Mequon Bonus Room

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My client has a log home with storage trusses above the garage that create a Bonus Room space. The room had several problems, the main one being that it was very cold in winter. The second issue was that there were numerous cracks in the drywall corners due to the long term shrinking and settling that is common in log homes. The third issue was there was a step down from the adjacent bedroom into the room and the client asked if we could make it flush.

Looking into the issues, what we found was this bonus room was insulated with 6” of fiberglas insulation between the 2x4 “walls” of the storage trusses with nothing covering the insulation, and 8” of loosely fit insulation between the garage ceiling and the Bonus Room floor above. The conditioned air was provided by two 6” flexible insulated ducts which ran through the unconditioned attic to the sidewall of the Bonus Room. The flexible duct insulation was not a good choice because it has very little R-Value and lost its heat by the time it made its way to the Bonus Room wall registers. Finally, the two wall access panels were poorly fit and uninsulated.

To remedy all of these problems, we first ran a “just in case” length of Romex wire from the basement to the attic next to the Bonus Room for a future baseboard heater, if needed. Then we brought in our drywall contractor to repair the walls and ceilings and spray a new texture over all drywall surfaces. Then our carpenter laid three layers of taped sytrofoam on top of the existing subfloor and topped it with  a new subfloor so that the floors were flush. Then we brought in Alpine Insulation who recommended stapling mesh over the 2x4 studs and then spraying Corbond Foam Insulation over the mesh and the 6” flexible ducts from the top of the walls. We also brass weatherstripped the two access doors and insulated them with styrofoam.All of this increased the wall R-Value to approximately R-34, increased the floor R-Value to approximately R-50 and increased the duct R-Value to around R-15. 

After painting was completed, we installed a laminate floor to complete the project.

Normally, one would want to have the greatest amount of insulation in the attic. But we reasoned that the reason the space was uncomfortable was that air from the vented and unconditioned attic space was windwashing the poorly installed sidewall insulation, infiltrating the 1/2” gap where the drywall met the subfloor  and unconditioned air was infiltrating between the bottom of the subloor and insulation below. By encapsulating the side walls and ductwork with Corbond, we totally took wind washing and infiltration out of the equation and dramatically reduced heat loss. The end result is a room that the owner tells us is warm and cozy (and we didn’t have to install the baseboard heat   ;-)


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