Insulating a new house of "seven gables"


Old 12-20-05, 07:43 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Insulating a new house of "seven gables"

In my neighborhood we now see new houses in the million dollar price range with these complex roof lines. The big classical homes were garrison colonials which have a simple appearing roof line that would seem to be easy to properly insulate. The house is like a big box. These new homes may have a big entry way all the way up to the third floor and beamed ceilings all over the place. Is it not much harder to properly insulate these homes? I am sure the good builders (by definition) know how to do this, but what about the large commodity builders or the average builders?
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Old 12-20-05, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
Insulating a new house of "seven gables"

The more nooks, corners and details you have, the more difficult it is to insulate unless you plan out every detail in advance. The high open spaces and open elevation changes set up air currents that make comfort difficult and more expensive.

Keep in mind that every corner is a termal short-circuit because of the direct paths and lack of insulation. When it comes to elevation changes and knee walls there are even more potential heat loss areas. One simple way to look at the difference is compare the exposed square footage to the volume enclosed. Spheres and cubes are the best - from there every corner is a step downhill energywise.

These are the kind of penalties that you have to accept when you go for form over function. You can take all pains on the structure you describe, but it will never be as energy efficient as the box you described.

All of these make it difficult and few commodity builders spend the time and effort since their marketing is built on trends, first impressions, wow factors and selling the concept before someone has to live it the home.


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