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6 Tiny House Insulation Problems that Can Make Installation a Nightmare
Amanda Ringler

By: Amanda Ringler on April 17th, 2019

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6 Tiny House Insulation Problems that Can Make Installation a Nightmare

tiny house insulation  |  tiny house insulation problems

You’re building the tiny house of your dreams, but if you make an insulation installation mistake or miscalculate your needs it could easily turn into a nightmare.

There are a lot of tiny house insulation problems you could face, including getting into every gap and making sure your insulation doesn’t take up too much space, just to name a few. These problems can be a real pain and if your insulation isn’t done right the first time it can lead to a big headache and money right out the door.

RetroFoam of Michigan has insulated thousands of homes across Michigan’s lower peninsula, and some of those have been tiny houses. We know how best to insulate a tiny house and the understanding of how to pass insulation code.

We are on a mission to educate homeowners on their insulation options and what problems they could face. Now let’s take a look at some tiny house insulation problems.

Tiny House Insulation Problems

Don’t get stuck with a tiny house that won’t be energy efficient or comfortable.

Here are some tiny house insulation problems you should watch out for.

  • Not enough space. You want to use an insulation material that takes up as little space as possible. This instantly rules out fibrous insulation because it needs loft, which requires voluminous space. Just cramming insulation into the cavity to fit is a bad idea, as it will end up leaving you with air leaks due to gaps.

  • Keep cost in mind. These projects are typically built with the goal of efficiency – both for cost and energy consumption. Some insulation materials tend to be more expensive than others, but the cheaper materials don’t give the energy efficiency as the more expensive products.

  • Tiny spaces can be hard to insulate with certain materials. Tiny houses often have very tight crevices that will leak a lot of air and can be difficult to air seal. Having an insulation material you have to cut to shape will be very difficult. Trying to cut a material to fit means all of that time, material, and labor will end up costing you more in the long-run.

  • Creating an air seal. Whatever material you use must create an air seal. This is because heat travels much faster through the air, therefore a smaller space can become more cold or hot and uncomfortable from these air leaks. The air seal will keep the inside of your tiny house the exact temperature you want it to be regardless of what is happening outside.

  • Uniformity in construction. Tiny houses don’t have any uniformity because they are custom built or designed which makes it a challenge to insulate and air seal. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but that it might be best left to the professionals.
  • Insulating the underside of the house. A lot of tiny houses are built on trailers, so insulating the underside of the house and under the trailer can be difficult but must be done. This is usually a problem because of the axel and wiring underneath the trailer.

How to Insulate a Tiny House

Now that you know what to avoid, insulating your tiny house should be a breeze.

Just make sure as you’re working through the process that you keep in contact with your building code inspector and that you’re on the same page about your insulation expectations. They will let you know whether your plan will or won’t pass code and help you get where you need to be.

 Check out these helpful articles we wrote about insulation code.

6 Tips to Get on the Same Page with Your Building Code Inspector During New Home Construction

Michigan Insulation Code: New Home Insulation Requirements

Spray Foam Insulation Code Requirements: How to Pass Code Without Meeting Prescriptive R-Value

Home Insulation

About Amanda Ringler

Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from the Detroit Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists and the Michigan Press Association. As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.