do it yourself attic insulation?

Old 02-18-02, 11:38 PM
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do it yourself attic insulation?

I would like to add some extra insulation in my attic, there is only a few inches init now.
I would like to do it myself.
Can I rent one of those insulation blowing machines, are they available? I think I saw it done on Home Time or that other show...
How much would it cost me to have it done by a pro? How many inches would I need.
(house is about 1800sq ft)
Old 02-19-02, 06:05 AM
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If you rent a hopper, you'll need some one to feed insulation in it while you blow the insulation into the attic or you have to go down to it and fill the hopper yourself. To me, just setting up the machine is not worth it. You're much better off just buying the bags if insulation and bringing it up to the attic. Taking a bag to where you want the insulation and ripping it open and pouring it out, then using a board to level it.

You'll save a couple hundred bucks doing it yourself and it's quite easy to do and it goes in fast. I normally recommend that you only go up to the joist and not above it. But this will depend on building code in your area. For example, if codes states that you have to have R-38 and you floor joists are 2x10's, you're looking at going 3 inches above the joist with insulation. There is a difference between what is required and what is recommended.

You must also consider what you intend to do with the attic space. Adding insulation above the floor joists litterally renders the space useless. Which means you can't store anything up there. Another aspect is when you have service people come to the home to run wires or cable. The moment they see that attic, they're going to call their office. There's nothing like treading through insulation trying to find joists for walking on to lay cable.

If building code requires that much insulation I recommend building up the floor, at least in the center of the attic and full length of it, 4 feet wide. It's just like building a wall except that it's done laying down instead of standing up.

You should also air seal before adding the insulation. The best way to do this is to identify all the areas that you want to air seal first. Let's say you see an electrical wire, ceiling fixture box or plumbing stack that apparently needs to be sealed around. Take a thumb tack and a strip of cloth and tack it to the rafter above the area where it is. Once all the areas are identified, take a can of foam and seal all those areas. You'll be surprised to see how much that will save you on your energy bill, probably more than the added insulation. What's more is air leakage of that sort is one of the major causes for moisture in attics.
Old 03-04-02, 08:16 PM
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Just did that in my attic. Added about 6 inches. I bought the insulation at Home Depot and they provided the hopper free. I saved about $200 doing it but I would not do it again. It gets so dusty in the space you can not see where to put it and we ended up with dust throughtout the house. The reason I did it was all the companies were so busy they would not return my call. I do most of all my own work, but not this again. Did the crawl space the next weekend with bats. Not fun but I can handle it.
Old 05-28-02, 05:36 AM
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I added rolled R-25 (with the plastic wrap around it) back in 1994 to my crawl-space attic. Before then, I only had R-13 in the attic. I didn't see the need for blown insulation.

It was easy, relatively cheap and done in one weekend. It cost me a few hundred and saved me around $500 every year since. My oil bill dropped in half immediately. If the whole country did this we could seriously cut imports of oil.

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