Cost-Effective Energy Retrofit

Repairs to an 80-year-old house included dense-pack cellulose insulation blown through outside sheathing.

The house was placed on a new foundation and pony walls.

The crew removed the siding so they could access the stud bays for air-sealing and then install sheathing.

The back laundry room was rebuilt with optimum value engineering (OVE) framing, a method that reduces thermal bridging and saves material. With OVE framing there is 24-inch stud spacing, a single top plate, two-stud corners, right-size headers, and no jack studs.

The author used one-component canned spray foam to seal plumbing and electrical penetrations through the walls, floor, and attic.

To seal leaks at the eaves and provide added R-value in an area where insulation depth was limited, a thicker buildup of two-component foam was applied at the intersection of rafters and top plates.

The holes through existing electrical boxes were plugged with a nonhardening putty designed for sealing ducts.

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