Forums | Home Repair | Home Improvement | Painting | Interior Decorating | Remodeling | Landscaping


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Insulation

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-20-2007, 08:21 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Share |
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


The house has a Cape Cod roof without any gables in the bedrooms. There are two bedrooms and a bath on the top floor in the back half of the house. The roof angles (45 degrees) down to the front of the house just above the middle floor.

In front of each of the bedrooms, there is a crawl space (storage space) that has end vents on both of the sides of the space.

That gives me a not-so-standard attic space. There is blown in insulation on the flat part of the attic (above the bedrooms) but it's settled to a couple inches below the 2X4 or 2X6s that make up the ceiling of the bedrooms. I will blow in more insulation but that's not really the problem I cannot wrap myself around.

At the front of the house there are channels running about 3'-4' from the front storage area to the actual attic where the 2X6s that make up the A frame of the house touch the ceiling of the bedroom. The previous owner and/or builder of the house filled those spaces with fiberglass insulation with the vapor barrier paper against the bottom wood of the channel. I cannot see where this is a good thing as that means there is no air flowing up that channel at all.

Still in the storage space, the spaces between the rafters is filled with fiberglass insulation with the silver backing. The silver backing (radiant barrier) is facing the storage space. This one I can understand more but it still does not allow air to flow against the bottom of the roof.

The vertical wall between the storage space and the bedrooms has unfaced fiberglass insulation the whole way across between the 2X4 wall studs.

___________________________

On to my plan is and my questions:

Put screening at the top of the channels in the front of the house and blow in cellulose all over the flat part of the attic's floor.

Rip out the fiberglass insulation from each of the channels so the attic fan can pull air from the storage space as well.

Cover the underside of the rafter studs with the silver radiant barrier and leave about 1' on the top of each of the inclines so air can come out there to be sucked out by the attic fan.

Cover the unfaced insulation on the vertical walls of the storage space with a breathing material. I have cats who like the crawl space and don't like the idea of fiberglass in their fur.

I don't know what to do with the roof portion of the crawl space. Pull out the fiberglass insulation there and just put a radiant barrier stapled to the rafters?

What do I do with the channels? They're large enough that I've considered getting the plastic venting things from Lowe's and putting radiant barrier stuff on one side and sliding them into the channels so I at least have something there but that leaves most of them open for ventilation still. Could I put those vents in there like that and fill the bottom of the opening left by the vent with loose fill and leave the part that is near the roof open for ventiliation? Which side should I put the radiant barrier on then?

Help? If it were a straight A frame attic, it would be easier.

I tried roof vents. I destroyed two or three of them trying to get one put in on top of the existing insulation. I ended up ripping out the insulation in the channels and replacing it with R-13, which leaves about 1-1/2" of air between the insulation and the bottom of the roof deck. Holy COW did that make a difference already. I'm used to the house being 77 degrees after a sunny day in the summer and the bedroom being so warm you cannot have even a sheet over you without sweating to death.
I got home to find the house at 75 degrees and the bedroom was cool enough to take a nap with a sheet and bedspread on top of me.
Here's a picture:
http://www.ankylosaur.com/images/housetopfloor.jpg
A) The triangular, unheated, space in front of the bedroom.
B) the "channels" The top of the 2X6 is the roof decking and the bottom of the 2X6 is where the bedroom's ceiling is nailed. These channels are about 5' long from the storage space to the attic, proper.
C) the standard attic (yes, the ceiling of the bedroom has a down slope in the back of the room)
D) the bedroom, heated in winter, cooled in summer.

Here is a pic of one of the channels from the bottom. I've taken the insulation out so air can move up through it:
http://www.ankylosaur.com/images/Att...icpict1240.jpg

This is what one of them looks like with all insulation intact. The fiberglass at the bottom of the pic completely blocks any airflow up the channel:
http://www.ankylosaur.com/images/Att...icpict1238.jpg


This is what the bottom of the roof deck looks like. Those insulation strips are flat against the roof deck in between the rafter joists.
http://www.ankylosaur.com/images/Att...icpict1237.jpg


This is what I've done with the other side's channels. I've taken out the insulation against the roof deck and put radient barrier across the rafters:
http://www.ankylosaur.com/images/Att...icpict1243.jpg


This is inside the channel. R-13 and about 1-1/2" air space above it.
http://www.ankylosaur.com/images/Att...icpict1244.jpg


This is a sideways pic right inside the access door pointing to the side of the house:
http://www.ankylosaur.com/images/Att...icpict1241.jpg
Danielg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2007, 10:02 AM   #2
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 12,926
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


You are better off to rip it all out, and do it right.
gregzoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2007, 11:42 AM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
You are better off to rip it all out, and do it right.
Thanks. Any suggestion on what "right" might be?
Danielg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2007, 10:20 PM   #4
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 12,926
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


