Insulation Frustration

When we arrived at our house three Saturdays ago, a very different sight awaited us inside. Insulation had been completed! It kind of looked like someone shoved sheepskin rugs inside all of our walls. Curt had also promised that our main fireplace would be working, so I thought we’d have a pretty warm weekend in spite of cold temps. Well, the fireplace didn’t work without its remote control, which was forgotten at home. So our sleepover was not quite as warm as I’d hoped. On the bright side, we got almost a foot of snow Saturday night so we boarded in some nice powder, much more than we expected.

Annoyingly, the insulation guys did a few things wrong. First, they did not put a plastic vapor barrier over the insulation on the vaulted ceilings in spite of Curt mentioning this Summit County building code requirement to the company. We have vaulted ceilings in our kitchen/dining area, our bedroom, our bathroom, our closets and the laundry room – basically, most of the main floor. While I was of the opinion that we should call the insulation company on Monday to have them fix this – since our insulation inspection wasn’t until the following Thursday anyway, not to mention that they had agreed to do it for FREE (which Curt did not fill me in on at the time) – Curt wanted to take a stab at doing it ourselves. He was of the opinion that if for some reason the insulation guys couldn’t get to it that coming week, that our inspection, and therefore drywall, would be delayed. Well, it was delayed anyway because that was over three weeks ago and our drywall guys aren’t starting until tomorrow. But anyway, Curt scrounged up some plastic sheeting and we got to the very painstaking process of stapling sheets of plastic overhead on our very tall ceilings. It was about as fun as it sounds.

Master bedroom, pre-black plastic
Penny inspecting the master shower
Greta and Curt in the kitchen, pre-plastic on the ceiling

We did okay in the kitchen but then we ran out of clear plastic. Curt found a really ratty piece of black plastic sheeting that we tried to use in our bedroom. This was when I decided what we were doing was ridiculous. I couldn’t see through the plastic so I was stapling all over the place, not into the wood studs. We were getting dirt, sawdust and insulation in our eyes and mouths. Best of all, the plastic was full of huge holes and tears, which Curt used some pieces of tape to repair. For something called a vapor barrier, I was pretty sure we were wasting our time putting up holey sheets of plastic… And then there was the issue of the black plastic covering up the newly installed insulation, which was the whole purpose of the inspection. And now part of it was obscured. I was having a hard time with the logic of it all. I did not take any photos during this process because I was about to be in meltdown mode. As was Curt.

Thank god we eventually ran entirely out of plastic sheets and called it a day. Lo and behold, the next day was Monday and Big Al, our insulation company, came right out to finish the job for free as promised. However, we still did not pass our inspection that Thursday. No, it was not our holey black plastic. The insulation company did not leave Curt with a detailed list of the products they used. Our invoice did not count. There were a few other minor issues, but it was a huge pain because Curt has to be present for each inspection, so not only did he waste a day of work, we wasted another week on our slipping schedule. He can’t just take the very next day off. So I took the following Wednesday off with him for the re-inspection. The inspector spent about 5 minutes in our house and we passed. Unfortunately due to the delay, our drywallers got busy on another job, so they could not start until this week. Actually, tomorrow. Delays delays delays.


  1. Have I told you before how much I admire your dedication and persistence, even in spite of the challenges that keep popping up? Well I do!

  2. That's awfully nice of you to say! Thanks :) I think we're finally in the home stretch, unless I just jinxed myself by saying that...