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anyone else find missing insulation?

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by sonnguyen, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    I've been reading up on heating and cooling of houses and different types of insulation. I know my townhouse just uses the standard pink rolls, which don't stop drafts around pipes and whatnot.

    Is anyone using the 'Cacoon insulation' that is sprayed in? Reading around, it looks like it saves ~30% in heating and cooling costs as well as reduced noise.

    John

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    Got Broadband?
     
  2. sonnguyen

    sonnguyen New Member

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    jtarnow,

    Thank you for bringing up the issue of the front bedrooms. The larger bedroom (the one over the living room) has a closet corner that extends out past the first floor. I wonder if they neglected to insulate that, too. Have you noticed that closet is unusually cold?

    Of the 2 houses (ours and a neighbor's) that I know have been checked for insulation in the master bedroom extending over the garage, both had missing insulation. I'm curious as to how many homes (not just Dogwoods since other models have sections that extend past the first floor) were not insulated in the floors properly.

    I have been repeatedly requesting information on the person or parties responsible for the inspections on our homes. So far, no one at Van Metre has returned my phone calls or e-mails.

    I have also requested written information about the type of insulation in our attics, specifications, and so on. It has been over a week and no one has bothered to contact me about anything. I am concerned because in our attic there are no marks indicating installation depth so I don't know how the insulation folks could have known how much to blow in. During our 60-day walkthrough, Dave Wagner (of Van Metre) told us that as long as we couldn't see the drywall through the insulation then that meant we had enough. That just didn't sound right. I requested confirmation with one of their superintendents and (once again) my request fell on deaf ears.

    It's really frustrating to have to keep going at them. I've resorted to flooding every Van Metre address I know just to get responses back. And I've had to repeat the same request to multiple parties just to get a single job done.

    jtarnow, contact me directly if you can (sonnguyen@alumni.psu.edu) and I'll see what I can do to help.
     
  3. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    "During our 60-day walkthrough, Dave Wagner (of Van Metre) told us that as long as we couldn't see the drywall through the insulation then that meant we had enough."

    This does not sound right. Aren't there are county codes that the builders must follow on depths of insulation in attics? In my attic (a Miller and Smith townhouse) there is a considerable amount of insulation up there, around 6" deep average I would guess without taking a measurement.

    John

    ---------------
    Got Broadband?
     
  4. GCyr

    GCyr New Member

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    John,

    Check out this link for the recommended R-38 depth of attic insulation:
    http://www.betterinsulation.com/A_how_much_insulation_do_you_need.htm

    I know that I have much more than 6" of blown-in insulation in the attic of my Ryan single family home but can't remember the exact depth. Send me an email at home and I'll look up the depth in my notes.

    Greg

     
  5. sonnguyen

    sonnguyen New Member

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    vacliff,

    Regarding an article about construction problems for publication in the Broadlands HOA newsletter:

    ----------------

    You wrote:
    "Some people (including other Van Metre owners) do not want to see
    negative articles in a public manner due to the fact that it could have a negative impact on their home if they try to sell it and prospective clients see that Van Metre has a quality problem in Broadlands."

    I respectfully disagree. I think that a home is more valuable when its owner goes after problems and things are fixed properly. If a homeowner shows that they knew what to look out for and that they were proactive in getting the issues resolved, it certainly would make a potential buyer more comfortable.

    For example, I'd rather buy a used car from a knowledgeable and hard-working mechanic than the same car from a anyone else.

    And a lot of the negativity has to do with how Van Metre approaches issues when customers complain. Re-sale buyers hopefully won't have to deal with Van Metre. I was once told to not listen to what my neighbors say "because every house is built differently". It's pretty clear to me that they don't want people sharing information because of what they might find out. We wouldn't have known we were completely missing insulation in our master bedroom overhang if it wasn't for a good neighbor sharing their home-inspector's findings with us. If there is just one thing that empowers the community, it is information.

    ----------------

    You wrote:
    "...The newsletter is still used as an advertising tool for the Developer, so I don't think they would be comfortable with an article that is damaging to their partner."

    I am in agreement with hornerjo that the article will serve to benefit both the builder and residents. I think that keeping important issues in the dark won't benefit anyone in the long run. If they do not want to publish the article then there are always other means.
     
  6. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Sonnguyen-
    It's okay that you disagree with my statement, but I speak from experience. A few years ago, a homeowner ws so disgusted with Van Metre that they put a sign in their front yard. The HOA received several complaints about the sign. Many gave their reason for their objection to be what I mentioned: They owned Van Metre homes and didn't want it perceived that all Van Metre homes were poorly built.

    Regarding your interest in writing an article for the newsletter, the HOA Board was notified by the editor of your interest. I think it's a good idea, but their may be some objection from some of the Developer members if Van Metre is mentioned specifically. I have no problem with it, as I also had quality issues with Van Metre. Your concerns about them were forwarded from Terrabrook to Van Metre, so maybe that will help get your issues resolved.

