Insulation Question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mommyumd, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. mommyumd

    mommyumd Well-Known Member

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    Lurker here; now exposed.
    My husband and I bought a shell of a cabin and 7 acres in NH. We have a 3 to 5 year plan to move permenantly there and do a real "simplistic lifestyle". We will be installing a wood burning stove to heat the whole thing (open flooring - 20 by 32 ft one floor). But we will freeze our buns off if we don't insulate well.

    The outside is simple 10" barnboard with approx. half to one inch seperations. Over these we place 2" battens. The studs are 2x6 so we will do the regular fiberglass stuff but because the barnboard are the only seperation between the fiberglass and outside, do you place anything else inbetween. Is 6" fiberglass the best? Help. I only have so many layers of clothes!
     
  2. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Assuming that the cabin is stick built, first cover framing with 2" styrofoam insulation, then cover that with house wrap then apply boards and battens. On the inside go with the 6" fiberglass. Thats the down and dirty of it. I would suggest an internet search for house wrap and 2" styrofoam insulation.
    Edited to add: Check out this website for more information about insulation. http://www.conservproducts.com/insulating_your_home.html
     

  3. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Yup, insulate the outside with rigid foam if you can. I prefer the blown in insulation over fiberglass. You get a much better fill and less leaks.

    If you buy the cellulose paks from Home Depot or Lowes, they have the blower that usually you can get for free use for the installation period. There is a list that you put your name on. See the folks at customer service. Pretty easy to do and it goes fast, can also do the attic / roof area.
     
  4. Swampthing

    Swampthing Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying to use the styrofoam instead of plywood or osb for the exterior sheathing?
     
  5. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    sounds like the cabin is already sided with 1x10 and 2 inch battens to cover the joints. If I am correct then get tyvec house wrap and from the inside staple it to the 2x6 studs and form it to follow the 1x10's then back on the 2x6 etc. Then put in your fiberglass. the tyvec normally goes outside on the sheathing under the finnish siding, but in your case inside is the next best thing unless you want to remove the siding and do it that way.
     
  6. mommyumd

    mommyumd Well-Known Member

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    That's correct - the barnboard and battens are already up (it was made to be a summer shelter). They also put in fire stops inbetween the studding, so how would using the tyvex work with that?

    Thanks to all!
     
  7. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Well here in AZ they do. They are engineered that way. They do use OSB in spots and metal bracing in others. Vertical boards used for siding would offer no structual support. If it were me and I were facing NH winters and chopping or buying firewood, I would pull off all the siding and start over. The purpose of having the styrofoam on the outside of the framing is to stop drafts and insulate where the studs are instead of just in between them. And ditto for the house wrap, its only purpose is to stop drafts from ever gettin into the structure to begin with. Some pics of the place would be real nice for us to have a better idea of what they are dealing with.
     
  8. Swampthing

    Swampthing Well-Known Member

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    How do you nail the board and batten? I guess the studs are 16"oc, unless you are using 16" board what do you nail it into? Other than the top and bottom? Is the styrofoam that rigid as to be able to nail into it?
     
  9. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    knock out the fire stops put in the tyvec then replace the firestops if you think you need them. fire stops are only used in 2 story baloon framing where you don't have a top plate at the first floor ceiling. if you are a one story then you don't need fire stops.
     
  10. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    your siding is allready up forget the tyvek buy the best insulation you can get for 2x6 studs no need to take out the cats just cut the insulation short pices of tyvek will not do much good air will leak take from someone that has done a lot of building
     
  11. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    I'd bet the siding is nailed to the fire stops. Don't knock them out or you have nothing to hold the middle of the siding. The 2 biggest proplems with just putting in fiberglass will be air infiltration and the fiberglass getting wet and moldimg. Board and batton siding is not that tight to seal out everything. Fiberglass up next to it will wick in any moisture that comes through.

    I would cut pieces of fiberboard sheathing to fit fairly tight inbetween the studs. Liquid nail these in and use expanding foam around the edges to seal them. Then you should be able to use fiberglass or whatever insulation you want.

