An Old School Chain Saw Retrofit

Chris Corson saws the eaves off his house on a freezing-cold morning in Belfast, Maine before wrapping the entire building in Grace Ice and Water Shield and polyiso insulation.

Carpenter Rich Perry uses a heat torch and roller to make sure the bituminous membrane adheres fully in the cold temperatures.

Luke Small applies a rainscreen siding detail over the insulation jacket.

Isolating the basement from the home's living space with spray foam was less costly than insulating the basement. Given the decades' accumulated wiring, pipes, and other tangled mechanicals, the air seal between floors is good — but not perfect.

Before: Like much of Maine's housing stock, the weathered old Cape was aging and inefficient.

An insulation and window upgrade, topped by a Galvalume roofing and pine board siding facelift (above), will transform the dated exterior into a top-performing, durable, and modern-looking weather envelope.

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