Still hanging insulation

It has now been three days that Brian and I have been working on installing installation.  Yesterday Michael was still here to help, but ended up leaving last night instead of over the weekend as we originally thought. His presence was definitely missed.  Sarah came over to help for a few hours yesterday and today.  She probably does not know it, but she increases my I can do it attitude. I began the project by writing down the sizes of all the additional pieces needed.  It was an incredible number.  insulationmeasureThe way Topsider frames these walls seems unnecessarily complicated with few sections actually using a full 15 inch width of a batt of drywall (16 inch centers)….and there were even a few sections larger than 15 inches.  A wall might have a 6, 7, 8, 9, and 15 inch when it could have had 3-15 inch sections, for instance.

Randy came over today, too despite his lingering cold and continued working on the antique front door.  It needs lots of fitting to seal properly in the jamb and also trimming to go over an airtight threshold.

Wednesday morning the doors made it to Kent, but then did not move all day.  Wednesday night we heard that they were not going to be delivered to the site, and I frantically contacted Topsider.  They found out that UPS was transferring them to a local trucking company and expected them to be picked up on Thursday morning and still delivered on Friday.  Randy called them Thursday and was told to call back Friday at 7am.  He did and was told that they were not picked up by the local company on Thursday but would be today and be delivered on Monday…..another delay.  Hopefully the windows will arrive next week as well.


Arithmetic is useful

Arithmetic is useful, particularly fractions and measuring skills.  Today we worked on installing the insulation in the outside walls.  Not being personally that use to physical labor, it may have been one of the hardest work days of my life, but it was a very satisfactory experience.  I was responsible for measuring the openings and deciding how to distribute the batts, making the best use of the materials possible.IMG_7793 I shared responsibility with Brian for measuring and cutting the batts.  Brian shared responsibility with Michael installing the batts.  Unlike the videos, we had very few framed sections that were full width of the batts and if, for instance, we were cutting one 9 inches wide, I tried to find a spot for the 6 inch piece that remained.  Also, I think there was only one opening in the entire house that did not have wiring and/or plumbing running through it.  I was surprised that the fiberglass was not the level of irritant I had read about.  We only wore dust masks and gloves….and heavy long sleeve shirts….and no itching.  Well Michael had a real respirator.IMG_7794








Gab and James were also here for the day.  I believe James was putting up siding. Gab was caulking every spot where two pieces of siding came together, or siding and corner boards,  or siding and belly board, or numerous other joints.  There are lots and he was working on that all day.

Randy was suppose to come by in the afternoon, but he was feeling ill.  Topsider sent us the tracking number for the doors this morning, and I found out that they arrived in Kent before dawn this morning.  However, I have not received further notice of their movement.  UPS says that they will be here tomorrow afternoon.  It also says there is one crate that weighs over 1500 pounds.  I wonder how it will be unloaded.  Hopefully it is a regular UPS truck which can make it up our driveway.  Once there was a delivery of equipment in a very large tractor trailer truck and we had to meet them off site to unload.


Another hurdle is passed

Well Brian worked until 11 last night on caulking the floor joint.  He continued about 9 this morning.  Randy arrived about that time with some more spray foam insulation and I finished sealing all the gaps.  Then we just waited for the county inspector.  I was in the trailer when he came so missed him.  We passed the air seal inspection and he said we did a great job.  That means we can begin putting in insulation and we expect to start on that tomorrow.  Michael can help us for three or four days and my new friend Sarah, who encouraged me because she said she did her own house and it was easy….though of course, a couple of decades ago, said she may be able to come over on Thursday to help.

I think it may be an intermediary inspection, because doors and windows also have to be installed to prevent leakage and they have still not arrived, but we had good news from Topsider this afternoon.  The doors actually did ship last Thursday and are scheduled to arrive on Friday.  Randy had me order good quality ball bearing hinges for the front door and I hope they arrive by Friday as well.  Randy can work on doors on Friday, but he will then be leaving to visit his mom for a couple of weeks, so we won’t see him any more this year and not until we return in the spring.  He will have some members of his crew working through this week and hopefully next week, but many have been pulled off to other jobs because they did not know when the doors and windows would arrive.  Tomorrow they are finishing up the installation and caulking of the faux stucco and the upper panels on each of the “posts” so that I should be able to do some painting over the weekend.

At Randy’s suggestion, I also went through the house taking a video of all the electric and water lines so that we will know where they are in the walls for any possible future work as once the insulation and drywall are done, they will be hidden forever.  I put it on YouTube so I could access it.

