In a word, Insulation.
Two different types, and two completely different projects, though.
The first is the firebreak insulation, mainly the rockwool that we needed to fire block the framing that we oh so messed up big time.
We originally thought we just needed the fire caulk (bright orange fireproof foam) to fill the gaps around pipes and such. Nope. We needed more.
Areas like around our soffits, and on the third floor in the ceiling joists needed a lot of help.
Below this soffit (see pic) in our kitchen, there's an area to the side of the wall that has a gap. This is where a fire (or in my silly mind, a mouse) could crawl from one area into the next. If a mouse can crawl through it, a fire can, too and it needs to be plugged with firecaulk or rockwool (rockwool is cheaper, but a lot like fiberglass and is itchy - be sure to wear long sleeved shorts and respirators). Jeff also said OSB is a good barrier. We'll have to use that on the other sides of the soffit.
In this case, we just stuffed a bunch of the material into the area with a shim. That's all it takes.
Jeff Bechtold at NKAPC said we could use two bundles of the rockwool for the whole house, so we went to go get them. They were $35 each and they were MASSIVE. One fit in the back seat, the other one we had to strap in the trunk, making visibility um... bad.
We ended up bringing one back, as we really didn't need that much after all.
We had NO idea they were this big. We paid for them first, then went out to the yard to pick them up. Sheesh.
In the last picture here, Jeff even noted that where the framed walls pulled out from the plaster in the kitchen and created a gap-- that needed to be stuffed with rockwool, too.
There are little places like this all over the house. I can't even take pictures of all of them. It's dizzying.
I thought at first that we might have really screwed up by not installing our soffits BEFORE the furring strips, which would have solve a majority of our problems, but then I thought I really wanted to have the furring strips in first to add stability to the soffit.
I guess it's just a matter of opinion.
Anyway, we were really disappointed that there wasn't much information available anywhere we looked on fire protecting a house like this, so we'll be adding more information on this later, along with before and after pictures of where you need to look for fire break problems.
Just remember to think like a mouse, and if you can connect a vertical space with a horizontal space (like climbing up the wall to get into a soffit) you too can fail a framing inspection.
The second insulation project deserves it's own post..... and now on to Insulation, part 2: