Insulating our House

Our Family Room Ceiling
This is why my blogging frequency has decreased, because we are making swiss cheese of our house. When we bought this house, it was our first home purchase so we didn’t take into consideration somethings that we would consider now. Seven years ago, we wanted a unique (as in not cookie cutter) three bedroom house with a bit of character, within walking distance to town and with a big backyard. This house had all of those features. But it also had a few features which we completely overlooked. Like single paned windows that were painted shut, walls and floors that weren’t insulated, doors with gaps at the base so large that we could see if someone was standing behind it, a flat top tar & gravel roof with no western shade and no air conditioning. Needless to say, our house got mighty uncomfortable during the summer heat waves. It was like living in an oven. On the 100+ degree heat waves it would easily be 95+ degrees, inside(!). And I made the wise decision of being at my most pregnant through our oven like summers. Twice. Not smart!
Swiss Cheese Room
So we started with the windows. We replaced them with double paned windows that we could actually open. Glory Be! That helped a bit. The next year we installed ceiling fans in every room, which was lovely. The following year we replaced the doors with weather tight solid doors. That made a considerable difference. But it still got bloody hot in here during the summer. So with a crummy real estate economy and the realization that we are going nowhere soon, we decided to take the plunge and have the house insulated yesterday. After less than 24 hours we’ve already noticed a difference. This morning I didn’t go running straight for my slippers when my feet hit the ground and the walls that faced the outside weren’t bitter cold like they used to be.
New/Old Insulation
Because we never like to keep things easy nor simple, we decided to have an electrician come and replace all of our old brittle wires with new ones and also to install some overhead lighting and a new ceiling fan box in our family room. We took down the old yucky ceiling tile and took the opportunity to take out the 65 year old rock wool insulation and add not only new insulation but also new radiant barrier. Have you heard of that before? It’s like bubble wrap encased in aluminum foil and it’s supposed to keep the heat of your attic off of your insulation, so that the insulation has less of a chance of heating up and therefore transferring that heat to the room. It was fairly inexpensive and easy to install and is supposed to make a world of difference. In fact our electrician said that one of his friends installed it in her attic and she actually got rid of her air conditioner! I can only hope.
Needing new trim
And while we were at it, I decided that I didn’t like the baseboard nor the trim around the doors so we’ve been taking it all off, room by room to be replaced by nicer wider trim and baseboard. Oh, and since we’re at it the doors have 65 years worth of paint jobs on it, so we’re stripping the doors down to bare wood and giving them a clean coat of off white paint. It’s a huge laundry list of projects, but I can’t wait until they are all done. And I’m even looking forward to our summer heat for once to see if this new insulation really works.

Summer? I’m ready for it!


Filed under Our Weekends

4 responses to “Insulating our House

  1. Updating and upgrading homes, oh the joy! I love all the changes you are making in your house, perhaps because I find myself in the same boat. We ripped our baseboards out to replace all the flooring and are slowing replacing them with wider trim/baseboards.
    We still have to insulate our crawl space to keep our floors warm (next fall) that will be a real treat I’m sure, especially with our winters. I hope your insulating helps during the summer.

  2. I love that you’re breathing new life into your house. And yes, insulation is a great idea! We redid all of the baseboards in our old house with thick 5″ baseboard, and then immediately moved in our current house with 3″ baseboard. How I miss that baseboard and dream of redoing the baseboards in our current home! Someday perhaps (as my husband says “Never again.”)

  3. Pingback: Four Years of Marches | A Sonoma Garden

  4. Suzi

    Would love some before and after pics of the house. I am obsessed with upgrading homes. Love the transformation and the heat/cold factor. Once took my electric bill and cut it in half with proper air flow and insulation. Good for you.

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