Insulation (or how to keep warm in Arctic temps) Pt. 3


JM: So I spent a few days over the Thanksgiving weekend in my hometown of Montréal, Québec during what appeared to be a brief cold snap. I was quickly reminded of the value two important things to survive a Canadian winter visit: a warm smoked meat sandwich, and a good coat.

Staying “chirpy” warm in my new thick down jacket, of course, brought me right back to my tiny house and how close we are to finishing the entrance wall!! In my last post, I described the process of insulating the arches and places where it would be not only difficult to fit insulation up against the surface of the metal, but also inadvisable since it would create condensation. The entrance wall (what I’m calling the wall that has the door and windows) is a bit of a different story. Since the framing was all done with 3 1/2 inch steel studs, it was easy to accommodate 3 inches of PolyISO rigid insulation sealed around the edges with additional spray foam in what I discovered is somewhat affectionately called the “Cut & Cobble” method by this author.

Here’s a before and after detail view of the entrance wall a few months apart.

While not perfectly airtight and certainly not pretty, this method was significantly less expensive than anything else I’d planned. I found all the 2-inch PolyISO which was left over from a job for about $100 on good ol’ Craigslist. With an additional 1-inch layer, the pieces fit in the cavities of the steel studs nice and snug. I then filled whatever gaps were left with that “Great Stuff” spray foam.



In the end, I think it was worth the extra time and effort. I trimmed off the excess and just for an extra measure of protection, I sealed all the seams between the studs and the foam with rubberized window flashing tape. A little overkill, I know, but I think this will make sense as I move forward with finishing the entrance wall which y’all can look forward to in the next post (Hint: it involves cedar.)


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