Insulation: A Key Factor

The amount of solar heating available on most Seattle winter days is small. Good design is required to absorb and store as much of that heat as possible. Good insulation is required to reduce the loss of that heat.

The insulation standards we used in this project were 'revolutionary' for 1980. By todays standards they are quite normal: 5.5" batts in the walls, 10" batts in the ceilings, and standard insulated glass.

How Times Change

In order to get 5.5" of insulation into the walls, we had to frame with 2x6 studs and then had to find door frames for walls of that extraordinary thickness.

Although none were available 'off the shelf', Dunn Lumber came to the rescue. I visited their 'door shop' and they came up with custom made door jambs for the 2x6 walls.

Today, it is the 2x4 sized door jambs that's the odd size, R19 wall insulation the standard and R30 insulation in some ceilings does not meet code requirements. Almost all windows come with insulated glass, windows with uninsulated glass are a special order. Insulation materials come in all types of materials and forms. And contrary to the predictions of many in the housing industry, the prices of these products have come down relative to the costs of other construction components.