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Capo 01-08-2013 07:08 PM

Bang for the buck, and overwhelmed
Newbie here. Austin, TX. Here's the scenario: We don't have much money to work with for what I'm thinking of doing, so "in a perfect world"-type solutions needn't apply for at least a decade. We just did a major kitchen remodel and we're paying for THAT for a good while..

That said, I've long been tempted to insulate our attic on the theory that it would reduce our bills and as we're tight on money I thought insulation might (?) be the best return per dollar spent, maybe it pays for itself within 3 years (?) Our house is a Frankensteinian monster, having an old roof *inside* a newer, much taller one that was built later. You can walk on the old pitched roof up there. There's some crappy rock wool batts *under* that old roof, but absolutely nothing above it. And much of the the rest of the old roof was torn off and replaced with plywood sheets so you can keep lotsa stuff up there and walk around. NO insulation on top of that. Rudimentary pink fiberglass batts under the loose plywood. I can even see ceiling drywall in some areas!

Adding to that monstrosity, the windows are ancient single-panes. But I cannot afford new windows. And the AC/heater is in a open-louvered door closet in our hall, basically open to the attic for all the space you can see around the duct up there. And the showers currently vent to the attic. :( :(

SO. Lots of badness. But - if *you* found yourself with this many issues, what would you bother to spend $1000-$2000 on? Blow insulation in? Radiant barrier instead (would be hard to do AFTER insulation, eh?) I've heard that sealing is critical, but did you read about my situation above? How WOULD I?

bbo 01-08-2013 07:20 PM

I would air seal the attic first.

then when $$ permits, blown in insulation.

your local energy company might also do an audit of best bang for the buck improvements for your particular home

page 2 free walk thru audit

Fix'n it 01-08-2013 08:43 PM

please, post some pics. i would love to see that !

SuperJETT 01-09-2013 10:55 AM

I agree with the air sealing comment. I'm currently air sealing our rim joists with Great Stuff Pro (excellent product, big cans and no waste like the regular cans) and have already seen a good 10% drop in furnace runtime. Yes, I datalog our thermostat, so I have graphs that show it.

Next I'm getting in the attic to air seal it then maybe in the spring do blown-in.

mikegp 01-09-2013 09:21 PM

I'd like to see pics also.

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