How to Retrofit Cathedral Ceiling Insulation

  • 5-15 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-1,000
What You'll Need
Fiberglass insulation
Spackling paste
Paint roller
Paint brush
Sheet plastic
Puddy spreader
Pry bar
Electric screwdriver
Utility knife

Retrofitting cathedral ceiling insulation can be a troublesome endeavor, but sometimes a necessary task that your home can benefit immensely from. Most older homes with cathedral ceilings do not have insulation and can have extreme heat loss that will lead to higher energy bills. Doing this requires concentration, focus, and extreme care, you must consider safety with every step of these guidelines.

Step 1 - Prepare Your Home for the Repair

Before retrofitting your cathedral ceiling with insulation get all your supplies and then prepare the room you are doing repairs in for the task. Clear all items you do not want dirty or damaged out of the way or out of the room altogether. Spread the sheet plastic over the floor to protect your flooring. Make sure you have it ladder handy so that you may reach the ceiling. It is highly recommended that you have another person work with you for safety purposes.

Step 2 - Tear off Ceiling Drywall

Use the pry bar and the hammer to tear the dry wall from the ceiling at the seams. Remembering you are standing on a ladder and having another person working with you will help immensely with this process. Safety is your first priority so during this step communicate with the other person you are working with while you pull the drywall from the parts of the ceiling that needs repair. After all the drywall is off make sure all screws or nails are removed from the rafters.

Step 3 - Measure and Cut Your Insulation

The fiberglass insulation you need to purchase must be thinner than most you will place in your walls. This is because the cathedral ceiling does not have as much room as the angle it is designed and in order for the insulation to fit properly it cannot have as much width. Measure the space between the rafters and mark it on your insulation. Put on your gloves and use a utility knife to cut your pieces.

Step 4 - Place Your Insulation

Use the hammer to nail your nails into the inside of each rafter (depending on the width of your rafter should be the indicator of how long of nails to use). Don't nail the nails in all the way since these will be what you will rest the insulation on. Space the nails roughly a foot apart and make sure that they are on the inside of each adjacent rafter. Once this is done place the cut insulation in between the rafters, resting them on the nails you just put in. If you did it right the insulation should rest snugly on the nails.

Step 5 - Place New Drywall

With the help of the person with you measure out your new drywall and cut it with the utility knife. Put each new piece in place and use the electric screwdriver to screw them into the rafters. Be careful with your measurements because the cathedral ceiling is at an angle sometimes measurements can be deceiving. Make sure each piece of new drywall is securely in place.

Step 6 - Finishing

Use the puddy spreader to spread spackling paste over each screw and wait for it to dry. Once it is dry then use the sandpaper to make it smooth. After that is done use the paint rollers, paint brushes and paint to finish your ceiling and you are done.