Ceiling Layers

Getting the ceiling finished was the next important step, allowing for lights to be turned on so we could work past daylight hours, and enabling us to finish the walls with the final plaster. We were also keen to get the insulation above our heads as soon as possible, since the cold space of the addition was effecting our heating abilities in the finished part.

We did the same as before, adding 10 inches of rock wool insulation in two layers- R14 and then R22, giving us a total value of R36 above our heads. Since the strawbale walls are somewhere around R35-40, it made sense to match that in the ceiling, even though it is way above code for this area, is twice as much work to install, and ups the cost of the insulation dramatically. We did the same in the first build and are incredibly happy with the heating and cooling effect of the high insulation.

Because of the changing angles of the rafters, pieces needed to be cut on varying matching angles to stay held in place. It is not a pleasant job, with the configuring of ladders and the rub of insulation across one’s head and face, but at least the rock wool is less irritating than fibreglass, and eventually it gets done and then it’s… done!!

Covering the whole ceiling with the vapour barrier afterwards is way better as a two person job. Crinkled and oddly stapled plastic is just annoying.

We had acquired (for a fairly cheap price) 5inch wide tongue and groove cedar in 10 foot lengths, which needed to be stained previous to being installed- we used a natural product called Osmo which is a Geman product of natural oils and waxes. The wood is quite varied in colour tone and has a fair amount of knots, but none the less is a beautiful material to use and the oil stain made it even more brilliant in tone. Because our rafters run the width of the house (15feet) but curve the length of the space (40 feet) we needed to put strapping across the rafters so the ceiling boards could go up in the same direction as the rafters. Initailly we thought we could find ceiling material that would flex a bit with the curve, and so run lengthwise, but without incurring the high cost of custom milling something thin enough to bend, we had to change plans.

We had round LED lights to set into the ceiling, and of course other required things like the bathroom fan, stove fan, and smoke detectors to work around. Having the ceilings done really changed the whole space!

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