Everything? Does that answer the question?
In reality, nearly every aspect of the house will be at least reconditioned. We only plan to do this once in our lives, so we plan on doing it right the first time. Here’s part of the ever-growing list of changes to the house.
The Basement: Part of meeting the EnerPHit standard means wrapping the entire house in insulation. This is relatively straightforward above ground, but the basement is a special case. We’ll remove the existing floor slab, then insulate, run PEX heat tubing, and have the slab repoured. The exterior walls of the basement will be waterproofed and insulated with 6″ of EPS, and the interior walls will be framed with steel and insulated some more.
The Main Floor: We’re adding on to the main structure, increasing its footprint about 50%. The new space will allow us to increase the size of our very small kitchen, plus add a family room, bathroom, mudroom and laundry. It sounds like a lot, but we’re just using the space a lot more efficiently. We’re also adding in floor heat to all new spaces, completely replacing the kitchen, and shaping some of the interior walls.
The Second Floor: We’ll be adding a master suite and a quarter bath with the additional space. The floors are already heated, so we’ll likely see the least change here. Until we look up…
The Roof: It’s going away. We have to reframe the roof to accommodate the new footprint, as the 2×4 balloon framed roof can’t structurally handle the changes we need to make to it. It’s also a hip roof that sits directly on top of the windows, a condition I see everywhere in our neighborhood. That basically means that there’s no way to insulate the roof for the entire exterior perimeter of the house. So, it has to go. The new roof will be insulated to R-60, and covered with standing seam panels. As our architect said once, “No Minnesota house should have anything other than a steel roof.”
The Windows: They all have to go. They’re single pane double hungs with storm windows on the outside, have probably an R-2 value, and would be the energy efficiency equivalent of a truck-sized hole in the house. They’ll be replaced with German triple pane marvels of technology.
The Shell: The house will be wrapped in 10″ of dense packed cellulose, creating a blanket to keep it warm and cool throughout the year. We’re residing with cement fiber lap siding, and are using stone veneer to add accents to the chimney and entryway. Functional shutters will be added to the west side to prevent solar gain through the windows late in the day. The chimney will sadly be decommissioned and preserved only as a tribute to the architecture of the era.
Heat: We’ll likely enhance our existing in floor hydronic heating system. There’s some talk of per-room zoning, which would mean that every room would have its own thermostat.
That’s a summary of the high points. There are, of course, hundreds of other details that will be revealed over the coming months. I’ll be posting on every one of them when the time comes.