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Is there a super-thin, high R-value insulation, not plain rigid?

Posted by fireweed22 (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 1:25

I may repost this in the Old House forum as well, not sure if this is a space age product questions or insulating an oldie... but figured there may be a "new" product knowledgeable person here that may know this.

I have an old A-frame cabin, about 325 sq', just had the roof and cold floor spray foamed. Also cuboard interiors. What's left is the end walls (non-sloping). So approx 3/4 of the place is now tight.

The wall construction seems to be 2" of cedar boards, then shingled on outside. I think no tar paper as I can see light coming through the boards!

With the built in kitchen and bed in loft there is nowhere to frame in space for insulation without a serious reno (no budget left for that). I'm wondering if there is a super thin insulation (panels??) that may come anywhere near to R-13?

The rigid is way too thick, I think it was 2".

Any other ideas? Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is there a super-thin, high R-value insulation, not plain rig

Nothing that I am aware of for R13, as you mention it would be 2" rigid foam which is approximately R-7 per inch.


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RE: Is there a super-thin, high R-value insulation, not plain rig

How much space do you have? Have you considered Aspen Aerogel?


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RE: Is there a super-thin, high R-value insulation, not plain rig

Aerogel is rated at R10.3 per inch. Blankets 5mm thick (about .25 in.) run US$30 per sq. ft. at this site. IOW, only for high tech and government (unlimited funds) uses.


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RE: Is there a super-thin, high R-value insulation, not plain rig

Ouch expensive! I can see why only used for big budget projects.
Would be great if there was a knock off!
Thanks for the ideas.


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RE: Is there a super-thin, high R-value insulation, not plain rig

I'ld go with a combination of the following ....

first, put up 2" rigid foam insulation on the outer walls (cover the entire wall)....

second, put up 2" rigid foam insulation on the outer walls with 4-inch wide 1-inch deep cutouts for wall stubs ... (easiest to make the cutouts using a jig set for the 16-inch spacing you would typically want, make sure you only cut halfway through the foam boards) ...

third, put up 1x4 boards into the cutout spaces and secure them to the original wall (don't forget to extend your wall outlets through all this insulation so that you still have access to your electrical system!)

finally, install drywall over the interior, seal and paint for a professional appearance. finish up with your new electric panel covers.


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RE: Is there a super-thin, high R-value insulation, not plain rig

Thanks Skye. I'm afraid so much work is out of my league and budget right now.
I'm thinking about putting up just 1" of rigid on the interior wall, capping with t&g, and then ideally one day if I get around to residing the cabin, sticking another 1-2" out there as well.
Not sure if it needs a vapor barrier, or where it would go. But seems doable for me.


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RE: Is there a super-thin, high R-value insulation, not plain rig

It's a cabin in the woods in Canada. I had a few in the Kawarthas. At first, I was worried about insulation. But a woodstove and an inexhaustible supply of fuel quickly dispelled all concerns--except keeping the temp below 95º F. in the winter.

This post was edited by worthy on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 14:03


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