Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Insulating Positech Towers

Now and then I stop programming for thirty seconds to do other things. Compulsive blog readers may recall I moved house recently, just before PC Gamer put my business on the map as being in Guildford (not any more!). The good news is instead of having a view of a busy road, and the house about 60 feet away from me across the street, I can now look out of windows and see this:

Woot. There are sometimes cows and sheep and horses and all sorts of ‘country’ things. It’s l33t. the downside is that the only way I get to afford to live here is by getting somewhere that needs ‘work doing’ as they say. This house was built in 1750, and I think 1750 was the last time anyone tried to insulate it. Having no cavity walls, single pane thin ‘post-war glass’ windows and a damp cellar/dungeon with a well in it, does not make for a warm house. Even worse, as it’s ‘listed’, you can’t even bung in modern windows. Nor can you do almost anything. What you *can* do is insulate the cellar ceiling / living room floor, so it’s no longer just floorboards and then icicles. But due to the damp / listedness, it can only be insulated with sheeps wool.

Cue a whole day installing wool insulation. Now you might think its’ easy, if you’ve seen the TV ads. After all, they sell the stuff pre-cut to the standard joist gaps. Those gaps must have become standardised sometime after the battle of waterloo, meaning when this house was built, it was more freeform. Not a single strip of insulation went in without cutting it to size first with a breadknife (it’s the best way). The insulation is called thermafleece, but it’s basically just wool. Cue silly expression posed for camera… Behold my l33t pipe lagging too. (They hadn’t even done that).

It’s about half done, And I don’t reckon just wedging it up there will hold it in place. I need a breathable membrane sheet over it I reckon. Still, it’s one step towards being able to sleep without 6 jumpers 4 blankets and 2 cats on the bed to keep warm.

I still did *some* work today. Some more work on the supply limits editor, which I’ll use to test out and implement that feature, and eventually will maybe make it into a generic player-usable challenge editor.

7 thoughts on Insulating Positech Towers

  1. My parents live in a listed house too. You can’t just replace the drain pipes, they have to be oak and to get the ‘style’, handmade. Not cheap!

    Re your windows, wood is better for cutting out sound, but obviously the lack of double/triple glazing will make things nippy. If your frames are large enough you might be able to fit new panes. The ones at my parents house are way too thin to hold double glazing. The glass is ancient – it’s nearly worn through in places. I can’t tell from the picture but your frames look metal?

  2. Hooray for not being able to put in modern windows. Nothing ruins the look of a place as quickly as UPVC… You should be fine with secondary glazing though.

    My place was built in the 60s, and no standard joist gaps here, either. But I used expanded polystyrene insulation, so I had the fun of building a hot wire cutter to deal with it.

  3. Hi – I run a little insulation distributor, and Thermafleece is one of the products I am looking to bring into my range in early 2010 (I already have the terms in place to buy it, its just some background stuff to finish off before we put it on the website).

    I’d be really interested to get your thoughts on the product. Did you find it easy to install, or given your oddly shaped beams, perhaps I ought to ask if you found it easy to handle. Also, did you feel it was good value for money? One of my main concerns is that it is much more expensive per square metre than the conventional stuff.

    Please excuse the shameless attempt to get a bit of market research done, I just have come across anybody installing this product before.

  4. Wool is not a common insulation product, even here in Australia. for started the cost is significantly higher than glasswool. Knauf earthwool insulation which is actually a UK product we are bringing into the country is an excellent product. It is made form recycled glass and uses natural plan extracts avoiding use of petro chemicals found in other insulation products. Here at perth insulation we are looking at more environmentally friendly product, and although earthwool is actually more friendly than sheeps wool it does come in at a close second.

    As simon mentioned about, we would be interested in knowing what you thought of the product. We have several clients looking for wool perhaps this could be then answer for those who can afford.

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