How to Install Insulation

How to Install Insulation

The most important part of installing insulation is prepping yourself. Wear goggles, a mask, gloves, hair cover (I wore something like a shower cap, sexy I know – I’m not into selfie’s so you’ll just have to take my word on this), long sleeves (that tuck under gloves), long pants (that tuck into husbands socks), and some form of footwear you may be willing to throw out later. For reals people this stuff sucks. The last thing you want is to let it touch you. Then you just stick it in the wall. If you have to cut it, use a board as a guide and a very sharp razor (not scissors like I did). M set up a neat little cutting jig from an 8′ piece of OSB with marks on it that helped you end up with the right size piece. You just lay it on top of the fiberglass then run the razor along the edge and voila perfectly sized/cut fiberglass.

I learned about the suckiness of insulation a loooong time ago. When I was just a kid – maybe 5 or 6, my parents were renovating their house (big surprise) and had stored their insulation in our barn out back. My friends and I decided it would make the perfect playground and we rolled and jumped for a few hours (possibly most of the day) in about 20′ x 40′ of pink fluffy stuff. It had the pink panther on it, how could it not be fun, right? If you aren’t cringing it’s because you haven’t installed fiberglass insulation before.

Red cries, CRIES when it touches her feet. Okay, she’s a bit of a drama queen. But honestly. This stuff sucks.

So back to me, covered head to tow, M’s at work and I decide we passed combo, time to insulate. When he came home most of the exterior walls were done. He and I worked on the ceilings together and it took us 2 nights to do it. This was the one part of the entire project that I had been dreading the most. I’m so glad it’s over. We still plan on insulating all of the interior walls, but we won’t do that until after the drywall is on one side of the walls for backing and who knows maybe I’ll be “at work” when that goes in.

Yesterday, after we passed our insulation inspection we were so excited to start drywalling we put the ceiling up in the guest bath.



I finally feel like we are on the downhill part of our mountainous journey. Drywall, trim, paint and floors not too bad!

If you’re curious, we put R-30 in the attic and R-19 in the subfloors and 2×6 walls. R-13 is going everywhere else.


Between the sub floors:

Master Bed/bath and E’s room in the distance:

The entry:

The stairs:
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Red’s room:

The Devil is in the Details.

When the inspector comes and pulls out a micrometer to your work things are not going to go smoothly.

With that said, we finally passed combo inspection. I don’t want to talk about everything it took to get us passed yesterday. I want to talk about the one thing I woke up to yesterday morning after working a 12-hour shift and knowing I had to go to work again. It was the sound of someone exploding outside of the trailer. Literally: ex-plo-ding.

Let me back up and add a little detail. Mike was at work Sunday and on Monday he came home to fix the last few items from our inspection from, “hell-o operator you’re totally OCD”. While I was at work he grinded out most of them except for a couple of “minor” things that were too noisy to do at midnight. Ahhh life in suburbia. Land of HOA’s and neighbors who live thisclose. Anyhow. He decided he would leave them to finish before our re-inspection on Tuesday. Yesterday.

Fast forward: someone exploding outside the trailer. It’s 6 am and I went to sleep at 1:30. Mike is puking his heart and soul out onto our block wall. Morning sickness I ask? Nope. Our HVAC guy hooked Mike up in more ways than one. Thank’s Scott Rohland.

scott rohland1

The stomach flu is AWESOME!

What doesn’t kill you makes you skinnier – I can’t wait for me to get it. j/k. What Scott had to say for himself? “I don’t know about you, but I ate some bad fish”. Mike’s temp was 102.

So there we were, day of inspection and Mike is half lucidly talking about yogurt and soft pretzels and painting our wall with them. And I’m like, “let me sleep puke face I gotta work today” and he’s like “you gotta do the list of things before inspection comes”. What?! Woah there tiger. You gotta pull your shit together. Hang a bucket around your neck and start moving.

Instead, I took his list, made him a bed inside the house complete with nausea meds and some gatorade and went to work hammering the last few staples and whatever ever else was on it. And guess what? We passed.

On to insulation!

A Down and Dirty Update

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted an update. Some people have been asking if we’ve either given up and decided to become trailer trash for life or if we’re all moved in to the house again.

Maybe in two more days.

