Andrew and I have been living in our old home for over 4 years now and we’ve experienced all the cooling and heating woes of old home ownership and also the positives of having a home that breathes because let me make this clear, I am NOT about sealing up old homes. That’s nonsense…let them breathe!
However, when you have zero insulation in your home summer and winter do become a challenge and especially in the winter – financially. It costs us quite a bit to heat our home each winter and that’s with Andrew and I embracing being cold. We dress warmly and we sleep with a lot of blankets and for us, that works…though it’s hard to get guests to stay around long in the winter but maybe that’s a good thing (wink face).
We do make sure that our dogs are much warmer than us though and with that same thinking, we started to worry about having a baby in this chilly home. It’s one thing to be two adults and be cold, it’s another thing for a baby to be too cold. We would have gladly put this project off a few more years because it’s an expensive one, but decided at the last minute (four weeks until my due date) to have it done.
There are other reasons we need this done as well and those are…
- A chilly baby makes us sad.
- It’s expensive to be losing all of our heat/cool air via the attic year after year.
- Zero insulation is an issue no matter what and the attic is the only way we’ll be insulating.
- If the attic is insulated we’ll be able to use it for storage which we BADLY need, it’s our only source for storage in our old home. Our closests are basically doors in front of walls and our basement is mostly dirt.
- Insulated attic means our HVAC system that is up there will work better too and not be subjected to the elements like it is now (and starting to fall apart because of).
We have done soooo much research on attic insulation. We have covered and recovered every single cheaper option we could do ourselves like we were going to be tested on the subject but no matter what we did, each solution had a major potential problem because of the way our attic is and having a metal roof. This was just something we felt we shouldn’t try to piecemeal together and then hope for the best.
We received an estimate last year but felt it was too much at that time. We revisited the estimate this year and felt we could afford it and were happy to hire a professional to do this job, as not having spray foam done properly can cause a lot of issues (including health).
It took two days. We stayed with my parents and I stayed even a bit longer afterwards just to make sure our house really had time to air out before coming back. I was pretty annoyed about this project…I didn’t feel like dealing with the mess or annoyance of another project, nor did I want to spend the money right now. I wanted us to have more time to save for this, but I am SO glad we did it now that I see what it has done for us!
Another thing we had done while they were here was to swamp out the bathroom vent fan to a through-the-wall vent. Our previous fan vented directly into the attic which is common in old homes but isn’t actually how you’re suppose to do it as the moisture just vents into your attic – which we didn’t want once we had insulation up there. We decided to do a through-the-wall vent instead of putting a hole in our roof.
The company we hired was awesome which makes the experience even better and the outcome has far exceeded my expectations. I can’t believe I can actually use our attic now! I love our attic and wish we could turn it into something but it’s too low to be a living space (boo) but now the storage potential makes me giddy and I don’t even have much stuff to store because I am the opposite of a hoarder — but there are just things in this life that NEED to be stored.
Also, the house feels so good. Granted it isn’t cold enough yet to really see the difference but we haven’t had to turn the oil on once and our HVAC system has been carrying the load for once! Yay! However, my only complaint is that I do have a serious blanket addiction and could convince Andrew that we needed another blanket easily with how cold our home would get…now he’ll probably say we have enough blankets…such a dreaded phrase for my ears to hear.