Saturday, December 13, 2014

plastic insulation

jambaloney here!

so i have been busy fixing a recent "septic surprise" - gross, but nearly complete...

but this is a post about something you can do to help ward off cold drafts... last year out front i did this. it was a great improvement on the draft @ the front of the lower 1/2 of the manor.  the siding and flashing are so bad and drafty that even the insulation in the basement doesn't stand a chance - sections of the kitchen floor can get real cold...

so i decided to ramp it up this year - my goal was to provide a draft barrier right up to the bottom of the storm door window. - first thing's first - a 13 foot piece of free creosote 4x4...

(one day we'll have a front step again!). place the creosote on a bed of sand and make sure it is level..

next up - build some frames outta 2x2s (purchased) and cut appropriate lengths of Poly-Fastener - i bought a 300 foot roll. I wrote about this stuff before - it is awesome - made by Curry Industries and sold by Northern Greenhouse you will see why I love it so much!

i measure and cut many lengths - you install the channel without the fastener so i numbered all the matching pieces accordingly...

here are the frames seated in place - i had to make a shallower section to accommodate the door...

next up - water cloches to trap heat on sunny days....we had some old water bottles - perfect!!! instead of painting them black for more absorption i simply wrapped each in a garbage bag...

here they all are...

the rest of cloches were old vinager and juice bottles.. not quite full as they will freeze and expand sometimes...

pretty much covers where the sun DOES shine ;-)

closeup of the garbage bags and the drill - next step

i tucked the bottom edge of each frame under a lip of the siding - pushed in tight and screwed the frame into the wall - then i anchored the bottom into the creosote 4x4s...

here are the frames securely in place..

now i add the poly ..

and the other side  - overlapping in the middle

and here it all is - tight and taped on the edges - the right and left sides were anchored using strapping and tape...

here is a better view of the whole thing and rocks @ the bottom..

and then a layer of sand to secure the gap at the bottom - i shoveled teh dirt at the base in such a way that the rain will runoff out..

on the right hand side - it wraps around kinda funny -- i secured the bottom with dirt around the right - our mascot has seen better days ;-)

here is a side view of the whole thing.. we have only had a couple of cold days so far, but the difference was really noticeable - when the high freezing west winds blow at the front - we will REALLY notice a difference - so will the power bill!!! anyone with a similar problem in an old or rough structure could try this - sometimes it is better to try and insulate on the OUTSIDE rather than fight a losing battle from the inside. Now when i put the insulation back in place under the kitchen floor - it will do a much better job!

this was back in november - we were getting nice frost!!

i love the effect in the mornings!

and of course - don't forget your laundry the night before!!! ;-))

cheers - and hope you are all keeping warm!


  1. I just use hay bales to insulate from the outside, then I use em for mulch come Spring. Then again we usually have an over abundance of hay bales around though.

    So did that laundry get freeze dried?

    1. hey pioneer p!

      yeah it did eventually dry but only after it thawed!

      i would use hay if on hand - but no here, so iguess that makes up for the free rocks

      cheers pal!

  2. Hey there. What a cool idea with the water bottles. You see I never think about things like that.

    1. hey sol!

      passive solar is on overlooked option. costs nothing and every little bit helps.

      hope all is well!

  3. I knew a hardcore survivalist who used to say the only thing that scared him was a cold wind! That is a great idea for cutting down on the draft under the house. I am still fighting my leak at the roof line. Dripped bad during yesterday's storm. Always something eh!

    1. hey rat!

      hope you get that leak fixed soon, cold winds are nasty - and expensive!!

      cheers buddy!

  4. What a great idea. Keep nice and warm.

  5. We have a masonry house but qith tomber floors. Last year we got sp annoyed with the cold qind blowing under the houae and whipping our heat away that I ripped it up and filled ot with insulation and 5"of concrete on top. Thrn laid an oak floor on top of that. Seems to have done the jpb bit we've still got one floor left to do. Alao stopped the mice havong a free run!
    I like the odea of making the most of the sloar energy, it doesn't have to be expensive pannels to be soalr power!

    1. well kev..

      that sure sounds like it would help - what a lot of work!!!

      solar heating comes in all forms - of course you do need the sun ;-))


  6. If I ever decide to write a book, you two are going to be models for a couple of the characters. Your ability to use things you acquire from here and there in your projects is really impressive.

    1. harry!

      very kind of you - characters is pretty apt ;-)

      it's fun re-purposing things although to be fair, a good portion of this project was purchased.

      stay warm up there!

  7. WOW! What a neat idea. My Dad did something like that for the kitchen in the old house on the farm. Made the floor of the kitchen warmer.

    1. hey flier!

      your dad sounds like a wise man ;-)


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