insulating the kitchen

Posted: November 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: energy efficiency, insulation, kitchen | 1 Comment »

insulating the kitchen

Sustainable Solutions

we hired Sustainable Structures to blow in dense pack cellulose fiber insulation into all the wall cavities in the kitchen. It made it really warm!!!

kitchen insulation

all finished and snug as a bug in a rug. they plugged up all the holes with orange spray-foam insulation. there were something like 30 holes around the kitchen.

insulation in the kitchen

Posted: November 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: energy efficiency, insulation, kitchen, progress | 1 Comment »

we worked like crazy this weekend to finish all electrical work in the kitchen, and put up insulation!!! Richard took the day off from work on Friday to help us, and came back on Saturday, and on Sunday, bless his heart for dedicating three entire days to helping us here. Richard finished up the electric stuff on Friday while we started measuring and cutting the insulation. The plan is to use 2″ thick sheets of rigid foam insulation, backed with a shiny foil vapor barrier on both sides. It comes in giant sheets, like 8′ x 3′ which are really unwieldy to handle and make a lot of squeaky noises whenever you move them around, but they are definitely more pleasant to handle than that horrible pink cotton-candy fiberglass batting stuff, ick. Anyway, all exterior walls get covered in these boards of rigid foam insulation, on top of the bare studs. This leaves an approx. 3.5″ cavity between the outside wall of the house and the rigid foam insulation. We’ve hired a company called Sustainable Structures , who my parents ran across at the Common Ground Fair, they will come in a cut holes in the foam board, and blow in a bunch of loose insulation fiber into the wall cavities. They use super-high-pressure blowers so it supposedly fills every last nook and cranny in there, it’s (hopefully) the most efficient way you can insulate these days. The fiber is made from recycled newspaper treated with some kind of stuff to make it moisture-proof, fire-proof and rodent-repellent. Let’s hope it’s as awesome as they say it is.

hanging Typar on the walls

hanging Typar on the walls

insulating the kitchen!

2″ rigid foam sheets

So for the moment our goal is to finish hanging all the rigid foam insulation by Nov. 18th, that’s our date for them to come blow in the dense-pack cellulose insulation fiber. We spent Saturday and Sunday measuring the walls, cutting down the foam to fit each section of walls, marking out where the studs are located (so they know where to cut the holes to blow in the insulation next week) and cutting oddly-shaped holes to fit all the electrical switches and outlet boxes. Since none of our walls or floors or anything is at right angles (old house!) it’s a challenge to custom-cut every piece of insulation to fit every saggy, curvy, weirdly-angled corner of the kitchen. Then measure, cut & screw in strapping every 16″ up the wall, to anchor the insulation in place (and to give us something to hang the wallboard from, when that time comes). Then we need to use foil tape and this crazy orange canned spray foam to patch and fill every last crack and seam and opening. The wall cavity has to be airtight, in order to blow in the insulation. In some places we had to cover the exterior wall with sheets of Tyvek before hanging the insulation, to make it airtight. So at this point we’ve got the entryway / mud-room insulated, and two of the three exterior kitchen walls insulated. Still need to do one more wall, and a lot of spray-foaming. Hoping this week we can fit in a lot of work hours and get it done before next weekend?

lovely Kit helps us staple typar Eliza working on insulation Mike working on insulation

Kit, Eliza and Mike at work on the insulation project

insulating the kitchen!

putting strapping over giant sheets of 2″ thick rigid foam insulation in the kitchen!

The kitchen feels really different now! Instead of rough, dusty, dark old stained, weathered wooden walls and studs, we now have BRIGHT SHINY foil walls with neat stripes of strapping all over. It certainly looks modern and clean and impressive. But the temperature outside is dropping and the winds are howling, I think it’s 27 degrees out now, and it’s plenty cold and drafty in here. The woodstove is cozy and warm! But you can’t really sit still anywhere more than 12 inches away from the woodstove. We’ve got lots more insulating and wind-proofing work to go!!!

update: 1 week later, we finished all the rigid foam! HOORAY!

Eliza working on insulation

putting up strapping over the very last piece of insulation!!!




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