Foundation Insulation

Everyone knows how fast the summers go in Alaska, but this one seemed to go faster than usual.  Workshops, weddings, hunting, fishing, village work, wrapping up my master’s program, and starting a new business, wow!  Matt and I suddenly realized that we only had a weekend to do a project we slated a month for.  Perhaps we were both avoiding the hard work of digging out the foundation, insulating it, and filling it back in, but time was running out to take advantage of the energy rebate program.

Matt came into the office while I was writing my paper and informed me an excavator was arriving Thursday afternoon.  I put the word out on Facebook that we were looking for help for the weekend and cleared my schedule.  It wasn’t until the excavator arrived that I really realized the extent of the project we were undertaking.  I had to move a few fruit trees and my herb spiral before I left for a meeting.  When I came back, there was a huge pit on one side of the house and an even bigger pile of rocky, sandy fill where there used to be paths and lawn. By 9pm we had the first section of the wall insulated with four inches of foam, taped, and ready to be filled in.

On Friday helpers started arriving, and by Saturday we had a full on crew of foamers and diggers.  The entire back of the building had to be hand-dug, four feet deep.

We woke up on Sunday to the sound of rain, muscles sore and tired, and a lot of work left to do.  We put on our raingear and trudged outside.  Mid-morning Mike showed up, much to our relief.  Then our friend Katy came, Kara brought cookies on her way to work, and Sara dropped of a rhubarb cheescake.  By 6pm, we were dumping the last loads of dirt back into the trench, and as I looked around at all the muddy, rocky subsoil that laid on top, I was overwhelmed with the work yet to come.  But this winter when everything is covered with snow and and cold winds are blowing, our home will be nice and toasty!


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