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Tofuball 01-18-2008 04:39 AM


Originally Posted by kamesama980 (Post 88803)
carpet any room without in the winter to hold in heat (course this'll decrease what gets below) and pul up carpet in the summer

Thats a good idea :)


Originally Posted by Erik (Post 88802)
You can check the price of blown in cellulose insulation at your local Lowe's, Home depot etc. Many of them have a blowing machine that you get to use for free if you buy x amount of cellulose insulation.

Its very dusty to blow in, but not hard and it insulates well. I put 5 inches in my garage attic a few years ago and it makes a huge difference during summer and winter. You will need a helper to feed the machine while you point the hose in the attic.

I was just checking that yesterday, 20 bags at $9 a bag gets you a free rental at Lowes. Each bag is good for 40sq feet, depending on the R rating you want. Have you ever used the wet spray stuff? I'm interested in spraying that on the underside of the crawl space.

I'm glad to hear feedback on the stuff, I plan to do it sometime next week :)

GasSavers_Erik 01-18-2008 05:24 AM

No- I've never used the wet spray material.

There are some people that believe that its more cost effective to insulate the foundation walls and leave the underside of the floor uninsulated. Then you seal up the crawlspace vents so your crawlspace stays ground temperature- 50-55 degrees in most areas. This really cuts down on the amount of insulation you need since the footprint of your house has many more square feet than the surface area of the foundation walls. The only catch is that you must have a good vapor barrier (plastic sheet) on the ground in the crawlspace, or else moisture from the ground will rot the floor joists. Of course, in your case, maybe that would be a good thing since it will make things easier to tear down in 5 years:D

Are you planning to build the new house yourself?

9 years ago, I did the same sort of thing that you are doing (living in old house while building a new house on the same property). I bought a 50 year old house with some real repair issues at an auction. I initially thought I could repair it, but other people made me realize that I'd put just as much time into it as building a new house and half as much money- and yet still it would be a 50 year old house.

In 9 hard months, my dad and I built forms and poured a solid concrete foundation, framed the house (1500 square feet, cape cod style, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom) wired it, plumbed it and did everything else except the sheetrock and insulation. It was countless hours of work, but you save sooo much money vs letting contractors do it for you. I was impressed at how reasonable and helpful the plumbing and electrical inspectors were (even though I failed the plumbing inspection the first 2 times)

I tore down the old house by hand (about 1200 square feet- single story) and was able to sell the trusses and other materials out of it for about $400.

Tofuball 01-18-2008 07:26 AM

Thanks for the informative post!

The house I am in is almost 70 years old! Then it was renovated by someone who must have done a lot of LSD - he must have thought the walls were growing, nothing lines up :O

I am definitely planning on building the new house myself, but I plan to have someone else do the basement/foundation.

Do you think it is really worth it for me to level out the ground in the crawl space so I can put down a vapor barrier? What about radon?

GasSavers_Erik 01-18-2008 09:18 AM

You can probably get an electronic radon detector for less than $75. That will show you if you need the vapor barrier for health reasons.

If you are going to tear the house down in 5 years, I seriously doubt that it would rot that fast without the vapor barrier (unless the floors are already springy).

I know from experience that its no fun working in a tight crawl space for longer than necessary.

Be sure to check with your county planning commission to see if building permits are required.

Around here, construction within city limits requires a permit, approved blueprints and inspection of the framing footer etc. Construction outside of the city limits does not need plans/permit and only the plumbing and wiring have to be inspected. But it depends on your state/county as to what they require. Also consider the setback requirement- in some areas, you cannot build a house within X feet of the property line.

Tofuball 01-23-2008 12:19 AM

^ Thanks much :D The floors aren't rotted, though they are quite wavy, with up to a 3/4 inch difference in some places!

So, I've almost got done insulating the attic, patched a half foot hole in the roof (!!!) and plugged most of the air holes in the basement. (If only duct tape would stick to cinder block, I'd have a much easier time!)

Now, the house can maintain about 62 degrees before the heat pump never turns off.

Next up, blown-in insulation for the walls.

So, the windows are nice Energy-Star rated windows, however I can feel cold air leaking in from around them, on the sills. Is there an easy solution for this, or will I have to just seal the whole window off?

GasSavers_Erik 01-23-2008 01:00 AM

If air is leaking in through the cracks in the house's wooden frame around the window, then caulking the cracks up would help.

Most windows will create a localized "mini draft" as air is chilled and cold air falls down the pane and spills off the window sill- but this is just because cold air is denser than warm air.

Tofuball 01-23-2008 01:22 AM

Already caulked around the windows, my house is made out of caulk now :P

I'm hoping the "mini-draft" is the problem then, so I'll just film the windows.

Tofuball 01-25-2008 12:16 AM

Another Q for you guys!

Storm doors: Is it worth it if I'm going to be getting rid of the house in 5 years? Will it really save that much on my bills?

skewbe 01-25-2008 12:19 AM

Oh, hot glue a nice thick layer of styrofoam on your doors too :)

GasSavers_Erik 01-25-2008 12:46 AM

Sure- good fitting storm doors will help. If you have the money now, you might as well pick out the storm doors for your new house and put them on you current old house, then switch them to the new house in 5 years.

Before you do this be sure you know which side your new house doors will open from (right hand vs left hand). Its a little awkward, but if you need to, you can put a right hand storm door on a left hand entry door (if you know your entry door for your future house will be right handed but your current door is left handed).

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