Insulation between the house and the garage
Insulation between the great room and master bedroom
Insulation between the kitchen and the laundry room

Insulation

I don't have too much to say about the insulation. We went with fiberglass bats which is not necessarily the best insulation option but it is cost effective and does a pretty good job.

Besides insulating the places required by code (i.e. the exterior walls around the living areas of the house), we also insulated around the master bedroom master bath, around the kid's bath and around the laundry room. The master bedroom shares a wall with the great room which will have a TV, so we wanted to help reduce the sound passage between the two room, and the insulation will help (although not completely sound proof, of course). We wanted to add some sound privacy to the bath rooms, and wanted to reduce noise travel from the washer and dryer to the rest of the house.

Additionally, we insulated the exterior garage walls, which is not required by code by something we wanted to do. We have a unit heater (i.e. a gas furnace hanging from the ceiling) in the garage; without insulation it would be really hard to keep it warm. It will be much nicer working on projects in the garage in the winter without the cold.

Since we are only finishing a small portion of the basement at this time, we had to make a choice. Code requires (at least in this part of the country) some type of insulation for unfinished basements. You must either insulate the exterior walls of the basement, or insulate the floor joist bays in between the basement and the main floor.

I had a hard time deciding which option to select. Insulating the floor joists is nice because when you finish off the basement, the insulation puts a nice sound barrier between the basement & main floor. However (as I learned in my last house), it is absolutely no fun finishing a basement that has insulation in the joists - every time you run a wire, pipe, set a can light, etc. you fight the itchy insulation as you pull it in and out and work around it. On the other hand, since an unfinished basement typically does not have framed walls, they nail up a large "insulation blanket" which is just a code keeper - it is all but worthless and has to be added to when the basement is finished to get enough insulation, which almost makes it a waste of money.

Ultimately, we decided to go with the insulation blanket - I didn't want to wrestle the insulation in the floor joists later, and we decided that we can add insulation to the joists in the areas a sound barrier matters when we finish the basement. This option ended up being several hundred dollars cheaper, too.

After the drywall is finished, the insulators will return and blow insulation into the attic areas.

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