We have foam. Actually we have extruded polystyrene rigid insulation; and a lot of it. I ordered all our rigid insulation and it was delivered today. Insulation Depot supplied us with enough recycled rigid insulation for under our slab floors and the entire exterior (assuming I calculated correctly). It comes in on a tractor trailer and I had my rag-tag crew of worker bees out there bright and early this morning to unload it. Insulation Depot saved me 50% on the cost of my rigid insulation with the added benefit of using recycled material that was diverted from going to a landfill. The material I got came off of a roof from somewhere on the Eastern seaboard or Mid-Atlantic I suspect. It was very dirty but no one said it’s always easy being green.
Our load ended up all being 2×8 sheets of recycled blue Dow rigid XPS. You basically take what they have on hand. Sometimes you’ll get green or pink insulation boards in varying dimensions. We’ll be putting the rigid insulation under the concrete slabs. Even though the earth is a toasty 50+ degrees year round, the insulation will help prevent condensation and keep our floors an even toastier 68+ degrees I’m thinking. On the exterior walls, our 4″ of rigid insulation will make our walls 10″ thick and give us an additional R-20 on the walls. It’s all part of our plan to save us up to $1,500 annually versus a regular cookie cutter house built to code. That’s $45,000 savings in utility costs over the life of a 30 year mortgage. Not to mention the increased property value. Also because we’ll be super insulated, our HVAC system doesn’t have to be as robust as what you’d normally put in a 2,800 sq. ft. Ohio home. The goal is to use the A/C and gas furnace as little as possible throughout the year. We eventually will have a pellet stove and maybe someday switch to geothermal. At some point I’ll theoretically be able to switch us off the grid if we wanted to.
Today was a lot of planning for getting the house up and going; including planning the cement pours, the rough plumbing was started and the steel beam and posts were hopefully ordered. With the Superior walls and the details we need to implement to make this such a great performing house, traditional planning and task lists need to really be detailed out. It’s not like a typical house where everything gets “banged out” in a clean linear order. Everyone involved has had to adjust a little and successful planning is essential. Kind of preparing for a big football game. Plays are formulated, and practiced and refined. Most of what we get done in the next two weeks will set the stage for the rest of the project. After that it should get a lot easier and more conventional.