One step forward…


Working through the to-do list, we had reached the happy task of hanging a hammock.  Was I ready for that.

And on the same weekend, back in July, Becca found a puddle of water on the computer desk.  Looking up, we saw sheetrock sagging.  Glug!  The hammock went empty as I started ripping out the ceiling.


The roof on that section of the house had some pretty sloppy flashing.  When we jacked up parts of the basement during our renovation last autumn – our goal was to level the kitchen floor – the upward pressure must also have shifted, ever so slightly, that section of roofline.  Water was finding the path of least resistance.  Into our house.  Onto our desk.

“Look at it as an opportunity,”  That was the advice of Noah, the builder who has been helping us.  I never would have gone there but he had a point.  During our renovation last autumn we superinsulated the main house and attic but did not do the ceiling cavity in this section.  Since we had to expose part of the ceiling now,  it made sense to rip out the entire section and re-do the insulation.

But I was slow to get started. Finally I removed all the sheetrock and strapping and then affixed rigid foam insulation between the rafters.  I left air space between the rigid foam and the roof boards, then used spray foam to seal the edges and corners.

IMG_3949Rolls of insulation were placed across the rafters and a vapor barrier was stapled in place. I used a 1 mil plastic sheet.


Calculating the total insulation value we gained is an unsolved puzzle: R5 against the roof + spray foam + R30 rolls of pink insulation = I know not what, but it is much more than was up there before.  In fact, I found a gaping hole between the house interior and the porch roof.  Whoever built this addition felt that tar paper was adequate insulation against the winter cold.  Amazing!

When I finished replacing the sheetrock, heavy rains fell and nothing appeared inside the house. That was the big test. I hired a professional to do the final taping and mudding; this was a prominent location and it was well worth having a skilled hand do the finish work. And that gave me the chance, on an Indian Summer afternoon, to go lie upon the hammock.


3 Comments on “One step forward…”

  1. It’s so GOOD to read your words! Next couple of weeks? any openings for a cup of coffee?

    Wendy Hebb 207-620-0697

  2. Glenn Palmieri says:

    Nice work David! Always important to leave an airspace between the insulation and the roof sheathing. Otherwise condensation builds up, freezes and thaws in spring and you will find puddles and sagging Sheetrock. Had it happen to me when a helper did a section….what a disaster!

  3. Jane says:

    wow nice job it never ends, does it ?
    same here
    nice outcome…stay with the hammock thing !!

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