Insulating the Front Room

Our attic is large and expansive and so at some point we'd like it to all be insulated because when we use the heater all the warm air just flies up out of the part of the house we're occupying and into the spacious attic. We'll have to wait until absolutely all the wiring in the house is done (and I think we're about 95% there), but we figured we might as well insulate the part of the attic over the front room because we know we're all done with wiring that area.

We bought 5 big bolt packages of insulation for about $200 (yikes! but we later returned a bolt package so the total was $160.)

And while Chris shoved cellulose insulation into some wall bays in some not too convenient places, I got to insulating all of the ceiling bays

It was pretty convenient because the ceiling bays were only about 6 inches shorter than the bolts of insulation so I didn't have to do much measuring. And this area was also convenient to slide the insulation into because it had pretty good access

As I moved towards the right...

...it became more difficult because I didn't have great access to the main part of the attic so I had to climb back and forth from where my working area was (grabbing the insulation and cutting it) and then over to the ceiling bay I needed to lay the insulation into. It was hard because in this area of the house there are a lot of different angles in the roof line so you have to contort your body into some pretty interesting positions to make your way through the area while also making sure not to shove your foot through the plaster ceiling.

Thankfully, pretty soon after I started the not so fun area Chris was done shoving in the cellulose insulation and so he came over to help me. While I stayed over by the ceiling bays I gave Chris measurements while he cut things and handed them to me

With Chris helping it started going a lot faster (and there was a lot less cussing). It took about 90 minutes or so, and although the "After" pics aren't that exciting...

...it's nice to know that all 30 ceiling bays are nicely insulated. We certainly won't notice any temperature difference yet, but it's good to know that at least the process of insulating the attic has started. And because it's probably one of the most inconvenient areas to get to and work on, it makes it that much better that it's done.

Now, if only the floors were that simple...


Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

We insulated the hell out of our attic and even put foil up there, and noticed no difference in temp last winter. I honestly am so pissed about the whole cost being for nothing. I think all the heat is going out our walls, which (we think) aren't insulated on the second level. BOOOO

aptpupil said...

sorry about your trouble with insulation, that stinks. from the looks of your site it appears as though your house doesn't have an attic space which makes insulation your roof even more difficult.
we live in california so we don't undergo freeze/thaw cycles or have to worry about condensation like you guys do. however, i've read quite a bit about insulating homes in the great north and suffice it to say that it's a difficult process. you need to take into account properly venting your roof, having a vapor barrier, controlling air movement, as well as insulating.
the easiest way to see if your work paid off is to look at your roof on after the first couple snow falls. if your roof doesn't have snow and others in the neighborhood do, then i'd say that's no good. if the snow stays on the roof then you're good. it means you're not losing heat through your roof and you're less likely to get ice damming.
as for the walls, the easiest way to get those done is to get blown in cellulose (dense pack) and call it a day. and, in spite of what many people will tell you, there isn't a terrible amount of heat loss from well-installed windows. now, if you have old windows then it's a whole different story.
anyway, there's a lot of great information from JLC about this stuff. insulation definitely shouldn't be money wasted, assuming you attack the problem properly.