We used foam insulation applied from the interior of the house and fiberglass in the interior walls and ceiling for sound proofing.

All installed by ASFI, an island contractor

OPTIONAL – We did not do the following due to cost and the poor availability of people that could actually perform the work. I am leaving it up as a general reference on the subject.

Siding and Deep Energy Retrofit

Siding Square Footage

North and South Sides are 18.5 x 40 x 2 = 1481 East and West Sides are    18.5 x 28 x 2 = 1036 Rake on Gable Ends are         10 x 28 =    280 Total not counting windows, doors (-)  or waste(+) is about 2,800 sq feet 3>

This is a general idea of what the siding will look like.

Indian Hill Insulation Detail

Indian Hill Insulation Detail


The vent openings in the exterior will be provided by others

  1. Install Thermal Buck to build out the windows for the foam instalation
    See here
  2. Install blocking at top and bottom of the foam for proper insect protection
  3. Apply 2″ XPS foam using proper fasteners 16″ on center
  4. Caulk and fill the gaps in the foam and the foam to Thermal Buck
  5. Install provided Anderson 400 series windows into provided rough openings.
  6. Apply WRB membrane (such as Blue Henry or HydroGap Drainable Housewrap) to the foam
  7. Once the window installation is complete, then the head and jamb flaps of the WRB may be trimmed, sealed, and taped. Complete the flashing with REcommended tape across the nail flange of each jamb, and head flap of the WRB.
  8. Apply Shakertown 7″ reveal 8′ long coarse with built in rain screen – will require longer nails
  9. See here


General Notes

  • The walls current thickness will grow from 2″ to up to 3″ thicker and this will then reduce the roof overhang
  • All windows and doors will have to be reset for the thicker walls. (Replacing these anyway.)
  • The choice of nails is important. The length of the nails must penetrate enough to satisfy the local building codes.
  • Fireblocking may be required every 10′ and at the top of the rain screen.
  • House Wrap: Air migration is very important. Products such as Vycor enV-S and Blue Henry VP-100 are used to prevent this. These are impermeable rainscreen membranes around (perm=0.385)
    Also Dow Tuff-R or Rmax R-Matte® Plus are choices. This membrane will be the rain plane and must be continuous and applied with flashing. If it was not for the siding and UV protection this layer would be enough. In cold air areas there are arguments to use permeable coverings such as Rmax Durasheath® (perm 1+/ inch) and Dow Sturdy-R (perm 3+/inch), See the U-Mass link below and here.
  • Peel and stick wrap may need primer on damaged wood and rolling after installation to ensure a good tenacious grip on the underlying material
  • The choice of siding is critical as the rain screen may not provide a strong base to nail the siding into. The preferred siding of traditional cedar shingles (wood dipped in stain) would require some sort of strong base.
  • Looking for composite siding products that would work when nailed just into the rain screen. Should I be brave and go with raw steel sheets?
  • Insect intrusion into the foam or rain screen has to be prevented.

Some Ideas from the WEB

Green Builder – the best wall system explained

Insulating on the outside by

Peel and Stick House Wrap discussed here

See especially the link to “Nailbase Wall Applications Construction Manual”


Toll Free: 1-866-423-3302 or Phone: 1-519-380-9265

EcoStar roofing materials
CertainTeed, offers a luxury line of composites under the brand name Symphony.
DaVinci Roofscapes×6075-perfection-shingle-snow-traditional-roofing-and-gutters

fiber cement siding shingles

Cedar Valley -CA (866) 534-5011
Shakertown – WA 800.426.8970
Cedar Shingle Direct (800) 641-9663
Premier Forest Products 360-581-4350


The opportunity exists to add rigid XPS foam to the exterior of the building to increase the insulation of the structure’s walls from R-19 to R-29

This does not appear to be an easy or well-understood task. However, it is probably the future of home construction and of home renovation.

If I had my choice I would probably NOT have taken the siding off of 133 Indian Hill. But with that river crossed I feel that I must at least analyze the project and see if it is at all feasible.

From an energy payback point of view, the cost to do a deep energy retrofit is not economical in terms of energy savings actually achieved. This is evident from this one quote I found online: “Wrapping a house with foam insulation and building a vented rain screen is perhaps the Mercedes of wall options”.

The only possible saving grace is that the home will appeal to someone who wants a highly efficient home that will have an extremely low carbon footprint.  So perhaps this home, when it is resold, will find demand amongst that group of people. Because of the low payback, the real question is how to keep the cost of doing this Deep Energy Retrofit as low as possible.

Here is a breakdown of the Deep Energy Retrofit process

Some Terms that need definition

PERSIST (Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Insulated) StructurePERSIST (Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Insulated Structure)
REMOTE Wall system (Residential Exterior Membrane Outside-insulation Technique) – They put the membrane inside of the foam – Here is their manual