What type of insulation best?

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-18-08, 09:10 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
Exclamation What type of insulation best?

Hello,

I'm a recent new homeowner and I'm 21 years old and already looking into sealing my home up to provide more effeciency. I have a 1200 sq/ft home with approximately the same amount of attic space. My home is very old and has not ONE bit of insulation anywhere in the house. I have already install a gable attic fan for forced ventilation and it has made a little difference. My next project will be insulating the attic first, then my walls and then onto my floors. I want to put an R-value of 30 in my attic, and 19 in my walls and floor. My main question is, what TYPE of insulation is best recommended for my attic? I know there are kinds like fiberglass, cellulose (spelling?) and foams, but what is the overall most effective, if any? I will most surely use blown insulation in my walls, and then rolled fiberglass in my floors for easy installation. If you can help, it would greatly be appreciated! Thank you!

-Chris, North Carolina.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-18-08, 10:14 AM
airman.1994's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 5,729
Likes Received: 3
1st I'll say go Heels! The best is spray foam which has a r value of over 7 per inch. But spray foam is hard to do in a home that is built. I would go with the cellulose because of the home being built and fiber glass in the floor. I bet if you get pricing for this it will only be a couple of hundred more for someone else to do it. Ive been there and I should have gone for the contractor.
 
  #3  
Old 06-18-08, 02:30 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Likes Received: 1
Airman and I don't always agree, but he's right (did I say that?) on the contractor thingy. Also, check into the installation of blown in insulation in the wall cavities. I have assisted when this was done, through 1" holes in the exterior of the house between every stud, then plugged. BTW, what part of NC are you from.
 
  #4  
Old 06-18-08, 06:13 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32
Do you happen to have a picture of the attic? I have done quite a few older homes and they do vary a bit. Let me know and I will be glad to share some great tips with you.
Thanks for listening.
 
  #5  
Old 06-19-08, 10:00 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
I'm from the Gastonia area, a suburb of Charlotte. I have been in my attic several times before. My rafters are about 24 inches wide on center, and the center of the attic stands approximately 7 feet tall. The attic is completely opened up with no obstructions in the way, making it a preferred installation on blown insulation. I can rent the machine for free once returned from Lowes, and all it comes with all hook-ups, you just have to buy the insulation.
 
  #6  
Old 06-19-08, 11:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32
chrispoarch,
Thanks for the extra information. One more question please. Are there any gable vents in the attic? Are there any soffit or ridge vents? The gable vents would be on either end of the attic, the soffit vents in the eves and ridge vent in the top of the roof. ( you may know all this but I like to be clear)
Let me know or good luck if you have already made a decision.
Thanks for listening.
 
  #7  
Old 06-19-08, 11:49 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
No problem, I appreciate the fast responses on here.

I just installed a gable fan inside my attic earlier this week, on Fathers Day night. I have somewhat of a T-shape attic, with octogonal vents on each side (3 total).

No insulation whatsoever is in my attic, and no obstructions, and my house sits in much sunlight each day. No ridge vents are installed. I have the small screen-mesh type vents at the bottom of the roof where it overhangs the house.
 
  #8  
Old 06-19-08, 12:37 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32
Well this is what I would go with...

First install a radiant barrier on the roof rafters. The radiant barrier will contain the heat/cold between the inside of the roof and the barrier. The radiant barrier is installed top to bottom across the rafters, leaving a small open strip (about 12" wide) the length of the attic at the top. This will allow the soffit and gable vents to do their job. (the air comes in the soffit vents up the chase, provide by the radiant barrier, out the open strip at the top and flows out the gable vents.

The radiant barrier is a 1/4" thick, double face foil with a closed cell foam in the middle. The radiant barrier reflects 97% of the heat and provides an additional R value of 14.5.
It is inexpensive and most effective.
Next, I completly agree with Airman and Chandler to go with the loose cellulose insulation on top of the ceiling joist. With the radiant barrier in place first the loose insulation will not be able to block the soffit vents. I would install 9" of loose insulation to complete the job.

If you are handy, patient and have a staple gun and utility knife you can install the radiant barrier. As far as the loose insulation goes that pretty easy, just don't be falling through the ceiling!

As for the walls, I'm with Chandler, find a contractor that specializes in this type of insulating. Remeber to do your research (check refferences, go see the people who have had work done by the contractor, check the city/county for reports and permits drawn by the contrator and finally go with your gut.

I hope that these suggestions help with your project.
Good luck and take care.
Thanks for listening.
 

Last edited by HotxxxxxxxOKC; 07-12-08 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Link removed
  #9  
Old 06-19-08, 12:40 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32
Well this is what I would go with...

First install a radiant barrier on the roof rafters. The radiant barrier will contain the heat/cold between the inside of the roof and the barrier. The radiant barrier is installed top to bottom across the rafters, leaving a small open strip (about 12" wide) the length of the attic at the top. This will allow the soffit and gable vents to do their job. (the air comes in the soffit vents up the chase, provide by the radiant barrier, out the open strip at the top and flows out the gable vents.

The radiant barrier is a 1/4" thick, double face foil with a closed cell foam in the middle. The radiant barrier reflects 97% of the heat and provides an additional R value of 14.5.
It is inexpensive and most effective. (here the link of where to buy
http://www.insulation4less.com/highr_FfmF.asp

Next, I completely agree with Airman and Chandler to go with the loose cellulose insulation on top of the ceiling joist. With the radiant barrier in place first the loose insulation will not be able to block the soffit vents. I would install 9" of loose insulation to complete the job.

