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How to insulate concrete-block addition

Q. I plan to build a concrete-block addition to my existing saltbox dwelling. What material should I use to insulate the interior walls so as to retain heat in the winter? The north side is a garage, east and west sides will each have one window, and the south side two large windows. Eleonore W. Marshall Mount Dora, Fla.

A. I suggest you use at least R-19 rigid or blanket-type thermal insulation in the common wall between the living quarters and the garage.

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Install double-or triple-pane thermal glass in all windows. This will keep the heat out in the summer and retain it in the winter, so far as the window areas are concerned.

Weatherstrip all four edges of the outside doors.

To the inside block walls, floor to ceiling, apply vertical 2-by-4 wood furring strips on 24-inch centers. Install R-19 rigid or blanket-type thermal insulation between the strips. Tuck the insulation tight to all the perimeters so that no leaks can occur.

To the now insulated furring strips, apply any one of several kinds of wallboard to suit your budget and the desired aesthetics. Consider plaster board, wood paneling, either in board or plywood form, or lath and plaster.

Presto! You have a well-insulated saltbox home that should preserve your comfort. don't forget to similarly insulate the roof or ceiling, depending on the construction design.

For those readers who do not know what a saltbox house is, here is what Webster's Third International Dictionary has to say: "A type of frame dwelling much used in colonial New England having two stories in front and one behind and having the roof double-sloping with the longer and lower slope to the rear."

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