Monday, December 21, 2015


We are trying out another one of Troy's crazy wacky silly unconventional ideas. Windows are one of the prime causes of heat loss in your house.

They're also often the number one culprit in making your house uncomfortable. Ever been in a room that was the right temperature, but just felt chilly? Were you sitting by a window? The cold just radiates off the glass.

We have a mix of new efficient windows and old less-efficient windows. (I think we've removed all of the old terrible windows.) But it's true about all of them. They make you feel cold.

But you can't just get rid of all your windows. You might be warm, but who wants to live like that?

Many people hang heavy drapes and we made insulating blinds for the big windows in the living room and dining room. They make a big difference in the heat loss, but they work as a window as well as the wall does.

Troy's new suggestion was that we add a layer of bubble wrap to the window. Yup, bubble wrap. Sounds silly, but you'll find a lot of proponents with a quick Google search. (It's not like it was Troy's original idea.)

The wrap with large bubbles will work best. You stick it on the window by misting the window with water and then applying a sheet of bubble wrap cut to size with the bubble side toward the window.
You still get a lot of light through the window and once you get used to the idea of not seeing exactly what is outside, it's actually pretty. (It reminds me of frost patterns.)

And of course, you don't have to do all of your windows. If there are some you especially want to see out of, don't do those. But if there's a chilly corner where you like to read at night (for instance), do those windows.
I'd say we're not quite done half of the windows, but it seems to be pretty good so far.

I am enjoying being able to have the blinds up and letting more light into the living room. Previously, I would pull them up for light but then would lower them soon after because I didn't enjoy the chill on the back of my neck!
We had a little trouble with the bubble wrap falling down when we first put them up but it seems to be better now. For one thing, I added a little glycerin to the water as some suggested. (We happen to have it in the house. You can get it at a store with soap making supplies. Others suggested a little dish soap would work as well.) I also think misting the window with a wide, fine spray works better than spraying it like a jet.

When you want to remove the bubble wrap, it comes off easily and doesn't leave any residue behind on the window. (Ok, yes, you will likely have to wash the windows--but there's nothing sticky or difficult to remove. And don't you like to wash your windows in the spring anyway?)

My next problem will be where to store this bulky stuff when it's not on the windows!! (And don't forget to label them before you take them down or you'll never figure out where they go!)

All part of the adventure of trying to build a house that you can heat with a cat.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Raise the Roof

The master bedroom
Or at least, the ceiling.

Since I last posted about the drywall, Troy and I have been working on it in fits and spurts. After the insulation was done, we patched the holes and then started the taping and mudding.

Troy has also started to tackle the ceiling. He debated different solutions for a ceiling that was in bad shape and decided to apply foam insulation and drywall to the existing lathe and plaster. The room is tall enough that it can afford to lose and inch or two and it seemed the best option.

Of course before putting up the drywall, he had to locate and install all of the lighting fixtures. I had some of them marked and the switch boxes in for all of them, but he installed the fixtures and ran the final wiring.
Starting in the bathroom and closet area.
PS: He fixed the drywall lift so it no longer
is a risk that it may collapse on him and kill him.
He also had to put a final fix on the chimney. This chimney:
The first winter we were here, Troy put in the woodstove and this chimney to go with it. For a little while after it was installed, we could lay in bed and look through the ceiling and through the roof to admire the stars! Of course Troy fixed the roof very quickly, but there has been a gap in the ceiling around the pipe ever since. That was a lot of hot air escaping to the attic and dust coming down in to the bedroom.

But no more:
What a nice seal! Ok, I don't really care about the seal as long as it keeps the dust (and all that insulation we blew into the attic) in the attic!

Here are few more general shots of the rooms:
Looking southeast through the doorway.
Looking southeast again, this time in the doorway.
Looking northwest (toward the doorway).
Looking southwest.

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