Right would be to fix what the previous owner did by not knowing how to install insulation.
gregzoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2007, 02:22 AM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 14
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


You have to do the insulation again by correcting it..You need to redo all the things..thats the only solution
citybuilder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2007, 03:14 AM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


I appreciate y'all answering. How would I go about finding out what is "right"? Should I get on one of these internet message boards I've heard about and ask there? Do you think someone might clue me in to what is "right" on one of those if I post what's there and give pictures of what it looks like and what my ideas are?
Danielg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2007, 11:21 AM   #7
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 12,926
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


The right way, is to find out the R value for your area (ie for my father in-law it is R-44, for me here in IL, it is only R-29, but reality I could go with R-33), then figure, do you want Blown insulation, or Batts? If you do not know, you may be better off having an insulation contractor look at what is the attic setup and give you a quote.
gregzoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2007, 02:29 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
The right way, is to find out the R value for your area (ie for my father in-law it is R-44, for me here in IL, it is only R-29, but reality I could go with R-33), then figure, do you want Blown insulation, or Batts? If you do not know, you may be better off having an insulation contractor look at what is the attic setup and give you a quote.

Now we've got a start. I have no problem doing this myself.

R-49 is the recommended for my attic. If you'll read above, the attic is not my question. I'm putting blown in insulation up there over the already existant blown insulation that is about R-20 or R-25 now after it's been settling for 30 years.

My question is that storage space in front of the rooms and the channels that go from that storage space to the attic proper.
Danielg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2007, 04:11 PM   #9
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 12,926
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


The channels have to be installed to allow airflow across the sheathing, but will not work if there is problems installing them. The storage areas have to be insulasated if the adjoin a room that is in use. Otherwise, insulate the whole attic.

Repost the pictures in better quality, or even post a drawing of what areas that are in question. The problem with the pictures that you posted, are that they appear to be from a camera phone, and look like a 2 year old took them.

Last edited by gregzoll; 07-22-2007 at 04:14 PM.
gregzoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2007, 05:45 PM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
The channels have to be installed to allow airflow across the sheathing, but will not work if there is problems installing them. The storage areas have to be insulasated if the adjoin a room that is in use. Otherwise, insulate the whole attic.

Repost the pictures in better quality, or even post a drawing of what areas that are in question. The problem with the pictures that you posted, are that they appear to be from a camera phone, and look like a 2 year old took them.

So, you have a camera phone that takes 2800X2500, I'm impressed.
Here are a handful of pics, the first 5 are from the side I haven't done anything with yet, the rest are from the side I did already.
http://www.ankylosaur.com/images/AtticPics/

Here's the outside of the house with the parts labeled as I stated in the first post.
http://www.ankylosaur.com/images/housetopfloor.jpg


However, I'm coming to the conclusion that I've done right by the house and also that there is little actual help on this board.

Thank you for your time anyway.
DanH
Danielg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2007, 05:56 PM   #11
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 12,926
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


From the picture with the snow on the roof, you can definitely tell that you are under-insulated in the attic space. I would personally get a insulation contactor to come out and spec out what needs to be done, then also maybe have a infra-red camera used to find other trouble spots.
Actually, I have a handheld digital camera that takes pictures. Camera phones are cheap, and look like a Fisher Price camera took them.
gregzoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2007, 04:46 PM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


I really don't know if I'll be any help, but I've been seriously investigating a similar situation to yours. My Cape Cod style home is a bit different, but fundamentally, we're struggling with the same thing. My house was built in the 50's so most of the insulation is the old foil air bats. I have 4 hat vents, 2 high and 2 low. So my R value is terrible and my air flow is terrible. So I started asking around for some information. I am 2 years into the remodeling business, and am working as a project manager for an excellent company in Central Ohio, so I have a pretty good group of people to pool information from. Some of the answers I got were initially pretty grim. First things first. We are living in an attic space, no way around it. Most houses have that nice, convenient cushion of air that with a bit of ventilation will keep flowing naturally and keep your space at a much more comfortable level. Cape cods don't have that option without some effort. Here is what I am planning on doing when I have the money for it, and it's not 90 degrees outside. I am going to try and take a foam board and shove it up the rafter abscesses on the incline of my roof so they are pushed against my drywall. Granted, I can't get the R-value out of a full bat, but I think air movement in this case trumps that. I am going to try and clear out a few channels so the roof triangle at the peak of the house can pull air from the lower sections and put in an electric fan. They make fans that have a thermostat and will automatically turn on. All you would have to do is run an electric line to that fan and hope it helps. I really don't know if any of this information will be beneficial, but I can honestly say, I feel your pain when it comes to living in a hot house. Good Luck.
SamQuentin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2007, 05:27 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Electric City wa
Posts: 272
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielg View Post


However, I'm coming to the conclusion that I've done right by the house and also that there is little actual help on this board.

