Insulation preparation

Another milestone that I never thought would happen is all but done–the preparations for insulation. This involves netting and strapping all of our exterior walls and ceilings as well as any interior walls we want to sound/fire proof. This process has taken about a week and a half and we will begin blowing insulation tomorrow.

One of the more complicated aspects of this job is the exterior ceiling. Before we were able to begin we needed to work with our local building inspectors who didn’t think that using Typar in the roof was allowed by code. Eventually, we got an engineer to provide us with a stamped diagram of the assembly. The assembly itself is fairly complicated to execute because we wanted to create a solid air-vapor barrier below the cellulose and we are using two different ceiling materials. In the master bedroom and hallway we are using tongue and groove knotty pine, while the third floor, the bathroom, and the closet will be sheet-rocked. The vapor-air barrier behind the pine will be a cross-laced polyethylene plastic called Tu-Tuf (a superior plastic available through EFI.org); the sheet rock will be the air barrier elsewhere and it will be treated with a vapor barrier primer. Making sure that the air-vapor barrier is continuous across the top plates of the partition walls is the challenging part. This involves using acoustical sealant behind the Tu-Tuf, sheet-rock, and strapping so they all seal to the top plates. The acoustical sealant is desirable because it never hardens. So when one installs the sheetrock it can just compress the sealant that may have been applied the day before.

Netting and strapping first floor west wall

Netting and strapping first floor west wall. We are really starting to get a feel for the actual space in the house--much smaller and cozier.

Netting and strapping first floor living room

Netting and strapping first floor living room. The ceiling, which is below the master bedroom will also be insulated for sound proofing.

Our Uptight insulators installing Typar in the roof

Uptight Insulators installing Typar in the roof

Using Typar to create a ventilation plane below the sheathing of the roof

Using Typar to create a ventilation plane below the sheathing of the roof. In the bottom left hand corner you can also see that we used white styrofoam packaging for insulation.

Adam installing bedroom ceiling tongue and groove boards

Adam installing bedroom ceiling tongue and groove boards.

Tongue and groove knotty pine boards used for ceiling

Tongue and groove knotty pine boards used for the ceiling in the upstairs hall. We really like the look. After finding out that a white wash stain was $54 a gallon we figured out how to make our own at a fraction of the cost. We combined our white exterior solid stain with water at a ratio of 1:1. Voila, semi-solid white-wash stain at $20 a gallon. You can see the Tu-Tuf vapor-air barrier hanging down on the right. When doing this type of installation you want to leave a generous flap so it is easy to use the acoustical sealant behind it.

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2 thoughts on “Insulation preparation

  1. I would avoid using exterior stains on the interior. I hope the stains are green-guard certified at least to keep the indoor air quality within safe limits. Exterior and interior stains are safety tested according to different parameters I’ve been told.

    This reminds me of something my grandfather did with his 4-season porch. He used an exterior sealant on the interior which destroyed his wife’s health. But that was in 90’s. I’d think even the conventional stains and sealants are safer now.

    (I went to an open house in the Northampton area which had all wood on the interior. It was beautiful but stunk!)

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