Monday, April 30, 2012

Insulation... It's Getting Hot In Here

June 2011

One of the least glamorous parts of our exterior remodel was adding spray foam insulation inside our walls.  We were lucky to have existing insulation in our attic, but our walls cavities were completely bare.  Considering last year we spent over $300 in January on our gas bill and the house never got above 65 degrees this was a completely necessary addition.  We used a small mom and pop shop which was way cheaper but kinda lacking on professionalism.  This seems to be how we get 90% of our work done.

Since the house was covered in lead paint we agreed to pull the lead siding off in all the areas they would need so they could drill through the sheathing without coming in contact.  They showed up on the rainiest grossest day of the year to date.  I had taken the day off work to help supervise.  The one guy was sick as a dog and could barely stand up, lovely.  They also kept missing places and I had to have them come back and fill several cavities.  At the same time, several of our electrical outlets on the exterior walls started popping out.  As the foam expanded in the wall the less secured boxes just pushed out onto the floor and white foam started flowing out.  Needless to say, I was having quite a nervous break down throughout the entire process. I even broke down and called Josh and had him come out at lunch to supervise further.

The good news is the entire thing took about 3 hours so my freak out session was limited.  The outlets easily slipped back into the wall and the soy based foam wiped up.  As soon as they were done I could not wait to get the siding back on the house and start painting.  I also couldn't wait to turn my heat on and see what a difference we had made.  The addition of insulation cost us $2,400.  This was pretty cheap (we had been quoted up to 5k), but, it was in part because they didn't have to drill through the siding or patch it back. Oregon gave us a tax credit of $340 so for the cost of a 3-day weekend in NYC we warmed our house, reduced our heating bills, and greened the earth a little.  You can teach a 1920's house some new tricks.



  1. Our insulation guys drilled a hole into our built-in medicine cabinet!

  2. O my gosh, I would have totally freaked out! I can laugh about the entire thing now, but I was nervous wreck the whole time. It was also 10:00am so I couldn't medicate with a glass of wine!