    We are always looking for articles and information in the newsletter that will bo of interest to Broadlands residents. Please submit your article to the editor. The deadline for the next issue is January 15.
    Cliff
     
  7. ovpk

    ovpk New Member

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    sonnguyen,
    thanks for all of your posts regarding your insulation/problems with VM. i too was shocked to receive my first gas bill of $350!! in December. i've also been wary about the insulation in my master bedroom closet and other areas of my Van Metre home. i wanted to mention that the thickness of the insulation on various parts of your home will differ. our sales contract has a paragraph regarding the different "R" values that the builder agreed to install in our house. i should have blown insulation of 8 to 10.5 inches in depth that yields and R value of R-30. Obviously "as long as you can't see the drywall" is not thick enough in the attic. i'm going to go out this weekend to get an IR thermometer.
     
  8. sunnydog

    sunnydog New Member

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    We purchased an insulation blanket for the tray ceiling in our bedroom. This has made an enormous difference and did not require any blown in stuff, equipment, or mess.
     
  9. jtarnow

    jtarnow New Member

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    If you don't mind sharing, where did you get the insulation blanket and at what cost?


     
  10. Makan

    Makan New Member

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    I have a Spruce with a basement. I am having the same problem. We had a $500 gas bill last month and we keep our house at around 68.

    I did not realize that others are having the same type of problems.

    This is great. I am going to get in contact with VM and I think we should get a meeting together and jointly file a suite against VM. In the long run it would have better chance of success.

    You can count me in.



     
  11. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Hi Folks-
    Regarding heating bills.
    The bills you are seeing are not atypical for cold weather around here. In December 2000, my bill was $520 (house set at 68 daytime, 65 nightime). Some of my neighbors had bills as high as $750.
    I have lived in new homes in several states and have found that the construction of homes here (whether it is Van Metre, Washington, Engle, NV, Ryan, etc.) are the cheapest (quality, not price paid) I have experienced.
    By all means, you may want to ensure your house is properly insulated. A common area the builders miss is ensuring the attics have the proper depth of blown-in insulation. Also, check the seals around yout windows. They are the greatest source of heat loss. On windy days like last night, I watch my curtains billow in the breeze.
    For comparison's sake for those reading this, my last bill was $264. My house is 3600 square feet with a partially finished basement. I'm also on a "locked in" gas price through an independent supplier. Their price was 15% less than Washington Gas last month.
    Cliff
     
  12. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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  13. tigger

    tigger New Member

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    You might to be in your house for a while before you are able to sign up for the budget plan with Washington Gas. Check with Washington Gas for the details. We had to be in our house for a year before we could sign up 2 years ago.
     
  14. hberg

    hberg give me some of your tots

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    VACLIFF - who is your independant supplier of gas?
     
  15. terptide

    terptide New Member

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    this is very interesting news.
    We have a Van Metre Home as well - Aspen Model our gas bill is outrageous and at first I thought it was due to the overutilization of our gas fireplaces. After closely montoring it I found it not to be the case. Closer inspection will be underway, I know that our master bathroom is abnormally frigid in the winter (especially now)
     
  16. hberg

    hberg give me some of your tots

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    What does one have to do - buy an IR and go over every inch of our wall? Truely Van Metere is not installing insulation correctly if there are these many folks with issues. I do know gas heat is more expensive then electric - or so my friend down in Huntsville tells me - but we have a baby and cannot have a cold house. If they insulation is not completely in by the time our predrywall inspection takes place, and we pay to have an inspector for that visit (which would be a mute point if it's not truely ready for inspection) then what can we do?
     
  17. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Speckhard-
    The company is WGES and their number is 888-236-9437. My contract price in 2002 was 50.2 cents/therm. My renewal contract for 2003 is higher..58.5 cents/therm. For comparison purposes, in 12/02 the cost was 90 cents/therm.
    Cliff
     
  18. hberg

    hberg give me some of your tots

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    Thank you for the info!
     
  19. Dawne

    Dawne HOA Sec-Treas/Tech Comm

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    From the WGES website...looks like their rates are up...

    WGES Fixed Price Gas Offer
    Click here to enroll @ $0.699/therm*

    Get Price Protection From WGES By Locking Into a Fixed Gas Price All Year
    Last winter, natural gas prices soared to the highest levels ever. Remember how shocked you were when you received your winter heating bills? Now you can Lock Out The Shock of your natural gas bills by locking into a guaranteed fixed price natural gas contract with Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES). By locking into a fixed rate of $0.699/therm* today, you can prevent natural gas prices from shocking you for the next 12 months!

    Get Peace of Mind From Knowing That Your Gas Price Won't Change
    Surprises are nice, but when you're budgeting monthly household expenses, unpredictable costs can ruin your plans. A fixed gas price can eliminate the surprise of rising gas costs by providing you price protection and stability.

    We Make It Easy to Enroll
    To enroll in the WGES Fixed Gas Price Program, just complete, sign and return the Enrollment Form. It's that simple. Be sure to read and retain the WGES Gas Service Agreement Terms and Conditions for your records. If you have any questions, just give us a call toll free at 1-888-884-WGES, weekdays from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
     
  20. Dawne

    Dawne HOA Sec-Treas/Tech Comm

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    I'm going to have to go home and pull out my Washington Gas bill..I don't even know what I'm paying in Therms..sad, eh?
     

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