There's a lot to be said for doing a job the hard way: 1) you figure out at least two ways to get a job done, 2) you get to enjoy the experience much longer than most people do, 3) you get more exercise and burn more calories, 4) you get a lot more time to contemplate the necessity of doing the job, 5) you aren't nearly as tempted to brag about how efficiently you completed the job, and the list goes on. When we poured the floor for the barn, (since we eventually hope to heat that floor) we put rigid foam insulation under the concrete to reduce the amount of heat that would go into the earth beneath it. At the time, I didn't think there was much need to insulate the sides of the floor. I've changed my mind.
It may shock you to know that I have not yet calculated how much heat would be lost through the block foundation around the floor. I don't need that calculation to know that it would almost kill me to see snow melting around the foundation knowing that I was paying for that kind of wastefulness. So instead of spending an hour and putting insulation on the inside of the foundation walls before the floor was poured, I get to spend days insulating the outside of the foundation.
The first step is to remove the dirt around the foundation. In our case, the foundation is only two blocks deep, so I didn't have to dig down very far. It was necessary to scrape the dirt off the blocks and brush it clean when dry so the adhesive would stick to the blocks.
I cut some sheets of 1.5" rigid foam insulation so they covered most of the block, but were easy enough to manage in the ditches. I had bent some aluminum cladding sheet into a drip edge that fits over the insulation and under the siding since the insulation is thicker than the siding. The metal curlicues on the left are the result of a little field modification to the drip edge. Construction adhesive held the insulation in place on the foundation, where I hope it will remain until I backfill the ditches.
Eventually the insulation will be coated so it lasts longer in the elements, but I'll have to show that in another post since I don't have all the insulation installed yet.
This is how the project looked from the roof of the house on Wednesday evening. Stay tuned for more updates soon!