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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    16

    Default 1905 Queen Anne on the Michigan/Indiana border -- open or closed cell foam?

    I originally posted this ( oops - it won't let me post links until I post more comments, but the thread is here: http s://advice. thisoldhouse.com/ showthread.php?t=112491 )quite a while ago and ended up not having anything done. Now I'm looking at it again. I've gotten quotes for both open and closed cell foam in the past, though the price has likely changed... the open was about 6k, the closed was about 5k.

    I don't really care which one I have done anymore, I just want to get it done. Gas bills over the winter totaled about $2000 so it will likely pay for itself fairly quickly. And I've recently started renting the house out for Notre Dame home football game weekends, so if I can finish off the upstairs and add a few more bedrooms it could actually end up being profitable to have it done.

    But if one or the other is going to potentially damage the house, I want to know. It's been around for 106 years now -- I'd like it to stay around for another.

    Any advice would be most welcome.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: 1905 Queen Anne on the Michigan/Indiana border -- open or closed cell foam?

    I'd lean towards open cell. It won't trap moisture, so you won't dramatically change the characteristics of the existing structure.

    What were you insulating again? I spray foamed my the roof deck in my attic right after I moved in and was pretty happy with my first electric bill. My attic never get over the upper 80's with only 6" of open cell... so around R20. I still need to remove the existing cellulose on the attic floor joists.

    You'er still looking at a 10-15 year payback realistically.
    1925 Two-Story Stucco Beaux Arts Neoclassical

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: 1905 Queen Anne on the Michigan/Indiana border -- open or closed cell foam?

    Finally getting this done next week. Decided to go with Icynene, in large part because the company that does the closed cell wanted $1800 to remove the existing insulation and the icynene company only wanted 600. I may even have them put all the foam board back up over the spray foam when they're done. You can drywall or put up breadboard over foam board, right?

    Right now it's just the good foam board with some of the space between rafters containing fiberglass batts, and some of it empty air space. They're also doing the rim joists and a couple of other smaller things.

    I think the payoff will be sooner than 10-15 years because with this I'll be able to finish off the third floor and make it into dedicated office space. I work from home, so that'll be a bigger tax write-off. Plus it should increase the value of the house... maybe even bring it to where it was when I bought it in 2009. :roll eyes:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: 1905 Queen Anne on the Michigan/Indiana border -- open or closed cell foam?

    Since you already had some insulation. The payback will be longer than you think. I think realistically, you'll see a 25% drop in heating bills at most. Most likely closer to 20% depending on how bad air leaks were in the attic. SO yes, 15 years is pretty realistic.

    Yes you can apply drywall over it, but they will need to know that ahead of time and you'll want ot pay then to shave it flush to the rafters or joists and remove hte shavings. You could then apply foam board over that, but at that point you're looking at diminishing returns.
    1925 Two-Story Stucco Beaux Arts Neoclassical

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