Monday, January 30, 2006

Framing and insulating

To insulate the house (which currently has precious little) Ian builds a frame from 2 x 4 (inch) pine studs and then nails that frame to the original wall. This frame is built on to the exterior walls of the house only because it holds the insulation in place.

Ian drills holes in the pine studs (some at about knee height and others higher in the wall or centered on the ceiling) and runs electric cabling through and attaches blue plastic electrical boxes that will eventually hold the sockets, switches and ceiling light fixtures.

After the insulation is put in place the wall is covered ceiling to floor with a heavy gauge clear plastic known as a vapor barrier. The next step will be to install drywall. We did this in one of the upstairs bedrooms and it is not my favorite job. The upstairs rooms have lots of eaves and cutting the drywall is like cutting one's own puzzle pieces. I could not hang drywall and get paid for it. Ian however just gets after it and really loves doing this stuff. He's very precise and patient. For me it's fun to watch him take such pride in his handywork. He's so cool.

Tomorrow we begin framing the kitchen, which has only two external walls. The colder weather is heading this way and we want to be cozy. We heat with propane and plan to switch to corn stoves in the spring. The living room floor needs to be insulated from below, which means going into the scary basement and cutting styrofoam-like insulation into right-sized panels that are then glued to the basement ceiling, thus blocking the drafts. For the moment, slippers are in order!

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