Insulating Just in Time


Greetings, all! Time for an update regarding my snailesque progress on wee Borealis House. In terms of actual structure, I finished the exterior in August (come spring I'll paint the siding and roof, and add gutters, at which point the outside will officially be 100% complete!) and built the tiny shed on the tongue of the trailer, which will house my propane and on-demand water heater.




Ain't she a beaut?

Then, after a bit of feet-dragging, because I was wary to jump into the world of wiring, I got around to installing my electrical.


After I got that mostly done (I'm still working on getting an electrician out to give my work the thumbs up) I started in on what became a month-long effort to buy some damn insulation.

Marjam is the closest place through which I could order recycled cotton batts (I went with Bonded Logic UltraTouch), and very unfortunately, they're the only game in town for buying many ecofriendly building supplies. But I would recommend to any local readers to avoid them at all costs. They took a month to respond to my initial request for a quote, had zero customer service from the get-go, and when I ended up playing phone tag with their sales rep because we were each out of town for a bit, I was put on hold and transferred in circles just to repeatedly get sent to her answering machine. It was consistently made clear to me that because I was an individual, not a big fish, company contract, no one gave a toss about my measly $700 order (though, I've since heard from friends who ARE big fish contractors that Marjam is usually pretty damn rude to them, too). Ultimately, once it had been 2 months since my initial email, 1 month since the ball got rolling on my order, and 3 weeks since I'd paid for my insulation and I STILL hadn't gotten them to nail down a delivery date, I showed up at their office, set up a date, and told them their customer service is abominable. For most of that conversation the employee wouldn't even get up from behind his desk 20 feet away to come talk to me at the counter. Absolutely useless.

ANYWAY. Rant over. Actually, it's not -- the next day I got a snotty voicemail from their sales rep essentially telling me it was my fault they'd been so difficult. Cue eye roll.

Okay, now my rant's over for real. Once I actually got the insulation out to my house, I couldn't be more pleased with it. It's lightweight, super easy to work with, and despite some reviews to the contrary, I had zero problems fluffing the batts out to their full 3.5 in and 5.5 in thickness. The insulation isn't even done and my lofts are already so much toastier! It's also pretty cool to occasionally come across a chunk of intact fabric or tag and be reminded that my walls are filled with little pieces of so many stories and experiences, and not toxic or new-production shtuff.


I really got this in just in time, too, seeing as we've already had our first snow:


Uncool. Luckily, it all melted the next day, and it's back to averaging 45, 50 degrees each day. But it's nice to know that I'm one step closer to being warm and cozy no matter what craziness mother nature is cooking up outside. Actually, 2 steps closer, because my propane heater has arrived!


Ever since I started drawing up blueprints and planning this build, I thought I'd go with a Dickinson Newport heater, like countless other tiny housers. Up until about a month ago, actually. I like the look of them, and love the small size. A friend put one in his revamped Shasta, and it's just the cosiest, prettiest thing once it's going. But therein lies the problem: once it's going. I decided I want to swap the aesthetic and small footprint of the Dickinson for a heater I can program and set. After a lot of research I landed on the Rinnai EX11C. I'll add a review once it's installed, and compare it to the warmth and look of the Newport. The Rinnai is quite a bit larger, but it boasts a "cool to the touch" cover, and I'm hoping I can either paint it or cover it in vinyl (like this awesome kitchen!), and ultimately it might blend in far more than the Newport ever would have. We'll see!

Happy Saturday, loves!

#tinyhouse #borealishouse #heating #Rinnai #DIY #construction #home #house

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