Today the world is a lake. The low-lying garden is a swamp, and Mucky picks his way around the paddock on high ground so he doesn’t get his ankles wet. It’s raining with vigour, and I’m delighted to have wakened early and have nothing I have to do for a few hours, so I can huddle back in bed and read and write and listen to the escalating then subsiding waves of rain – through the window, pounding on the roofs of other outbuildings.
The only thing that disappoints me about Roxul is that it insulates sound so well that it blocks out rain. The sound of rain on the roof is one of my favourite things. Now it has to rain hard enough for me to hear it through the windows before I even know it’s raining.
I got as much of the sub floor down as I could without tackling all the tricky compound slope sleepers I’m going to have to deal with where there’s a concrete pad, and got the poly all up. Finally, the space of the barn I’m claiming looks defined, and the envelope is almost complete. The walls have that stuffed sofa look they have after vapour barrier and before drywall. Most importantly, there’s enough space closed up to move all my stuff into before I go to Iceland.
Voila, floor! A marble won’t sit at rest anywhere on it, but it’s smooth, and what a difference. Yes, I can frame partitions and my windows/doors on real floor! I also laid the floor in the loft, with the gorgeous blushing cedar I got for $1.30/bd ft, so beautiful it aches. We’re so lucky to have such lovely local wood. Too good for the barn. Turns out the loft floor tapers, losing 3” over 12’, so I couldn’t set up my chop and go, but it didn’t take too long.
What a relief it is to be working in the cool of the insulated barn. Can actually get a full day’s work done, without working a split shift. Even wrestling vapour barrier over my head, the giant uncooperative sheet draping on me like a deranged plastic wedding train, is not so bad when it’s 10 degrees cooler than it is outside. It’s hard to judge the efficacy of the Roxul yet because there’s so much space shared with the uninsulated part of the barn, but there’s a big climate difference in a few steps.
Today I really noticed the sound muffling quality of the rockwool. I thought that it was only raining on the other part of the roof for a few moments. Really. But obviously, I could only hear it from the other side of the barn. We’ve been having a blessed series of afternoon thunderstorms that are grand and exciting, and hose down the hot earth after cruelly blistering days of sun. I don’t like summer. Too hot.
Now I can’t wait to move in, to sleep in a real bed- my real bed, for the first time in ten months. It won’t be the first time I’ve moved in and slept under vapour barrier. Or no vapour barrier. Or no insulation, even. In February.
Floor made of pallets
I can’t say enough about how much I love working with this insulation. That’s something I thought I’d never say. What I love most is the way the batts hold their shape. Having batts fold down and gently flop on your head sounds like a small thing, but it’s about the most annoying thing ever. And if the stud cavities aren’t the perfect size, then fiberglass is doing that, all the time. But this Roxul is so thick and rigid that it never flops. You do have to cut very accurately, but it’s easier to cut straighter.
Supposedly it’s more environmentally friendly, too.
I feel it in my throat and lungs, although it doesn’t seem especially dusty, and it doesn’t itch NEARly as much as fiberglass. I’m working with it here in 30-35 degree weather, not only that but in the peak of the two story barn, where I swear it’s hitting 45 and up. Not that I want to roll around in the stuff but fiberglass in this heat would be hell on earth, and the Roxul is really not that bad.