So I've been working hard to get the house ready for winter. Things have been going well overall. My Dad came to visit in late October for a few days and we made a lot of progress.
The first project was to move the front wall out to enclose the porch.
I wanted to get the front wall off in one piece so I wouldn't have to take it apart piece by piece. This was a bit of a trick, but it did come off.
Next I worked on getting the floor insulated. My Dad helped with redoing the floor over the former porch, moving the front wall out, and framing the side walls.
Finally we put wheat sheet over the side walls as sheathing. Wheat sheet is a pressboard made from wheat straw, so it is made from recycled material. I didn't have enough extra OSB(oriented strand board, it covers the rest of the house) to cover those new wall sections, so I had to use the wheat sheet, which is acceptable under the DR covenants. New OSB would not be.
Once we got the wheat sheet on I had to cover it with temporary roofing tin to protect it from the rain (see picture below). Then I continued on the light clay straw insulation. I'm just now finishing up the insulation. The walls are essentially done, there is just a small strip to insulate between the first and second floors.
The next thing to do was to order the stovepipe and get going on installing the stove so I could warm the place up and dry out the insulation. It has to be dry to be able to plaster. It took a week for the stove parts to arrive, but after getting the parts and bringing them back here I realized that one very important part of the chimney is not included with the chimney kit, so I had to wait another week to get this part.
In the meantime I got started with putting a skirt on the bottom of the house to stop the wind from blowing under the house and cooling it off. This took less than a day but has already made a huge difference in the temperature inside. The corrugated tin not only blocks the wind but it provides a wall to hold soil in a garden bed, which I plan to build on at least two sides of the house.