...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Just dropping in quickly to show you some phone pics of the spray foam insulation now that it’s installed.  Like I mentioned before, we hired pros to handle this one since spray foam is beyond the realm of our DIY capabilities.

{view from the front door}

It took the installers three days to complete the job.  No one else was permitted inside the house while the foam was being sprayed and the workers donned special suits to protect them from any harmful off-gasing.

{view towards the mudroom/dining room from the front door}

The foam can continue to off-gas while it cures, so we’ve stayed out of the Underdog for nearly a week although Handy Hubby has stopped in {wearing his respirator mask} to open windows and doors to further air out the house.

 {fireplace mantel}

Spray foam insulation does come with some controversy.  While its energy efficiency can be hard to beat, there are some people who argue that the foam has led to health problems.  We did a lot of research on spray foam insulation in general and on installers beforehand.  From what we can decipher, it all depends on the skill of the installer.  No matter what a manufacturer claims about a particular product, if it’s not installed correctly it’s not going to function correctly.  As long as the foam is mixed, installed and allowed to cure properly then it shouldn’t pose a problem.

{mudroom/dining room}

We are looking into installing a heat recovery ventilation system which will supply the home with fresh air since the foam tends to seal homes up so tightly.  Of course, I’ll continue to grow my arsenal of houseplants to aide in healthy indoor air as well.

{master bedroom}

The choice to use spray foam should not be made on a whim.  Please do your research if it’s something you are considering for your own home!

{master bathroom – we have a bathtub!}

We chose not to re-insulate the in tact interior walls – only the exposed block walls to the exterior/garage.  The newly vaulted ceiling and attic walls were insulated as well.

With insulation in place, drywall installation will begin tomorrow.  We’re going to have real walls soon!  HH and I think they’ll probably make the house feel smaller {although more finished} since we won’t be able to ‘see through’ walls that have only been framed out up until now.  Then the fun stuff can go in:  flooring, tile, kitchen cabinetry, paint, appliances, yadda, yadda, yadda.  She’s going to resemble a house soon!

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

35 Comments

01.November.2011

She resembles a real house now! So exciting!! If I’m excited, you guys must be over the moon!

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01.November.2011

Ooooh … I am literally on the edge of my seat waiting for the drywall!

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01.November.2011

Cool! Looking good so far! She’s come a long way!

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01.November.2011

Its gonna look great with the drywall going up!

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01.November.2011

Looks great! Funny you should mention your house feeling smaller…we are just getting started with framing in our mountain house and I am a little bummed I won’t be able to see each room from anywhere in the house like I can now!

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01.November.2011

It’s really starting to come together visually now!! So exciting!!

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01.November.2011

How exciting!! I can’t wait to see it with the drywall up!

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01.November.2011

Ouaouh ! Such a huge difference ! Do you have the drywalls done as well or are you going to DIY them ?
Take care.

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replied on November 1st, 2011

Ariane – After getting a bunch of quotes and guesstimating the time {and frustrations!} of DIYing the drywall, we decided to hire out for the drywall installation and finishing. One of the quotes we received was very reasonable {HH compared numbers with all his DIYing/engineering buddies who have DIY’d/hired out for drywall before} so HH decided to hire out. Plus, it would have taken us much longer to DIY the work ourselves…pushing our move-in date even further out. That being said, HH has done drywall work before and is very good at it. It was just a matter of time and energy in our case. If it were a less time-sensitive drywall project {like finishing an unfinished basement}, then we probably would have chosen to DIY it.

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01.November.2011

I could not be more excited for you guys! I love my 1956 ranch, but it was worse than the underdog when I bought it and I have so far to go! I wish I had almost gutted it to begin with like you did sometimes. I did re-insulate a lot of walls due to having to re-drywall or re-frame(water and termite damage anyone?), but there are some old walls that are the original thin 50s stuff and the attic could use a boost in some areas. Some attic areas had extra bats laid across already. I need to become re-enthused about my place instead of overwhelmed.

I just love it so far guys! You’re going to be so happy!

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replied on November 1st, 2011

Jason – ‘water and termite damage anyone?’ YES! That was us. There was water damage in one of the bathroom walls and termite damage in many of the walls that we demo’d. We’ve already remedied the water damage by removing the moldy plaster down to the studs. We’ll tile properly in the bathroom/shower area to avoid anymore water problems in there. As for the termite damage, our inspector said it was not active termite damage – thank goodness. Meaning termites had been present at one time but not now. To prevent any further infestation, we’re addressing that outside…we’ve already had several large trees removed from the yard. Our inspector said they were definitely contributing to the termite problem by not allowing yard and house to properly dry out. We also plan to regrade the yard to slope it away from the house. Termites love a wet yard and house!

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01.November.2011

Looking GREAT! I suggest hiring the drywall out to a contractor though. I am at the point of DIY and it takes sooooo long!! Whereas a crew of professionals could have come in and it would have been done in no time! I think it would be money well spent. The savings of DIY doesn’t compare to all the swearing and frustration avoided if you hire it out HAHAHA. Good luck! Can’t wait to see how you decorate that living room… I think that is going to be the hardest part, when I finally get my 70’s ranch done :0)

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01.November.2011

Yeah, it is going to look like a real almost house soon.