At least that is what I tell myself everysingleday. The truth of the matter is, we will be lucky in two months if we are painting and moving back in. However, in order to get through each day living in the trailer I tell myself, “just two more days and we’ll be done!” If anyone out there is a runner you probably can relate because we make mantras like this with every breath. Sometimes when I’m running I will count all the street lights that I pass, then on my way back I count down from ten. Maybe it’s just me. But that’s how I cope. I lie to myself until it becomes reality. I like to call this positive thinking.

Others call it what it is: denial.


So where are we exactly in this project for reals? We are about 99.8% complete with everything we need to do before we put in insulation and start the next phase: Drywall and Finish Work.


See…lie to yourself til it’s true. It works almost every time.

Our inspector came by with his boss on Wednesday for them to both check it out. I guess the people at city hall see our house as a “teaching moment”. Apparently second story house additions aren’t done very often – especially with floor trusses instead of I-joists and especially not without a general contractor. They gave us a green light to call for combo inspection next week as long as we make a few minor tweaks…so minor they aren’t even worth mentioning.

I would have updated sooner, but all the guts of the house are absolutely boring details. The photos all just look the same.

Down and dirty highlights from this past month:

  • Lath inspection passed
  • Drywall delivered
  • Insulation delivered
  • HVAC upstairs and downstairs complete
  • Electrical complete – this includes rewiring the entire downstairs – what a nightmare that was, the smoke detector circuits, low voltage wiring for entire house network and smart tv’s.
  • Framing complete – all blocking, all nailers, all straps/ties/clips/nail plates, all of it done. phew. soooo happy about this hurdle
  • All the exhaust vents and a whole house fan (thanks to all our friends who talked us into this one)
  • A million other minute details not worth mentioning that are all expected to be in the wall before you actually close the wall up.

What’s left? Not even a day’s worth of work.

By next week we should be insulated and probably drywalling. Then the pics will actually start to look good again.

If anyone out there is interested in adding a second story to your house feel free to email, we’d love to hear from you!



Hot mop, HVAC, Electrical and a healthy dose of distraction

This month started with a bang…really. A huge bang to my head or ego or whatever.

I’m 30.



The last couple of weeks we have been working on the house, shopping for Christmas and trying to squeeze in a little family time.

And Elfie time

Can you believe this is our neighborhood? And you think we’re crazy…
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We’ve also been steadily working towards our combo inspection and took one day off from that to work on our lath inspection (since that one is tomorrow).

See the paper on the front? That’s what’s going underneath our Hardi board.

The plumbing is officially done, thanks to So Cal Shower Pans who hot mopped our shower.

While Mike was at work I replaced the flapper on one of our old toilets because it wouldn’t stop running (high five to me and my old lady wisdom) and we are now back to using the in house toilet and shower.  Unfortunately, during demo, we must have cracked the tank in the toilet in our old master bedroom and soon to be guest room (sorry Evie, I’m just not ready to let you be all alone downstairs…maybe one day).

Now that toilet will need to be replaced cause it is officially decommissioned (special thanks to the Captain who finally did it in).

Check out the fancy shmancy light switches though! Mike says you can tell a pro diy (oxymoron?) from a regular diy if they “clock” their screws.

I also stained the treads we are putting on the stairs and painted the wood for the risers (cuz I am super anal about finish work being pre-finished before it’s installed). I also bought myself a nice new random orbital sander for the job (happy birthday to me).

As I’m writing this post I’m sitting in the livingroom, drinking coffee, in my pj’s with the heater running cuz Mike is awesome and he did the whole HVAC downstairs by himself (I was there to take pictures and hold his tools). We still have the HVAC to complete upstairs, but for now this will do.

And a little close up:

And the ducting:

Can you see my Halo?

Then Mike and I moved on to finishing all the electrical circuits. I nailed in all the can lights (there were 30), fixture and electrical boxes and Mike wired them up. We now have all of our lighting circuits complete throughout the entire house and some of our outlet circuits. Including the sconces (makes me feel so hoity toity to say “sconces”) in our stairway and master bathroom.

I am able to cook in my kitchen because, thanks to running gas, electrical and plumbing, it is now functional again! I’m serious! My outlets, lights, microwave, refrigerator, garbage disposal, gas stove and electric oven all work.

Look how happy pepper is for me!

Today I’m going to finish nailing in some straps and A35’s and some truss clips while M’s at work and the girls are at school. Tomorrow our drywall is being delivered. It’s like slow rewind through the demo phase!