Monday, November 16, 2009

The Insulation Circus

When I worked construction, I noticed that insulation crews were often... nontraditional. A panel van would pull up to the jobsite and out would spill 15 old women, 3 dogs, and a goat. So when I went to insulate my yurt, I thought: where am I going to get a goat? As it turned out, we had to insulate sans bovids. Luckily, I do have several friends with acute memory loss, so I'm able to convince them to help me out more than once.

First up was the cotton. I had tired fairly quickly of the black backside of the billboards that were my cover material, and decided that my yurt would look much prettier with a white background. That went pretty fast.

Oh hai!
Then came the actual insulation. If you remember from previous posts, I had decided to use concrete blankets as insulation. They are used by contractors to keep freshly poured concrete from freezing. They are essentially multiple layers of bubble wrap and tarpaulin quilted together. The ones I got were in horrible condition, and needed a lot of work to get them usable. But at ten bucks a piece, they were still worth it. And as a plus, they had a reflective coating on one side!

Fuzzy wore tie-dye, in keeping with the carny/gypsy aesthetic.

It was a relatively painless process, taking up a full day at a more than leisurely pace. I then replaced the cover, this time turning it inside out to make it a little less... commercial. After all, black is the new, um, black. Good thing we got it on when we did, because this happened fairly soon afterward:

But that's a story for another day...


  1. What are you using for heat, how warm does it stay?

  2. I have been using a little 10,000 btu kerosene heater. For a standard house of my square footage, a 24,000 btu or more is recommended. Even so, it has stayed about 60-65 degrees most nights. That said, it got down to ten degrees outside the other night, and that dropped the temp down into the very low 40's inside. All this week I've been working on a replacement wood stove that will not only keep me warm but significantly reduce costs. Kerosene has been running me about 1.50 per night, and propane for cooking is expensive as well. Thanks for the question!