I want to add insulations to my walls. I would like to find out what
my options are and the pros and cons of each.
My home is ~1400 sqft ranch style house build in the 1950s, with no
insulation in any of the walls. The outer wall is just drywall
followed by stucco. Although the winter is not too cold here (~35f
when really cold, typically around 40-50f normally), the house cools
down pretty fast after I turns off the furnace. My bedroom, which
happens to be west facing, is damn cold in the winter and damn hot
after a summer day. ;) The attic is insulated.
What are my options for doing the insulation? I heard there are those
who can add a foam type thing to your wall, but they have to punch
multiple holes in the wall for it? How well do those work?
My grand plan is to redo all the drywalls, adding insulation to them,
adding ground wires to all the electrical outlets. Etc. New drywall
and new painting will sure make the place feel very nice. Another
reason to redo all the drywalls is I also like to add insulation to
the inside wall as well, so I get better sound insulation inside the
house. Currently you can hear what anyone is doing in anywhere in the
What are these R numbers people are quoting for? For the outside wall,
what type of insulation should I put in and what R value? I assume it
would be better than punching holes in the wall and blow insulation in
them right? I saw some fiber glass type insulations at Home Depot, do
they do a reasonable job at insulating sound as well?
Would adding a plywood layer (in addition to drywall) on the inside of
my exterior wall in the west bedroom add any insulation value? That
room just cools down so fast and gets so hot in the summer because of
the sun hitting it all afternoon.
If redoing the drywalls is prohibit expensive, then I may just go with
the foam thing. Anyone know how much it will approximately cost for
doing the drywall?
Thanks a lot!
What is in your attic, R value, heat rises and that should be done
first. What are your window types. Blowing in wall insulation is messy
and cellulose used can create future dust problems. Foam can be done,
Icynene, be carefull of polyurethanes that can out gas. There are many
other types of wall products, it depends on what local contractors
I don't know the R value of the attic. I'll take a look at it. It
looks kinda professionally installed, but the previous home owner
might have installed it and I don't know its r value. Would it make a
big difference if the R value is too low?
The windows are dual pane Milgard with low-e coating. So that should
not be the problem...
Before you gut the house, call an insulation contractor and get
an estimate on blow in insulation. I've had it done and it's no
big deal, although the plugs they typically use where they drill
through the siding are kind of ugly. If I were to do it again,
I'd consider having them drill through the drywall and have a
shop vac there to catch the dust as they do it.
You can add insulation by
cutting holes into the walls, and blowing in insulation
(cellulose, chopped fiberglass or mineral wool,
or foam in through the holes. )
You can cut through the outside of the walls,
or through the inside. You have to patch the walls,
but it's less drastic than ripping off either the siding
or the sheetrock (or plaster)
If there are blockages that you can't see, you may
end up with voids.
Taking down the siding, gluing foam to the outside,
and replacing the siding. This is generally only
an option if you're going to replace the siding and
windows anyway, since you'll have to redo them.
Taking down the sheetrock and inserting fiberglass,
sprayfoam, rockwool, or rigid insulation.
You have to replace the sheetrock, but it gives
you a chance to look at the bones of the house,
and if you're running new wiring and/or plumbing,
it's a good combination.
Screwing or gluing foam or homasote to the inside of
the existing walls, and adding new sheetrock to
the inside of that. If the house is priceless historic
artifact, that preserves the architectural record for
some later restoration nutcase to discover. It takes
up space, and you have to install extensions for
all the doors, windows, and electrical fixtures.
To speculate about relative costs,
replacing the siding on the outside is likely
to be really expensive, other than that,
unless you're doing the work yourself,
labor is likely to dwarf the materials costs,
If you rip off siding, sheetrock, or plaster,
you have to get rid of the debris. That's
not a minor consideration where I am,
but if you're rural enough, you can bury
plaster or sheetrock, and burn lathes
or clapboards. There was some discussion,
I think on misc.rural a while ago, about
using sheetrock and/or plaster for soil
remediation, and the consensus was, maybe
for grassland or ornamentals, but not for
food-crops, because you don't know what
additives are involved.
I would also check the attic insulation and get it up to at least R30
or whatever you can stuff in there. When I bought my house it had no
insulation in it anywhere. I had the attic insulated, and it made a
huge difference. I no longer contemplate insulating my walls
(couldn't if I wanted to, it's plaser on top of cinderblocks). At
least in my case not having outer wall insulation doesn't matter much
(center unit townhouse though). Anyway, if you need more insulation
in the attic do that before touching the walls.
Good suggestion. I will check my current insulation to see what it is.
The recommended for my area is r30. Maybe I'll put in R49. Is it
difficult to do myself? How thick would a r38 or r49 be?
Heat rises, the cheapest and most effective way is to insulate the attic
first. 1" of fiberglass is apx R 3.5.
Did you say it gets to --35f ! That is cold and optimal would be R
70- 100. I go to -15 and have R 100, my gas bills droped 25% on that
alone. If you meant + 35f then R 40-45 would work or apx or 12".
Remember insulation settles.
Thanks for the information.
The attic is insulated. I think it's fiber glass type with paper
backing, not the blow in kind that I've read. I don't know its rvalue,
but I suspect it's not very heavy duty...
I don't know the R value, I'll try to find out this weekend. I meant
+35f. The temperature for the past few days has been about 0C at
night. It's colder than usual. Typically it's about 8-10c at night
during the winter, which is why most (older) homes around here don't
have insulation to begin with...
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