Tag Archives: insulation

Barn, Belgian beer and Brussel sprouts.

.

We were back in the barn this weekend and ran the new heat pump for the first time. It’s a big space so it took a while to warm up… but the building held the set temperature all day, which means all our stuff and seal each and every god damn gap insulation work…

Worked.

.

.

But there were still a few more windows to trim and that’s when things went downhill.

There was sputtering, mumbling, cursing and okay…. small pieces of wood may or may not have been flung across the room.

.

.

When the wood started flying? I knew it was time for a distraction… so I trudged down to our crap filled underground nightmare basement and retrieved a treasure we purchased a few years ago.

.

.

A neon bar sign from the Ommegang brewery in New York. We stumbled on them when we visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and fell in love with their Belgians.

.

.

https://www.ommegang.com/

.

If you’re ever in the area, check out their tasting room in the old barn… and if you’re visiting this time of year? Try my favorite.

.

.

There’s a tavern in Brussels famous for it’s pigeon racing?

Sounds like my kind of place.

And speaking of Brussels…

.

.

When you live across the street from an organic vegetable farmer?

You never know what will show up on your doorstep in the morning.

👍

.

Back in the barn.

.

The husband was back at it this past weekend.

.

.

Finishing up the (not so) temporary (not so) easy access heat blocker to the upstairs.

.

.

By the time I walked in he had the insulation board attached to the zip siding board …

.

.

Had rigged up small pieces of insulation board on the top step..

.

.

And was busy stuffing Roxul in the small holes.

.

.

And the even smaller small holes.

.

.

Our old doe was munching under the apple trees…

.

.

And Mike Pence was still where no one wanted him to be.

.

.

So much stuffing.

.

.

Please remember… when this barn was built it was not meant to be an airtight and heated space, so there’s a lot of scrambling required to make it one now.

.

.

So when all else fails?

Caulk.

.

.

And then, for the man who didn’t want to use insulation board?

.

.

Another piece of insulation board.

.

.

So yes, there’s insulation board, on top of insulation board, on top of zip siding.

I dare the hot air to seep through that!

.

.

When that was finished and blocked off, it was time to tackle weatherstripping the porch door.

.

.

You know, the free one he brought home from the dump. The one without a frame or threshold. The non standard size nightmare that has gaps all the way around it and at least a two inch above the floor clearance.

Good times.

.

.

Truer words have ne’er been spoke.

.

Why does he make everything twice as difficult as it has to be?

.

We have a barn that really isn’t a barn. What started out as storage space for motorcycles and lawn mowers has morphed into a custom built man cave… and now that the man cave has a heat pump? The upstairs has to be temporarily blocked off for winter before the staircase turns into a chimney.

This should have been a simple project.

I told the husband – cut a piece of insulation foam. The heat pump installer told the husband – cut a piece of insulation foam. The friend that helps him now and then told the husband – cut a piece of insulation foam.

.

.

Which is why the husband made a hinged door out of zip siding.

.

.

Did I mention the husband doesn’t like to be told what to do?

After a laborious day of cursing and figuring and adjusting and fitting and more cursing….

.

.

The husband came home to cut a piece of insulation foam.

.

.

Which he wanted to attach to that hinged door of zip siding.

.

.

This involved more measuring and cutting ..

.

.

And fitting and pushing and removing and more measuring and cutting.

.

.

Please note the non OSHA approved chunk of wood dismantling the saw’s safety feature.

More fitting.

.

.

More measuring and cutting.

.

.

More fitting.

.

.

Halfway through the process, Mike Pence stopped by to say hello.

.

.

And finally after I helped him measure, cut and fit for 3 hours to no avail… I snuck out.

.

.

For the sake of my sanity…. as well as our marriage.

.

Because nothing ever goes smoothly.

.

Another day,  another section stuffed.

.

.

Plywood ceiling sections were fitted.

.

.

And the end was in sight.

.

.

As were those corner shelves I told you the husband built for his speakers.

Although from this angle, they’re a lot less shelf like than I thought.

.

.

Late in the afternoon things started to go downhill.

.

.

And pieces had to be gently persuaded to fit in their allotted space.

.

.

When all else fails, bang it with a hammer.

This works for almost anything, although I wouldn’t recommend it for dealing with recalcitrant family members. Bail bonds are expensive these days, and orange is not a flattering color.

Shortly after I took that picture someone hit a pole down the road from our house. Power was out for the whole road and they had to call it a day.

Which is probably a good thing. Remodeling by hammer strike rarely ends well.

A little more stuffing.

 

There’s stuffing everywhere.

 

 

But one side of the ceiling was finished, complete with new light fixtures.

 

 

Were they properly measured and equally spaced?

 

 

They were not… which drives me to distraction every time I look at them. But no one was fried to a crisp and they actually work, so we’ll take our blessings where we find them.

 

 

Stuffing then moved to the other side.

 

 

And things started piling up on my porch, which will not be tolerated.

 

 

Wires for the other side were moved.

 

 

And strung amongst the stuff.

Yes, there are 5 doors leaning up against the wall.

Do we need 5 extra doors?

I think you know the answer to that by now…..

 

 

1980’s Hell.

 

Another weekend in the big barn insulation/ceiling project commenced, but this time reinforcements were needed on day 1.

 

 

Because in as little as an hour? We proved that I can’t reliably hold plywood panels over my head long enough for my husband to figure out where to screw them.

Go figure.

 

 

So with the help of  a friend, insulation was stuffed, plywood was screwed and the part that gives me hives took place.