Colors and Caulk


So over the weekend, we evaluated the colors we had looked at. We looked at three other “browns” IMG_7773and decided on the one that is next to the original orangey color. IMG_7772It is called Ancho Chili.

Sunday was another shopping run to buy that Ancho Chili paint and other supplies that we needed to do the caulking and spray in insulation for all the potential air gaps in the outside framing that cannot be insulated with the R21 Fiberglass bats. I described the process in Friday’s post after Randy explained it to us.


I  began doing the spray-in insulation while Brian continued with caulking and clean up.  I was a little short in my estimate for how many cans we needed….it is pricey stuff and ran out about 2:00.  I was hoping Randy could bring some out when he was scheduled to return that afternoon, but he got a headache and will bring it in the morning.  He also called for the inspection, so I will have to get up early to finish it in the morning.


I went back to the trailer for awhile and when I got back, Brian was beginning to trim the expanded foam.  I didn’t want to do it yet, because I enjoyed looking at all the strange shapes, but it needed to be done.  I began doing it as he really needed to continue doing the caulking.  That was really a lengthy process….more that I had realized and he said he was going to continue to work at night until it was done.  I checked back after awhile to see if he wanted dinner, and continued trimming the rest of the foam…..though after communicating with Randy, realized it needs to be trimmed further.  I wonder what will happen with the inspection tomorrow…and when it will happen.

After a dinner break, Brian said he was going to work a little longer on it.  It is now 10 pm and he is not done, nor is he back.  At dinner, he said he finished one octagon and the laundry room, and wanted to finish the foyer. He will do the other octagon in the morning.  Hopefully the inspector doesn’t come too early.

I have been thinking a lot about the insulation with the fiberglass batts which are our next task.  Several people had told me they did their own and it was easy which is why I was willing to take it on.  But on Friday, Randy started telling us what a challenge it is, and then Lanny also told us that it is very unpleasant working with fiberglass and I started getting nervous. Both advised coveralls and gloves and more. Well, I decided to go to YouTube and after watching several videos where they only wore gloves, including one from Corning, I am feeling more comfortable again.  It does seem very doable.  Michael has agreed to help us, too.  Interesting that no one in the videos are wearing protective clothing.

and we’re back, for the last time in 2015

We flew back on Wednesday evening.  Just before we got here, we heard there was another delay in getting the windows. The doors are being shipped on Friday, but another week after that before the windows will be shipped.  On Friday, Randy had been able to get a county inspection to sign off on the framing and electric, but it still needs to be air sealed before we can put in insulation.  He is hoping they will let us get the inspection before they finish the windows.

We had a slow start on Thursday morning, but did a small amount of painting trying out our color scheme.  We were not sure of one of our colors, as it seemed too orange and decided to experiment a bit.  We went into the Poulsbo Home Depot and got several color samples as well as some other supplies.
IMG_7759On Friday, Randy came over late morning.  He and Brian began working on the front door. Last year, we bought an door that was made in Argentina in the late 19th century.  The door frame needs some repair, the door needs to be readjusted in that frame to allow for weather stripping, it needs new and stronger hinges, etc..





IMG_7767 IMG_7766 IMG_7763While they were working on that, I was painting all the corner moldings in preparation for painting the siding…after evaluation of our color choice for the upper faux cedar siding (LP Smartside panel)  The light green and dark green were a given, as they were already painted on fascia and soffit.  The bottom panels look like faux stucco (not sure why I can’t find it in the LP Smartside catalog) and we are comfortable with the color we chose a peachy color….callled Copper Moon, but the original color we chose for the faux cedar seemed too orange.

By 3:30, they still had not finished with the door, but Randy said it was time to teach us about doing the air seal.  It has two parts.  One is putting expanding foam into all the holes on horizontal framing and in some of the holes where wires and plumbing go through the vertical framing.  This acts as a fire block as well as adding to the insulation.  I started doing this while he was showing Brian the other part that seems more difficult to me, caulking around all the electrical boxes where ever there are openings to prevent air flow.  He also told us some of what we will have to do to put in the insulation.  It sounds like a harder job than I anticipated. Hmmmm, I wonder if we should hire that out as well.  We had thought we were doing more painting over the weekend, but he said that they really hadn’t finished with the lower faux stucco siding….a little more work needs to be done on Monday and he asked us to hold off.  He will also call the county on Monday and hopefully get that next inspection on Tuesday.

Tomorrow, we anticipate working on the trenching and installation of drain pipe to bring the rainwater away from the house and toward an area where we are planning  a rain garden. (That did not happen….yet, maybe next week, though we did buy the drainage pipe for the job.)