What stands between you and the world, or Taking a Hole Saw to House Walls

3 min read Have you ever felt an overwhelming desire to just drill a hole in the side of your house.  Maybe not.  And that’s for the best.  But since I have, you can share in the benefit of my experience. 

When we installed the exhaust fan for the new basement bathroom, the most direct exit route was right through the rim joist of the house.  Dad got out his trusty hole saw with the largest (4 inch diameter) attachment and got to work on it.    Continue reading “What stands between you and the world, or Taking a Hole Saw to House Walls”

Progress: Installing Batt Insulation

2 min read Having passed the framing and electrical inspections, the next direct step for the basement was to finish up the insulation. For the first time ever, this task turned out to be easier than I expected.

It was unexpectedly challenging to find 23” batts of insulation (designed for more efficient 24 inch on center framing I used) which were ALSO unfaced (no place for moisture to get stuck) AND designed for a 2×4 wall (not an attic).  I scoured the internet for this unicorn of insulation objects, the 23” unfaced 3.5” batt and finally had to special order it to be delivered to Menards.  Continue reading “Progress: Installing Batt Insulation”

Fun with an Infra Red thermometer

2 min read Nothing shows the importance of insulation like an IR thermometer.  It is best used when the temperature differential between inside and outside is greatest – mid summer or winter. 

Since it was 20 degrees outside all day yesterday, I took some readings of the window frame before finishing the insulation seal in and around the window framing.  The difference was pretty dramatic.

(Note: you also FEEL the difference dramatically with your hand but that shows up less well in a blog post.)  Continue reading “Fun with an Infra Red thermometer”

Micro Update: Up-Down Insulated Blinds

4 min read Insulated blinds are one of my favorite micro updates.  In addition to a warmer (or cooler) house they provide privacy, controls over your daylight and a stylish update to your aesthetics.  Win. Win. Win. Win.

The snap in the air this week reminded me to adjust my insulated blinds up at night instead of leaving them at half mast for daytime privacy.  I love, Love, LOVE my cordless, up-down, cellular blinds.  They are energy efficient, streamlined and private, and I think they could be an improvement to any home.  Continue reading “Micro Update: Up-Down Insulated Blinds”

Progress: Snugged in for winter with new basement Windows

2 min read With winter coming (the weather just shifted from 70’s to 40’s this week), I was reminded of a punch list of get it done in good weather items.  One was last weeks painting catch-all.  Another is the possibly crazy goal of getting the mudroom framed in, scheduled for next week.  

This week I wanted to install the rest of the basement replacement windows.  Continue reading “Progress: Snugged in for winter with new basement Windows”

The Secret to (Warm) Success: Insulating behind new Basement Walls

3 min read Part of the reason I decided to entirely tear out the existing “finished basement” was aesthetic: it was incredibly dated with an unpleasant drop ceiling and an unfortunate layout.  I could have kept some parts of it however, if it hadn’t been totally un-insulated.  I can do SO MUCH BETTER than that.

I did part of this insulation work a couple of weeks ago – to make step one before framing the walls for the new bathroom – and the rest is still on my agenda.  I’ll be insulating the south and east walls next.   Continue reading “The Secret to (Warm) Success: Insulating behind new Basement Walls”

Tap in the SubFloor, One Tile at a Time

3 min read The old basement walls were built from the vinyl tile flooring straight up to the ceiling and attached to 2×2 furring strips that were bolted straight to the painted concrete walls. I want to improve the insulation of the basement and also the air circulation so that no mold will form in dead air cold spaces. First step: install a DriCore sub floor system.

I’m working with a dry basement (generally) but I did notice a little mold on the back of some of the knotty pine and drywall I moved from the original “finished” space.  The walls I took out had been built from the vinyl tile flooring straight up to the ceiling and attached to 2×2 furring strips that were bolted straight to the painted concrete walls.  I want to improve the insulation of the basement and also the air circulation so that no mold will form in dead air cold spaces.   Continue reading “Tap in the SubFloor, One Tile at a Time”