I did the insulating myself, I bought the insulation $40.00 +tax and it had 12 pieces per bundle (had about 3 bundles to buy total)I worked from the corner to corner, used masking tape or whatever you have on hand, put tape on the edgeds of the insulation (paper part), walked up the latter taped it inbetween the studs (at the top) then got my stapler and stapled the paper to the 2x4 stud it all the way down, I did a nice job (I think)I didn't wear a mask (did wear gloves),I just took my time,(took 3 weeks to finish, didn't work everyday) then when it was done,I bought some 1/4 inch.lauon (sp) 4x8 sheets had lowes or hd cut it in half so it was 48x48inches did the bottom first (used roofing nails (cheap) to install them,then you had a lip for the upper portion to sit on, it was tricky but managable, just take your time, cut out for the electrical as you go along. I had the electrician add outlets all the way around and some track lighting,before I did the insulation.
You don't have to buy a fancy straight edge, though they are nice. You can make fashion your own with a piece of MDF or plywood (just be sure you use the the factory edge) I usually cut the initial pieces slightly oversize and then trim them to final size on the tablesaw for a cleaner cut.
I had some of the same concerns recenting regarding hanging sheetrock. I had my brother help me and I'd send him to help you if he'd go! LOL
Failing that, I did learn some things about hanging sheetrock for us shorter, strength impaired folks. Without my brother, I would have rented a sheetrock/panel handler from Home Depot. It was originally designed to hang sheet rock on ceilings and angled surfaces, but works to hold the stuff vertically as well. And two people are a must. Even the pros work in pairs on sheetrock.
And I do recommend sheetrock, both for a smooth wall and insulation and fire rating purposes. You may remember a discussion over on WoodCentral about this very thing a couple of months ago. You being a volunteer fire person may be interesting in the fire rating issue and the effect it may have on your insurance.
With those thoughts in mind, if you want to do this this summer (before the end of July) and can have the shop orgainzed so the work can be completed in one fell swoop, let me know. I'll drive up and help you.
One approach I've found useful is to apply the sheetrock to the wall horizontally rather than vertically. This way at least the bottom portion is much, much easier to handle, especially if you make/buy one of those little foot levers to hold it at the right height. Then you only need help on the top portion.
According to the building code all sheet rock is to be applied horizontally, the code also specifies the number and placing of screws/nails, and the thickness. I would always suggest these improvment be done to code if you ever need your insurance to play for something.
I can't imagine making an insurance claim for sheetrock; but even so, it was all installed vertically in the 50-year-old house as I bought it. So it would be a good trick for the insurance company to turn down any such claim. How would they know what was new and what was old?
Of course, this is Texas, maybe the code is different here.
There is universal basic code for the entire country, each city, county , state can add to it but not detrack from it.
When sheetrock is installed vertically (normal 4x8 sheet) the span is only at the most 4 feet. Due to bad framing it is often lees than that, when installed horizontally the span is up to 8 feet. Structally this "ties" the wall together, in addition when the building shift over the years and the tape starts to crack you will only get a crack of up to 4 feet, instead of 8 feet if hung vertically.
The insurance question would be if there was a fire, earth quake, wind damage. If the rock is not installed properally and properally taped, then you don't have the "fire wall" required by the codes. Now technically 1/2inch wall board doesn't have a fire rating, on it own, when properally installed the entire wall does. And you don't want to give some insurance companies any reason to refuse a claim.
I hope this is clear, if not I will try agian.