Week three regarding file No. 921, titled Meltdown, has us wrapping up the case of cold enticing hot, involving home owner Jack Frosty Snow and his bid to make his drafty home more comfortable for Barb Ma Barker, his new partner.
So far, the suggested plan of attack for making this 1970’s home more energy efficient has been pretty rudimentary, including the sealing of the more notable cracks and areas of air infiltration, and beefing up the attics insulation levels to today’s standards.
However, the next step in making this 50-year-old home more energy efficient, and more Barb appealing, is going to involve a more serious evaluation of Frosty’s situation.
On the one hand, continuing on a course to real home efficiency will involve new windows, ridged foam insulation, and new siding, a pretty significant overhaul requiring a whole lot of time, effort, and of course money.
On the other hand, Barb is a wonderful lady, owns her own swimsuit business, fills a bikini in the same manner sand pours into an hour glass, and to top it off, Barb’s a Habs fan. In other words, this lady’s a keeper.
So, with the decision to move forward likely, Jack is looking for a plan of action. Albeit a costly renovation, replacing the windows and exterior siding within the same time period is as effective a one-two renovation punch as you can get.
The curb value of the home receives a significant bump up, and the homeowner gets an excellent return on their investment.
The suggested course of action will be as follows; step one, choose a style of window, be it casement, guillotine, or slider, and the exterior door models, measure the openings, then place the order.
Because we’ll be increasing the exterior wall thickness, the window jamb depth will need to be ordered accordingly.
The windows and doors may take up to six weeks to arrive, which will allow the renovators to move forward with the balance of the renovation, starting with the removal of the existing vinyl siding.
Because the home is of standard two by four construction, the present thermal value of these walls is R-12. Before installing a new siding, we’re recommending Frosty and Bard consider wrapping the home with a two-inch rigid polyiso insulation board, which will add another R-13 of thermal value to the walls, effectively transporting this home into the 21st century, insulation wise anyway.
With a proposed R-60 attic, and R-25 walls, along with new, energy efficient windows, Frosty and Ma will be able to heat this 1200 square foot bungalow with a Bic lighter.
Due to this home being covered in siding it was the perfect subject for receiving a ridged foam wrap.
Brick or stone homes could be wrapped with foam, but you would be of course forfeiting a relatively expensive siding for a vinyl or composite alternative, which may devaluating the home, and affect its curb appeal.
Can homes be insulated from the interior? Yes, but the cost and inconvenience will be an issue, since the exterior wall electrical outlets will all have to be adjusted, with these same exterior walls having to be refinished with drywall.
The nice thing about insulating the exterior is that you get to live comfortably in your home, relatively speaking, while the renovation is taking place. With the existing siding removed, the home will be covered with a 2 inch ridged foam board, then sealed with a house wrap, which effectively cuts off any chance of drafts, and protects the ridged foam from the elements should the siding not be readily available.
Next, the home will be strapped with one by three spruce in preparation for the siding. The one by three strapping is a good idea, providing an air space for moisture to drain or evaporate, should any rain makes its way past the siding.
Composite and cement sidings will especially benefit from this spacing strategy. With this last bit of information rounding up our energy saving recommendations, case No. 921 was closed.