Look up. Look waaaaaay up. See anything different on the barn roof?
You’ll have to look close, because the iPhone zoom isn’t that great in a big dark barn…
Who could it be? Who is that sitting on that beam? Who who! Whooooo?
It’s a barn owl! The first we’ve had, but most likely not the first the barn has seen.
In preparation for the coming snow, we’re insulating the Carriage House to the max to keep toasty, save our pennies and turn that place into a cosy little home.
The first step is Typar-ing, or protecting the house with House Wrap. Usually, you do this with new house construction and it serves as an exterior barrier that is semi-permeable:
This means that wind and weather keep out, but any moisture in the wall can still breathe out-wards.
However, you’ll notice in that snazzy diagram that it usually goes on the outside of a house, but because we’re retrofiting the Carriage House, we’re doing it inside-out. For us and the state of the Carriage House, it’s better to do it anyway we can than not at all, so here’s Dave stapling up the Typar upstairs:
Then we taped the seams with Tuck Tape, and we’re ready for the next step.
Here’s Dave, ‘trimming’ the floorboards so that we can put strapping for the drywall in properly. Yes, he is literally cutting the floor with the circular saw:
After all that prep work is done, we can finally start insulating! Here’s Dave, all suited up in his mechanic’s suit, face mask and eye wear. I had a matching set – twins!
Even all protected, the insulation is ITCHY! Conveniently the pieces fit exactly between the strappings, but we still had to cut and carve for all the awkward spots.
Still, despite being a pretty easy job, it was hot, tiring and took FOREVER!
Making progress! Here you can see all the project parts: the foam roof vents, the brown insulation, the inside-out Typar with Tuck Tape seams and the bags of Roxul R-22 insulation. We went for an extremely high R-Value (Retro-fit standard is R-12 or R-14, new home construction is R-40+) because we’re trying to get that place as insulated as reasonably possible:
The last step is the vapour barrier! This is the part Dave hates the most, but it will make a world of difference. The vapour barrier is a giant sheet of poly plastic that serves as an impermeable barrier in the wall:
Oh yes we can… grow cantaloupe!
The Argos Acres garden has produced a few (albeit very small and very few) cantaloupes! We thought we might fare well with watermelon but we didn’t expect the cantaloupe to work. We had given up hope after a hot day killed the vine, but a month later this little guy jumped at us.
As promised, here’s Dave’s bare feet in action as he rambles over the rafters stapling our foam airflow vents to the roof.
The temperature automatically rises 10 degrees when you climb up there, so that explains the shirtless working conditions.
The shoe-less working conditions? Well, there’s not much to explain that! Dave’s got his own way of doing things, and hey, as long as he’s not stepping on any nails (okay, any more nails…!) then he’s free to do as he pleases!
This is the first step in our insulating journey. Stay tuned for the next step: TYPAR!!!!
1. The House Roof
The roof on the house was the most weather-damaged part of the property. We’ve temporarily protected it using a couple of quick-fix methods, from an old blue tarp to a patchwork of recycled roof coverings. However, Daring Dave has laid the first steps towards fixing it properly, building a new roof deck out of plywood.
The House Roof has transformed from this in April 2011:
2. The Carriage House Facade
When we first came across the Carriage House, it looked like this:
But that’s not always how she looked! In the 80′s, when archival photographs of the property were taken, she looked like this:
A real Carriage House, with double doors that swung open. In a nod to it’s former self, we’ve updated the facade in preparation for winter.
Dave and Peter got out the giant wrenches and wrestled with the Old Green Garage Door:
And off she came! Then Dave began sawing and hammering and has framed in a new-to-us door and windows, all recycled from people we know:
Lookin’ good, eh? Still a bit breezy, however…!
3. Last but not least… the Floor Reveal!
The last group project was taking the concrete slab floor of the Carriage House and making it more habitable. For a Canadian climate, vapour barrier & insulation are the key parts of keeping your feet from freezing on a chilly morning. We’ll soon post the video of the magical transformation, but here’s the Carriage House ‘before floor’:
And here’s what she looks like now:
I’ll tell ya, I’ll never under-appreciate what goes under-foot ever again. Four people (sometimes five with Ralph!) working round the clock on a weekend to make something to walk on? We love our new floor. Just wait to see what we’re gonna do with it
Well, we’re rocking and Roxul-ing as we insulate and drywall the top of the Carriage House:
Stay tuned for photos of Dave climbing the rafters in his bare feet!