Friday, October 18, 2013

Done and done.

Well, our insulation is in. It was very stressful. And messy. Between weeks of the electrician and this project, I'd like to never have a sweaty man in my attic again.

The attic before

I've learned a lot from this whole project:
  • I shouldn't schedule big projects for the summer. Because I am the type of person who can only focus on one thing at a time, this project (and worrying about it) usurped everything else from July onward. I didn't enjoy my garden this summer because I was worried about it getting trampled. I couldn't blog, read blogs, or focus on anything fun because there was fretting to do!
  • I shouldn't be in the house when projects like this are going on. It's better for everyone if I just go into the office instead of working from home and stressing the whole time.
  • If you are working from home, the workmen will use their radar to sense which room you're taking a conference call in, then work directly above you with as much hammering and boom-boxing as possible. Don't try to change locations, they'll just follow you. Loudly. It reminded me of this McSweeney's piece, "An Imaginary Conversation Between the Construction Workers Upstairs From Me."

We did the insulation in two parts: the attic and crawlspaces in September and the walls in October. I wanted to hold off on the walls as long as possible because I had to remove all the plants around the foundation of the house.

The first snafu came immediately. I'd been given a number of different options by Neil Kelly, one that included removing all of the old insulation from the attic. I chose this option because we had so much debris in the attic from when the last roof was installed. It seemed like a fire hazard and I wanted a clean slate. 

The problem? They sent me the contract that didn't include removal and neither of us noticed. So they didn't schedule the guys to do it and my financing didn't include it. I really didn't want to redo my financing and put up with that awful man at Umpqua Bank condescending to me. Neil Kelly came down on the price a little bit but I still had to come up with $1200 on the spot.

But I had a nice clean attic for one morning.

I hope we never need to access any wires in the attic because everything is buried in 18 inches of pink stuff.

The wall insulation required that they remove the siding, drill a hole in each bay, then shoot insulation into it.

In the kitchen the old fan in the ceiling was removed.

And patched.

And I sold the old Pryne Blo Fan on eBay. For $26. Oh well.

And now we have a practically normal looking kitchen ceiling.

There were some other mishaps during installation, like a broken window and an orange soda spilled all over the basement walls and carpet, which required a visit from a carpet cleaner. There was a nicked wire that required an electrician visit. All of these things are normal course-of-work things and they were fixed. My only beef at this point with the whole process was that contract issue.

On the outside wall of the dining room, where I removed the electrical panel, there's the old access box. We have proof that we're snug as a bug.

Now I can finally get to work on the important stuff: getting the thousand or so plants I bought between July and now in the ground. Whew.


  1. I can totally relate to the fretting, what with all the plumbing brouhaha I had going on last week. I even fret once a week for the 15 minutes or so that our lawn service is here. I'll take all the sweaty men I can get, though, especially if they take their shirts off.

  2. I'm stressed out just reading this! Oh and thanks, I've never laid awake at night worrying about the fire hazards in the attic but you can be guaranteed I will now.

  3. You probably don't have debris in your attic. When they put on the new roof (the previous owner did it) he left piles of kindling everywhere. Normal roofers don't do that. :)

  4. I felt for you, reading about that! I should send my electrician your way, he's quite sweaty.

  5. I know! I'm just hoping the sun holds out long enough for me to have time to work in the garden (we have family visiting this weekend).

  6. Sunny days for as far as the eye can see...have fun!

  7. I'm so excited for you! Yes, it was a pain, but it is DONE! Once the cold hits, you are going to revel in it when you walk around barefoot in your house. I'm unfashionably green with envy!

  8. Whoa, I've fantasized about doing this to our drafty ranch house. Would you mind giving an update in winter on how big of a difference this insulation project has made to your heating costs?

    Thanks for your blog. I drool over images of you and Danger Garden's yard on a regular basis...