    WWW
     
  12. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Well, all thats in there now is air and the studs. So nail or screw to whatever they are nailed to now, just use longer screws to make up the difference.
    " The 2 biggest proplems with just putting in fiberglass will be air infiltration and the fiberglass getting wet and moldimg. Board and batton siding is not that tight to seal out everything. Fiberglass up next to it will wick in any moisture that comes through." I didn't think of that originally. That makes it even more important to pull the siding and redo. Got to stop that moisture!! Fiberglass has almost nil insulating capacity when wet. Its not that big of a cabin, the effort now to do it right will surely payoff big time come winter. Edited to add this link http://www.dow.com/styrofoam/na/res-us/installations/foam_over_stud.htm
     
  13. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Yup as it is just a cabin in size, if there is any doubt as to the water tightness of the siding, I would pull all of it off and redo from scratch. Same with the roof. Depending on how big the "attic" is would do a nice under the roof air flow system and insulate the BeJesus out of the rafter system.

    For the insulation, I would say your choices are sprayed in expanded foam, blown in cellulose or fiberglass. That with rigid board insulation on the outside under the plywood for a best installation.

    I don't like fiberglass for my own house, might put it in yours. Houses with it never feel "Tight" to me. Probably has the poorest sound damping and today isn't even all that cheap.

    The sprayed in expanded foam if done right is probably top of the line. Especially the methods used where it is done with the wall coverings off. My present house has older rock wool and zillions of tons of blown in cellulose. Should be very tight once I get the windows replaced.

    The fire stops in a cabin might serve another purpose. Keeping mice out. Duh, I am getting these smart Ohio mouses. Know I will never totally ever be able to keep them out with my foundation design. Might also think about how your insulation might serve to keep the pathways for the rodents down to a dull roar. They are probably everywhere and love to eat NH bread as well.
     
  14. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    makes sense, didn't think about firestops as nailers. you should strip the exterior and start from scratch it's the best way. all the other options are going to be substandard at best and some won't work at all.
    cost/bang for your buck is cellulose you can do it yourself.
    expandable foam is the best but you will pay for it, and fibeglass is more expensive than cellulose, and less r-value per inch than cellulose and foam.
    the ridgid foam under the sheathing with tyvek type wrap will make it very tight as Cosmic said, and it will keep moisture from getting in.
     
  15. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    You can always sell the place to me :rolleyes:
     
  16. Orville

    Orville Well-Known Member

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    How about removing the battens keeping the ext boards in place as structural sheathing, put insulated sheathing or styrofoam over the exterior boards, then side with vinyl (You would have to mark the spaces between the boards left by the batons so you wouldn't waste time putting the sheathing/siding nails in the voids). Blow cellulose between studs, caulk the floor plate, finish inside walls as desired. Blow a bunch of cellulose in attic. Heat cabin with candle.

    If you wanted to keep the board and battens in place as the finished ext. surface, you would have to use a lot of quality caulk to seal all cracks. Good caulk is expensive, and it may be better to take the above route.
     
  17. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    if your trying to insulate a building that has an air infiltration problem (old siding and the like) cellulose is a lot better than fiberglass, but you will need a inside wall and mark the fire blocking or cross blocking as each cell will need to be blown full, there are some contractors that use a water and glue mix and spray the cellulose on to open wall, I have done this and it works very well but will take weeks to dry out before closing up the wall,

    In my barn just T&G siding single boards on studs, I used fiberglass and then sheeted over it with OSB, I could not keep that room warm for anything, I finally took off the OSB, pulled out the fiberglass and then blew it full of cellulose and it has heated easy, (the fiberglass was to loose and the air blew through it and thus it was not insulating,) the cellulose is heavy and blocks the wind,

    if you strip the battens off the cabin and use a building wrap and re side, then fiber glass will work for you,

    but you should have some type of inside wall as well, and a vapor barrier would be good as well, by can blow the cellulose in from the our side as well and plug the holes, If dry walling blow before you tape it and then you can use the foam plugs and tape over the holes, use a 2" to 1 or 11/4" reducer on the end ot the blower hose, smaller holes and you will actually end up with a better pack of the cellulose.
     
  18. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    thats what we did we srtiped of the siding put new sheating then tyvek and then insulation but not before we had to add at least 40 new studs due to being to far apart of termite damadge
     
  19. mommyumd

    mommyumd Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for the great suggestions. I think taking off the battens and using the barnboard as the exterior sheathing and styrofoam/tyvex from there is the wisest. So blown cellulose is best I gather. Do you lay a vapor barrier inside on the barnboard before spraying?

    Sorry boxwood -- this one took a will to find. White mountain view in a small town of 800 people. Very different from the 100,000+ city we live in now.
     
  20. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Is there not a spray sealer that's used in restoration work. I think it's sprayed from the inside onto the backside of the exterior walls and studs so the exterior can remain unchanged. This seals the inside of the exterior walls. Then spaces between studs are insulated and the interior walls are put up. I just can't remember the name of it????? It's been too many years ....