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Old 06-01-2009, 02:17 PM   #16
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Attic converted to second floor


I'm a bit confused... Dave: Your saying, you put in R19 insulation for the walls, and R30 & R 38 in the ceiling, and your energy bills did not go down?

Wow, I was only going to put insulation thick of about 4" thick, the width of the true 2 x 4 rafters. I'll look and see how thick the R30 is, and will measure the rafters, but Dave you're saying it didn't help, with keeping the temperature more moderate? Dave what are suggesting to do it right? It's hard because of the shape of the rooms with the cathedral ceilings, because the wider you fur out the studs, the more head room your losing, and since the walls have been furred out the code of 5' the closer you get to the walls you head space is affected. More on the smaller room than the larger.

sktn77a has interesting comments. Can't do anything about the knee walls, there alrealy built. I were to sister the 2 x 4s to 2 x 6s or 2 x 8s, maybe I could do it, just on the upper part of the structure about 6' to allow for the head space?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
R13 meets code for walls, not for ceilings
I put R19 in my walls, R30 or R38 in the ceiling
Heating/cooling costs are not going down
Pay now & do it right, or pay every year

2x4's meeting code:
Depends upon the span they cover
ANd how far apart they are - 16" OC, 24" OC or ?

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Old 06-01-2009, 03:59 PM   #17
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Attic converted to second floor


I think what Dave was saying is that in general, the costs of heating/cooling will never go down, so by insulating properly now, you will save in the long run.

I can see why you thought his costs did not drop, but I am sure his insulation efforts will more than pay for themselves.

Rebuilder Girl, just a comment regarding your project. I know your original question was regarding HVAC. Be patient and get the structure and insulation done properly first as the guys have indicated. I know it may take longer and cost a bit more money up front. But in the long run you will save yourself tons of money over trying to air condition a space that is really like an oven.

Keep us posted on your project.
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Last edited by drtbk4ever; 06-01-2009 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:51 PM   #18
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Attic converted to second floor


Alright drtbk4ever...thanks for the input always appreciative. I understood what Dave said, or okay now I get it, Dave would have like it better had he put more insulation in, because the energy costs are not going down.

It's such a hardship because the cathedral ceilings are at 8'8" with the walls being furred out to 5.' And in the other room, the ceiling is only about 6.' I'm thinking of how to fur out the true 2 x4s as I was in the oven today, and noticed nails and roofing nails that hold down the roofing felt paper are poking through the ceiling sheathing on the inside. If I try to sister fur out the 2x4 stud so it's wider, some nails & roofing caps about 1/2"to 1/4" will be in the way. I'm sure it would be possible to force the new stud next to it, but it will most likely push the nails back towards the outside of the roof where the shingles are and would cause problems with the new roof. Not all new decking, just where it was rotted out, but all new felt paper and architectural shingles. Any suggestions for this stump in the road?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
I think what Dave was saying is that in general, the costs of heating/cooling will never go down, so by insulating properly now, you will save in the long run.

I can see why you thought his costs did not drop, but I am sure his insulation efforts will more than pay for themselves.

Rebuilder Girl, just a comment regarding your project. I know your original question was regarding HVAC. Be patient and get the structure and insulation done properly first as the guys have indicated. I know it may take longer and cost a bit more money up front. But in the long run you will save yourself tons of money over trying to air condition a space that is really like an oven.

Keep us posted on your project.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:06 PM   #19
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Attic converted to second floor


Rebuilder Girl,

I am not an expert so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Assuming the 2X4 rafters are sounds structurally, instead of sistering the rafters, could you put furring strip either along the 2X4 rafters or across the rafters. This will give you a little extra space for the insulation and rafter vents. Yes you will lose a little more head room. But what good is head room if you can live in the space.

Here is a link on Furring strips in the How to section.
The Hows and Whys of Furring Strips. Part-1

Perhaps an expert can weigh in as to the validity of my suggestions.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:10 PM   #20
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Attic converted to second floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by rebuildergirl View Post
It's such a hardship
If you're going to move [within the average 7 years] to a new house, it may be worth it not to insulate.
Paybacks longer than 10 years are probably impractical.

Run some numbers based on current heat loss vs. what you could be getting in the future by expending XX time and labor and money in the present.
The economic term is "present value of an annuity" the annuity being what you won't spend on cooling a lossy space.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:55 AM   #21
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Attic converted to second floor


Looks like a job for spray foam insulation.

I use open cell foam in my houses. We build them with no attic ventilation and spray the roof deck. It's a great option for cathedral or vaulted ceilings.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:23 PM   #22
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Attic converted to second floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
If you're going to move [within the average 7 years] to a new house, it may be worth it not to insulate.
Paybacks longer than 10 years are probably impractical.

