Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Insulation and siding have started

Finally some more visible progress! The insulators started yesterday, and the framers started siding today. First the siding:

We're using pre-finished Hardiplank fiber cement siding on most of the house, with pre-finished Nichiha fiber cement shakes on the gables. We love the look so far. The shakes look as close as possible to cedar. The stain on the shakes, which has a 12-year warranty, looks like it has two colors--giving it a more natural appearance. So a dozen years from now, we'll have to think about staining the shakes again, but our neighbors will have had to stain theirs three or four times by then. 

The Hardiplank siding looks good too, especially against the trim. Plenty of contrast. Here are the framers installing the siding on the south side of the house: 

And one of the siding up close:

Here's how the house looked late this afternoon:

Now for the inside. Like I said in the last post, we decided to go with blown-in fiberglass instaed of cellulose. The insulators started by putting up the vapor barrier on the second floor ceiling, and laying batts where they wouldn't be able to blow in fiberglass. Today, they started blowing the fiberglass, and they installed sound-proofing batts on the first floor ceiling and around the laundry room and bathrooms. They finished blowing walls on the second floor, and started on the first floor. The ceilings won't get blown until the drywall is up later this week.

The house is now starting to look like a house on the inside too, instead of just a skeleton. Here's the master bedroom:

And Zeke's room:

The insulators are definitely efficient. They can zoom right through insulating a room in about 30 minutes. The blown fiberglass doesn't take long either. They start by stapling up a mesh that holds the insulation in place, cut a hole in it, insert the blower hose, and in just a few seconds, the stud bay is filled:

We did come across one problem. A sligh problem with an icicle:

It's caused by condensation from the exhaust vent for the workshop heater. The icicle is at last three or four feet long, and six feet wide. Looks like we'll have to relocate the exhaust pipe.