Weekend with the Big Green Blowing Machine

    Weekend with the Big Green Blowing Machine

    Feb 11, 2019

    Chapter 5: Weekend with the Big Green Blowing Machine

    Previously on Measure Twice: How 1/8 of an inch destroyed my kitchen and changed my life.


    After the long agonizing death of my Harvest gold, side-by-side refrigerator from 1982 that came with the house, I had finally been united with the sexy Stainless Steel Whirlpool 25.0 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator with Refrigerated Drawer I'd been lusting after.


    It was magnificent. So much room, Crushed ice in the door and the drawer! I was so in love. 

    And OF COURSE I MEASURED THE SPACE IT WAS SUPPOSE TO GO IN. God, do I look like an idiot?   (do not answer that yet)


    I measured the space. In the front. I did not, however, measure the height of the back of the space. Which turns out can be different depending on how the house has settled. Sadly I didn't notice the 1/8 of an inch difference until the delivery men had driven away. And no matter how hard I flung myself against the fridge it would not budge. RT shot down my idea of grinding off the bottom of the offending cabinet and just took it down. Leaving several big holes in the wall. 

    In my quest to find a suitable repair option, I met a wonderful designer who showed me what my kitchen could be, and… well two years later, I'm taking all the cabinets off the wall and rolling my nasty old stove to the curb. By the way. It was gone before I got back to my front door. 


    This is my story.

    Upon removing the cabinets we discovered there was zero insulation in the walls. Of course it would be silly not to go ahead and blow in a nice layer of that cellulose insulation. We couldn't find a company that could complete the project within our time schedule (Yes we did have a schedule, once) so we decided to just do the two outside kitchen walls right now and save money by doing it ourselves. We'd seen the HGTV episodes and we even watched a few YouTube videos. How hard could it be? So, off to the box store we went.


    Machine rental was $50* a day but when you purchased 20 bags of the stuffing you get one day free rental. The bags run about $8 each and are not that big. We figured we'd need 5 or so for the walls we were doing and we could store the rest and finish up the remaining walls another time. We picked up every thing Friday. RT spent the remainder of the evening patching holes, reading directions and planning our strategy.


    Saturday morning came and we began. It is a two person job. RT ran the hose end, directing the stuffing into the walls. I stood near the machine ready to turn it off when the sections filled up and he was ready to move the hose.


    The machine is really loud and annoying but person running the it should not wear headphones and listen to My Favorite Murder podcasts. Because then can't hear the other person shouting TURN IT OFF!!  

    It is also important to make sure you have no openings other than the one you have the hose in. Otherwise you will need a broom and lots of plastic trash bags to sweep up the insulation that will shoot out all other openings no matter how tiny. 


    {Pro tip, avoid bursting into laughter when you see the hose man standing in a pile of cellulose looking like a figure in a snow globe so as to avoid becoming a topic on a future episode of My Favorite Murder.}


    Suffice it to say, there is a learning curve for getting the system down but once you do, it really does go fast. It did take us a bit longer than the 24 hours we anticipated. Between our regular jobs and things we needed to have done for other projects we ended up keeping the machine 6 days, 22 hours, 6 minutes (yeah, they keep track) making the total cost for rental $360. We did get the $50 credit for the first day so with $160 plus tax for the stuffing we spent around $525. 


    We used 10 bags of the stuffing. We will likely need at least another 20 to finish the rest of the house. Now we understand the process so we should be able to complete it during our free period. 


    Price for a professional contractor ranged from $1000- $1800*. So we didn't save a ton doing it ourselves, but we got it done in the time frame we needed and I'm sure we will more than recoup our expenses in energy costs.

    *Your costs may vary. Please call and verify information you deem vital to you.