Hey guys!! Happy Monday!! Today we’re diving into the world of insulation. YAYYYYYY.
I should preface this by saying that up until this point in time all I knew about insulation is from when I was hallucinating from heat stroke when we were working on the Nugget and I thought I could taste cotton candy.
I’m happy to report that I now know a little bit more and have thankfully not wanted to eat it. Sometimes its the little things.
So here’s what I learned, there are 3 main types of insulation.
2. Spray Foam
The type that we used at the Merc was a combination of Batts and Blown.
In the ceiling they put down batts, and then blew the insulation on top of it (we had a TON of holes in the ceiling so the batts served double duty and kept the blown insulation inside.
We also used blown for the walls. The reason is because its better than using batts (which can easily gap) or spray foam (which will settle over time and can leave large open pockets at the top of your walls). This is where having a great general contractor that does this day in and day out is invaluable. Total cost for our insulation was just over $5000.
The insulators started by attaching mesh to all of the studs.
Then once that was done they came back the next day and filled it by poking holes in the mesh.
It made the Merc instantly different. The sound difference is the biggest thing I noticed, its like you have hands over your ears and all the noises that we heard from outside are muffled. Its crazy. And cozy. It feels like the Merc is a giant blanket. A pink cotton candy filled silent blanket. IT IS AWESOME.
A few of you asked about why we insulated the interior walls. We didn’t insulate all of them, just the ones surrounding the theater. We did it for sound so that when Court is playing xbox with his headphones on we can’t hear him yelling.
Obviously the energy efficiency is the most important part of insulating and can be a little overwhelming because things change pretty often.
When you’re judging insulation effectiveness, they use a scale called R Value. Basically it is a way to measure heat flow. The higher the R Value, the better.
Depending on the zone you live, your R Value requirement may be different, where we are in Southern Utah, ours breaks down like this:
This is a really great scale that you can work off of!
One good thing that we’ve got happening with the Merc is that because we built the new walls inside the existing ones (#wonky) we are knocking it out of the park with our R values, which is great because apparently Santa Clara has really high energy bills. (Another thing that we’re looking into is getting solar to offset it after we’ve been in for a little bit.)
If you remember the discovery of the east wall, you know that we thought it was cinderblock. When we cut into it we discovered that it was actually just a normal wall, so we filled both levels (the interior wall that was crappy, and the space on the other side) with insulation, and then also insulted the new wall. Everywhere that had existing sheetrock that we were keeping was also insulated.
Because we’re doing the renovation in 2 phases, we had to completely insulate the outside perimeter of phase 1 so that we could have a thermal envelope. Some of that will be taken out when phase 2 is ready, but most of it will stay.
(all of the section above will go once phase 2 is done because that is an opening into the living room)