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Old 12-11-11, 02:19 PM   #51
strider3700
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What did they even use in the walls in 1953?
Judging by my brothers place. Air. From my place in the early 60's they used paperbacked fiberglass where it was easy/quick to install. everywhere else they used air.

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Old 12-12-11, 06:47 AM   #52
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Her house is build with the standard 1953 sandwich of 3/4 to 1/2 Cider clapboard -- a 2X4 -- and the 1/2 inch Gypsum board. Essentially, no insulation or sheeting. The ceiling have a 1/2 inch brown felt: A material I never saw before. Nothing else.

Well, Seattle, WA "suburb" have a lot of pretty big house.

This year, she will use an electric boiler (electric rate in Seattle is decent). That should help a lot to reduce the short cycling of the oil burning furnace. As of November, she already save several hundred.
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Old 12-12-11, 12:56 PM   #53
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I didn't know that gypsum was used for walls in the 50's. I thought it was still plaster. Interesting to know.

I know someone who showed me their house and how it was insulated, it had newspapers stapled up in the attic, you could read the news of the day. I'd imagine this barely did a thing and isn't like the cellulose insulation of today that can handle and deal with moisture, has fire and insect resistance, and real insulation value versus essentially reams of paper stapled to the wall with no trapped air. He ended up insulating the walls with cellulose but didn't dense pack it. He used the 20 bags of cellulose, got the free blower and blowed in 214 pounds less than he calculated from the literature that likely was referencing the proper density for a good wall fill. I'm sure there are feet of empty space at the top of those walls, not to mention the giant 3" or bigger holes in the drywall that were shoddily patched at the top and bottom of each stud cavity. His house still costs $1000 a year to heat which is on the same gas rate structure but smaller than my house and I pay roughly a third of that. Insulation and air sealing still isn't a big deal to him even though I showed him how little I spent on improving my house and how the insulation and air sealing materials would cost him less than his January heating bill, he can't be bothered by it. ...yet still complains every winter about the heating costs and then gets defensive when you tell him it would be easy to seal up the place and fix the house to even half that usage.
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Old 12-12-11, 10:07 PM   #54
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The house my family lived in for the first 15 years of my life was built in the 1890's. My parents had a small section of exterior siding replaced and we found shredded news paper used to insulate the walls, the tops we could find were dated from the mid 1950's. I don't know if news paper was common insulation in those days but it had all settled down to the bottom 2 ft of the wall.

Talk about a fire hazard!
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Old 12-13-11, 04:31 AM   #55
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What did they even use in the walls in 1953?
Balsam wool or nothing.

Last edited by S-F; 12-13-11 at 04:33 AM..
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Old 12-13-11, 11:38 AM   #56
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  • His house still costs $1000 a year to heat which is on the same gas rate structure but smaller than my house and I pay roughly a third of that.
  • I showed him how little I spent on improving my house and how the insulation and air sealing materials would cost him less than his January heating bill, he can't be bothered by it.
  • ...yet still complains every winter about the heating costs and then gets defensive when you tell him it would be easy to seal up the place and fix the house to even half that usage.
You bring up an interesting point.

Some people are embarrassed by their stupidity, other people are proud of it.

Sometimes you've just got to let them go...

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Old 12-17-11, 09:41 PM   #57
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I started insulating my basement ceiling. We have no reason for heating that area for at least the next 10 years and I had a bunch of rolls of R-19 fiberglass (unfaced) sitting in my garage. I'll finish the ceilings after I get it up.
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Old 12-18-11, 08:11 AM   #58
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I started insulating my basement ceiling. We have no reason for heating that area for at least the next 10 years and I had a bunch of rolls of R-19 fiberglass (unfaced) sitting in my garage. I'll finish the ceilings after I get it up.
Make sure that while you are doing that, that you are sealing off the sill boxes, otherwise even the smallest cold draft above the insulation will be keeping the basement warmer and the floor above colder and fiber glass does next to nothing to stop drafts other then filtering the dirt out of the cold incoming air.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:01 AM   #59
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Will do... I'm going to rip out the face insulation in there and caulk. There is no way I'm messing with foam spray.

Why couldn't a person just close off the "sill boxes" with plywood and fill them with cellulose? Am I nuts?
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Old 12-18-11, 12:40 PM   #60
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Will do... I'm going to rip out the face insulation in there and caulk. There is no way I'm messing with foam spray.

Why couldn't a person just close off the "sill boxes" with plywood and fill them with cellulose? Am I nuts?
Actually sounds like more work.

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