Hey La Vergne, Hot Enough for Ya?

Yes, it’s been crazy hot here this week, so naturally it’s the perfect time to spend all day up in the attic, right? Ok, maybe not, but I was hell bent on improving the insulation situation at my house and didn’t want to wait for this heat wave to break, because every miserably hot day  without a decent R-value between my living space and the burning sun will make a significant difference on my NES bill.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t a straight-forward insulation project, as I found in my research that I needed at least an R-30 insulation for an attic in our area, which is 9.5 or more inches deep, but the builder of my home, and many like mine, only used ceiling joists that were 5.5 inches deep. Normally, one could just fill the space with lots and lots of blown in cellulose insulation, but we need storage space in our attic, so after a bit of Googling I decided my best course of action was to stack 2 x 4 lumber end on end on top of the existing rafters, attaching them with metal tie straps on either side. Then I tucked some unfaced R-30 rolled fiberglass insulation between the rafters and screwed 2′ x 4′ x 1/2″ plywood panels on top (I definitely recommend screwing rather than nailing, which can cause cracks and OMG that sounded really dirty, didn’t it). I used unfaced insulation because I left some of the existing cellulose insulation down and you can use vapor retarder over existing insulation.

Note: Anyone considering a project like this should take into account whether their attic floor can handle the additional weight. I happen to have a bunch of walls directly underneath the area I added to, so I don’t anticipate a problem.

Proofreading this post just now, I realized I made it sound like everything was said and done at this point. It’s not. Not even close! I have a lot of crap in my attic, and as most of you probably know, having a lot of crap tends to complicate one’s life. I have to approach the problem like one of those sliding block puzzles, clearing one space, adding the lumber and insulation, moving a bunch of stuff into the finished space so that I can work on another space, etc. To me, this is easier than actually addressing the root of the matter, which would involve all sorts of cleaning and organizing- not my strong suits! I’ve only added one roll of insulation so far, so I’m going to be dedicating several mornings to come to this little endeavor.

One last note: Thanks to the 2011 Federal Tax credits, I’ll be getting 10% back on what I spent on the insulation. Find out more here: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index

After pictures are coming as soon as my batteries are finished charging!

8 comments for “Hey La Vergne, Hot Enough for Ya?

  1. June 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    eww. I did some attic work a few weeks ago by installing 12 radio antennas. That was miserable up there. Don’t know how you survived!

    • Sarah N.
      June 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      Frequent water breaks!

    • Gunner M.
      June 13, 2011 at 11:49 am

      Are you talking shortwave or ham? I’m thinking of doing and external shortwave antenna for my dx-200, but cannot finance it right now

  2. Debbie Heughan
    June 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Hot day, & you are tough & determined to be in the attic…I have been working on organizing garage & cleaning out car. Since you have a lot of stuff in your attic, have you thought about having a city wide garage sale? I have a few ideas if you are interested.
    Stay cool….

    • Sarah N.
      June 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      I would love to have a garage sale, city wide or otherwise. It’s really just a matter of logistics, as my daughter is only three and my husband works every other weekend. My sister’s neighborhood in Virginia has a yard sale every year and she always makes a nice chunk of change from it.

      • Angie
        June 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm

        I know several people who would be interested in a neighborhood yard sale, myself included. I actually quit having garage sales because of the no parking on the street law.

        • Kathy T.
          June 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm

          When I was a realtor and we did open houses, we could call the police chief and get an “exemption” for a couple of hours re: parking on the street. You could probably do that, too. Notify them that you’re having a yard sale and they’d probably work with you.

          • Angie
            June 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm

            Thanks! I never would have thought of that.

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