what’s in your walls?

So back to the downstairs, which is now in motion. David will tell you what he’s up to…


One of the aims of these renovations is to cut our energy use, ideally by 60% or better. How will we achieve that lofty goal? By making the house air-tight and by adding insulation. Lots of insulation.

We ordered 3” of EPS (fancy name for styrofoam) made right here in Rhode Island by Branch River Plastics. Not only did it not have to ship from China, they make their foam in any size you like and they put boric acid in it to keep insects out  — which is handy seeing as we discovered there used to be termites in the walls. It weighs 2 pounds per cubic foot, so it’s denser than the shipping foam you’re used to. It is made with air instead of HCFCs so it’s better for the environment and holds its R-value over time unlike most other rigid foam insulation that slowly loses its effectiveness.

PL-300 adhesive holds it in place without dissolving it, don’t use anything that isn’t labelled specifically for foam…

foam glue



















We had them cut pieces to fit between the floor joists…

rim joist foam

I wrapped it around the short walls on either end of the main space…

short wall before

short wall during

The wood-framed walls on top of the foundation receive two layers of un-faced fiberglass, here’s the first…

short wall after



















When it’s done, the bathroom should be warm and cozy…

bath wall foam



















I ran beads of the foam glue between the pieces to make them one big layer…

foam glue 2



















Special tape seals the deal…

foam tape



















I’ll be adding 3/4” furring strips screwed to the concrete. They’ll give us something to attach the sheetrock to, create a bit of air space to allow moisture to get out and give the electrician a place to run his wires. All that coming soon!


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5 Responses to “what’s in your walls?”

  1. Wendy says:

    Today’s NYTimes Business section featured an article about how the oil-consuming countries are beating up on OPEC to increase production, tho they’re already pumping above quotas.

    Right below is an article about a British home insulation company that has now set up shop in the US because of the vast and “nearly untouched” market of inefficient single family homes.

    Now, which article should have been at top of the page? Hooray for you guys!

  2. Brook says:

    thanks, Wendy! we’re trying to do what we can given a remodel instead of starting from zero. i think attitudes will continue to shift toward greener, more energy efficient homes. fingers crossed.

  3. […] special tape I was supposed to use for the Branch River Plastics EPS (styrofoam insulation) didn’t stick very well. By the time I’d pressed it down for the tenth […]

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  5. […] I guess installing it was a little premature. But how was I to know David would decide to insulate the wall? […]

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