Insulation - Winter is coming

Although I had lofty hopes of finishing the tiny house by end of year, that is highly unlikely at this point.  That's's not a race.  I have gotten the exterior done; the place has a door; windows...and insulation!  This topic was a bit of a tricky one since:
1) I have never insulated anything
2) not sure about how much insulation I need
3) wasn't sure what kind to use since there are so many options.  
I did have a previous post on this topic where I had narrowed it down to the rigid foam.  On that post I had already had an inkling that the amount that I was applying was perhaps not sufficient.  That now seems to be true.
Let me take a step back though and talk about the installation process and provide some pictures.  The whole thing is really just a lot of cutting the pieces to fit the openings in the wall.  To help the house 'breath' much in the same way that I had not put the exterior siding right on the plywood, but instead spaced it.  I did the same with this insulation material. I used small, sticky on both sides' foam squares (may have a picture of those below). These come out of the scrapbooking world and I bought them on Ebay.  Let me state here that I have no idea if these will provide enough space clearance or breathing room for the foam panels.  Seemed like a good idea though and also made the panels easier to stick in place and then subsequently run the expanding foam around the outer edge.  Here are some pictures of the process:
You start out with big empty rectangular areas as you can imagine.  The largest/longest of these are above the loft.  There are actually longer then the 8' panel of insulation.  
 I cut the panels down to the width of those spaces and then used the sticky squares to affix the panels to the ceiling and elsewhere in the house.  Since I had opted for 1" thick insulation, I already thought that wouldn't be enough for the ceiling, so already started to double up the sheets.  I wound up insulating most of the downstairs with the 1" material until I ran out.  Then I purchased the 2" thick stuff to do the rest of the upstairs with since that's where I imagined the house losing the most heat.
The part that I'm leaving out is that foaming of the panels.  This is no fun.  I went though a couple dozen of the foam cans (minimally expanding - crack filling ones).  They seem to be empty in no time and you really don't want get the stuff on your skin or's just a sticky mess.  It does do a great job of filling in all the spaces though.  When you do this for a long enough time, you finally wind up filling in all the nooks and crannies and are happy to be moving on to something else.

I also sprayed the expanding foam into any smaller spaces and around the windows.  I think that for now this is ok but after I run wiring and plumbing downstairs, I will add another inch of the material anywhere there is currently only 1" of the stuff.  Of course there will ultimately be paneling put on top and with additional contstruction on the interior, that too will provide some additional insulation but it sucks to be cold an therefore most likely worth the additional cost and effort.  To get the whole house to this point, it took about 10 of the 4'x8' panels.  Will need at least 2 or 3 more of the 1' sheets to complete this.  So far pretty happy with the choice of insulation material though.  Oh yeah...make sure you wear gloves when working with this stuff since the metal sheet on either side of the foam core has really sharp edges.


  1. I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information?


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