If you are handy, patient and have a staple gun and utility knife you can install the radiant barrier. As far as the loose insulation goes that pretty easy, just don't be falling through the ceiling!

As for the walls, I'm with Chandler, find a contractor that specializes in this type of insulating. Remember to do your research (check references, go see the people who have had work done by the contractor, check the city/county for reports and permits drawn by the contractor and finally go with your gut.

I hope that these suggestions help with your project.
Good luck and take care.
Thanks for listening.
 
  #10  
Old 06-19-08, 12:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
Thank you again everyone, especially DIYAnswerguy! Your information and suggestions are being extremely helpful as I progress into making my home more energy-efficient. Not to take your breath away TOO much, but my electric and water bill last year one month was $293.00, and water was only about a modest 40 dollars.

One last thing, I think. Just to make sure I best understand everything, you suggest getting a radiant heat barrier and laying it down first and THEN the loose insulation? ...I've already decided I want an R-value between 30 and 45.
 
  #11  
Old 06-19-08, 12:59 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32
The radiant barrier goes on the roof rafters and the loose insulation goes on the floor of the attic.
 
  #12  
Old 06-19-08, 01:04 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
Ok, the more I thought about it after I sent, the more I thought it would make sense to have the barrier on top...possibly cut down on dust somewhat also. Thanks for the link, I'm checking it out now...
 
  #13  
Old 06-20-08, 09:30 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
DIYAnswerGuy,

Can you look at this link for this item of barrier and give your opinion on it compared to the link you sent me? It looks like the one you sent me is out of my budget currently, and that this one looks more affordable. However, I can try and wait if need be if it's that much of a difference. Thank you!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...2BSI%26otn%3D8
 
  #14  
Old 06-20-08, 11:54 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32
Chris,
I did check out that product and it is cheaper because it does not have a thermal break in between the foil sheets. It does reflect the energy but it also can transfer energy from foil to foil. Anyway you can only buy what you can afford. Here is picture of some radiant barrier on rafters in a house... you can see the blown in loose insulation on the floor of the attic and the foil on the rafters. It works! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks for listening.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2596076820/
 
  #15  
Old 06-20-08, 11:58 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
Thanks for the reply,

Would you recommend putting barrier against the roof on the inside in addition to on the floor?
 
  #16  
Old 06-20-08, 12:04 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32
The barrier goes on the roof rafters not on the sheathing. I do not recommend putting the barrier over the floor insulation as it would compact the insulation and render it less effective.
Thanks for listening.
 
  #17  
Old 06-20-08, 12:11 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
I'm sorry, I meant on the rafters, I just took a quick way out. I remember reading about placing on rafters. Thank you for the information. I'm trying to look into assisted options through the city perhaps that may can help me to get my home more efficient.
 
  #18  
Old 06-20-08, 12:18 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32
Good luck with your project, I am confident that you will succeed.
Thanks for listening.
 
  #19  
Old 06-21-08, 04:21 AM
diyplank's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Williamsport
Posts: 723
Likes Received: 1
Cellulose is AWEsOME stuff. I insulated my whole house w/ this stuff. Spent just under 700 to do it!! I have a 1450 sq. ft house. I went through about 30 to 35 bags to do the walls and about 15 for the attic. I have a floor up there so I cut a 1.5 foot strip up the center of the floor, shoved the hose to the end and filled in between my joists(not rafters). I have no soffit vents so I could do this, you can't b/c you don't wanna block your soffit vents!!

About hiring a contractor, if you can change your oil in your car you can figure this out!! I got a price from a contractor and it was over 2500 bucks! Not to be mean but wow!! He did tell me I could do it myself, he was a great guy. He gave me a lot of free advice!! I have wood siding, I took a section off, drilled my holes one weekend, then the next weekend blew in the cellulose!!! Amazing difference. I have easily paid for my cellulose by saving heat loss. GOOD LUCK
 
  #20  
Old 06-24-08, 01:29 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
Thanks DIYPlank,

In everyones opinion, for me, do you think it would be faster and easier if I went through my attic and drilled small holes between each stud to fill my walls in that way instead of taking siding off and having to do all that? I can at least go around the perimeter of my house in the attic to cut through the 2x4 on top of the studs. Thanks,
 
  #21  
Old 06-24-08, 02:13 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32
I think that's a good alternative. After you drill the holes you might run a 8' fiberglass rod, down the bay to determine if the bay is blocked at some point. That will enable you to know if you will have to access the bottom portion of the bay from outside.
Note, a fiberglass rod is flexible, non conducting and has no hook to catch on anything.
Good luck to you.
Thanks for listening.
 
  #22  
Old 06-24-08, 02:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
Thank you very much, I didn't even know they made such a tool. I did think however, how could I know if it went down all the way or not. Thanks for the suggestion, I will look for one of these. Also, I seen in a video from Lowes about some people blowing their attic and they talked about installing soffit vents to the roof studs to keep air flowing through the soffit vents so the cellulose does not cover them. Do you know if Lowes or Home Depot carries them? I couldn't seem to find them online when I was looking yesterday.

Thanks again!
 
  #23  
Old 06-24-08, 02:21 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32
Yes, I've picked them up at Home Depot. It's worth doing!
Thanks for listening.
 
  #24  
Old 06-24-08, 06:11 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 298
I can't find it right now, but some state agency published online guidelines on insulation where they figured that some type of insulation was so dense it could collapse the drywall on the attic floor, if the layer was thick enough.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes