Insulating walls in old Farm House

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  #1  
Old 01-08-17, 08:14 PM
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Insulating walls in old Farm House

Hello all! First time poster.
My wife and I live in an old farm house that we estimate to have been built in the 1920s or earlier. It has been added on to a couple of times and most recently remodeled 10-15 years ago. I am not sure exactly how the exterior walls are constructed, but I know they are not a traditional 2x4 stud framing. The 2 original interior walls are just solid tongue and groove with no framing. They now have 2 layers of sheetrock with a layer of panelling between on each side. I suspect the exterior walls are also solid tongue and groove with a layer of sheetrock, paneling, sheetrock. I don't know if there is any cavity in the wall, but I am certain if there is it is minimal and not insulated. The house has vinyl siding with a 1/2 or 3/4" of the blue rigid foam under it. The last remodel included replacing all the windows with decent double pane units. So now to the tacks of brass.....
The master bedroom is on the west end of the house by itself. Winter is not bad, but in the summer it stays at least 10-15 degrees hotter that the rest of the house. We have central heat and air, and there is no direct return air vent in the room, but there is a large one 10' from the door, which usually stays open during the day, although it doesn't really help much. During the hottest parts of summer we can barely keep the room under 80 degrees. We have just put a small window unit AC in the room in past summers and that works well, we can actually keep the main thermostat over 70 and still sleep comfortably.
So I have been trying to hatch a plan to insulate our bedroom without breaking the bank. We may be trying to sell the house this year, so I don't want to spend a fortune, but I don't want to have a window unit hanging off the front of the house either. What I am considering is installing batons every 24" and covering the walls with 3/4 or 1" rigid foam on the inside over the sheetrock, and then using a bead board panelling or something similar over top of it. I am just wondering if it would even do enough good to justify the hassle, let alone the cost. One major thing that really stinks is I will have to take down and reinstall the crown moulding, but if it could help increase the comfort level in the room, I think it would be well worth it. I am sure the other 2 rooms with the original exterior walls could benefit also, but this is the only room with significant comfort issues.
Sorry a out the novella for a first post, I just wanted to be thorough!
 
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Old 01-09-17, 03:06 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Around here they often zip open the siding, cut a hole and blow cellulose into the cavity.
If I understand correctly you need to verify you don't have knob and tube wiring.
 
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Old 01-09-17, 04:43 AM
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The electrical in the house has been updated, so I don't have that worry. Would cellulose be able to be blown into a cavity that is so small, it it is there at all?

Rob
 
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Old 01-09-17, 04:45 AM
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Unless the walls are logs there should be a cavity. You should be able to determine how thick the wall is at your windows/doors.
 
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Old 01-09-17, 06:06 PM
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So the framing on my front door unit is approx 5 1/4". At that it extends slightly past the face of my vinyl siding. So I know I have 2 layers of sheetrock and a layer of panelling for finishing on the interior, so we are at 1 1/8". The siding has a profile height of around 1". So we are at 2 1/8". There is foam sheathing under the siding, I believe it is 3/4". We are nearing 3" of the depth accounted for. I figure with only 2 to 2 1/2" left, and I know I have some thickness of tongue and groove under the layers of sheetrock, and and I am assuming something behind the siding and rigid foam...I am quickly running out of space. Even if I had an inch of space to work with, and I could get cellulose in that cavity, wouldn't I do more good by adding 1" of rigid foam to the interior wall and panelling over it? The foam hs a higher r value per inch than cellulose, correct?
 
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Old 01-10-17, 02:49 AM
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How your house is framed definitely isn't the norm. Sounds like filling the cavity with cellulose isn't a viable option. Keep in mind it you build out the walls with styrofoam it will require box extensions for the electrical and jamb extensions for the doors and windows. I'm just a painter so if one of the others has different advice - it's probably better than mine
 
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Old 01-11-17, 07:21 PM
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It would require box extensions if boxes were used...yeah the "updated" electrical is that funky. Honestly I think the hardest part would be either convincing momma to scrap the crown moulding or putting it back up. Because of the untraditional construction method the window openings are already somewhat shallow, so it wouldn't look that out of place making them deeper, probably just using some thin plywood to recase the opening.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 03:13 AM
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if boxes were used...yeah the "updated" electrical is that funky
How was the electrical run?
 
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Old 01-12-17, 05:08 PM
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Well, the electrical outlet I would have to contend with on this project has a line rUn thru the attic, out the gable end in conduit, down the side of the house and then back in thru the wall into the bedroom. The romex is just run into a space where all of the layers have been cut away and the outlet is just kind of half way screwed into the wall. There is a killed out electrical line that I am assuming used to feed the outlet. Looks like there was a groove cut in the first layer of sheetrock installed, the line run in it and panEllington placed over that sheetrock layer.
 
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Old 01-13-17, 02:43 AM
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So there is no electrical box to house the connections? If so, I'd make rectified that a high priority!
 
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Old 01-13-17, 07:58 PM
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Yeah...there is almost a total lack of electrical boxes in the house. That is something I think I could easily address if I take on the insulating project, just do it all at once.
 
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