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Insulation

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by hberg, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. hberg

    hberg give me some of your tots

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    We live in an Irving and our room is always 8-10 degrees below thermostat. Our daughters room - by the other bathroom, was 65 when therm was at 73! Big difference. We aren't shutting doors so I am not sure what more we can do. There is also major cold air coming up from our basement (unfinished) door into the house at the top of the stairs.

    Has anyone added insulation above the garage, or additional into the walls?
  2. Wick

    Wick New Member

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    We have the same issue (however, not 8-10 degress difference). Here's my opinion: Heat from the first floor rises up your open stairwell and makes the upstairs termostat register a higher reading. Thus, the upstairs thermostat will never give you an accurate reading of the individual rooms upstairs because that thermostat is affected by the first floor heat rising upstairs. That heat never reaches the upstairs bedrooms in the same manner. That doesn't necessarily mean the house is poorly insulated, it just means that the termostat upstairs was put in a bad place.
  3. hberg

    hberg give me some of your tots

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    Good point. But the closets are in the 50's in the master bedroom so it is a combination of the unfinished garage, the cathedral ceilings, but boy are the other closets toasty!

    Also, I did notice, bad sealing job on our windows.

    We may look into getting that redone.

  4. Wick

    Wick New Member

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    Wow, those are some cold closets. Ours are cold, too, but I intentionally turned off the vents in each of them in the master bedroom (actually, I turned off all the vents in all closets). You're right about the cathedral ceiling. That doesn't help. Neither does the fact that our master bedrooms essentially have three walls that border the outside of the house (versus the other bedrooms which have just two walls bordering the outside).

    The windows in our house are terrible. Cheap, cheap, cheap.
  5. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    Gotta love builders... but hey, what do you expect for a half-million dollar house?! :)
  6. Zansu

    Zansu New Member

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    I sat here in that windstorm last week waiting to see which windo would blow in first! None did, but the curtains sure were moving!
  7. hberg

    hberg give me some of your tots

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    My 2year old has a cold, last night I went in to check on her and the temp in her room was 62! My husband put a space heater in her room, and slept on the floor in there all night last night. When he and her came into the master bedroom this morning, he said it was like a frigid meat locker. I didn't notice because I have large down comforters on my bed. We set out thermostat at 76 and it was reading 74 which I realize is a top of the stairs placement issue. Our main level was warmer last night then our top level.

  8. MD_boy

    MD_boy New Member

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    This type of problem had been discussed in a previous forum.
    http://hoa.broadlands.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=109
    Apparently many of the homes were not properly insulated. One user (sonnguyen) even posted pictures. The links to the pictures no longer work but I saw them before. He cut holes out sections of drywall showing there was no insulation ever installed in many of his walls. Many others posted that they had the same problem. Not sure if VM ever stepped up to the plate.
  9. numba41

    numba41 New Member

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    Did any one here hire a home inspector for the pre-drywall walk-through? They should have alerted you to the lack of insulation and sealing deficencies. I certainly think the $260 I paid the inspector was well worth it. My house is air tight and no major temperature differences anywhere, except from the cheap basement windows installed.
  10. MD_boy

    MD_boy New Member

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    I seem to recall from statements in the previous forum that lack of insulation was noted at pre-drywall inspections. VM assured them they would take care of it. When the owner went back to follow up the drywall had been already been installed. VM again assured the owner that the insulation had been installed. The homeowners later tore out the drywall and found no insulation.
    I am not sure if any of those involved still post here or even live here anymore but it would be nice to hear if they ever got the problems resolved.
  11. Wick

    Wick New Member

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    The pre-drywall walk-through doesn't help because the insulation is not installed yet. The builders wait to install the insulation because it is difficult for the owner or inspector to evaluate the other aspects of the home if the insulation is there. In my case, I went back to the house after the pre-drywall walk-through and after they installed the insulation. We have a VM house and I was actually quite surprised that our insulation was installed quite well and in all of the right places. I had read the previous thread started by sonnyguyen(?), so I was holding their work to high standard. Like I said, I wasn't disappointed and had no complaints. However, this stuff is totally hit-or-miss and it depends on the chumps that actually do the installation.
  12. Lisa

