Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reno Day 9/10/11

Today was a (b)itch-o-rama.

We took Saturday off to take our little road trip to bring Marie home, and Sunday was a slow day. The electrician came, changed out the electrical boxes for a beefier model, and ran some more BX cable. He is also a friend, so we can bribe him out on weekends with offers of food. Some other stuff was wired (face it, we never have enough electrical outlets in the right places, so now is the time to right some wrongs), and with this out of the way, our work could go ahead.

Yesterday we opened the first of the 24" wide Roxul batts. We needed these batts to insulate the knee wall:

We placed 2 on top of another on the floor, giving us 12" in height (though the photo shows only one layer), and then we added a little retaining wall out of plywood strips to hold the rest of the Roxul in place:

The idea was to place 12" of batting upright in this space, and keep going from there. Easier said than done. It was like giving birth, but in the reverse order.

Murphy's Law dictates what can go wrong, will go wrong, and that's exactly what happened when we opened up the second bag of Roxul. We ended up with a bad batch. This is what we got:

A lumpy mess. We called Roxul and gave them the batch number, and a rep called us back. They say this sort of thing happens from time to time, and we will get reimbursed, but in the meanwhile, Eric and I both lost a lot of sleep last night, thinking the product now looked like this, no exceptions! There is no way we could have put something that looked like this in the angled part of the roof. It was impossible to cut and totally unmanageable.

This is what Roxul normally looks like:

It is compressed, and when you cut the bag open, it nearly explodes. This is a good batch. What is nice about Roxul is that it's dense. It has more "hold" than regular fibreglass pink, and it is water-repellent and fire-repellent. Just what we wanted.

This morning we were greeted with snow (again)!

Then the sun came out, and the trees looked as though they had had a dusting of icing sugar:

It was a sight to behold. There was no wind, so the trees actually stayed this way for a few hours.

But back upstairs! (Sounds of whip cracking!) Enough dilly-dallying!

Eric decided that all the tiny forged nails that were originally used to nail the cedar shakes on the original roof just had to go. There were hundreds in the 2 sections I had access to, and I broke each and every one of them off using a pair of pliers. Thankfully, they cracked off readily after being bent back and forth several times, but mind-numbing grunt-work nonetheless.

With the nails out of the way, Eric screwed furring strips on the roof. This is to prevent the Roxul from being pressed up against the roof to facilitate air circulation and to prevent condensation.

Have you ever had a product catch your eye, and although you're not sure of an immediate use, your frivolous nature makes you buy it?

Well, this quick-release magnet from Lee Valley was one of those purchases:

It features a quick-release trigger below the handle so you can easily drop what you've picked up, and is quite frankly one of the most-used gizmos we have. I used it to pick up my (million) little broken off nails, as well as hand Eric the screws he needed to put up the furring strips.

With the furring strips in place, we were now able to put batts against the inside of the knee-wall and work our way up to the ceiling:

These are the first 2 courses in place. There are 2 - 6" layers here, one behind the other, and we staggered them by 5" to give us a bit more hold as we were layering the batts. It seemed impractical to butt-end 2 layers simultaneously, hence the back batt is shorter.

We also had not considered exactly what would hold the Roxul in place as we were installing it; the batts are quite heavy and would fall down if not held in place by something. Eventually, this entire area will be covered with planks of wood and Gyproc, but in the interim, we had to improvise. We thought of screwing more furring strips across to hold everything together as a temporary measure, but then we decided to simply use string. We placed screws every 6" or so, and using surveyor's string (polyester, and really tough!), Eric spanned this across the batts.

We worked our way up the wall using this method:

Until finally, we had one entire section completed:

Bravo, Eric, take a bow!

Roxul is not fibreglass, but it is still itchy. Maybe not to the same extent, but nonetheless...after installing this product, you're entitled to a long, hot shower. (Despite the installation instructions telling you to take a cold-to-lukewarm shower. Thanks, but I'll take my chances!)

Hence, the (b)itch-o-rama.

When we have 4 sections like the one above completed, we will be ready to install the planks which measure 16 feet. And then we'll be a quarter of the way home.

(I can hardly wait).

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