UPDATE 7: Insulation & Sheetrock
Building a Barrier Against Cold & Heat
Having completed rough-ins, our team only has one final step to complete before sheetrock goes up – to insulate. Insulation is a barrier placed inside of framing to prevent heat loss or gain between the inside and outside of the home. We actually measure how well insulation performs by using calculations called R-values. R-value is dictated by local codes since the efficiency of insulation is critical to the comfort of residents and the performance of the building. Considering our homeowners live in a cold climate with warm summers, we know insulation efficiency is essential all year round, especially during the long Minnesota winters.
3 Major Types of Insulation & Common Uses
- Open or Closed Cell Spray Foam is often used in new construction, across attics, crawl spaces, and between rim joists where it can expand between cavities. Open-cell spray foam is lighter and pliable, whereas the closed cell can be more resistant to temperature swings because of it’s increased density. Injection foam is another option, often used in enclosed cavities like existing walls and is ideal for completely filling gaps and cracks without settling or compressing overtime.
- Fiberglass Insulation is what you’ll commonly see on job sites as batts or rolls, placed between studs or in unfinished walls, floors, or attics. Some benefits include its’ relative inexpensiveness and ease of installation. Because it can trap allergens and is made with an abrasive material, it must be installed with protective equipment and may not be ideal for those with allergy concerns.
- Cellulose Insulation, as one of the oldest mean of insulation still used today, is commonly seen in both enclosed cavities and new construction alike. It’s made from about 75% recycled paper and settles up to around 20% which may be problematic in the long term or if not applied densely enough.
Mixing Insulation Types For Different Applications.
In this build, we’re using Fiberglass insulation within the joists and spray foam along all the exterior walls in the kitchen and newly built mudroom/sunroom. Using Spray foam along exterior wall framing is ideal because it provides an excellent air barrier helping to seal the room against unwanted air movement. When installed, the foam expands and seals cavities and cracks without losing shape or settling. The Spray foam used here will also help prevent condensation on walls during big temperature swings.
Looking Like A Home Again
Visually, sheetrock installation is a big step towards making the remodeled zone look like an actual home again, as it encloses the previously open wall and ceiling cavities, no longer exposing framing, rough-ins, and insulation.
*Construction History 101: Sheetrock became the prominent interior sheathing material in the 50’s, replacing plaster walls with this much less expensive paper and gypsum panel alternative.
A Quick Guide to Sheetrock Install
Sheetrock is installed over the course of several days, and depending on the size of the project can take much longer. Here are the key steps to completing sheetrock install:
- Several of our crew start by lifting and hanging the sheetrock, fastening it to framing with drywall screws. Our installers score and then cut the sheetrock at the edges of openings, where we have windows and doors, and anywhere where fixtures, switches, and outlets are located.
- When all the new walls are covered, the Mudder arrives to tape joints, fill screw holes, and join the pieces of drywall with drywall compound, which must be left to dry and then be sanded to a smooth surface.
- We assessed any imperfections and repeated step 2 as needed for a perfectly smooth and clean finish.
From New Sheetrock to Priceless Artwork
Other than providing the finished interior substrate of the home, the sheetrock in this kitchen became the recipient of priceless art made by one of our client’s children. The White Crane crew was excited to see an original masterpiece when they finished up the drywall and prepped the walls for priming. As much as our homeowners will want to see these walls painted, we’ll have to say goodbye to the cheerful little landscape drawn in black sharpie along the kitchen walls.