No BOL/This Is It

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Dovey, May 29, 2011.

  1. Dovey

    Dovey Monkey++

    I would love to have an off grid BOL, but there is no way I see that happening. I've got to hunker down and make do with what I have here in suburbia.

    I've got no mortgage, but the monthly air conditoner bills are way too high.

    It's an older brick house with old windows and no insulation in the walls. I sometimes daydream about ripping out the sheet rock on all the exterior walls and putting in some new insulation.

    Have any of you done that and do you think it would be worth it money wise?

    Another thing I would love to do, but I think it's against city ordinances, is to put in a well. It would have to be a do it your self sneak job, but that would just about nail down my garden for me.

    Give me some ideas, tell me what you've done in and around your homes to make it more "hunker downable".
  2. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    You can have insulation blown into the walls without ripping them out.

  3. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    there is also spray-in expanding foam for retro-insulation
    as far as drilling a well, make your own auger and work just a little at a time
    haul thedirt away or dig a flower bed to hide it in
    with a hollow bit and a garden hose you can drill quite quickly
    its just a bit messy unless you have a sump predug for the overflow
  4. Dovey

    Dovey Monkey++

    I heard that doesn't work too well with all the fire stops and the way the blown in stuff settles. Can't get anyone around here to do it anymore. I didn't know about the foam. I'm going to see what I can find out about that.
  5. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I put in 1 1/2 inch thick foam panels, and it works! Not the best mind you and they can be UGLY, but you can cover them as we did with 5/8 inch thick "fireshield" drywall! Then it all looks "normal".
    ( this worked well in 2 mobile homes that have very little insulation!)
  6. gunbartender

    gunbartender Monkey+++

    my father had this done about 15 years ago and it made a huge difference.

    it does settle....
  7. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    In the 1970s, I had insulation blown in, it made such a big difference my parents did it also.

    Back then, you could pay someone or rent the equipment. You will see a large savings in your heating & cooling bills. I'd look into it.
    Cephus likes this.
  8. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    blown in insulation compresses and settles very badly
    i did a house years ago, filled the walls right to the top plates
    2 years later there was nearly a 1 foot gap at the top
    wont ever use that sh*t again
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Just by insulating and adequately ventilating the attic or crawl space, you can significantly improve the thermal rating in your home. Use good blinds which block the heat of the sun or replace the windows, too. If possible, you could also build a small, ventilated "mud room" at the main entrance to keep the hot air out of the main body of the house -it acts like a buffer. Some people even build an indoor pool with a waterfall to lower the temperature in the home, about the size of a fireplace only higher. Planting shrubs, vines and small trees around the home will also help to insulate it from refracted heat. Of course, with vines you may run into some problems since they like to grow into your home as well. Still, precautions can be made to accommodate. And any insulation in the walls is better than nothing.

    If you are running non-central A/C in the home, try to have energy saving air conditioning units.
  10. gejoat

    gejoat Monkey+

    Before you start digging your well how deep is the water table; at home (WV) we had to drill about 300' to hit water, and almost all of that was through rock. we had a spuder come in and do it, certainly not a sneak job!
  11. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    put in a geothermal vertical heat pump field... and dig an extra hole... take the tax break and savings on your electric bill to start purchasing land for a retreat...;)
  12. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    rain barrels?
  13. Dovey

    Dovey Monkey++

    Thank you all for your replies. I've got to find someone who does the foam insulation in walls. If I can even find someone it would probably be expensive but I think it would pay off in the future.

    Shortly after I posted this I saw a program on TV were they were shooting foam into walls. It looked like a less messy and better alternative to the loose insulation. They had a hand held thermal imaging device so they could tell where the fire blocks were.

    I have water barrels and a 250 gal water tank for the garden, but we are into the third week of 100 degree temps with no rain in sight. I found out for sure that digging a well in the city is not allowed, but.......

    My subdivision was built over an old lake site and there are supposed to be springs around here too, so I bet I wouldn't have to go very deep to hit water. If I were to do it, it would have to be on the quiet and cheap, and I mean stupid cheap. I was thinking some pipe and a hose with a fire nozzle attached to the end of it. Then I'd get a hand pump and disguise it as a yard ornament. I guess the first rock I hit would put me out of business though. There is only so much a woman can do by herself.
  14. tommyboy4090

    tommyboy4090 Monkey+

    Hey. Here is Florida one way that I know of people doing there own well is by getting an inch and a half of galvanized pipe and cutting teeth in it(kinda the way a skill saw blade is) so that it can cut through the ground. Add a hose to it and you will be good to go. But you will need all 5 foot sticks of galvanized so that you will be able to push, twist, drive, and pound them in the ground. I would get a good estimate of how deep you may need to go. It might now be worth your time and money to try it though. The wells here that the above method was used on were only from 30 to 70 feet deep.

    Also from doing construction i know that having foam in your house for insulation(at least in my area) is against code. The reason is because, well have you ever seen foam burn?? It makes a great insulation though. I think you would be safe with it in your walls but wouldn't dare put it over head. I wouldn't want little dripping fireballs everywhere if there was a fire. I had blow in insulation done on my last apartment and it made a huge difference. Our bill went down year round by around 20 to 50 dollars depending on time of year.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just a NOTE, here: When dealing with ground water, and well drilling, the ONE thing you should be checking on FIRST, is who OWNS the water, in the ground, under your property. In many cases, it is NOT yours, and the consequences of getting caught, stealing someone else's Water Rights is significant. ..... YMMV....
    Witch Doctor 01 likes this.
  16. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Down here we jet our pilings in using water pressure...and... also i had a old neighbor jet in a water well in his back yard and installed a old fashion hand pump to the piping..Used it to water his garden and flowers...However he only had to jet down about 20' feet..
  17. jasonl6

    jasonl6 Monkey+++

    Depending on how old your house it you may have board and lath not drywall. This is a PITA to work with and normally the walls underneath are rough cut lumber so they are not consistent which makes hanging drywall fun. My house has double plank walls that are 2" thick. As i remodel i have been studding the walls out with 2x6 and insulating. The first room i did was my bathroom. I have yet to put baseboard heat back in that room as it's the warmest room in the house with no heat. Used good old Fiberglass insulation.

    As for your water issues for a few hundred bucks you could have allot of rain water storage. Most years that would be all you would need. With none of the effects of drilling for water. I just put in 2 5/8" diameter 8' long ground rods and i can tell you i never worked so hard. I would not want to drive anything over 10' into the ground.

  18. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Some yearsback, my Father and I put the Dow Corning (Pink Panther) fiberglass blanket insulation in his attic, and he installed dual-pane windows. Also reweather-stripped the doors. It's an old concrete block home built in 1962, and originally had the 'granular' blown-in insulation that settled out and became useless.
    The improvements make a BIG difference in his electric bills and the comfort in the house. His furnace and AC don't run nearly so much now.
  19. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    Get yourself an "above ground" swimming pool, with cover and you can divert your rain gutter down spouts to fill it up. Then add the required amount of bleach and your water is ready to go.
  20. LogOut

    LogOut Monkey+

    As they say: whisky's for drinkin' and water's for fightin'.
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