Recently moved into a new home that had just been renovated. The kitchen looks complete, but now that we are here we have started to notice things. In there it is always cold and drafty, and I know why now. The cabinets are all in and finished but in each of the corners there is a hole/opening to the empty space behind. I just found this out today when I looked under.

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More photos

The openings are similar on both. One is 8" and 6" long and the other is 8" and 7" but just one picture to show the limited room. You have about 2" from the outter edge to the start of the floor piece - where you can reach in. Also, it is about 21" deep to touch the back of the drywall/gaps from the edge of the opening. It is about 8-9" to the corner parts underneath too. So not a lot of space to work with to fix the insulation/draft issues.

I am not sure why it wasn't all drywalled, but its not there and that allows to see the missing insulation. From the outside you can't see anything. The house was built in 1880 and is double layer brick, stucco and recently vinyl sided. Tearing up the cabinets and replacing the kitchen essentially to do it properly is not an option.

So, what to do? Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    I would agree even if the new siding had insulation it is normal to Sheetrock or drywall inside in my area also (west coast). I would get a bore scope and look around if really no insulation it could be blown in. Hopefully the wiring has been updated a few times over the years. With no reputation having photos embedded some won’t touch FYI.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 17, 2020 at 20:19
  • You'll have to decide whether this was a breach of contract. Was insulation specified as part of the job? Would a reasonable person expect insulation to be installed if all that new framing is inside the original finished wall? Otherwise, you can probably have insulation blown into the wall cavities.
    – isherwood
    Dec 17, 2020 at 20:22
  • Previous owners did the reno, I am just noticing it now. Would a hose fit in the 2" gap for standrad isulation blow in? Or something like a spray foam insulation. Not sure what the options are as I don't really care what it looks like back there, just need it to stop the cold coming in.
    – tniloc
    Dec 17, 2020 at 20:28
  • +1 on EdBeal's borescope idea -- they're not nearly as expensive as you'd think these days, and that'll let you see exactly what you're dealing with. I have this $30 one and it works well: amazon.com/DEPSTECH-Waterproof-Inspection-Megapixels-Smartphone/…
    – Nate S.
    Dec 17, 2020 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


Without a do-over, it seems like the best you could do is address the convective loss (the flow of heat out, or cold in, via those openings).

I'm curious how much improvement you'd have by just taking some unfaced fiberglass insulation and stuffing it into the opening, maybe enough to partially fill the area just up from the opening, but the less compressed, the better.

The gaps look too big to try closed cell spray foam, otherwise that would be my next suggestion.

  • Thanks. I appreciate the less compressed the better point too as I would have assumed stuffing in full would be the best case.
    – tniloc
    Dec 17, 2020 at 22:02

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