Weekend 3* – Keeping Warm and The Insulator (33 Gin)

It is time for insulation and after a variety of remodels, my husband has become and expert at installing the stuff. My job to get the stuff, tell him to put it where the sun won’t shine, and make the drinks when he is finished. This post will be technical (with a little treat at the end), but I hope it will shine a little light on a hidden subject.


To determine what we will be using and where it will go I rely on a variety of sources: advice from my contractor, wisdom gained a SBA (Sustainable Building Advisor’s Course), my architectural knowledge, and everyone’s favorite source of in information – the internet.

But what to put where? Our remodel has a variety of conditions: a cantilevered floor, a 2×4 exterior wall, a concrete basement wall and an attic. After a few trips to Home Depot, a local lumber supplier, and the dark corners of my garage we are prepared with the following items:



Insulating is best done a step done BEFORE the area is covered up by a sub floor, a tub, drywall, or what ever else is planned. This means we need to think ahead (always a good plan when doing a remodel) and have materials available. Because as the old cliche goes “it really is now or never.”

The first void to be insulated was the floor at the exterior edge of the bathroom. The back wall of the bathroom cantilevers 18″ over the foundation. If this area was not filled with insulation, the heat from the tub would sink out the floor of the tub and outside. Last week before my contractor installed the sub-floor in the bathroom he pulled up a floor board and stuffed the empty cavity full of blow-in fiber insulation.

The next location to tackle was the walls on the exterior. Since the tub will sit in front of the exterior wall, all work behind and above the tub needs to be completed BEFORE the tub is installed. Since our house is ninety years old and the walls are constructed of 2x4s we have two options for insulation. We could install 3 1/2″ of polyiso for an R value of 20.5 or batt insulation for an R value of 13. We opt for the batt insulation. Before we staple up the insulation the contractor seals all the leaks with spray foam. This step is as important as the insulation. Imagine wearing a down coat made a material that does not resist the wind. The spray foam seals the house and keeps out the draft. Beads of the spray form are visible in the corner to the left of the window.


Our remodel includes work on walls in the basement, we will insulate the open wall while we can. Since, concrete is a porous material and absorbs and releases moisture it is best to use a water resistant material against the concrete wall. The best product on the market for this application is EPS. To get a maximum R value we will install 1/2″ EPS (foil to the out side) with a layer of R-13 batt stapled to the studs on the outside. This will give us a total of almost R-15. Soon it will all be covered in drywall.


Since we are busy bees we will also add double reflective insulation to the underside of the roof in the attic. I call it silver bubble wrap, and it is amazing at keeping heat out. Several years ago during From Drab to Daylight remodel we beefed up the insulation on the half-walls. The double reflective insulation should provide that extra deterrent to reducing the heat in the attic during hot summer days.

All the insulating calls for something cool, I think I will serve the insulator a nice cool Insulator.

The Insulator

In a rocks glass combine: The Insulator

* There are no posts for Weekend 1 or Weekend 2.


2 thoughts on “Weekend 3* – Keeping Warm and The Insulator (33 Gin)

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