Of Sheetrock and Insulation

The Ring brought to Gollum unnatural long life. For five hundred years it poisoned his mind……

…….and in the gloom of Gollum’s cave it waited.

Darkness crept back into the forest of the world.

Rumor grew of a shadow in the East whispers of a nameless fear and the Ring of Power perceived.

Its time had now come……


Yes friends the time has now come. We are on the brink of making this little  old Hobbit house get the look and feel of the real thing on the inside. And welcome as always. It has been a busy week over at the Hobbit. A trying and frustrating one at times. As you’ve guessed by the title we’ve started sheet rocking in earnest. It’s a painfully slow process though and is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. Before I get to that I just want to share some pictures of the insulation operation that went on before we were able to start the sheet rock.

So like I was saying we went with the open cell spray foam option. It really is an amazing thing to watch. It yields an R-value of 4.5 per inch of depth. So my wall depth is 9.5 inches which gives us an r-vale of 42.75 plus the 4 inches of styrofoam on the outside of the plywood gives us an overall R-vale for the wall assembly of 62.75. Impressive. Most impressive as Vadar would say. A typical 2×6 wall has an R- value of 19. So we’re 3 times more energy efficient than a typical house. I was thinking that these guys would be here all day doing this install. It was basically a half a days work. Most of the work being protecting the floors, windows, and walls. And then the final cleanup. Once they got going it proceeded quite quickly. The lead man sprayed the insulation on the walls and then as it dried another man cut back the overspray with a sawzall with a really long blade. A third guy spent most of the time cleaning up. A couple of pictures.

Getting started with the spray gun.

They spray it in a series of layers. He did an initial shot and then went back a number of times to get the right depth. I was actually surprised at how much overspray there was. Once they started cutting the overspray there was quite a mess.

I also had them spray a bunch of interior walls.This is the hallway.

The idea here is to isolate each bedroom from themselves and from the  main living space. Hobbits like quite. And they like their naps as well. Nice quite ones. This stuff really works well. It gets into all the nooks and crannies of the wall assembly. It definitely changed the sound transmission.

Soundproofing the master bathroom from the common bedroom.

The sawzall he’s using has about a 36 inch blade on it.

So as I was saying installing the sheetrock has been a bear of a job.  Quite technical. The curvature of the ceiling really makes for a difficult install. Even standing up the sheets is an issue. I was working in the hallway standing up a sheet and I somehow managed to get it jammed between the floor and the ceiling. Like jammed where I couldn’t get it out. So there I was with this sheet that I just spent a half hour cutting to fit stuck there between the floor and ceiling. The last thing I needed to have happen was to break the sheet and have to redo it all over again. So after a few choice words which I shall not utter here I got a ladder climbed up and got it unstuck somehow. Thank God.

Originally I was thinking that I would be able to do two sheets an hour. Which would be pretty good time. It’s taking me more like 45 minutes a sheet. Like I said it’s a slow process. I have to make a a separate template for the top of every sheet and then take very careful measurements for the height of each sheet. In addition to that there are tons of outlet and wall switches that I have to cut out for. Because the house is small there really are no long runs of boards anywhere. There always seems to be a corner or nook that has to be cut out to make things a little more difficult. On top of that there were multiple spots where the framing had to be either fixed or modified. Also the insulation was not cut back enough and was protruding beyond the framing in certain locations as well. So as I was saying it’s taken me more time than I anticipated. A few pictures.

Sheet rocking the hallway.

This is where the sheet got stuck. Check out all the outlets.

Living/Dining room almost done.

I had Ethan help me put the balance of the sheets on horses so it would be a little easier on my back and legs to work on the sheets. (They were previously stacked on the floor.) Those are all 4’x12′ sheets. The only place I’m really able to use 4×8 sheets is at the low ends of the house. (The far end of the picture above.) If you look closely you can see the brick for the fireplace on the floor. The stonemason is going to start the fireplace possibly Monday.

So right now I’m hoping to finish the sheetrock this Friday if all goes well. I’m getting some pricing for someone to tape the house for me. That’s a must and a pretty big job as well. The good thing is that I ran all the sheets vertically so there are no butt joints. This will make for a really nice wall finish.

Keep the faith.



3 thoughts on “Of Sheetrock and Insulation”

  1. Hey Jim, Glad to hear my writing is helping to perk you up. Came across three very short videos on YouTube that you will definitely enjoy: First one…Christopher Lee Schools Peter Jackson ( about 1 minute long), then Christopher Lee talks special forces and receives an incredible gift (about 4 minutes), and last, Christopher Lee’s life is way cooler than yours (about 2 minutes running time) Enjoy….best wishes…..john

  2. Hey Jim, Hobbit house is looking good. Looks like you might finally be at the point where you can cross things off your punch list faster than you have to add things to it. Nice scribing of the sheetrock to fit the curves….better than I would do. Can’t wait to see next weeks pictures, progress should be awesome. As always, best wishes……….john


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