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passmaster16 05-15-2006 09:17 AM

Need Help With Insulating Ceiling Of Enclosed Porch

I have a room which is about 14 x 10. It used to be a porch, but the
previous owner enclosed it. The room is finished with drywall for both
the walls and the ceiling. The room has 6 windows and large sliding
glass door which lets in a lot of light. Currently there is no
ductwork run to the room, but I plan on having this done when I get my
furnance replaced. The problem I have is that I was working on
installing a ceiling fan in the room today, and upon removing the old
electrical box, I peeked up into the open space to find that there is
no insulation in there. Obviously this could be a major problem if I
wish to heat/cool the room. So at this point, I'm thinking I have two
options: 1.) demolish the ceiling, insulate as necessary, then put new
drywall up (not an ideal option to say the least) or 2.) use a loose
type insulation such as cellulose and spray it into the ceiling

The roof over this area is slightly angled. Then there are joists that
run parallel that the drywall ceiling is attached to. Because of the
angle of the roof, it appears that there is open space between the roof
and the joists. Would I be able to use the hole (about 4" in diameter)
that is currently exposed for the ceiling fan to blow cellulose
insulation into the ceiling? Would there be any reason I couldn't do
this? What about a vapor barrier since I can't actually put anything
down as I don't have access to the entire ceiling? Also will
ventilation be an issue? Any other suggestions on how I could approach


Square Eye 05-15-2006 01:18 PM


If there is ventilation there now, then it is definitely a consideration. If it is not vented, then insulating may help. The 4 inch hole will cause the insulation to pile up right where the hole is. You might consider 4 more holes 4ft from the corners. This will help distribute the insulation into the corners. OR, Cut a hole big enough to work through and blow it where you want it. Then you can push fiberglass insulation up in the "man-hole" and patch it. There are many ways to do this, You could take the soffit down and blow it in from outside.

As for a vapor barrier, you're only option there is to tear it down. I personally don't think it's worth it. Most ceilings around here in the same situation are 12x12 tiles. You could go back with that and a plastic vapor barrier or the made-on vapor barrier on fiberglass insulation.

6 windows and a patio door, you're looking at the potential for major heat loss anyway.

InspectorD, You got anything?

inspectorD 05-15-2006 03:03 PM

Let the money flow out da house on dis one.
To do this in a simple way? get some 2-3 inch styrofoam blue board type insulation ,glue it to the ceiling then re-rock it(long screws) or use wood. Get a box extender for the light fixture.
OR...Tear it out and start from scratch, the problem is going to be the no ventilation...what about ice "dams" you say? Yup you may end up with them.
Best way? Tear out all cieling ,use the prop a vent stuff used to insulate cathedral cielings that keeps the insulation off the bottom of the plywood ,then install some insulation with kraft faced paper that will not touch the roof. At least r-25.
Dont have the room? Go with the first solution.
Good luck, and as SQ eye said "u'r gonna lose da het no mat'r whut.":D

woodworkingmenace 05-15-2006 03:38 PM

Personally, I think your looking at more work than you think...

Now, (famous Phrase...)-->If it were me.....

I would rip the entire ceiling down and put the vapor barrier down, and R-25 up there. I would then check your wiring, and put in a brace for the ceiling fan, so that it will be level.

(I'm assuming this was a porch of some sort, making it into a bedroom?).

Then go outside and make sure you have vents all along the outside perimeter so that you dont have ice dams from the heat getting to the roof, via the ceiling, (if you miss any spot for the insulation).

Ok, my two cents worth.


passmaster16 05-16-2006 08:22 PM

Thanks for all the responses so far.

After further investigation, it appears that the walls are not insulated either. I took a cover off one of the electrical outlets and peeked through the box but saw nothing except the outer wall. So, my plan of action is to gut the current walls and ceiling. Insulate as needed, then drywall it again. It is more work than I previously thought, but I figure if I'm going to do it, I want to do it right.

I was planning to put kraft faced R-30 in the ceiling with the faced side directed toward the floor. Then I was planning to put kraft faced R-15 in the walls with the faced side directed towards the interior of the room. Would these R values be adequate for this application? Also, should I use kraft faced insulation in both cases, for ceiling and walls (since the walls are external)? The only other question I had was regarding the placement of the ceiling insulation. Should I place it up in the actual rafter or simply lay it over top of the ceiling joist? My only concern with the rafter was keeping the insulation away from the roof itself so that it doesn't overheat. In order to do this, I was planning on using vent baffles From what I can see, there are no soffit vents but I can put a few of those in to provide some ventilation. Since it is a shed type roof, there is no ridge. I was hoping that if I do the soffit venting, it would be enough for the area of this size. Does this make any sense? Any other suggestions/recommendations?

