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drafty old farmhouses

Post in 'The Green Room' started by ditchrider, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You could book a room here and try it out.
    http://www.cappadociacavesuites.com/en/rooms.asp

    Solid stone is a lot more common in the old world and in PA. BrowningBar's house is stone for example.

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  2. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    You have 2 choices with brick walls,foam on the outside or the inside,you figure out which is easier. If you do the outside the brick will act as a heat sink and the effect will be better.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Is there no cavity between the 3 layers of brick?
  4. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    To make a guess at the original Q:
    People love wood stoves, have a romantic vision of them, and also think- installing more power is a lot quicker and easier than doing it right. Maybe cheaper in the short term.

    People on this site tend to offer the advice to first insulate attics and stop air infiltration before thinking about stoves.

    I had all my windows replaced. Yes I already had storms on them. I could walk around with a candle and try to find leaks, but these were bad. New ones are wood- way more $$$, but vinyl would have looked stupid in my log home.
  5. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    My house isn't exactly a drafty old farm house, but it does have some short comings. Originally built as a one room railroad shack with basement, probably in the 1890s, it has been added to a few times over the years.the most recent addition wasdone in 1992 by an owner who didn't really know what he was doing. I have some modern, fairly well insulated walls, and some old walls that were covered in vinyl on the outside and sheetrock inside with little regard for what was between. The windows are all cheap vinyl from 1992. I have replaced the front door, and a slider in back with high quality modern units. The first few winters were chilly with huge propane bills. More use of the existing Franklin style stove helped, but upgrading to the Fireview cut my energy costs significantly at a cost (with 2009 tax incentives) of about $1800. I have saved about nearly $2000 a year since that. I could never get such a return on insulation, air sealing or better windows. My father in an architect with 40+ years experience in home renovation and energy efficiency. He is LEED certified and has followed and studied all the developments in home efficiency in construction and renovation through his entire carreer. He agrees that the better stove was the best investment we could have made for comfort and fuel savings ( as long as the firewood is scrounged and processed by me). What my place needs is to have all the vinyl ripped off, foam blown in to the walls, foam sheathing, and new siding installed. Where I live, that is probably a $20,000 or more job. I'll probably install another wood stove before I do that... or move.
    Energy efficient new construction is relatively cheap and the pay backs are huge. Bringing an older, poorly renovated place like mine up to current standards is very complicated and expensive.
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Home depot has some nice looking wood windows for about $300 each. Looked pretty decent,i like stained wood on the inside,not sure if they were vinyl covered on the outside or not.
  7. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Personally i would put a thick layer of foam on the outside and cover it with log siding,keep those 3 layers of brick inside the thermal envelope. Plus log homes already have thick deep window frames so it would look completely natural.
  8. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    this thing would look even weirder with log siding.
    [​IMG]
  9. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    And nobody say anything about the windows on the third floor. I'm so pissed at the previous owners who smashed out the leaded glass Gothic style windows that I can't even describe it.
  10. johnny1720

    johnny1720 Member

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    My house was built in 1856 and the first year I heated the house it cost me $5000. It was terrible to heat so I decided to start pulling plaster and lathe down and install insulation. What I found was that my plaster and lathe was nailed directly to planks that held up the second floor. So if you can imagine plaster and lathe nailed to 1.5" planking running up and down and then another 1.5" planing running diagonal then tar paper and siding. I had to stud each wall, install electric, install insulation and drywall over it. I was able to reduce my consumption of fuel oil and wood pellets however the price of those things has increased and I was still spending $3000 per year. I installed R80 in the attic and I have replaced 32 windows with energy star rated ones. The house is warmer but I gave up on fuel oil pellets and switched to geothermal.

    here is a picture of the plank walls, [​IMG]


    Here is a picture of the insulation before I filled my attic with it,

    [​IMG]
  11. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Yea tall and skinny dont go well with logs but you got to find someplace for insulation unless you want to keep heatin the outside forever.
  12. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    the extra funny part is that the attic is finished, too, so tossing r-1,000,000 up there on the floor to help isn't an option either!

