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Old 02-06-2007, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Chillicothe, IL
196 posts, read 750,173 times
Reputation: 69
Default Insulating House

I live in a 100 year old house. Original windows, no wall insulation, and some insulation in the attic between the floor joist that is really old and disintegrated. If I insulate the walls I realize it will have to be blown in. The attic and basement also need insulated and the windows need replaced. I'm looking for the most bang for my buck. Any one recommend one over the other? I can't afford to do it all at once. All of the windows are drafty and the walls are cold to the touch. It's a two story house.
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:50 PM
 
2,218 posts, read 3,747,970 times
Reputation: 1633
Pella windows are wicked expensive, but they say those are some of the best.
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,813 posts, read 9,169,437 times
Reputation: 2000001114
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhittak View Post
I live in a 100 year old house. Original windows, no wall insulation, and some insulation in the attic between the floor joist that is really old and disintegrated. If I insulate the walls I realize it will have to be blown in. The attic and basement also need insulated and the windows need replaced. I'm looking for the most bang for my buck. Any one recommend one over the other? I can't afford to do it all at once. All of the windows are drafty and the walls are cold to the touch. It's a two story house.
Wow, original windows! That's rare! If it makes you feel any better, I live in a brick home that's very insulated and even my walls feel cold to the touch on the inside when it's 20F or below too, or if it's been cold for a long stretch outside.
I'd consult a home builder or someone in construction like an experienced and reputable contractor for an educated answer.
Heat rises...so maybe blowing in the attic first might be the best start? Also, with summer around the corner, the attic can get really hot and that can translate into a hot house too sometimes...so maybe insulate that first and make sure it has adequate ventilation, even with small fans installed to move air if possible.
Just running it through without much careful thought!
Your house sounds neat by the way.
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Lake Forest, CA
1,783 posts, read 5,033,119 times
Reputation: 1983
After a contractor blows insulation in the attic, try caulking around window and door frames. Caulk and caulk guns are cheap, pretty quick and pretty easy - you can't do much damage to anything by mistake.
Does the old house have an open fireplace? Sometimes the damper doesn't close very well and all the warm air in a house literally goes up the chimney. Lots of people put a snug fitting front brass / glass cover in front of the open fire place to cut down on the updraft of warm air.

Then look at how tight the outside doors close against their frames. Check if hinges are fastened tight to the doors and frame, and then see if weatherstripping might seal air leaks around the doors. Same thing for windows. Weatherstripping is also cheap, and no major skill or fancy tools required. Find a friendly hardware store and they'll point you in the right direction. Have fun too.
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:14 PM
 
5,019 posts, read 8,863,816 times
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I live in an old house with original windows...and you'll pry those original windows out of my cold dead hands.



Our custom storms do a pretty good job of insulating.

And, hey, my cashmere sweater collection is coming in handy this winter. Ever see those cute down booties at Lands End? Those are a life saver for old house people.

Please don't ditch your old windows just yet.

Surf on over to the good folks at oldhouseweb and search coping ideas for old house dwellers.
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,813 posts, read 9,169,437 times
Reputation: 2000001114
[quote=plaidmom;343800]I live in an old house with original windows...and you'll pry those original windows out of my cold dead hands.



Our custom storms do a pretty good job of insulating.

And, hey, my cashmere sweater collection is coming in handy this winter. Ever see those cute down booties at Lands End? Those are a life saver for old house people.

Please don't ditch your old windows just yet.

Surf on over to the good folks at oldhouseweb and search coping ideas for old house dwellers. [/QUOTE
I could look at pictures of your house ALL DAY! It's beyond charming. I'd be halfway willing to wear a parka inside to enjoy the beauty of it if that was what it took!
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:18 PM
 
2,218 posts, read 3,747,970 times
Reputation: 1633
Those are the prettiest windows I've ever seen....

And that reminds me, about this old house, if you're not in a super hurry maybe you could write a letter send an email and ask them about trying to keep your old windows and making them more efficient or what they would recommend doing.
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
2,911 posts, read 7,018,184 times
Reputation: 2479
Your local power provider should have people that will come to your house for free to do an energy assessment.

I was surprised how much less drafty putting in new windows was for the bf. It cost him about $2,000 and he put them in himself. He also installed a ventless gas fireplace on the north livingroom wall by the entry, antique style for about $400. It puts out an unbelievable amount of heat much better than the pellet stove. It's the main heating source for the main floor. He put small ones in the bedrooms and just leaves the pilot light on.

If I had a hundred year old house my first concern would be for updated wiring, and if there were was to mitigate the risk of balloon construction (if applicable). New furnaces are much better than the old ones as far as energy use.
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
14,838 posts, read 24,438,754 times
Reputation: 12932
I'd go with sprayed foam (urethane). I've got it in my 20 some year old house and can heat this place with my gas oven at 30 below. It's only 2 bedroom but is 2 story. It also binds all the wood work together. Usefull in an earthquake prone environment!
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Old 02-07-2007, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Chillicothe, IL
196 posts, read 750,173 times
Reputation: 69
All of the electrical has been updated. Only one window in the house is decorative. I would keep that one. The rest are nothing exciting, and only a single pane of glass. We do have storm windows over all of them. Most of my house has lost its old world charm throughout all of it's years of different owners. Some original interior doors, original heating vents in the walls, and some wood floors. I'm really thinking of replacing the windows because of how drafty they are. I hate wrapping them (most of them, their are a lot) many of them do not even open.
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