To answer the last poster, this was previously just a porch. Obviously the previous ower was content with it just being a porch and decided not to insulate it when he installed the drywall. Luckily his drywall job wasn't top quality anyway, so it isn't as though I'm losing a whole lot by ripping it out and starting from scratch. I plan to gut and insulate it myself then have somebody who knows drywall finish the job. We would like to use the room throughout the year as an additional living room/sitting area.

One more off topic question, is there anything I can do with the floor to make it a bit warmer on the feet? The entire floor is made of concrete. Half of it is built over top of unheated basement with the other half (probably extended later) a concrete slab so I only have access underneath one half of the area. The concrete is relatively thick, probably 6-8 inches. I was planning to just put down pad then carpet. Aside from infloor heating, is carpet the best option here?

Thanks Again.

Square Eye 05-16-2006 09:00 PM

Keep the insulation down against the ceiling and the R-values will be fine. Venting with soffit panels will be a good start. Maybe a roof vent would be worth a look.

Pad and carpet will also be an improvement.

I still think that the windows and doors are going to let more heat out than any amount of insulating you do, Not that you won't notice a difference, closing off a few windows would make the major difference. Make sure that the seals are in good shape and that they're caulked inside and out. Maybe some gaskets on the outside wall electrical outlets.

inspectorD 05-16-2006 09:31 PM

Keep the Kraft paper facing the heated side of the room always.
This depends on where you live if you think about it....
My opinion is to use rigid board foam on the basement area, doesn't create moisture problems.
Then keep the insulation like you said off the plywood at the roof and insulate.Try to let it vent to the attic by cutting holes into the main house if you can. Then some soffit rework may be in order to get it to work or vent :D correctly.
Good luck, sounds like your on the right track.

woodworkingmenace 05-17-2006 05:04 AM

Well, I know how you feel, by taking a porch and making it into a bedroom.

I did the same with my porch, for my little girl...(Doc said no mo', and voila, she comes along anyways :))... So, I do this and that... including putting holes in the eave under the roof for vents...(they had these neat little vents with screens 2 X 8s I think, and they worked nicely.

You can see what I did with the interior walls, in the picture I put on here... I got a compound mitre saw for that..(what a blessing!). Insulated the walls, celing, but, forgot, (er, rather neglected the floor), and cold comes up from, dont forge that part definetly!

I think you will do good on that one... you got a good start, and a good plan..


passmaster16 05-17-2006 12:41 PM

Thanks again for the advice.

I know with so many windows and a large sliding door, there is bound to be some major heat loss. Fortunately, the windows and the door are double paned glass. Is there anything else that I should look for in terms of insulation while I have the walls exposed? I want to make sure I hit all the areas before I put the new drywall back up.

In regard to ventilation, since the room is attached to the house where there is a second floor, venting to an attic is not an option. Hopefully enough soffit vents will do the trick.

woodworkingmenace 05-17-2006 07:02 PM

Since you have the walls off, upgrade the electrical works.

Hmmm windows and glass sliding door? Can you eliminate some of these?

I had 6 windows in our "Sun room", took out 5 of them and have an 8X12' bedroom...(Yea, the girl complained once she got older..., so when my boy went to college, he got the room now..and he aint too happy about it, but, hey, just be glad ya got someplace ta hang yer hat, y'know??!! sheesh!

On the insulation, make sure you have the paper in a continuous thing...if any spot that isnt covered, use the plastic mill sheathing for a ceiling barrier.
Put enough receptacles on the walls... for that little room, I put four of them, on the wall. 1 on each side, and two on the outter wall. Couldnt put any in the interrior wall, blasted thing is double brick...sheesh!

Are you going to "use" this room for anything, except a spare room? If so, the sliding glass door, I would wonder about ?

R-13 on the walls...(unless you have 2x6 construction).

Hmmm just rereading the original post...

If you have the time, and the money, why not use wood? 1X8 on a slanted 45 degree angle, like I did... really looks spiffy and you can get a lot of brownie points on that one!! :)

You can see how I did mine in the picture on here... Turned out sharp... and I made my own molding, (key type), so it wasnt bad..(still need to fix the molding because its tough to do that pieceing together and make it looks concurrent in one piece... Some places I goofed, where I know it, and no one else would...(people are more critical of themselves), so, thats what I would go with...:))..

Ok, I'm done... gotta watch American Idol.. LOL!! chow for now


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