3.15.2010

Sun Roon Renovation: Keeping the Heat In & Cold Out (or Vice Versa)

We insulated the ceiling of the sun room-soon-to-be-office a few months ago during a short stretch of warm weather, but months of snow and cold have held up the sun room renovation since then. When the forecast called for 60 and sunny last week we quickly moved "insulate sun room floor" to the top of the to-do list.

We removed the beat-up lattice trim and S crawled under the sun porch with his tape measure and a pad of paper to figure out exactly how much insulation we needed to buy. With little in-house storage and a shed that's falling in on itself, making sure we do not accumulate leftover project materials is critical. After doing a bit of research online, we decided to secure the insulation with sheets of plywood, mostly to keep critters from building any kind of nest in the fiberglass batting.

With our measurements and a gift card from my brother and sister-in-law in hand we set off for the 'Depot. We picked out the insulation for floors and basements with the highest R value we could find and bought one bundle of sheets for the straight-cut areas, and one roll for the places where we would cut the insulation on a 45 degree angle. Instead of buying the cheapest 1/2" plywood we could find, we opted for 1/4" luan because it was marginally less expensive, but much lighter and hopefully easier to maneuver in the two-foot high crawl space.

We took my car to the 'Depot because it has a rack on top and apparently that makes it more suitable for carrying plywood than S's car. I hardly think it matters. It was a minor fiasco putting the plywood on the car, but fortunately we were at the 'Depot early enough that we didn't gather an audience, so I don't think we'll be showing up on YouTube any time soon. However, I was so nervous driving with the plywood on top of the car that I forgot to take any photos. Boo me.
Once back at the Hive, S suited up in work clothes covering as much as his body as possible, and pulled out the drill, circular saw, and tape measure. He made quick work of the insulating portion of the project as he crawled in and out from under the porch about a gazillion times.
The angle cuts were a bit more tricky, and unfortunately there were a ton of them.
S had his system down and I was relegated to insulation-passer and photographer, two jobs I gladly accepted.

The luan proved to be much easier to work with in the tight space than heavy plywood would have been. The cordless circular saw cut through it easily, which is a good thing since each sheet needed a few inches shaved off of the end and at least once notched out area for the foundation posts.
The whole project took just a bit more than half a day, including the trip to Home Depot. Hopefully all the hard work will pay off in the end. It's just a bit difficult to notice any difference when we still have eight single-pane, drafty porch windows in the room. Guess what just moved into the top slot on the to-do list?

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