Remodel game plan
Im several weeks away from closing on my first house. It is in Kingston, NY–climate zone 6. It is a 2-story balloon framed, brick veneer structure, built in 1952. There is a 1″ gap between interior of brick and exterior fiberboard sheathing. Framing is dimensional 2×4, and interior surface is some type of plaster, there is no lathe. There is existing fiberglass insulation in bays, but anything Ive exposed is in poor condition.
Initially I thought Id drill several hundred holes and have expanding foam injected into stud bays. Primarily due to this site, Ive come to understand that the Wall is more complex a structure than empty bays wanting insulation.
I now have two competing plans. Each plan includes removing all exterior-wall plaster, increasing bay depth via the Bonfiglioli method and insulating.
Fully DIY plan would utilize R23 mineral wool batts, carefully installed, and an air-tight drywall installation.
Less DIY, therefore more expensive, plan would utilize a vapor permeable mesh and dense pack cellulose. I would pay to have cellulose installed, but would likely perform mesh installation. This approach would likely utilize battens and bring all services inboard of vapor permeable layer. Ive been checking out Pro-Clima products, but am open to suggestions. If I go this route, Id like the structure to perform as well as it can, but I don’t want to over-do any one aspect if it doesn’t improve the structure.
There are currently no weep-holes in brick veneer. Im wondering if either approach will necessitate additional ventilation for the brick-to-sheathing area, Ive read about solar vapor drive, and don’t want to create any headaches for myself by overlooking important details. The first and second floor exterior surfaces comprise about 2300 sq.ft.
The full basement is 7-1/2′ deep, 5-1/2′ of which is below grade, I haven’t put a lot of thought into improving the basements insulation at this point, but I am interested in improving air tightness of joints between foundation and framing. The attic is also unfinished, the roof is an L-shaped hip roof (cross-hipped?) and I eventually plan to blow in loose cellulose after air sealing that area. Im not planning to demo the second floor ceiling completely– but plan to remove 6″ of ceiling plaster at all exterior walls to carry up vapor permeable mesh if going with dense packed cellulose.
Im hoping for advice on each approach, and appreciate any insight that can be shared. Also, please don’t hesitate to critique either approach If my ideas don’t mesh with proper technique, Im new to this knowledge, and ultimately want to do the best job I can for my home, at a reasonable cost.
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