Saturday, July 20, 2013

Insulation and Siding Preparation

Hello! Welcome back to the blog! Here's a few pics with descriptions about what's been happening at the cabin.

As I had mentioned in one of the previous posts, the siding we're going with is a "Board and Batten" wooden siding.  Boards and Battens can vary in size.  The combination we chose consists of 10" wide vertical wooden boards with 3" wide wooden battens. Battens are essentially strips of wood that will be fastened over the seems where the boards meet.  All the wood is rough-cut pine.  If you have a hard time imagining what that looks like, you can Google Image "Board and Batten" and you'll get an idea.

We decided to stain the boards before they are installed onto the cabin for two reasons.  First, it's better to stain them beforehand because with rough-cut lumber, there will often be some "movement" in the wood after the stain dries.  If the boards are installed first, then stained, it's possible that the movement in the wood during drying could pull the boards apart at the seems.  So, if the boards are installed after this movement takes place, it's easier to "manipulate" the boards with even spacing before fastening.  The second reason we decided to stain them first is that is saved us some money from having to hire a painter to stain the house, because, there ain't no way I'm going up 27' ft on a ladder to stain the upper part of the house.

This is a close-up of the stain color we chose.  It's a semi-transparent bluish-gray that has a nice rustic, slightly weathered look.  Semi-transparent basically means that although the stain has a "paint-like" color to it, you can still see the grain of the wood beneath the color.  We think it will go nicely with the gray "Standing Seam" metal roof.

We stained the boards outside (in the shade) and stacked them inside to dry in case it rained before they were fully dry. Here, Tracey is placing spacers on the boards to allow for stacking on top of each other.  Each morning we'd carry all the dried boards outside and stack them in a different pile, then begin staining another batch of boards to be stacked inside.  It was a three day project in all.

The battens stacked, drying.

The stack of stained boards outside after drying inside.

Another big thing that happened recently is the insulation has been applied.  We decided to go with Open Cell spray foam insulation.  It's more costly, but it's R-Value is superior to standard fiberglass and it will certainly pay for itself in short time considering how cold the winters can be in the Upstate NY mountains.

When comparing spray foam to fiberglass on a flat surface (wall), spray foam generally has a slightly higher R-Value.  But where spray foam greatly outperforms fiberglass is in all the nooks and crannies of the exterior of a structure.  When using fiberglass in those tiny crevices, corners and odd spaces, the fiberglass often has to be scrunched and packed into place.  When fiberglass is scrunched, it significantly looses R-Value.  Spray foam can be sprayed into all those nooks and crannies and expand to create a tight seal.  Most of a home's energy loss happens in those areas that are hard to insulate.

The foam is sprayed in in liquid form then immediately expands out.  Whatever foam expands past the wall studs, is simply sawed off with a large knife to make the foam flush with the studs.  Below is a short video of the foam being sprayed.  The video is short because I actually wasn't allowed to be in the house while they were spraying because breathing masks are required during the process.  I wanted a document of it though, so I held my breath, ran into the house, shot it, and ran back outside.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!  The sheet rock will begin going up this week and should be completed, including spackle and sanding, within 10 days.  

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