficiency. Greenlight:  LED Christmas lights are easy to install, easy on your power bill and don’t overload circuits.   Frosty Windows:  Energy…

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Downhill Irrigation

By Dan Curl | Dec 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

This cistern harvests rainwater from the Hammond Park gymnasium roof and uses it to irrigate the soccer field.   Less energy is needed to irrigate because the cistern is located below the roof and above the field. There is no charge for the rainwater….or gravity The economy here is eliminating the cost of extracting water…

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Building Science and Home improvement

By Dan Curl | Dec 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

Fundamental #1: Managing Moisture There is no getting around it; the first step toward improving your home’s comfort, health and efficiency is moisture control. Here’s a case study in moisture control-at my house.  Basic Concepts Liquid water is best managed by slowing and dispersion, ambient moisture (relative humidity) by venting outside or dehumidification. Bottom of…

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Sustainable Life

By Dan Curl | Nov 8, 2013 | 0 Comments
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Sustainable Savings Time

By Dan Curl | Nov 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

  Green building practices save money.  Use them when you build, renovate or replace.  Maximum savings begin with good design Atlanta’s Southface Energy Institute is regional leader in sustainable building http://www.southface.org/about/letter/ Climate-specific primer on efficient and durable residential construction http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/houseplans/hp-mixed-humid-recommendations Saving money is good business for this Washington DC company http://thefifthfuel.com/   Open windows are cheaper than fans,…

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Learn to Identify Potential Problems in Older Homes

By Dan Curl | Apr 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

A Checklist for Looking at an  Older  Home Was there a building permit?  All but the most minor improvements require plan approval and site inspections by the city or county. Often the home owner/renovator will bypass the entire process. Sometimes the work performed without review is pretty good; sometimes it’s terrible.  If the home is…

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