    Really, it's not all that bad to heat and cool. It's certainly not cheap, but I've seen smaller houses with bigger problems. The thermal mass of the bricks helps offset SOME of the poor r-value. so it's got that going for it.
  13. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    Even in my more naive years I would likely identify leaded glass. Pretty certain I'd find a reason or method to keep them.
  14. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    considering the number of stoves he owns and keeps burning I would have guessed he lived in a two story tent!;lol
  15. Littlespark

    Littlespark Member

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    Hey I have to weigh in on this thread. I have a 1850s farmhouse in Michigan. Cedar siding (yes original) and strange thickness walls. I have the plaster / lathe set up also. With all the plaster in the house It never gets over 80 degrees (even when its 100 our). I keep it locked up tight during the day and open windows at night. But anywho, during the winter it used to be extremely drafty. I started by replacing the windows with low E vinyl replacement windows. At that time in my life I did not have money for nice pella or anderson replacements. I was poor poor poor. Like raymon noodle poor. I then pumped fiber insulation into all the walls through 3" access holes I drilled in the plaster at the top of each stud cavity. This made a huge difference.
    Last winter I had 3" of closed cell foam sprayed from the basement floor all the way into the area that the studs rest on the carrier beams. This also made quiet a difference (even with 2 foot + walls, the walls would have frost in the winter.). This years plan is to attack the attic.
    I already have the attic insulated, but I have to replace some roof joists and I want to "beef up" the joists a bit. I'm also installing hurricane/wind load straps while up there fooling around with everything. The old joists are starting to sag which is impacting the integrity of the metal roof. While the joists are being replaced I am having the same guy that did the basement reinsulate the attic. The current plan of attack is as follows:
    1) Remove old insulation while checking for roof leaks
    2) Any leaking areas will be re flashed + plus both chimneys will be re flashed.
    3) Then once the attic floor is shop-vacced (it really doesn't have a floor), he will spray 1" of the closed cell foam all over the attic floor. This should add a draft barrier.
    4) Then we (royal we) will use blown in non-fiber insulation. We are going for R-60.
    5) We are also going to install tow solar roof vents in the attic, but the will not be visible from the road. This should keep the "old look" of the place.

    As to why people don't attack the draft/ insulation issues first I don't know. It might have something to do with the fact that many of these "improvements" don't really have a cool factor. I mean give it a try. The next time someone talks about something cool like a new corvette, or a nice new chainsaw, or a sweet splitting axe. . . . just drop into the conversation the fact that you insulated the north wall of your house. It'll be just you and the cricket noise. Just my thoughts.

    I will take photos when the work is done and post them for the critics. I know the rule.

    Littlespark
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Well the heck with the masses then, you're cool in my book Littlespark. Good work.
    PapaDave likes this.
  17. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I would rather invest in energy upgrades than have toys. Toys don't save me money year after year. After learning about airsealing, I prefer to gut and rebuild. I've found too many problems that were covered by lathe and plaster plus drywall. Our basement is extremely drafty, and eventually I want to spray foam where the floor joists meet the beams in the basement. I found out that balloon framed homes are difficult to airseal, but once you get an idea on construction it allows to understand the home better. To me it only makes sense to reduce the energy consumption if possible.
  18. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    We need more folks to think like this. Reduce the load = #1 goal. After 3 decades building structures one thing is for certain nothing has as rapid an ROI as draft sealing & insulation. Pretty easy work in most cases as well. Too bad the typical North American attitude is just throw more HP at the situation.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We have more grasshoppers than ants here I think.
  20. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    Yep & we pay a big price for that. Heck if we were to even try to get close to what Germany or the scandic nations do we would have never even heard of an energy crisis.
    Trouble is we largely wasted our resources & then went looking all over the globe for other peoples. Big picture we make bad neighbors.
  21. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    One big problem with poorly insulated structures is they freeze solid in a few hours when the power goes out. My sisters vacation house lost heat for January and Febuary of 2010. When i checked the house at the end of febuary outside temp was 20 Deg during the day and 15 overnight. THe house was in the mid 30s,basement was in the 40s. Just the ground heat from the basement kept the house warm enough,never went below freezing for the worst part of the winter.Not a single pipe frozen.
  22. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    solar tempering is good for >5°F too, if the house is properly oriented and well insulated.
  23. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    More HP was the financially viable solution for us at the time. I had limited funds and HAD to spend less on fossil fuel. I will work at increasing efficiency as time and money allows.
  24. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    NO, no not "you" in particular FB, we are all guilty of this, one of the big downsides of keeping energy cheap. No financial insentive to conserve.
  25. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I guess wood is sort of cheap, but tightening up my place won't be. Way too much damage done during the crappy renovation of 1992 by an owner who knew how to do about 1/3 of the work and did the rest anyway.
    ditchrider likes this.

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