What it Takes to Have a Successful and Comfortable Accessory Dwelling Unit
Whether your home already has an accessory dwelling unit, such as an art studio or if you are considering building a new guest house, a place for the in-laws, or a place to work on your latest furniture refinishing project, you may not have considered how spray foam insulation could work to your advantage.
Affordable Housing or Easy Living
The old saying of “Buy more land, they aren’t making any more of it” could not be truer. Land and housing prices continue to skyrocket and show no signs of becoming “inexpensive” any time soon.
This trend has caused many to rethink how they are using the property they currently own. When you have outgrown your current home, is it really necessary to sell and purchase a larger home?
Many homeowners in Illinois have decided to remodel an existing outbuilding or construct a new one. Often called an accessory dwelling unit, these buildings can serve a wide variety of purposes. A “guest house” can be used for the in-laws, which can provide mutually beneficial arrangements with childcare or household chores, as well as keeping the family close together.
Others choose to use this ADU as a rental, which can provide some much-needed income, while others prefer to use this space for personal endeavors, such as art studios or other creative interests.
By leaving the main house in its original state, an ADU can help to keep the character of the existing neighborhood intact.
What does this have to do with spray foam insulation? Glad you asked!
Any Space Used by Humans Will Require Insulation
Well, any space, that is, that is used here in the greater Chicago area and that you would like to use year-round that is!
While not every ADU is going to be the perfect candidate for spray foam insulation, most of them are. If you are considering new construction, be sure to talk with your contractor and ask them if the materials and design will work with spray foam. I would also be happy to talk to you about your new construction plans.
For most ADU’s, keeping the building sealed in the winter to prevent warm air from escaping is a big priority. No one wants to spend any time in an uninsulated or poorly insulated building during a Chicago blizzard. Of course, the opposite is also true. Even if you are planning to use the unit as say an art studio, you will be working in the sweltering heat of the summer if the building is not properly insulated and chances are that you will be avoiding your past time if you can’t do it comfortably.
Spray Foam and Its Applications
Depending on construction design and the proposed use of the ADU, the following might be required to keep the space energy efficient and comfortable:
1. Roof Insulation
The roof will need not only proper ventilation to prevent condensation, but you also want to prevent unwanted bugs, animals, dirt, and drafts. Spray foam insulation creates an airtight seal that will keep out all those undesirable critters, as well as provide excellent insulation that won’t tap down or wear out.
2. Floor Insulation
While an ADU isn’t usually exactly the same construction, nor it is as large as the main house, depending on the type of construction, insulating underneath the floor can go a long way towards preventing cold from chilling the flooring material.
Adding spray foam insulation to the walls will not only keep the home super cozy in any type of weather, but it will also help to make it more soundproof, keeping noise from the surrounding areas, such as the backyard, muffled.
4. Overall Air Tightness
More than insulation, spray foam will prevent insects, mosquitoes, squirrels, stink bugs, and other unwanted pests from entering through tiny cracks. ADUs are notorious as being homes for unwelcomed guests and spray foam keeps the building completely airtight, preventing even the tiniest creature from finding his way inside.
Your ADU may already have some type of existing insulation right now, and if it does, chances are that it’s the pink foam insulation.
You could always add another layer on top of your existing insulation, increasing the R-value, but fiberglass insulation does wear out with age. It compresses down, like a mattress, losing its ability to provide the insulation you are looking for.
Fiberglass insulation does not stop air leaks. It works great as a filter for the drafts, but it does nothing to stop them. Have you ever been in a drafty house during a Chicago winter storm? One thing you can say is that it was probably as uncomfortable as heck.
Rodents and bugs are also very fond of fiberglass. They think fiberglass is one of the best nesting materials around!
Go Spray Foam!
We can remove that pink fiberglass insulation and replace it with airtight, super sealing, super-insulating spray foam.
Spray foam works great in frame walls or concrete structures. It’s the perfect answer for those hard to reach crawl spaces or odd, shaped roofs.
For the highest insulating factor per inch, nothing can touch spray foam insulation. You don’t need a vapor barrier, it insulates around pipes, wires, and electrical outlets.
The SOUL Shack
If you are interested in exploring your options in building an ADU but don’t know where to start, we have great news! Chicago Green Insulation is Partnering with SOUL, Sustainable Options for Urban Living, Inc. to provide The SOUL Shack. The increased need for social distancing has impacted all in terms of needing more space at home. Whether you are looking to create a home office, space for remote learning, a home gym, a man cave, or she-shed, The SOUL Shack is worth exploring.
Have questions about your ADU, wondering if spray foam will work for the construction project you have in mind, or you want to talk about insulating your main home, as I always say, comfort is just a FOAM call away!
Call today and let’s talk about what spray foam insulation can do for your accessory dwelling unit and your home! There’s no obligation and our expert technicians always work with your safety in mind.