Insulating a Slipform Stone House


There is no doubt that isolation should be of paramount importance when considering building a new house. Stone houses with stone shapes are no exception to this rule. Helen and Scott Nicking, early supporters of this stone technique, claim that their homes in New England are comfortable throughout the year without paying much attention to isolation – in fact, their first home was built right in the Vermont rock and was used on a bare rock like a wall. While the thermal mass of the earth itself has served to maintain the temperature of the home above the freezing temperature, according to modern standards, there can be no doubt that this non-insulated stone house would create a cold winter. Insulation is key to efficiency and there are a number of ways to isolate the stone structure.

Walls and Fiberglass Walls

A common approach to the issue of insulation in stone and concrete structures is the construction of a standard frame wall against the inner wall. This frame wall is insulated in the traditional way using a fiberglass insulation between the studs. While this approach works well and contributes to the familiarity of many builders, the construction of the pipe wall is wasteful and the studs themselves offer the possibility of thermal bonding, which greatly reduces the overall insulation of the house.

Solid insulation

Rigid insulation offers a number of options when it comes to isolating stone houses. Correctly installed rigid insulation does not allow thermal bonding and creates a thick coat inside the house. There are a number of techniques to build this type of insulation directly into the walls themselves, either by laying the insulation in molds during construction or by replacing the interior moldings entirely with a nail base – rigid insulation bonded to OSB, plywood or even sheet material on one side .

Adding rigid insulation, once the walls stand, can be a challenge for the typical owner / builder. The biggest obstacle here is to understand how to ensure the insulation of the stone / concrete wall. One of the best ways to do this is using rollerblades – narrow boards attached to the wall in which screws can be driven. A powder pistol or rack gun can be used to attach the winding strips to the wall. Another approach is to insert the strips into the concrete while building the walls. The downside of this approach is that the bands will break and rot in decades, leaving gaps in the wall and weakening the overall structure. Complete strip removal and replacement can be challenging.

Spray insulation

This elegant product can be used for spraying a seamless layer of insulating foam directly onto the inside of the wall of the sliding form. The insulation will then be cut, sanded or crushed before the finishing layer is laid. Both of the above approaches are difficult when it comes to hanging everything on the walls because there are no internal screws for screwing or nailing. For this purpose, strategically placed bands could be used.

There are many other conventional and untraditional approaches that you can pursue in the insulation of stone masonry construction but these three options are easy to apply and proven in many homes for several years. Whatever you decide, it is very important to make sure that your stone house with a sliding form is dense and well insulated.