Spray Foam Provides Cost-Effective Insulation Solution

Originally published by: Fine HomebuildingJanuary 8, 2019

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Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects was called in to design a retreat home for its clients’ property in Methow Valley, Wash. A modest wish list and a restricted budget resulted in a 1100-sq.-ft. modern ranch-style house with an attached one-car garage.

Though sustainable-design features and systems can be expensive, it was important to the clients that they be included where possible. The team identified areas that would offer short- and long-term cost savings. They made the cabin’s footprint as small as would be comfortable, and they used in-floor radiant heating. A combination of blown-in and spray-foam insulation at the roof and walls helped to achieve a supertight building envelope, and passive-solar design strategies included heated concrete floors and deep overhangs, which minimize the need to condition the interior spaces.

Indulgences were chosen for their strength of impact. The modest-size great room enjoys the luxury of a double-sided fireplace clad in steel panels and a proportionally large amount of glazing. The 785-sq.-ft. deck was justified because the clients were equally interested in outdoor spaces and knew it would get good use.