Thank you for your time anyway.
DanH
Honey I say honey. You catch more bees with honey Danielg. Be patient most of us on this sight are not professionals. I live in the country where we do pretty simple homes (put a vent on each gable and blow in insulation). Someone here may be able to help you (unfortunately I can't). However if you proceed to hack people off by insulting comments people may not choose to help. I enjoy helping when I can so please do not tell me their is no help at this sight. I have learned a lot here. Check out the pressure treated lumber discussion. That one post is going to save me a lot of problems in the future.
warnerww is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2007, 07:48 PM   #14
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


Not sure if you read my earlier post. I went ahead and spent about an hour installing an electrical fan. http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...670-228-RV28BR
Mine was a bit smaller, 1150 cfm. Only cost 54.00, and I can tell you it made almost an immediate difference. It is in the 90's here in Ohio, and with no insulation in my attic (I found that out yesterday), I am comfortable upstairs. Hope this helps.
SamQuentin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2010, 07:52 PM   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: connecticut
Posts: 1
Default

Cape Cod Style House Attic/Crawl Space Insulation Help


it never ceases to amaze me how not one person ever posts any actually usefull information in thes diy forums this topic it going on 3 years old and still 0 actual information in it yet people post nonsense and snipe at the person who is just looking for some honest help .

the truth is this no one knows the perfect way to insulate a cape if they did it wouldnt change every 2 years and there would not be thousands of cape cod homes with failing roofs because even the supposed pros that built them either didnt know how or were not given a budget to do it correctly

but in a perfect world if you had no sheet rock instaled here is the most current information i personally can find

1. the rafter channels need to have air flow but if you leave them empty your going to pay a fortune for heat so you need a foam insert to allow airflow between the roof decking and the batt insulation , foil faced on the top would be nice at this would add to keeping heat out of the space in the summer, then a normal ammount of batt insulation based on the remaining space if the rafters are 2X8 instead of the normal 2X 6 you can use a better r value.

some say btween the face of the rafter and the sheetrock another layer of foil based vapor barrier (but you need to be aware that when you make a home too tight , you will need to bring in more fresh air, new fangled heat exchangers are great if you have 1200.00 bucks to spend on one to add to your home )

the attic spacew itself across the ceiling joists normal bat insulation again with a vapor barrier below and thermal barrier above .
across the rafters them selfin the flat part of the attic probably nothing but if you have the money another thermal barrior as long as it does not stop airflow from the eaves to the ridge vent (every rafter chanel need to be vented so air flows from the eve to the rifge vent a vent every 4 or 6 feet is not the correct way to do it )

usually now you see a strip vent along the bottem of the entire eve.

finally the crawl space either fron or rear or both depending on your design

again you still need airflow up the rafter channel all the way from the eve to to ridge vent even thougfh the inside of the crawl space is not sheetrocked . so you need insulate the floor in here at least back severla feet into the first floor ceiling. and if your doing very zonal heat then insulate it all , it helps with noise too . the wall of the crawl space needs insulation and again a thermal barrier and vapeo barrier between the sheetrock and the studs (mold cannot grow where ther is no organic material so seperating the sheetrock and the wqood with an inorganic material can prevent mold intrusion if you do get some moisure in the walls .(but again your making the house very tight and risking stale air so you need to adding sufficient fresh air to the home

the rafters in the crawl space portion probably dont need batt insulation but you do need end vents of some sort to change the air in there and a thermal barrier on the bottom of the rafters from the floor to whrhere they meet the knee wall will give you the air pockret you need and also a means to tie the envelop of the knee wall to the insualtion of the sheetrocked portion of these rafter where thery are actually the ceiling of the rooms on the second floor. so literally wrapping the insulation from the rafter chase around the top of the nee wall to the floor is most likely advisable so you dont have a corner with about 0 r value,


lastly this is all just information i have been able to scrap toghether on the web . from about 30 different sites and not one site i can find has a simple isometric diagram showing the reccomended techniques for this or any other typical home insulation project .


but you do get 900 links to unscrupulous contractors that want to do it wrong or charge you double what it is actually worth.

case in point i got 3 quotes to do the roof on my cape all the quotes i asked them to break out material and labor . yet they refuse to do it why is that becasue they dont want you to know the material for the job is 1500 bucks and they want 8500.00 for a 100 hr job.= 10k for a job worth more like 6 -7 k
guardian2z is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crawl Space under house bobbyfrommaine General DIY Discussions 1 07-22-2007 04:15 PM
Crawl Space under house bobbyfrommaine Building & Construction 1 07-10-2007 08:56 PM
Improper Insulation Installation??? Help!! truebaca HVAC 3 07-04-2007 01:47 PM
help me solve this mystery please lindaberrien Roofing/Siding 17 06-12-2007 01:06 AM
Older house, no soffit vents- what to do? nebben Roofing/Siding 3 01-24-2007 02:37 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.