Tuesday, July 07, 2015

She's Going to be a Hot One

Next winter, that is. And I'm not forecasting the weather. I don't care how cold of a winter we have, we will be a lot toastier in the house.

We spent the weekend blowing insulation into the house. Troy and I don't have a lot of days off together so when these major holidays come along, we need to take advantage of them.

Saturday morning, Troy sped off to Menards to get the machine and some insulation while I did what I could to prepare, like hanging plastic and draping things I couldn't move out of the room.

 Here he comes!
One the first trip, Troy got the machine and one pallet. We blew that into the attic in pretty short order. Then he went back for more and came back with two pallets. He drew a lot of stares driving back from Menards!

He got as far as he could on the attic and then stopped as he needed to be able to make repairs to the antenna. (He caught the cord at some point and ripped off the end.) Troy put the antenna up in the attic to keep it safe from bad weather, which has worked out quite well.
By the time he left the attic, it was pretty full. Looking north:
 And looking south:
For comparison, notice the "doorway" on the left side in the picture below:
When Troy could do no more in the attic (for the day), he moved onto the second floor. He got about half way around the room filling the bottom holes before we ran out of insulation.
Troy brought back the machine and then brought home another pallet. (We thought we'd need two, and he wouldn't have room for two pallets and the machine the next day.) The next day after church and lunch, he went back for the machine and a fifth pallet and I stacked up the pallet we didn't use the day before so it was all ready to go.
Just before we got started on Sunday. Don't we look like
we're about to have fun!?
As Troy was picking up the fifth pallet in two days, the guy at Menards looked agog and asked "Just how big is your house?" I don't think he gets a lot of people installing it 12" thick.

Meanwhile, Troy had fixed the antenna (yeah!) so we finished the attic and the walls on the second floor. Then Troy wanted to blow insulation into the attic above the back room (laundry room). So we moved the machine to the back and did that too. That meant moving a bunch of stuff that I had put there because I thought it was a "safe" zone. We used up just over 4.5 pallets in all and wrapped up on Sunday by 8:00. We were both ready to be done!

That means the attic space is done. I'm happy to think we won't have to do that again! And of course, it will make a huge difference on the temperature of the house. And half of the upstairs is done. And I'd say about half of the downstairs. We are getting there...

Monday, July 06, 2015


I promised some pictures of rooms with drywall and here they are. Unfortunately, Troy was faster with drilling holes for insulation than I was with the camera. The walls looked a lot nicer without the big holes!

West room (what will become the closet and bathroom), looking at the southwest corner:
 Same room, looking at the southeast corner:
You can see the interior walls have not been worked on yet...well, beyond structural stuff I mean.

Here is the main bedroom, looking at the southeast corner:
 And the northeast corner of the same room:
 And this is looking straight north at the room we are currently sleeping in:
That's right! You can't see it because there is finally a wall (drywall) between the room and the construction zone. Yeah!

It also meant we could finally keep the cat out of the room so Troy's allergies wouldn't be quite so bad overnight. But we're still getting used to not being able to go around when the door is shut!

So that is the quick tour.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

When You Think a Job is Going to be Really Bad...

Well, in rereading my last post, I see that I promised pictures of rooms with drywall, but that will have to wait.

Last week, because he is a smart man who knows I need advance notice, Troy forewarned me that we would be working in the attic on the weekend. It was going to be an ugly job but he thought we could do it in an afternoon and once it was done, we wouldn't have to do it again.

What was this ugly job? Preparing to insulate the attic by putting in channel vents so that the attic would still have ventilation after we insulate. (You are not surprised to hear that the last people did not do that when they blew insulation in the attic.) So we were going to have to dig out the insulation from where it didn't belong and then add the vents. On a hot sunny day. In the attic.

So yeah. I got used to the idea and geared myself up to be helpful.

The afternoon arrived and Troy beckons me up to the attic through the oh-so-roomy access hole.
 Here I come!
 The attic is split into two separate parts. This is the first half that we tackled:
 Crawling around on pieces of plywood that span the joists, we manage to get the work done.
Just make sure to avoid the knob and tube wiring...it's live!

We got almost the whole first part done before needing a break to drink and cool down. I convinced Troy to finish the last three sections so that we could truly be half done. We then made our way downstairs to what at first felt like a meat locker. We didn't have enough vent panels so Troy made a run to Menards and I tried to cool down.

When he got back, we "suited up" again and headed into the other half:
Lo and behold, because of the way the roof runs, there were far fewer sections to do in this half so we were done in a jiffy!

This is a picture of the chimney that runs up from our living room/dining room.
No, the angle's not bad--it really runs on a slant. They were aiming for a certain spot on the roof. This chimney is no longer used and in fact has been removed in the basement. (Without adding any support for the weight. For some reason our floor sags there...) Troy and I talked about taking it out, but we just couldn't justify the energy it would take. Of course, Troy has since taken measures to support the weight of it so it should stop sinking.

And here we are near the end.
Both of us came to the conclusion that it was not as bad as we thought it was going to be.

Next up...we'll be spending the fourth of July blowing insulation. Let's hope we can get that done in one day!

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