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tearing down "living space"/insulating attic


alten78's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
OH

09-19-12, 08:36 AM   #1  
tearing down "living space"/insulating attic

Good morning all, as a new user to this forum ive been lurking for awhile trying to gather as much information as possible for my next project coming up, which would be to insulate my split level house's attic and "living space."

I use "living space" in quotes because its nowhere near that in reality unless the windows are open and its 65 degrees out. The house is split level as i have mentioned, built in the 1964, with virtually no isulation. Ive been in serveral houses in the neighborhood and they are all built the same, half of the upstairs is finish and the other half is a walk in attic. In my house, the folks that had it before me had a gas heater during the winter and an inwall air conditioner during the summer. I used to enjoy watching tv in the room, but after one month of heating it and a 450 dollar gas bill that hasn't happened in over two years.

My goal is to seal and insulate the entire upstairs, attic included. Currently there is r38 on the floor joists...thats about it. I have sofits running the length of the house. I don't know if the people before me turned half of it to the living space, but going through the door to the attic and behind the walls there might as well be no insulation at all, maybe 2 inches of yellow old half stapled insulation attached directly to the roof deck. So, the plan is to gut what little drywall and insulation there is.

Luckily there is already a kneewall in place (althrough if its like anything like the rest of the construction or past years remodeling it'll most likely have to come out as well and redone.) I plan on adding a ridge vent the length of the house and i have already added vents in between the rafters which are 2x6's 15" wide.

So the questions i have, since there is only roughly 4 inches of space available for insulation other than R-19 maybe R-21? Thats a far cry from the R-36 which for my area is recommended. My thought was to install the kraft R-19 and add 1 or 2 inch foam board to the rafters to help further insulate and seal, then drywall on top of that (offsetting seams of course.)

Basically, im tired of the house being swiss cheese plus all of the electrical AND water pipes run across the attic floor, which is about 3 feet away from the sofits and freeze [email protected] near every year even with adding insulation on top and heat tape. TIA!

 
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Bud9051's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 9,772
ME

09-19-12, 09:38 AM   #2  
Hi alten and welcome to the forum,
I'll get you started. Here is a good link on air sealing from efficiency Vermont:
http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/ste...ide_062507.pdf

Capes have some special issues which we can get to in time, I'm insulating mine currently.

Planning ahead is fantastic and should improve your results and reduce your work, in other words, get it right the first time .

Here is a building Science corp link that is helpful, but follow the additional links they list, a ton.
BSI-002: The Hollow Building — Building Science Information

As you progress we are here to help.

Bud

 
alten78's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
OH

09-19-12, 10:19 AM   #3  
thanks for the links! Reading through the first it didn't really occur to me that the living space is above the garage so it should be interesting to find what kind of insulation ill find when i pull everything apart, what i do know is the lack of drywall on the garage ceiling and dozens of electrical lines coming through when the place was re-wired.

It could be much worse than i initially thought, thanks again!

 
Bud9051's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 9,772
ME

09-19-12, 10:48 AM   #4  
Homes that are in good shape have little to gain. Yours and mine are a gold mine in savings .

Trying to weatherize while leaving everything in tact is almost impossible. But when you renovate, you have the opportunity to do it right. Fingers crossed.

Bud

 
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