This weekend, Tara and I experimented with two types of insulation we'd never used before. The first was blown cellulose, which we dense packed into the cavities between the wall studs of our cistern shed. In order to do this, we had to rent a blower machine from Home Depot. They loan it out for free with the purchase of twenty or more bags of cellulose, but weirdly, they also accept returns for those that go unused. What's the point in that?
Anyway, once we got the machine home, we watched this video to get an idea of what we'd be doing:
...then we got to work. It was pretty messy and dusty, so we didn't take too many photos.
The process went off without a hitch, save for when the rigid foam sheathing on the interior began to bow out from being stuffed too full of cellulose. We only noticed the bloated cavities when the cap nails holding the sheets down began popping off and flying across the shed! We were able to avoid disaster by affixing furring strips along each of the wall studs.
In the end, we only used about twelve bags of cellulose and were able to return the rest. Despite the mess, working with blown cellulose was nowhere near as obnoxious as dealing with pink fiberglass insulation. All in all, it was pretty easy. I'd definitely do it again!
Next, to super insulate the ceiling, we used a second type of new-to-us insulation: a do-it-yourself spray foam kit. Ever since I saw professional spray foaming first-hand I've been wanting to try it out. The kit came with a full tyvek suit, booties, goggles, etc—it was quite the production to use! Basically I just sprayed (it's more like a vigorous splattering, actually) the material into the rafter space with a little hand-held gun and it instantly started hardening and expanding.
I am sure it will be very effective but I don't think I'll ever use it again. The stuff is crazy expensive, super gross, and it's actually not that much more insulating than blown cellulose.
In slightly unrelated news, our dear friends Shlomy, Britney, and Nehemiah are back on the homestead, this time for a couple of weeks. Shlomy helped us put wire lath on the exterior of the shed, as we've decided we'll plaster it to match the house. Unfortunately, temperatures are too cold to do that this season. We'll have to wait until spring!