A Wool Sweater with Some Gypsum on Top

In the past, I’ve approached insulation with a general dreariness. Minuscule particles of fiberglass stinging my arms like a thousand tiny splinters and a nasty hacking cough are the first things that come to mind. On top of that, my insulation job was going to be horrendous. I had random widths between 2×4’s and lots of triangular spaces to fill (between braces).

After a lot of research, I figured it would be worth the investment to go for stone wool insulation. While this stuff leaves you with plenty of itching and coughing, it still has a ton of advantages over fiberglass.

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First off, it’s stone wool, not fiberglass. The tiny particles it lets off are hazardous to your lungs but not much more than sawdust would be. It’s not tiny shards of glass. There was an added piece of mind with that knowledge. Secondly, it installs with a friction fit between studs. There’s no face on it, which means you don’t have to staple anything. And since I had many odd shapes and sizes to fill, this stuff was perfect. Thirdly, it has a slightly better R-value (R-15) than the 2×4 equivalent in fiberglass (R-13).

I’m not sure if it’s the size of the house, or the good insulation, or perhaps a combination of the both, but our tiny home is now very easy to warm up. This morning, the temperature was 51 degrees when I arrived on site. After plugging in a small electric, oil-filled space heater that is rated for about 300 square feet, the entire place was heated up to 67 degrees in an hour and a half. The temperature outside hadn’t changed.

So what’s the downside to this stuff? The price. It’s easily double the amount you could expect to pay for fiberglass insulation. But I will never use fiberglass again. This stuff is awesome.

Then came the fun part… (sarcasm). Two items that do not go together are “timber frame” and “drywall”. Every single piece I’ve installed, yes every one, has needed cut at least once and usually about three times. When you’re working around braces, lots of electrical outlets, and most of your walls span less than three feet, you will be left with LOTS of scrap drywall. By the way, if anyone needs some scrap drywall, I have enough for a decent-sized doghouse.

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While I could have used many smaller pieces on certain sections, I made it a point to have the least amount of joints to mud as possible. I’ve done drywall before, and once was enough to know, the less mudding, the better. So seriously, anyone need any scraps?

I still have a small portion of the living room to hang and after that, the finishing begins.

I’ve decided that once the drywall is finished, I’ll try to complete the bathroom first. So far, I have the tub installed and the cement board shower surround and the cement board on the floor. Installing the bathtub was a chore, but I was lucky enough to have my dad lend me a hand. The tub I purchased required a bed of mortar under it to give it full support. It makes for a nice solid job, but installation was certainly stressful. Me and concrete don’t do well together.

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I also added a bit of extra electrical before finishing the insulation. Faith wanted a chandelier (cue Sia) in the library loft, so after some brain racking, I came up with a decent solution.

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