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Insulation project

Posted by admin on Dec 24th, 2008
2008
Dec 24

We live in a home built in 1952, which apparently is before the concept of insulation. Last spring we tackled insulating our attic. It was probably, at best, insulated to an r-value of 5 in a couple of areas and completely devoid of insulation in most places. Now it’s probably somewhere between an r-value of 30-35 with 8-10 inches of blown in cellulose insulation. It cost us about $350 for the materials ($325) and blower rental ($20) and about 3 hours of our time one afternoon. It was a step in the right direction, but it didn’t have much of an effect in the heat this summer since the walls aren’t insulated.
One of the big projects I have slated for this winter is to finally insulate our walls. I’ve been looking into all of the different insulation methods and narrowed it down to two in particular – denim cellulose and spray foam. Both of which are (or at least can be) green, and I can do them myself. Without going into too much detail, the decision was ultimately made based on ease of installation and overall r-value. Cost was also somewhat of a factor initially, but comfort won out over cost in the end and I decided on soy foam insulation. Here are the basic comparisons base on 1200 sq ft of wall space (@ 1 inch deep):

Cellulose

 

 

    • installation requires at least 2 people and a hopper that can be turned off/on by the person applying the insulation

 

    • total cost for 1000 sq linear ft = $1050 (sorry, can’t find the link at the moment)

 

 
Spray foam (soy) Thanks for the correction Jamie!

 

 

    • single person insulation is feasible

 

    • total cost for 1000 sq linear ft = $1370

 

 
So for about $300 more than cellulose insulation we’ll be getting twice the rvalue per square inch. The decision was pretty easy in the end. There is one other “honorable mention” that I should point out. It is still green in the long run and a little closer in price to the cellulose insulation at about $1050 as well, although you will need to keep in mind that the foam I listed above includes shipping and 17 installation tools, while this kit does not (at least not at the time of this writing). I’m hoping to complete this project by mid-January.

Greening up your holiday cards

Posted by admin on Dec 9th, 2008
2008
Dec 9

I’m sure many of you have seen this product before, but I recently came across it again and thought it was the perfect time of the year to mention it. It’s called Grow-a-note. It’s really a great idea – you send a Grow-a-note card to a friend or a loved one, and once they are done with it they can “plant” it in thier garden, wait a few weeks, and then get part two of the gift – a bouquet of wild flowers.


The Grow-a-note cards are made with 100% recycled “post consumer waste” and are embedded with the wildflower seeds. The site says the cards have clear instructions printed on the back of the card on what to do with it once it is ready to be planted.