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Rigid Foam Insulation Experiences?

Posted by adknorth (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 2, 08 at 23:48

Hey Folks -

We just bought a pre-fab cabin, one room, wood framing. (Those things that look like a little house being delivered on a truck.)

I'm going to be putting insulation in between the studs and finishing the inside walls. It gets seriously cold (below zero) where we are, and this will extend the season for us in a big way. I was thinking of going with rigid foam insulation - so much less messy than fiberglass, and I like it better. Any experiences with this stuff?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Rigid Foam Insulation Experiences?

We use a lot of high-R foam insulation in the houses we build. Mostly in roof panels where we need to get the maximum R-value in a shallow space. DO NOT use white bead board, however. (That which looks like a styrofoam cup.) It is much cheaper and for good reason. You may as well stuff styrofoam cups in there.

If you finish the inside with a layer of gypsum board, you've solved any fire safety issue. (I take this seriously, by the way.)

By the way, I enjoyed the photos you posted in your photobucket link. As you might have guessed, I am a former Adirondack resident and that is where my heart still lies. I especially liked the photos from around my old home (Bloomingdale.) I never saw that postcard image of Paul Smiths before. I did spend many a half-hour on the deck of the Cumberland though, on the crossing from Grand Isle to Plattsburgh.

Good luck in your new cabin.


RE: Rigid Foam Insulation Experiences?

I've got the answer for you...

If you're planning on finishing the interior walls and you want the house to be real tight, you should consider using icynene foam.

Icynene does have to be installed by a contractor, but I recently insulated a 3000 sf 1850s post and beam farm house with it and the entire intstallation took about 2 hours and was less expensive than estimates with traditional fiberglass bats. The materials are more expensive, but the labor was cheap!

Icynene will give you a complete seal - NO drafts and no need for roof venting. It does not have as high an r-value as other poly based foams, but it is water based and does not off-gas so it is very GREEN. It still has a much higher r-value than rigid foam, or fiberglass, and by virtue of creating a complete seal, will HUGELY increase the efficiency of your home.

You are lucky in that your interior walls are not yet finished. Sprayed on foam options aren't great if you have to strip the interior walls first. Icynene is the ONLY option I'd consider in your situation.

Good luck.

RE: Rigid Foam Insulation Experiences?

If you are interested in Icynene foam, wiggleworm forgot to tell you that it will run about 3 to 4 times the cost of Fiberglass batts.

Also, especially in a very small cabin such as you describe, you must pay attention to ventilation. With Icynene foam, your cabin will be as airtight as it can be and in the winter that could cause serious or dangerous conditions. Look into an air exchanger system.


RE: Rigid Foam Insulation Experiences?

has any one had any experience with styrofoam on outside of a mobile home? back in K.C. there was a trend a few years ago of putting it on the outside of the home and even building window shutters and boxes out of it. all were painted and the styrofoam was glued and mounted using daisy mounts with middle screw. does anyone know where I layout or plan might be found for this type of construction?
if anyone might know of this type please e=mail me at my email address thanks,

RE: Rigid Foam Insulation Experiences?

Mary, sounds a little like Dryvit (fake stucco), which we have as siding on our MH & garage.

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