Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Progress Update: Insulation, Walls and Windows! It's Looking Like a House!

So much has happened lately, I have to bring you up to date!   Everything is starting to come together to make this house a home.  Here are the highlights.

Insulation:  Because of the big freeze and subsequent power outages in Texas last winter, the raw materials for insulation have been in short supply.  After an 8 week lead time, we finally got the go ahead.  With our cold Maine winters, we take insulating pretty seriously.  This house had almost no insulation, so this will be a HUGE upgrade!

The guys used closed cell spray foam for the 2nd floor ceilings.  It has the highest 'R' value (6.5 per inch, almost double the value of fiberglass) you can get, which is great in an old attic with less space.  It also provides air sealing and additional structural strength.  But it's not an easy job, particularly at the bottom of the attic eaves.  Imagine wearing a bunny suit, respirator and spraying a product that heats up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit on a warm summer day?  

We also used spray foam in the basement.  This will give added warmth in the winter and reduce condensation on hot, humid summer days.

For the walls, we choose dense pack cellulose.  This is a fabulous solution because it's made from recycled newspapers and also provides a nice sound barrier from exterior noise.  The guys install a fabric mesh on the walls and then pump in the cellulose with a high pressure hose.

We were able to cut holes in most of the interior walls  to provide a place to pump in cellulose- but where we had radiators in the way, the guys needed a different approach.  They went outside and drilled holes behind the siding, filled the walls and plugged the holes with styrofoam plugs.

Yeah..... the siding can use a bit of cleaning!  It's on the to-do list!

Walls:  Drywall was delivered (it was easy on the 2nd floor since the windows weren't delivered yet!) and work got started.  It was a challenging job with all of our crazy angled ceilings, but the guys got it done pretty quickly.  This changed the whole look and feel of the house almost overnight!

Windows:  Yes, after a 16 week wait, the windows finally arrived.  And I have to admit, it was totally worth the wait.  The new kitchen window is such a huge improvement - the original one was a regular double hung window, mounted sideways!!!  This new glider window looks and works great!

Prepping for new glider window

But my favorite is the giant triple window in the new en suite bedroom.  There is an amazing view out the window and all that glass lets in so much light.  It's a fantastic change!

And it gives the house so much character from the exterior.

Paint Primer:  Last, but not least, the new walls all got a nice coat of white primer.  This makes the whole space feel so much more cohesive, but also sets us up to get all the trim work started.  

And just as a teaser - take a look at how much the house has changed. 

This won't be a full Open Concept floor plan - but the kitchen and dining room are perfect!

Pathetic insulation is gone - new dormers make it livable!

We're ready to start finish work now - stay tuned for the pretty stuff 😂!!

Quick Note:  For those of you that receive these updates via email, Google has decided to delete that function sometime in July.  They will not be replacing the functionality.  So unfortunately, you won't receive regular updates.  But be sure and check back each week, I'll continue providing posts!  

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  1. This looks great! So inspiring. Can you tell me more about the stairs you selected? Thanks!

  2. We custom built the staircase to the 2nd floor in the same location as the original stairs. What else can I help with?

  3. Love it! And I think its nice to have some sort of a visual barrier between the dining area and the kitchen, then you don't see the craziness of the prep area while you are enjoying your meal.

  4. I agree with Colleen that some separation between meal prep and dining is essential!

  5. Laurel, I learn so much from you on each post- this time the reason for a banana chimney AND the cellulose insulation under the mesh.
    I have questions about the triple window. They look like casements, are they? I am looking for something exactly like this but 16 weeks to delivery? Can I ask what brand?

    1. Yes, they are casements. That was the only way I could have a fire code egress window with a triple design. They are made by a company called Kas Kal - I think they’re in upstate NY. Their usual lead time is much shorter, but thanks to COVID everything takes so much longer right now!

  6. I subscribe via FEEDLY app on phone and Mac. Never miss a post.

    1. Thanks so much for following along! But unfortunately, I think it's the Feedly link that will be going away in July. Please continue to stop by and check out our updates!


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