Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Delay

I could blame it on the weather...temperatures will be hovering around 0 all week. And that really is the cause of the delay in installing the siding. Looks like they'll start next week instead of this week. 

But the real reason for the delay is my fault. I'm still not quite done with the structured wiring. I have all but two security wires run--and that's it.  So far we've run about 9400 feet of wiring for phone, internet, security, video, and distributed audio. That's getting pretty close to two miles of wire! Once the security wire is run, all I have to do is wire sensors and clean up the boxes to make sure all the wires will be accessible after the walls are closed up. 

But that's not even the only reason for the delay. I picked the insulation contractor based on their bid: they were lower than everyone else by a couple thousand dollars. And they were well recommended. But it turns out that they quoted fiberglass batt insulation rather than cellulose. No wonder they were cheaper than everyone else. 

So now, it's back to the selection process. And while I'm selecting a new contractor, I figured I'd do some more research on insulation. I think I've changed my mind--now I want blown-in fiberglass. It provides the same benefits as cellulose--slightly better R-value, and because it's blown in, it fills cavities much better than batts. But it really came down to water. Dense-pack cellulose is blown in damp--up to 30% moisture content. You're supposed to wait for it to dry before covering it. But a couple of studies in Canada showed that it can take a long time to dry to a "safe" level (as long as six months to get to an 11% moisture content).  I'm not going to leave the walls open that long. The vendors say it can be covered the next day because the insulation is treated with a fungicide. But the wood that will surround it isn't.  And that's not just an installation problem. If any water gets in to the wall cavities, cellulose soaks it up. Fiberglass doesn't.  So fiberglass it is. 

It turns out that one of the insulators competitors quoted me blown-in fiberglass for just slightly more than the contractor I selected. But their drywall bid is $1000 lower. So it looks like I found an insulator. 

Not content to leave well enough alone, I figured that since insulation won't start until next Monday, I should run a few more wires. So I'll run some intercom wires to the kitchen, basement, workshop, and each bedroom. Just in case Megan decides sometime in the future that she's tired of screaming for us to come to supper. That should bring us to an even 10,000 feet of structured wire. 

No pictures today. Maybe next week.