2016-03-18

Insulation: Death By One Thousand Tiny Stab Wounds

Grabbing the insulation and the first load of drywall
Up, Up, and Away!
This has been an eventful week. Monday, as previously mentioned, I got my inspection. Tuesday, I ordered my drywall, insulation, and cement board from a local supply company; it cost $716. According to my figures, if I bought all that from Lowe's or Home Depot, it would have cost closer to $1126, counting the delivery fee. And the cement board at Lowe's is 3' x 6' instead of 4' x 8', which means way more scrap, and the bags of insulation is only available multiples of 5 (I needed 6 of one and 1 of another). Oh, and delivery was free. And not only free - they lifted it up to my second floor for me!
It began fairly early in the morning; I got up and got ready to unload a bunch of drywall. And waited. And waited. And... waited. Eventually, tired of waiting and late for work, I called to ask them to reschedule for lunch time; however, the truck had just left. Sure, ok, that's fine. I'd rather have it than not.


Enter the Drywall
Insulation: Round One: Complete!
Walls are easy. Ceilings... not so much.
It took quite a bit of maneuvering to get the rather large truck to where it was supposed to go - close enough to the deck to load it into the house. Unfortunately, it was too long to fit into the driveway. After a bit of back-and-forth, we eventually managed to get it into the side yard, close enough it could reach the windows.
The Bathroom
Bathroom wall
Hall Ceiling
Nook (Master Bedroom Extension)
Closet
Now, my receipt kindly lists the total weight of the goods I purchased as 2,960 pounds. That's just under a ton and a half. There is no way I could have hauled that in my car, or even a truck. Worse, I would have had to carry every piece upstairs. What a nightmare! I'd still be struggling to lift them, and I'd probably end up breaking one or more pieces.
Instead? I watched two professionals use a remote to load a huge pneumatic lift arm and swing it to the second floor window. Now that's what I call a good deal.

Once the material was unloaded, I went back to my day job. After a long day at work, I... went to work. Now, if you've never worked with insulation, I feel I need to explain what that experience is like. Insulation is made of spun glass; fluffy bundles of paper-backed needles. If you so much as touch a single cotton-candy-like fluff, all those sharp shards of glass stab into your skin - a billion splinters at a touch. Glass splinters. Stabbing, invisible, horrible glass splinters. You can't rub the sweat out of your eyes, for fear of transferring some glass. No matter how much clothing you wear, you'll always end up itchy and uncomfortable. It's... not a terribly pleasant experience.
Even so, by Wednesday evening, I finished the closet walls and half the ceiling, plus about a third of the nook walls and all the hallway walls. That's just over half the wall space, and about a quarter of the ceiling. Regardless of progress, I absolutely had to finish it Thursday evening. Otherwise, I would have to wait until Monday to get the inspection, meaning my entire weekend would be wasted. With that in mind, I kept at it, stapling away at the stabby fluffy mess. I'm pleased to report that I survived, and that I finished every wall and ceiling! I didn't have time to stuff insulation into all the gaps under the floor, but that's not part of the inspection, so I can afford to wait until I've slept.

I did run into a snag with the inspection on Monday; I need to do a fill test of my sewage lines. I didn't plan for that, which leaves me scrambling to get equipment to run the test. I have to replace a couple sections of pipe, too; wish I would have known about it earlier. I also need to figure out where to get plumbing test equipment. All told, this test is going to cost about $150, with parts and equipment. Sigh... oh well.
Luckily, even without the drain/vent leak inspection, I can get everything but the bathroom wall drywalled, so I don't have to wait for it. Good thing too, because I'm going to have to order some of the equipment.
I've got a lot more to do; hooking the AC vents up to the main system, mudding and sanding, installing cement board on the bathroom floor, tiling, installing wood flooring in the hall, closet, and nook, painting, adding trim, installing electrical outlets, switches, fixtures, and fans... the list goes on. I'm happy with the progress, though; all my hard work is paying off!