    Lisa Member

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    This is my first winter in my VM home and it is freezing upstairs in the room over the garage. I am the second owner of the house so can't ask VM to help. Could someone point me in the right direction on how to get this looked into and possibly fixed, insulation added?
  13. JenCo

    JenCo Member

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    My personal favorite:

    Going to the potty at midnight and sitting on an icecube:)

    We're in a VM townhome and we did the option to put our master bath in the extension. Our last house had the bath in the extension and while it was slightly colder than the rest of the house, it wasn't insanely cold like ours now. And our bedroom is an icebox too especially when it's windy. I'm so impressed with the quality of windows and building that VM has used (sarcasm in case you missed it).

    Of course, it could be worse. At least we have heat and a roof over our heads. (But these expensive roofs should be a bit more climate controlled)
  14. sonnguyen

    sonnguyen Member

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    Hi, I'm the one who originally posted about the missing insulation in some parts of our home.

    (BTW, we have a Dogwood).

    I agree with Wick that the the pre-drywall inspection doesn't include insulation for purposes of checking out wiring, plumbing, etc. We did have a pre-drywall inspector but he couldn't have found the problem since insulation wasn't put up at that time. My wife and I checked up on the house almost on a daily basis and that's how we saw the missing insulation before the drywall was put up. One of our neighbors alerted us to the problem about the uninsulated overhang above the garage.

    VM did come back and put insulation into those areas, but it was a pain in the butt for us. We had to take off work a lot for the work to be done. And the clean-up afterwards wasn't exactly fun (drywall dust). The drywall work was pretty badly done the first time around, so at the 11-month walkthrough they had to bring in the real drywall guys.

    We also had them add a ton more insulation in the attic. Plus they blew insulation in around the jacuzzi which juts out the back kinda like a bay window (the air in the tub used to be noticeably cold).

    If you want, I'll dig up the pics again and re-post them...
  15. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    I'm in a winterset. Last winter we had our kitchen sink's pipes freeze up several times. We had VM out to look for the problem and it turned out that they forgot to put insulation down the entire wall of the kitchen where the sink is. Well they came in and had to stuff insulation down there which is pretty iffy if you ask me. It did help though and we have not had any frozen pipes there since. Now here's the kicker. For the pre-drywall our insulation was already up. They guys that did the insulation actually hid this by putting a piece of insulation over the area that was not insulated. I found this when trying to figure out why the pipes were frozen.

    After all is said and done our pantry is still about 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the kitchen but as long as the pipes don't freeze again I'm happy.

    We've not had any issues with the temperature in the room over the garage. As long as we keep the doors open upstairs all of the rooms are comfortable.
  16. hberg

    hberg give me some of your tots

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    We had a pre dry wall inspection done but they already had half the drywall up - we told them we had one coming out and it seems like the quickly put up some drywall. He did not find anything. I don't want to start cutting out my walls to see if there is insulation there, there has got to be a better way,

  17. sonnguyen

    sonnguyen Member

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    You can maybe compare the [interior] wall temp against similar, nearby ones that you're sure are insulated. I used an infrared thermometer to partially confirm that those wall sections in our house were missing insulation (the thermometer read about 5 degrees F cooler right between the studs). Just aim the thermometer at the wall (it doesn't need to touch the wall) and scan across horizontally. It works best when it's real cold outside.

    This is the particular one that I have: http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog_name=CTLG&product_id=22-325 but I believe Sears has one and I thought I saw one at Wal-Mart, too. You can also use these thermometers to compare carpet temperatures in rooms above garages vs. those above living space (just don't scan right where you put your feet because they'll sense the residual heat still there).

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