 

 

The husband…. playing with live electrical wires.

This is not a good combination and doesn’t always end well… but no one was electrocuted, so we call that a win.

 

 

The  bane of my current existence  pool table was moved to it’s new home spot.

 

 

And after a little trial and error, no toes were broken.

 

 

Also a win.

 

 

As soon as it was set up?

 

 

It was covered with plywood and a very rugged protector…. because no man cave should be without a touch of lace.

The next day we were off to Lowes for a tad more insulation.

 

 

Ka-ching!

 

 

We dragged it inside, and then all the crap that started here….

 

IMG_3640

 

That was then moved over here….

 

IMG_5492

 

Had to be moved upstairs.

 

 

Ask me again how much I’m loving this free pool table.

Go ahead, I dare you.

Once the  temporarily mounted my ass  stereo was uncovered, the husband found part of my old collection of 1980’s cassette tapes.

 

 

And while I stand by my CSN, Queen, Clapton, Dire Straits and Grateful Dead picks….. the 2020 River cringed at the sight of Madonna, Richard Marx and the Bangles.

UB40.

WTH?

And if that wasn’t bad enough..

He also found a box of albums he bought sight unseen at a yard sale years ago…. which meant this was blasting from his recently mounted speakers:

 

 

All Night Long?

No.

Preferably not even for 5 minutes.

 

Still stuffing.

 

It’s not often I get to tell my husband to stuff it, but lately….

 

 

There’s been ample opportunity.

 

 

There’s a whole lotta stuffing going on.

 

 

OSHA approved light fixture removal?

Not quite.

 

 

But it was in the way of the stuff.

 

 

And there’s a lot more stuff that needs to be stuffed.

 

 

But progress was made.

 

 

And other lights worked around.

 

 

Heck, the husband even found an old box of masks in one of his piles of stuff.

 

 

Stuff.

 

h4aky

More stuffing.

 

When you’re doing a lot of stuffing?

You need a lot of stuff.

 

 

Truck loads full of stuff.

 

 

Stuff that needs to be dragged across the porch….

 

 

Through the little door… (because the big doors are temporarily blocked)

 

 

Stuff that has to be carefully maneuvered past all the other indoor stuff….

 

 

And stored amongst useless piles of other stuff.

(Yes, that’s a giant metal chicken. It was a gift I can’t seem …or want… to find a place for.)

 

 

Once the stuff was in the building, stuffing resumed.

Although there was a bit too much stuff in the way.

So stuff was moved from here..

 

 

To here….

 

 

But then that stuff was in the way of the temporarily blocked doors and it’s stereo.

Stuff blocking the power button?

No problem.

 

 

A pool cue reaches over the massive pile of stuff.

Feel free to roll your eyes.

And we’re stuffing…

 

Now that the  not even friggin’ close to   temporary doors were finished, it was time to start insulating the ceiling.

 

 

This product is great, not nearly as toxic and itchy as the old pink stuff….. but still, masks and gloves help.

 

 

Many, many small pieces had to be cut.

 

 

With (for once! ) the appropriate tool.

Imagine cutting into a large, dry, rectangular angel food cake and you get the idea.

 

 

Stuff. Stuff. Stuff.

Into all the spaces in between.

 

 

After he built shelves for his speakers….

 

 

And tucked all the wires away.

Oh, you spotted that ancient electric typewriter?

Of course he had to bring it home when his office threw it away.  It works! And heck, you never know when you might need one.

 

sorry-did-i-roll-my-eyes-out-loud

 

It took a whole day to stuff the small corners and when I tried to leave to cook dinner?

 

 

I had to wait.

 

 

But the sunset was nice.

 

 

So it wasn’t really a hardship.

 

Because free is never really free.

 

Remember the free pool table my husband came home with a while back?

 

img_5169

 

Well… it turns out the damn thing is going to cost us a fortune.

Why?

Because now that he has a pool table, he wants to build a bar. And while I’ve never been a woman to argue with bars, if he builds the bar he wants to heat and cool the space… which means he had a guy  (the son of the  soon to be ex  friends who gifted us the pool table, which can’t be a coincidence)  come over and give us an estimate for a heat pump unit.

Ka-ching!  That free pool table is going to cost us $4,000.

But that’s not all.

If he heats and cools the space it has to be air tight. And while he did put insulation under the floor and behind his pretty walls….

It’s a barn! It’s nowhere near air tight.

So….

 

 

Construction of a frame to seal air leaks in the big doors began.

 

 

Foam boards were purchased and cut.  (with – it’s a miracle! –  a 21rst century tool)

 

 

But my idea of an easily removable frame was thrown out like baby’s dirty bath water.

 

 

And to my horror….

 

 

This monstrosity emerged.

 

 

A screwed in framework with double sided attached foam boards.

 

 

And plywood covering.

 

 

This sucker isn’t going anywhere.

 

 

When I lamented the decided un-movability of this air leak blocking structure, he told me it would only take a few minutes to undo if we needed to open the doors.

Considering it took him a day and half to put together, I highly doubt the veracity of this statement.

And if you think the sound of the cash register ringing is finished?

Au contraire mes amis, it’s just begun.

The heat pump contractor told him in order for all the heat to stay downstairs, the ceiling would have to be insulated as well.

This is the ceiling.

 

 

It’s a lot of ceiling.

 

 

And this stuff is $55 a bag.

 

img_5321

 

KA- fuckin’-CHING!

And I haven’t even talked about how he’s going to have to block off the opening to the second floor yet.

Free.

It’s a relative term.