Is your new house insulated? The answer should be, “of course it is.” Insulation is something that is well and truly covered in the design and documentation stage of your new house, so when you look at your building permit drawings and of course, your energy report there is reference to the amount and location of the insulation. Also, when you see the house being built there is evidence of the insulation arriving and being installed.

So, what’s the problem here?

The problem is not the specification of insulation but the ‘correct’ installation of it. The correct installation of insulation involves installing it without gaps between batts and ensuring that the entire thermal envelope is covered.

You would think this would be simple enough, especially considering it is a Building Code requirement. However, after observing a number of houses being constructed I have found evidence that leads me to believe that most houses are not insulated properly.

Here is a list of identified problems:

  • Wall insulation is squashed into place, (squashing the insulation reduces its potential insulation value).
  • Wall insulation is carelessly placed leaving large gaps between.
  • Wall insulation is NOT installed over windows where there are lintels.
  • Wall insulation is NOT installed at external wall corners and external junctions where internal walls meet the external wall. This problem is due to the wall wrap being placed prior to the insulation contractor appearing on site. Once the wall wrap is placed, these external junctions cannot be accesses for the installation of insulation.

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