Warm winter coat (BH #61)

Sorry for the hiatus in posts! I just haven’t been doing anything interesting in the house. Turns out it takes a long time to get all the details of insulation done – did you know you have to caulk between every top plate and bottom plate? Every double stud? Around every window? Plug every single hole in every single stud, not just the base plates and top plates? And then because almost none of the stud bays was the correct spacing, I had to go around and tape up every batt that I’d had to cut down to size, and it took WAY TOO LONG.

But this is what we’re left with:


Yay! Airtight and insulation in all the walls!

Then I had to clamber up into the attic and air seal up there as well. Around every light fixture, every smoke detector, every top plate, every drywall seam. Including the downstairs, I used approximately 25 cans of expanding foam. I had to cap each recessed light fixture with these fireproof cans, and air seal them too so that the insulation couldn’t touch them –  and then tape on some flags so that they could be found after being covered in 16″ of fluffy paper stuff. Then nail up lots of sticks that I’d marked with tape at 16″, too, so that I’d have a good depth reference for the cellulose.

Finally, every rafter bay had to be stapled with styrofoam baffles so that the insulation wouldn’t plug the soffits from venting, and that meant lying on my side balanced across ceiling joists trying desperately not to fall onto the drywall and ruin my new ceilings, while wrestling an air compressor and staple gun. That part was the worst.

I told Josh it was just like doing the balancey, core-clenching, breath-holding poses of my advanced yoga class, except on top of a jungle gym.


The vent from the porch roof had to be baffled up too – let the air flow! And then we could blow in the cellulose.

That part was actually pretty fun. It took longer than I’d thought it would – it was more like snowing than blasting. Took about 45 bags to do a bit less than 600 square feet and get R-49. This was my view all day:


I tried to take a picture of the snowing for you, but…

Yes, I wore a very good filter mask and some ski goggles.

Afterwards, ta-da!


That trench along the far side is the little plywooded catwalk I left for access to wires, etc.


It was kind of fun. I’m almost excited to do it to our own house, which also has almost no insulation in the attic (about 3″ of fiberglass).

And now I can turn on the thermostat and leave on the heat!

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