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Eric1981 11-14-2011 08:49 AM

Attic remodel insulation
Hello Im new to this. I Have a house that was built in 1909. The Upsairs of this house has never been finshed, or even insulated. I have lived here for 10 years and I finnaly have the money to do the job. What we plan on doing is adding a master bedroom & bathroom. My question is related to the insulation.. All of the exterior walls have a blown in insulation (it looks very old and setteld down a few inches). Do u think I should suck out all the old insulation and replace it with new blown in insulation, then on the remodel use Batts? Or should I use some kind of foam insulaion? VERY EXPENSIVE? I live in Nebraska so we have every climate. I want to do the best thing for my money.


joecaption 11-14-2011 09:03 AM

Before all that you need to figure out if the attic will even hold that kind of weight. Most attics were designed for just light storage. You may have to add wider floor joist.
You also will have to be doing some major plumbing and you should consolt with a real plumber and have it roughed in before anything else gets done.
There's no need to remove what you have in fact since your plan is to have the upstairs conditioned (heated and or cooled) the only gain from more insulation would be stopping sound transmission from up stairs. The insulation would only be needed in the knee walls and on the ceiling from the top of the knee wall to the roof peak. There has to an air space of about 1-1/2" from the roof sheathing to the insulation for air flow. Sometimes you have to add 2 X 2's to the rafters to gain that space.

Eric1981 11-14-2011 09:17 AM

I have 2 x 8 floor joists 16 on center. I have already contacted a plummer and he says it will work, hes going to just tap into the vent pipe and run water up there. One down fall is that the hot water heater is in the basement. The roof was stick framed of course (1909) and is all 2 x 4. The knee walls are about 2 feet tall and 2x4 aswell. It is a very steep picthed roof and my wife would like to have cathedral cellings except for in the bathroom.

joecaption 11-14-2011 10:21 AM

Impossible to to see what you have from here, but I'd add new knee walls set at 4' 1/2" (so a full sheet will fit leaving a space at the bottom and allowing for an uneven floor or rafter) high in front of the other ones. Two ft. high walls and there's no way to set a bureau againt the wall, no way to have any small storage area to hide things like christmas stuff that gets little use. It will be waisted space with a wall that low. It could also be a place to hide plumping wiring and heating ducts.

Eric1981 11-14-2011 10:48 AM

3 Attachment(s)
If u can see in the attachment the knee walls are 2' 8" and where the existing wall is 8'. Any ideas for insulation? Will i Haft to fur out the ceiling even if i spray foam it?

joecaption 11-14-2011 02:53 PM

Have you gotten a price on spray foam yet, it will be about 5 times what fiberglass would be, it's better but not by that much to justify.
Those coller ties are going to have to come out and 2 X 6's or better yet 2 X 6" added so they sit on top of those walls. Right now there's no way to make a right angle corner. I know your wife said the wanted the catheral ceilings but if there's no coller ties there's nothing to stop the roof from speading and sagging under a snow load.
Also with a catheral ceiling all the heat stays up at the peak of the ceiling not down in the room.

nealtw 11-14-2011 05:02 PM

What is the span of the floor joist and is there a staircase there already. You should have an engineer poke around. He may be able to design a ceiling the wife would like and still be strong enough for ties.

swindmill 11-16-2011 05:36 PM

I gutted my finished attic; tore out the fiberglass; and had it spray foamed. The difference is incredible. My biggest concern was radiant heat, and it's helped immensely. On a sunny 90 degree day, it was too hot up there to use it at all, and with 4-5" of open cell spray foam, it's not much warmer than it is downstairs on a hot day. I didn't find the price to be that unreasonable.

nealtw 11-16-2011 07:56 PM

swindmill, Im sure Eric would like to do that too, but he was just asking how best to use free product without doing dammage to his house.

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