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The Wood stove made me do it.......

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Hiram Maxim, Jun 27, 2009.

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  1. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    So my old house has cold drafts in the winter. And my house is 2120 sq ft!

    I have decided to tear down my wood paneling and make the exterior walls 2x6 by tacking 2x2s onto the existing 2x4's (yes there real 2x4's)

    Also going to insulate the interior walls in my main room to help retain some more comfort. And then blow more fiberglass into the attic.

    So off comes the panel and low and behold the walls meet the ceiling trusses :bug:

    What I'm saying is that the cold air can flow right down from the attic and into the interior walls.........................I couldn't believe it!!

    Well I nipped that right in the bud. 20 cans of great stuff liquid insulation (on sale) to seal the holes and fiberglass 2x4 & 2x6 insulation for the walls. Then to finish it all of a new front door, 5/8" drywall, and a raised hearth behind the 30 for my 13.

    Have been working like a crazy man. Here is the work in progress! So far from done..... :roll:

    I think it will make a world of difference with my heating and cooling, save a little wood?????? Opinions??

    Before
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    After
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    Note in the pictures where the walls meet the attic......

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  2. Northwind

    Northwind New Member

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    The extra insulation should help quite a bit. Sounds like it's worth it to me!
  3. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like quite a project!

    What did you find in the walls for insulation to begin with? I also hope you put a little bit of foam around those windows and doors to seal air leaks there too (make sure it isn't the same high expansion foam though or you might find the doors don't shut and windows don't open!).
  4. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Big project ya got going there Hiram...good luck.
  5. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    The only insulation that I found was in the exterior walls. It was cellulose that was about half way up the wall.

    I used the window (light blue can) Great Stuff around the windows and interior doors.

    The pictures above are about a week old.
  6. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Don't know if you are already committed to your plan, but if you were to leave the existing wall alone, and build a seperate wall, stagering the new studs between the old ones, for a similar wall thickness, it would eliminate thermal bridging by the wood and be more effiecent.
  7. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    That's good to know! Thank you.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hiram, I don't think you built that house but it appears you are rebuilding it! Big job but you will be a much more happy camper come cold weather.

    It isn't cold, but for the next 3 days we are expecting only 60's for our high temp. That should make working much better.
  9. DonNH

    DonNH New Member

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    Another way to limit thermal bridging is to go with the 2x2 extensions you were planning on, but put them horizontal. This system is best if you put mesh up & blow in dense-pak cellulose, but it could also be done using fiberglass in the 2x4 bays and sheets of foam inside of that. Or, just fill in the bays with fiberglass and use full sheets of foam - polyisocyanurate is highest R-value per inch - then reattach the paneling. Tape seams to prevent air movement.
    Note - doing this creates a vapor barrier on the inside wall, which is what you want in a cold climate, as long as the exterior surface of the wall isn't also a vapor barrier. You don't want to trap water inside the wall if it happens to get in there (leaks, etc.) Tar paper on the outside is ok, as it is water permeable. Plastic isn't.

    Disclaimer - I'm not a builder or an expert, and have never actually built this type of construction - but have done a lot of reading on the subject as I was building my garage & thinking about house mods. There's a lot of good info on the Breaktime forum at www.Taunton.com on this subject - do a search on "Mooney wall".

    Don
  10. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    Dennis,
    The house was built in 1954 and I didn't come along until 1974. :cheese:

    My Air Conditioning is leaking freon and the Heat/Cooling company couldn't make it out until this coming Tuesday, so the cooler weather is much appreciated.

    Hope all is well.

    PS a side note: Maybe when we compare our wood consumption this year I will do a little better..........lol
  11. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    Don, I like this!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for the information.

    what if I went with foam towards the exterior and fiberglass towards the interior?

    Hiram
  12. DonNH

    DonNH New Member

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    Foam on the outside essentially creates a vapor barrier on the outside. The general rule (there's good info on a lot of this at www.buildingscience.com) is that you want the vapor barrier on the side where the harmful humidity is (that otherwise would work itself into the insulation).
    In northern climates, the issue is interior household humidity (showers, cooking, people breathing, etc.) which can work itself into the walls when the outside temps are cold. In cold temperatures, the outside skin of the wall is at the outside temp (let's say 20deg F) The inside wall skin is at room temp (say 70F) As you move from the inside of the wall to the outside, you'll eventually hit a point where the temperature is equal to the dewpoint, at which point the water vapor will turn to liquid water. This will cause nasty problems, including loss of insulation properties, rot, and mold.
    In southern warm humid climates, it's generally reversed, as the humidity comes from the outside, and the dewpoint temperature might be higher than the air conditioned temp inside the building.

