The house is now completely wrapped in Tyvek and every single window in the house is new. Yes. That is every. single. window. Iowa winters can be really harsh. Living in a drafty farmhouse isn’t fun during those months. The previous siding was aluminum and under that was a foiled paper layer and then a very thin layer of styrofoam. When I say thin, I mean thin. Think of a styrofoam cup and it’s even thinner than that. Because of the age of the styrofoam, you could see the styrofoam beads pressed together. Under that layer was the original redwood siding.
When we started gutting the house, we noticed the house had insulation blown in between the studs. This insulation had really settled over the years and it was only about 3/4 of the way up the walls. In other words, our house was cold and it was a bit of a bear to heat and cool.
Now with all of the siding peeled off the house down to the shiplap, there is a new 1/2 inch foam core insulation layer, which is covered by the Tyvek. Add the new windows in along with the new HVAC system and this house should be much more comfortable in the winter and the summer. I’ve already noticed a difference in running the AC. I would have to keep ours at 68 degrees F just to keep the house cool. I’ve been able to run our new unit at 72 degrees F and sometimes, that’s almost too cool. I can tell this is going to be a really good change.
I love how neat and clean the Tyvek wrap looks. This is a huge improvement over what we had.
You can see all the layers and the new improvements in this picture. This is the kitchen window on the north side of the house. Long ago, my husband and I decided we wouldn’t put that many windows on the north side of the house just because of the winters. It’ll look a little out of balance having just two on a side where there would normally be four, but I’ll figure out something. It might be a good place to hang a barn quilt. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a barn quilt on a house in these parts. I could be a trendsetter!
Try to ignore the messy kitchen (I do), but I wanted to show off my new kitchen window. I haven’t been able to open my kitchen windows in years. It’s been awesome having the windows open while I’m still having to wash the dishes by hand. I like the low-e glass on these windows. They have a slight tint to them that protects the interior house from the UV rays.
The improvements are happening a little at a time.
Salvaging A Farmhouse is a series of blog posts that chronicle my experience of renovating and reclaiming our 1900 farmhouse. This is a project that is over a decade in the making. We were working towards some pretty serious renovations on the house until my husband became sick with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and died 9 weeks after his diagnosis. My kids and I have been left with the task of completing what we started all those years ago. Every house and every family have a story and this is the story of ours.