Project Description

Project: Cottage Renovation

This project entailed preserving a 1967 round log cottage while giving it a much needed facelift and added energy efficiency.

There were a number of compelling reasons why the owners chose to renovate rather than build new. Chief amongst them were the inability to rebuild on the current footprint due to its proximity to the lake (>40’) and because of the permit and time constraints inherent in new construction.

The homeowners cherished the history and feel of the logs on the interior (think old hunting lodge) so in order to preserve the interior it was decided to insulate from the exterior and cover with wood siding. The entire building envelope was sprayed with Polarfoam 7300, a 2lb polyurethane closed-cell foam insulation. The cathedral ceiling remained undisturbed from the interior while on the exterior the roof decking was framed and foam was spray applied. Aluminum roofing was then attached to the framing.

Cottage exterior was framed out with 2×4’s and insulation was spray applied

In addition to energy efficiency, the cottage now maintains an even temperature – cool in the summer and warm in the winter, without drafts or “unusable” rooms. Because the cottage is on block piers in sand, it used to be very cold on the feet in the winter. Now that the entire envelope is foamed, including the floor, there is no longer any air infiltration or resultant cold floors. As an added bonus the cottage went from seasonal use to all year use. The energy costs less for full year than what it used to cost 4 months use – a reduction of over 65%!

Windows were added to the peak and spray foam

So although old buildings may be “a lot of work” this goes to show that with the right materials you can transform any building into a comfortable and worthwhile home, in less time and at a fraction of the cost, of building new. On an eco –friendly note this diverts waste from landfills, saves on raw resources and preserves the heritage of an area.

Exterior after with wood siding over polyurethane foam

cannot create heat – it’s value is in it’s ability to retain heat within a confined space.


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