Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vapor Barrier and Insulation Days 2, 3, & 4

I had a three day weekend off this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The weather warmed up and I was able to get a good bit accomplished with the vapor barrier.

But first, remember my dormer windows?

This is what they look like inside:

I had to climb up for some reason and had never seen them, so I snapped a picture, to share and remember. Once the ceiling goes up, I may never see this side of them again.

On to the work:

Friday, I got the front wall and the Living Area done.

Saturday I got the Dining Area completed.

And Sunday I worked in the kitchen, trying to finish it up until my stapler jammed.

I banged it around for about 15 minutes, which usually releases it, but was unsuccessful. So I called it quits. Later my Dad worked on it until it popped open again.

Friday New Guy Contractor came over to check out some studs for me- they had old surface termite damage and I wanted to make sure they were okay before I covered them with the vapor barrier- and he brought me this:

Free random insulation that was taking up room in his workshop!


I spent a lot- A LOT- of time this weekend taking nails out of studs, probably almost as much time as I spent putting up the vapor barrier. But it had to be done for my purposes, and for the dry wall to come. And I was working by myself this weekend which was both kind of cool and also very lonely.

I only lack a small section in the kitchen, one wall in the small bedroom, and one wall in the small bedroom's closet. And the top foot around the top of the exterior walls all around the house, since my vapor barrier was 9 feet tall and my ceilings are 10 feet.

I don't have much left. Then time for the insulation!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vapor Barrier and Insulation Day 1

Sunday, January 3, 2010

We took a little break from the house work since the week before Christmas. I was out of state about a week, Then it was Christmas, then it was New Year's. All in addition to having a heavier work load at my job.

And also I was waiting on bids from New Guy. I got those in but they were too high, so we've been paring down what's left to be done to the house before move in into What Has to Be Done and What I Can Do. I'm all about saving some money where I can, and this is usually in regards to labor instead of materials.

And let's face it, I'm on a budget. I have more time than money and my goal here is to finish the house to move-in condition for HALF of what it would cost to have New Guy and crew finish it out. It will take me a little longer, but it's saving me lots of money.

So Sunday after New Year's my dad and I set off on a mission to Lowe's. And Wal-Mart (twice)... and the house project he's been working on currently to borrow a few tools. We had ready:

A trusty 9' ladder I affectionately call the 'death trap',

2 9'x 150' rolls of Lowe's branded vapor barrier,

10 rolls of R13 rated insulation,

a staple gun, staples, duct tape, gloves, 2 utility knives, a newly purchased radio/boom box, (since the other one I had on the job site walked off last year, sometime),

a tape measure, a hammer, and a portable heater.

Then we set off to work. We decided to start on the new back wall in the kitchen with the vapor barrier. In new construction, it goes on the outside of the house, between the plywood sheeting and the siding. Since I have no sheeting, I decided to put it up on the inside, facing out.

My dad, ready, and the beginning corner in question behind him. It was cold, really cold, really, really cold, in the house. I think the temperature was around 28 degrees, but I don't know what the wind chill was.

It took us a while to get our groove going, and the stapler we had was giving us fits, until it finally gave up and would staple no more, hence the second trip to Wal-Mart. It seems like an easy task, to wrap the barrier around the studs, and it was, but it's time consuming to get it right.

By the time we took a break to eat we had the back wall in the kitchen done,

and into the bathroom, up to the bathtub, where New Guy and Crew had already put it up before installing the bathtub.

I was told I didn't need to do this step by New Guy, if I wasn't going to blow in insulation. But I figured for a very minimal cost I could vapor wrap all the outside walls of my house, and provide another barrier, so why not? We could definitely tell, even only getting this far, how much it blocked the wind from coming in the house.

After we ate, we came back and tackled behind the hot water heater and in the closet off the Big Bedroom,

And also across the wall in the Big Bedroom. At this point it was too dark to really do much more and we were cold and hungry again.

We ran errands before starting, but we probably weren't actually working but maybe 5 hours. And we probably got a good 3rd of the house done. We will come back and overlap the barrier by a foot or so up top to get the little bit the roll wouldn't cover, but I figured I could do that my myself.

And then goes in insulation. We bought some just to see how far it got us along in the project.

My Dad said that you know you've done it right when it looks easy, when it looks like there's nothing to it.

Hopefully I'll be able to get back down there for more progress soon.