U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-04-2010, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 12,828,896 times
Reputation: 5985

Advertisements

We've got a very old house; don't even know how old it really is. The building of the house isn't in county records. First entry that it exists was a mention of an addition to the home in the 50s.

We've had the electrical system totally ripped out and completely replaced, the first of our many large projects. Currently we're having heat and air installed, as it's never been in the house at all. Not sure how former residents lived in 100+ degree heat with no air and single digit winters with no heat. I've not been handling it well!

Once the heat and air is done we're re-doing all plumbing, but before that we'd like to have insulation installed. When they did the re-wiring they found that real insulation hadn't been used in our home - in any part of it! The original portion of the house just has old newspaper on the wood interior part of the wall. The additions all have old clothes, blankets, etc stuffed in there.

Now I know we still need to replace some of the windows too, so I'll (for now) do a lot of caulking around windows / doors. But in the meantime we really need insulation. We've got some areas that the wind howls through the walls and windows. It was 6 degrees, crazy windy, and snowing this morning. We need insulation!

Question is, how do we find someone that does it? I mean, is that a job by itself or do we look for someone that does renovations? Or would it be someone that does drywall or something? I'm just not sure where to look to find someone.

And we're way out in the boonies by the way. Our number of potential workers is pretty darn limited.

Oh - should we go with the blow in stuff or the pink rolled stuff? Or something else?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-04-2010, 10:17 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 21,272,685 times
Reputation: 3821
You're talking about quite a few different issues here.

First of all, the windows. You can buy and install "Seal N Peel" on the windows. It goes on like silicone caulk, but can be removed in the spring so that you can open the windows. It's going to run you about $5 per tube, and each tube will do 3-5 windows. The difference will be astounding.


Second, if the areas around the windows - where they meet the wall - are loose and leaking, I'd suggest getting some foam sealant. Pray it sparingly as it expands a LOT. Let it dry, then cut off any of the weird bubbles that show up.



Beyond that, things get a little more complicated and expensive.

Insulation in the attic is, by far, the most important to install. Measure the width between your ceiling joists. It should either be 16" or 24". You can then determine the total square footage of the attic, and go buy insulation accordingly. About a month ago I bought R30 un-faced insulation and rolled it out in the attic of a rental house. It cost me about 30 cents per square foot.

Insulation in the walls is a different story. If you're going to be gutting the inside of the house, that's the time to put R-11 or R-13 insulation between the studs of the wall.


Beyond that very basic advice, I'd need to know more about the house before offering any other suggestions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 12,828,896 times
Reputation: 5985
Thank you!!

The heat guy just left. We're financing the heat and air through the electric company. They've got a deal going - 100% financing at .5% interest for 2 years. We couldn't pass that up. Because we're going through them, they have certain requirements of the heat and air company and one is that the attic must be insulated. To do our heat and air with an air purifier (hubby has bad asthma) and to do the insulation in the attic is going to be about $8000 (house is 2552 square feet under air). They'll loan up to $10k, so we're thinking of seeing how much the extra insulation will be. If we can get the worst areas of the house done for the other $2k we'll do that. *fingers crossed*

We also have the plastic you put over the windows. We used it last year and it made a pretty decent difference. We'll do that and the caulking and expanding foam. Hubby said even with space heaters in the living areas of the house they could see their breath. It's wicked cold in that house!

Oh, we're not gutting it, just doing lots of renovation stuff. When we bought it, it still had the green shag carpet in the den. It needs some updating badly, LOL. We've got super thick - two or three inches - solid wood walls. So gutting and removing those we won't do. I've had some removed and put up accent walls, just so I can have some color. The solid wood everywhere was too much!

What other info do you need for more advice? I'll welcome any advice I can get right now!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2010, 10:49 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 21,272,685 times
Reputation: 3821
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
Thank you!!

The heat guy just left. We're financing the heat and air through the electric company. They've got a deal going - 100% financing at .5% interest for 2 years. We couldn't pass that up. Because we're going through them, they have certain requirements of the heat and air company and one is that the attic must be insulated. To do our heat and air with an air purifier (hubby has bad asthma) and to do the insulation in the attic is going to be about $8000 (house is 2552 square feet under air). They'll loan up to $10k, so we're thinking of seeing how much the extra insulation will be. If we can get the worst areas of the house done for the other $2k we'll do that. *fingers crossed*

We also have the plastic you put over the windows. We used it last year and it made a pretty decent difference. We'll do that and the caulking and expanding foam. Hubby said even with space heaters in the living areas of the house they could see their breath. It's wicked cold in that house!

