Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Insulation in the attic

As the weather gets colder it seems I'm moving faster to try to get things done in time to move into the new house by winter. I'm shooting for Oct 31st to have it ready to live in and it's still possible I could make it. I just have to finish the earthen floor, get the wood floor laid on the second floor and enclose the east gable end. Once that is done it will be sealed from the cold at least. I may not finish the interior plaster, but I'm not sure I want to since I would like to add some detail to it and I'd like to take the time to make it really aesthetically interesting.

I found this little critter on the trim above the front door of the new house when I was about to lime plaster the wall. I've never seen a frog just sitting relaxing like this. It's a tree frog and probably like a cool spot to rest in. They have suction cup toes. I moved it before plastering.

The interior base coat of plaster is done and most of the fill plaster, which is used to even out the walls by filling in the unevenness that is more or less unavoidable in making a strawbale wall. The interior trim is all done as well. I was waiting on a part for the planer to be able to continue on the soffit and fascia and now it is fixed so I'm continuing with the exterior woodwork.

Today I finished the subfloor of the earthen floor. That is the thickest layer (about 3" deep) and takes the most time. It took probably about 25 batches of cob to do. That's a lot of cob stomping, but I had help from others sometimes. It feels good to have that done. Now I have to wait for it to dry and I can do the final coats each of which are only 1/2" thick. They should dry much quicker.

A bunch of us got together to rent a cellulose blower so that we could all insulate our houses at the same time and save on the cost of rental. It was really easy to do and much much cheaper than paying someone to do it. I never realized how much better blown cellulose is than fiberglass. Not only is it made from recycled newspaper and not carcinogenic, it insulates much more per inch. I put a little over seven inches in and it's supposed to be R-30 in insulation value. All summer the upstairs of the house has been really hot because the roof heats up so much. It's supposed to be warm this week and I look forward to getting a better sense of how cool the strawbale will keep the house with the ceiling insulated from the roof now.

I finally took the forms off the slab of concrete I poured over the cheese/root cellar and it turned out pretty good. It seems strong and sturdy. I will cover it with the final coats of the earthen floor so that it doesn't stand out so much as it does in the picture. There will just be a wooden door for access.

My Dad came to visit this week and help me with putting up the hoop house. We made a lot of progress, but as with most things here it took a lot longer than I thought it would. I keep telling people it looks like we erected an airplane hangar in the field. It really is enormous and metal and shiny. There's still much to be done to get it to the point of being able to plant in it, but the parts that require four or more people to put up are already up. I will keep plugging away at it.

I have to say it will be really nice to have a new house to live in, a hoop house to grow veggies in so I can sell them to people here, and a vineyard to produce grapes for wine. I've been working towards all these things ever since coming to DR. It will also feel great to be able to focus on the vineyard, the winery, and the garden next year and only have a little to do on the house to finish it.


Lyna said...

Dan- amazing work! I'm so impressed. Love it...Amy Sedaris would love it too. Keep blogging.

Dan Durica said...

Thanks Lyna. Yes I'm sure Amy Sedaris would be very impressed. Did you have culture shock on your return to New York City?

Lyna said...

It was a short lived culture shock. The city felt dead. No life.. No nature... It was hard to sleep for a while. But it's feeling very much like home again. Stress, excitement, city rats, farmers markets... I miss the calm. How are you?

Lyna said...

Dan! I met Any Sedaris tonight! She spoke at Barnes and Noble. Thought of you. She is beautiful in real life, funny as hell, and it's crazy to see her transform into Jerry for a second.