Friday, January 11, 2013
We hired a guy to put up the insulation in the basement. We have done it before and it is not hard. But working with fiberglass insulation is fraught with danger. OK. Not DANGER. But irritation. The fibers get into your skin and you can't see to get them out. So we decided to hire it done.
We also chose to buy the insulation and have it ready. That way we only pay by the hour. The bad thing was that we didn't do the framing, so we didn't know that the walls were a wee bit more than 8 feet high. So we bought the pre-cut lengths of insulation and they were all about 4 inches too short. So the contractor had to cut wee pieces to fill the gaps and then we didn't have enough to finish the job.
There was only a short section left and Lee and I decided to do it ourselves. This time we knew enough to get long rolls of insulation. Lee showed me where the contractor had marked on the floor where there were outlets (R) and switches (S). This way the plasterers don't get in a big rush and cover them up. Isn't that a good idea? That gave us the idea of marking the length we needed to cut for the insulation on the floor.
I measured the distance from a wall, so we could start the end of the roll there, and made a mark on the concrete floor. I placed some left over foam insulation under where I was going to cut to keep from cutting the utility knife against the floor and dulling the blade. The contractor cut from the fuzzy side. I would have cut from the paper side, but he said it tears the paper. Good hint.
It went pretty fast. Roll out a section, press it to the wall, cut at the mark on the floor. I asked Lee if we had a tool to make straight cuts. He said, "If you can't cut a straight line across 15 inches, you are in the wrong business." Hello! I am not SUPPOSED to be in this business at all! Lee had to go to a doctor's appointment. Good thing. No kibitzers needed!
By the time he got back I had the whole wall done. I had to cut some extra pieces where the roll wasn't long enough and trim some pieces to fit in narrow holes and I did a pretty good job. He bought the staples on the way home and that was a quick job with an electric staple gun. Another good hint from the contractor. We had always pulled the paper tapes to the front of the 2X4 frame and stapled there. He says sometimes that can interfere when the plaster guys lay the boards and makes little lumps. And he should know as he will be doing the plastering. So I did the same.
There were some places up along the wall above the framing that hadn't gotten done. We did those, too. You never know when an inspector will take offense. We don't want to have to call him back if this inspection doesn't pass. Our contractor says he has never heard of an insulation inspection before and that this must be a new guy. Just our luck.
By the way, when reaching through holes in the framing careful. Some people have no problem leaving nails exposed. It can get dangerous. Good thing I just got a tetanus shot. Not sure that that will help with the mesothelioma I will get from inhaling insulation, the Hanta virus I will get from the old mouse droppings, or the rashes from scratching embedded insulation in my hands. But I'm not a hypochondriac or anything...