Oh, we're not gutting it, just doing lots of renovation stuff. When we bought it, it still had the green shag carpet in the den. It needs some updating badly, LOL. We've got super thick - two or three inches - solid wood walls. So gutting and removing those we won't do. I've had some removed and put up accent walls, just so I can have some color. The solid wood everywhere was too much!

What other info do you need for more advice? I'll welcome any advice I can get right now!
Is the attic insulation included in that $8,000 quote? What is the R-Value of the insulation they're installing?

By the way, where are you located? That makes quite a lot of difference in what R-Value is recommended.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2010, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 12,828,896 times
Reputation: 5985
Yes, it's included in the quote. I'm not sure what the R-value isn't. I wasn't home when heat dude was out there. Hubby was. And he forgot to tell him some things, like there is one area of the attic he can't run the ducts through because a bathroom is going there. Kind of important, ya know? Ugh!

We're in middle TN, about an hour and a half north of Chattanooga and 2 hours southeast of Nashville. Our temps run about 5 to 10 degrees cooler than Nashville. I guess Pikeville or Spencer would be the closest towns of any population that you could find info on, weather wise, to figure out what we should be putting in.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2010, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
10,656 posts, read 41,454,675 times
Reputation: 11128
I'd start here:

Department of Energy - Your Home

31-W Insulation is an insulating contractor headquartered in Goodlettesville. I'd definitely talk with someone there after you read the DoE site.

This is a little straighter to the point-

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/...on/ins_06.html

Last edited by K'ledgeBldr; 01-04-2010 at 12:41 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2010, 12:27 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 21,272,685 times
Reputation: 3821
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
Yes, it's included in the quote. I'm not sure what the R-value isn't. I wasn't home when heat dude was out there. Hubby was. And he forgot to tell him some things, like there is one area of the attic he can't run the ducts through because a bathroom is going there. Kind of important, ya know? Ugh!

We're in middle TN, about an hour and a half north of Chattanooga and 2 hours southeast of Nashville. Our temps run about 5 to 10 degrees cooler than Nashville. I guess Pikeville or Spencer would be the closest towns of any population that you could find info on, weather wise, to figure out what we should be putting in.
I'd think you should have at least R-30 Insulation in your attic. There's really no such thing as over-insulating, and the price for thicker insulation usually isn't that much more than thinner.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2010, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
10,656 posts, read 41,454,675 times
Reputation: 11128
For a quick glance-


Find your zone-



These are based on new construction- but each zone has a range. Minimum to maximum.
The one thing most people misconstrue- you can't put R-30 batt in a space that will only take R-13 (in other words compressing R-30 into an R-13 space will not give you R-30 capability.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2010, 01:37 PM
 
24,852 posts, read 29,232,826 times
Reputation: 11373
Check with your county. Ours is called Housing. Someone will know. Now the goverment has a GREAT program for insulation. Very easy qualify for. A neighbor is getting their whole house redone. They both have pretty good jobs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2010, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 41,730,076 times
Reputation: 10254
Ok you got some good answers so far on insulating the attic. It's quite easy to insulate open space. I also wont advise you on the windows though I do not agree with band-aiding it with that plastic film crap. Your challenge is the walls.

For walls you do not have to tear out all the drywall to insulate. If you have wood shakes or clapboards outside then you are in luck. You can even do this yourself. There is a method called blown in insulation. It's a Lambs wool product. You drill a 2" hole outside at the top of every wall cavity....meaning between each stud. You have a big hopper which you pour in the insulation while another person stick the flange into the hole you drilled. You squeeze a trigger and the insulation blows into the wall cavitys and fills it.

When you are done you can purchase 2" plugs, glue around it and tap them into those holes. When dry and hard you belt sand them smooth and paint whatever color your home is or just repaint the whole house. If you have shakes you just remove the shake and drill the whole in the sheething and then replace the shake.

Yes yes yes I know for those of you screaming FIRE BLOCK. In those days they crossed braced the framed walls with 1x. Today they do fireblocks in the walls so your blown in insulation would not get past these blocks. No worry with cross bracing, the cavitys are wide open.

Blown in is not perfect, you could miss some spots. But using the theory that insulatng 90% of the home is better then nothing is a good theory when you consider you can blow in the whole home for $400 in materials. If you tore out all the walls, did batt insulation and re-rocked you would be in for many thousands.

Your immediate attention should be the windows first as that is where you are getting the most heat loss.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top