    Foam might work on the outside, assuming either: a) you never get any moisture in the walls; or b) the temperature profile through the wall puts the dewpoint inside the foam layer. No water vapor will be in that area, so no condensation would occur. You have to model the wall profile looking at the range of temperature & humidity possibilities to see how that would work. I think some people have posted some examples of this on the Breaktime forum I mentioned. The search function isn't all that great, but you might be able to find some of those threads.

    Don
  13. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    Don,
    So simply put....................foam on the inside?
    Can you possibly give me a direct link to the information?
    I tried the search feature, and your right "not all that great"
    Thanks for your help.
    Hiram
  14. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Take advantage of those open walls and run outlets, cable, ethernet, speaker wire, etc.
  15. DonNH

    DonNH New Member

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    Hiram,

    Here's a few links which can get you started into some discussions which can get lengthy and sometimes contentious:

    If you already looked there, I assume you realize you have to create a login account. Be forewarned - the forum can be even more addicting than this one.

    http://forums.taunton.com/tp-breaktime/messages?msg=65624.1

    http://forums.taunton.com/tp-breaktime/messages?msg=26654.1

    http://forums.taunton.com/tp-breaktime/messages?msg=45291.15

    To me, the "Mooney Wall" seems like a great way to go (basically strapping across the studs then fill the entire unit w/ cellulose), but probaby takes a while to get good at. Foam on the inside of the studs does a lot of the same thing and is probably easier. A big part of the water vapor issue is actually due to air movement rather than diffusion of water vapor through the wall. Air leaking into the wall through seams, switches, etc. will carry whatever water vapor it has, often directly to a surface cool enough to condense.
    Since you can't ever be 100% sure that you won't get some water into the wall (roof & window leaks, etc.), you still need to have a way for it to get out. Through the exterior wall is generally considered the best path for northern climates. I'm not sure that I couldn't get some significant drying into our house in the winter, as the humidity is often down to about 20%, but there's still the possibility that water will be condensing on the back of the sheathing or somewhere in the fiberglass.

    Don
  16. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    Oh yeah! Already on it!!!!!!
  17. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    Not possible? :cheese:

    Thanks for the links Don!
  18. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Or you could cleat horizontal 2X lumber at intervals from floor to ceiling. This also reduces thermal bridging-- and adds strength to the wall. This is the approach that I used when I tore out and re-did my kitchen.
  19. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    So I have slowly been working on the remodeling project!!

    I was going to bring out the exterior wall 2" so I could go with 2x6 insulation.....But I got a bug up my but and said 2x4 for a total of 8" of insulation :cheese:
    The first 4" is spray in foam and the last 4" is R-15 fiberglass. I think I now have a little bit over R-30 in the wall?????

    I also staggered the the framing ;-)

    Not done with all the interior walls (ran out of R-13) but have the majority of it done.

    I'm going to do the other exterior wall the same way............



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  20. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Another way to mostly eliminate thermal briging in a situation like this (and what I've done) is to run the new 2x4s horizontally-- maintaining regular spacing
  21. f3cbboy

    f3cbboy Feeling the Heat

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    real nice work Hiram Maxim - looks great.
  22. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    The BK King on its Throne

    My home is 2120 sq ft. I’m on the South shore of a very windy lake.

    After the brutal cold of last Winter I made the decision to tighten up the house and make my future bill less of a burden.

    I just spent the last 5-6 months performing improvements. cheese
    Did just about everything myself…saved big $$ and will get the full $1500 tax credit back.

    The home is much much more efficient now. Wood consumption has been brought down considerably, the house is quiet and a consistent comfortable temp.

    insulation in 8” thick exterior walls in the main room R 30, ceiling blown in to R-50 ,new double Paine Low-E Windows and insulated front door, interior walls insulated with R-13, R-15 and R21. New drywall .625” thick. Ran CAT 6 wire through the house for a home media network, new lighting in the main rooms.


    I now burn about 1/3 to 1/2 a face cord per week….....before I would burn a full face cord or more grin

    When running my natural gas furnace this last Winter after having surgery my bill where about half or less then they were 4 years ago even with the gas price being around 33% higher now.

    Its money well spent IMHO.
    Cheers,Hiram

    Blaze King now sits a top its new Traverine Throne and the Englander 30 is back in the fireplace. :cheese:

    No more bending over to load a stove......

    Sure has taken me long enough?

    Cheers, Hiram (taken with phone camera)
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  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Good work my friend. That BK is so good that you should scrap the 30. Tell me where to have the freight company pick it up. :coolgrin:
  24. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    are you running 2 stoves???
  25. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hiram, I think you will be very happy with the results of this because you will be much more comfortable in that warm house and no drafts. You do excellent work.
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