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01.November.2011

Lookin good! I hope you are considering some interior insulation purely for sound purposes on some chosen walls….particularly the bathroom and bedroom. You could end up hearing through your new walls if there isn’t any sound attenuation!

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01.November.2011

Definite progress! I thought of you today when I got a 20% lighting at West Elm e-mail – did you buy your lights yet?

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replied on November 1st, 2011

Bari – I did! With the help of my own coupon thanks to all the readers who told me change my address with West Elm and get a ‘moving’ coupon! You guys are great!

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01.November.2011

Looks great, I can’t wait to see some walls up in here! Btw, just a little heads up, but your pictures are all wonky and upside down.

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replied on November 1st, 2011

Nikki Kelly – They are showing up okay on my end. Anyone else having issues with the images???

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01.November.2011

i can’t wait for this. it’s like christmas.

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01.November.2011

Ditto to ChristinaM. Lack of good interior insulation has made a couple of dream apartments turn out to be totally awkward. You definitely want something to help dampen sound between bedrooms and bathrooms!

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01.November.2011

Looks great! But as a heads up, the pics are messed up for me too.

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01.November.2011

We went the foam insulation route when we remodeled, and it works great!

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Awesome! Insulation and a vapor barrier all in one. The best choice for your extra thin stud cavities and now vaulted ceiling. I wish we could have afforded spray foam insulation for our remodel but it was over 10 times the cost.

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01.November.2011

As for the images, I also have an upside down or sideways view with one exception being right-side-up —the mudroom/dining room image. If it helps any, I am viewing them on my iPod …
House is looking good!

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01.November.2011

Might be a browser issue, no wonkiness here.

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01.November.2011

I love, love, love spray foam insulation. My house is 167 years old, off kilter and full of leaks ( I love it). As we slowly but surely renovate we insulate with spray foam. It fills holes, seals cracks and provides a vapor barrier that we desperately need. My house will never be “efficient”. It is too o,d. The newly insulated rooms are the warmest in the house, though, and you can go green.

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02.November.2011

Just wanted to echo the wonky picture comments! I’m on an iPad but have never had an issue before (and other sites look fine).

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replied on November 2nd, 2011

TO EVERYONE HAVING ISSUES WITH THE IMAGES – Sorry!! I’m not sure what’s going on here. Tech stuff is not my strength. It seems the issue is happening when being viewed on iPads and iPods??? Or possibly a browser issue? It may be due to the fact that I downloaded the images off my phone versus my camera like I normally do. I’ll stick with my camera from now on! So sorry about the inconvenience!

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02.November.2011

Your house is coming along great. We just bought our first house and have been there 3 months and have not done any real renovations yet. We want to reinsulate our garage because we think there may be mice harboring in the current insulation. From your research can you give me a rough estimate of what spray foam costs. Like is it in the $1,000- $5,000 range or the $10,000-$15,000 range? I saw an episode of The Property Brothers and thier cost was about $14,000 but they didn’t specify what that included. By the way, congrats on the bun in the oven. I can’t wait to start my family. -Ayisha from
Farmington, Mi.

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02.November.2011

I do remember the beginning stages where you had the termite damage and the mold in the wall. You are definately setting a good example with the way you’ve handled the issues, because they are things a lot of people don’t realize.

I think my development is sort of a wet area as many have water issues in the crawl space or basement, I just got a french drain/sump pump done this year for that. Termites do like water.

LIke you, my damage was old and not current. But, as the house was as is – I don’t know who did the work and haven’t been able to find out despite calling around, so I don’t have any termite guarantee without getting it re-treated. But a local pest guy said he would just treat as needed as part of a yearly package if I went with him – basically the same thing, just can’t have part of it covered for free if they do return. But knock on wood, I hope they are staying gone.

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So exciting! I can’t wait to see what it looks like with walls!

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02.November.2011

Your house is looking so good! I have been a “lurker” up until now, but I had to comment after I saw your insulation. My husband & I chose the spray-in insulation for our upstaris and attic space when we built our house 6 years ago. The basement and first floors were poured concrete using insulated concrete forms (awesome as well). We, too, installed an air exchanger with our HVAC system to combat the “tightness” of the foam. It has worked great so far!

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02.November.2011

May I suggest, based on personal experience, insulate the interior walls between bathrooms and laundry rooms and utilities rooms…..Nothing like sitting at the kitchen table and hearing someone “tinkling” in the bathroom!

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06.November.2011

I recently got quotes for having our attic spray-foamed. It’s pricey, but every contractor I’ve talked with has all but guaranteed a significant energy-use drop – conservatively, 30% less on our electric bills and potentially closer to 50%. That means the foam insulation would pay for itself in only 3-4 years!

Now I just hafta sell MLW – a.k.a. our family’s financial guru – on the project…

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01.August.2012

I’ve been IN LOVE with your blog since I found it – four days ago. I’ve read EVERY.SINGLE post. It’s pretty cool to read through your comments, aka your life. I absolutely love your decorating style, as well as your writing style. I love your honesty, and how you’ve documented all of the steps – good, bad, and ugly. AND when you’ve hired out contractors! It’s so nice to know that even extremely talented women like yourself can’t do it ALL. Thank you!!

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