The Kuppersmith Project 5: Insulation & Painting

Danny Lipford outside in front of the Kuppersmith House during renovation

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Next up in our extensive renovation of the 1926 Kuppersmith Project house came insulating the walls and attic, hanging and finishing the drywall, completing work on the porches, and painting the outside of the house.

Central Heating and Cooling System

One big change to the house was installing a central heating and cooling HVAC system, which the home had never had before. Much of the ductwork along with one of the heating/cooling units was located in the attic of the house.

Spraying foam insulation

Foam Insulation

To make the Kuppersmith house more energy efficient, Icynene expanding foam insulation was sprayed between the rafters in the attic as well as in all the outside wall cavities of the house. Made from caster bean oil, the foam expands to 100 times its size when sprayed.

Insulating between the rafters eliminated the need for attic ventilation and will keep the air in the attic within 10 degrees of the interior of the house during both winter and summer. It also increased the energy efficiency of the HVAC system in the attic, since the conditioned air in the ductwork won’t be exposed to extreme temperatures.

Drywall Installation

Finishing drywallOnce the foam insulation had been installed and trimmed flush with the walls and ceiling, the UltraLight Sheetrock® made by USG Corporation was hung.

Before drywall finishing began, a careful check of the plans was made to make sure all the holes in the drywall had been cut for the numerous plugs, switches, recessed light fixtures, and other wires to make sure nothing had been accidently covered over.

Next, the seams in the drywall were taped and finished with several coats of joint compound and sanded smooth.

Exterior Painting and Staining

The painting and staining on the outside of the house by CertaPro Painters started with applying caulking to all the nail holes, joints, and cracks.

Priming cypress attic vent

The trim was then primed using High Hide Cover-Stain oil-based primer from Zinsser, which is great for sealing both the composite and wood materials we used on the house. Two coats of finish paint were then applied, and the cypress shakes sprayed with stain.

Front and Back Porches

The ceiling on the back porch was covered with V-groove cypress to blend with the cypress shake siding on the house. As Frank Vallot of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association explained, cypress lumber is not only beautiful, but the heartwood contains a natural oil that makes cypress resistant to rot and decay. Cypress wood can be painted, stained, or left unfinished to weather to a silver gray.

Installing porch railingsIn addition to the Fiberon composite decking used on the porch floor, Fiberon Horizon Plus composite railings were installed on the porch. The railings were positioned near the outside of the columns to allow room for the retractable Phantom Screens to raise and lower behind them.

A two-part epoxy wood repair system from Abatron was used to repair the deteriorated wood on the front porch columns. After coating the rotten wood with liquid epoxy to harden it, epoxy putty was used to fill any voids in the columns.

Cabinet Design

Designer Joe Boehm of Better Homes & Gardens magazine worked with Merillat cabinets on the design, layout, and finish of the many cabinets for the house, as well as helping with other aspects of the interior design elements.

Installing kitchen cabinets

With the drywall hung, the new kitchen cabinets could be delivered and installation begun.

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