Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Insulation Part 2

You thought I was kidding when I said there were two parts to the insulation story?!

Oh, buddy, I don't kid around with these series posts (except the monthly updates of course). Especially ones about something as fascinating as insulation (no offense Jeff).

Well, if I can jog your memory, quickly, three months ago we hired Oklahoma Foam & Enersolve to take care of our Insulation/HVAC job. We were a beta test of sorts between those two companies and the inclusion of Floyd Mechanical.

Trey, from Enersolve, also a friend of ours now (seriously who wouldn't want to be a consultant on our job and then not want to be our friends?) came out with Jeff from the Insulation company and they started to analyze our house. Trey put together an entire list of items he would highly recommend we accomplish in order to create a more sealed, energy efficient home. As possible as that is for an 83 year old home at least. Those recommendations included everything from using weatherstripping, vapor barriers, CFL and LED light bulbs to the type and thickness of foam insulation, blown-in insulation and the type of mechanical system we should implement.

Then Oklahoma Foam came in and took care of spraying foam insulation everywhere that Trey had recommended, the type and thickness.

Next up was Fred. He is quite possibly one of the most unique people I have ever met. He is incredibly intelligent about HVAC systems and with input from Trey and the coordination with Jeff, he put in an incredible four zoned, central heat and air system for us. Two zones on the first floor, two zones on the second (one of which controls only our master suite - look whose living the high life now).

We received GROSSLY overestimated quotes from two other well known Oklahoma City HVAC companies before we had received Fred's quote. They weren't quoting nearly as efficient machines and they certainly were not quoting us four separate zones. He didn't gouge us on price, he did all of the work and did it all correctly. He asked us questions, he answered our questions, he came out when we needed him and was extremely responsive.

This three company partnership worked like a well-oiled machine and I couldn't be more thrilled with the outcome of their work.

While there is still final set up for Fred to complete at the very end of our project, we are down to the last portion of their work. The blown-in insulation.

If you'll recall, Paul cut a strip at the top of every exterior wall on both floors that were to receive the blown-in insulation. He used a skill saw to cut one or two lines, came back with a hammer and pounded out the plaster and then pulled out the metal lathe.

This was quite possibly one of the messiest things we did in the house. The amount of dust that the saw blade caused alone left me looking like I was 67 years old after only 3 hours of work. I'd aged 40 years in one morning and people stared at lunch. I was a hot mess.

Because, we knew that the studs under the windows could possibly be in a different place than the studs above the windows, Paul would find a spot to test, find a stud and then cut small round holes in the stud cavities for them to be able to insulate below the windows as well. (Ignore the orange tape, I needed a height reference for our headboard.)
Once they arrived, they were ready to fill the currently empty walls full of warm goodness.

For people who own new homes, I know you're thinking, "So what?". Please understand that you take the insulation in your walls for granted. Our last home was noticeably drafty. Without the extents of this renovation, this type of insulation would not have been possible. We have friends that their old houses stay in the 50-60 degree range and that is what the heat ON.

None of the interior walls are receiving insulation EXCEPT the new interior wall between our master closet and Addison's bedroom, as well as the wall between our master bath and the guest room. Other than the very obvious noise factor of a master bedroom (erm, relatively inappropriate blog content here) we just wanted there to be a comfortable noise barrier for regular talk. 

"Between your closet and a bedroom? Between your bathroom and the guest room?" Yes and yes. My closet backed up to my parent's bathroom. I never heard the "you-know-what" but I did hear them talking at night as they were getting ready to go to bed, or getting dressed in the morning. Nothing major (if there was, I have repressed it) but I do remember overhearing about a gift I was getting one year. I want to be able to talk to Paul without the concern of who can hear what, and nowhere is a better place than our master suite for that privacy.

I know this is going to be worth it in the summer and the winter to be comfortable and to have insanely lower energy bills. At least I'll keep reminding myself of that while I'm staring at my warm, empty (but quiet) rooms and blank walls over the next few years.  

I doubt any of you are worried about this type of thing since we're a tiny little blog, but we aren't getting compensated to say any of these things. Our realtor, insulation company, mechanical contractor and energy specialist seriously are worth looking into if you need any of these types of services. And being the pessimist that I am, I don't typically write glowing reviews.

In fact, I've left some not so great reviews off of this blog, because my mother (we'll assume it was her) taught me "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all." OK, OK, I know I don't always follow the rule, or rarely, but I'm trying here people.   

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