Run some numbers based on current heat loss vs. what you could be getting in the future by expending XX time and labor and money in the present.
The economic term is "present value of an annuity" the annuity being what you won't spend on cooling a lossy space.
Thanks for the response... love the business aspect approach! Which I had more business sense before I overspent... by applying redwood to the fascia and Californian Cedar for the soffit, when it got a new roof...
Yoyizit;281445, it might be a while, I'm not sure how long I'll be there, the neighborhood is okay. But it is unusable as it is because it's way too hot there in the summer, and in the winter, it's extremely cold. And too expensive to run the 3 ton self contained heating and air unit to keep the house temperature controlled at 1,200 square feet downstairs, and about 600 square feet upstairs with cathedral ceilings. My plan for the winter, is running a gas line to one of the rooms to keep it comfortable, a room downstairs that's pretty small, I'll tear down the ceiling and insulate, because I know when the new roof was put on, the old insulation was taken out, but none was put in. Then I was going to run the gas line to this smaller room which is close about 7' to a gasline capped off t just waiting to be connected to something.

Hey does anybody know about the spray foam insulation stuff. Somebody said that it was $2 a foot, a vacuum type of insulation foam that it's impossible for air to come through?
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:41 PM   #23
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Attic converted to second floor


Thanks guys... for all the comments, coming to this site gives my hope to move ahead... drtbk4ever after reading your suggestion and reviewing the link, this seems perfect for solving this problem. I have a ton of insulation laying around a lot of R 19 & R 30. A lot of it has already been ripped to fit between the rafters, because I bought it and put it in the attic before building the second floor, thinking it would help insulate the house during the winter months.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rebuildergirl View Post
Thanks for the response... love the business aspect approach! Which I had more business sense before I overspent... by applying redwood to the fascia and Californian Cedar for the soffit, when it got a new roof...
Yoyizit;281445, it might be a while, I'm not sure how long I'll be there, the neighborhood is okay. But it is unusable as it is because it's way too hot there in the summer, and in the winter, it's extremely cold. And too expensive to run the 3 ton self contained heating and air unit to keep the house temperature controlled at 1,200 square feet downstairs, and about 600 square feet upstairs with cathedral ceilings. My plan for the winter, is running a gas line to one of the rooms to keep it comfortable, a room downstairs that's pretty small, I'll tear down the ceiling and insulate, because I know when the new roof was put on, the old insulation was taken out, but none was put in. Then I was going to run the gas line to this smaller room which is close about 7' to a gasline capped off t just waiting to be connected to something.

Hey does anybody know about the spray foam insulation stuff. Somebody said that it was $2 a foot, a vacuum type of insulation foam that it's impossible for air to come through?
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:46 PM   #24
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Attic converted to second floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
Rebuilder Girl,

attic converted to living space insulation problem solved
Thanks drtbk4ever ... for the advice, coming to this site gives my hope to move ahead... drtbk4ever after reading your suggestion and reviewing the link, this seems perfect for solving this problem. I have a ton of insulation laying around a lot of R 19 & R 30. A lot of it has already been ripped to fit between the rafters, because I bought it and put it in the attic before building the second floor, thinking it would help insulate the house during the winter months. I'm awaitt

I am not an expert so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Assuming the 2X4 rafters are sounds structurally, instead of sistering the rafters, could you put furring strip either along the 2X4 rafters or across the rafters. This will give you a little extra space for the insulation and rafter vents. Yes you will lose a little more head room. But what good is head room if you can live in the space.

Here is a link on Furring strips in the How to section.
The Hows and Whys of Furring Strips. Part-1

Perhaps an expert can weigh in as to the validity of my suggestions.
Thanks drtbk4ever ... for the advice, coming to this site gives my hope to move ahead... drtbk4ever after reading your suggestion and reviewing the link, this seems perfect for solving this problem. I have a ton of insulation laying around a lot of R 19 & R 30. A lot of it has already been ripped to fit between the rafters, because I bought it and put it in the attic before building the second floor, thinking it would help insulate the house during the winter months. I'm awaitting second opinions, but it makes sense to me.

I am not an expert so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Assuming the 2X4 rafters are sounds structurally, instead of sistering the rafters, could you put furring strip either along the 2X4 rafters or across the rafters. This will give you a little extra space for the insulation and rafter vents. Yes you will lose a little more head room. But what good is head room if you can live in the space.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KHouse75 View Post
Looks like a job for spray foam insulation.

I use open cell foam in my houses. We build them with no attic ventilation and spray the roof deck. It's a great option for cathedral or vaulted ceilings.
Can you recommend where to get this open cell foam insulation and does it require a machine to install? Also a rough idea of its cost. Thanks.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:25 PM   #26
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Attic converted to second floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
If you're going to move [within the average 7 years] to a new house, it may be worth it not to insulate.
Paybacks longer than 10 years are probably impractical.

Run some numbers based on current heat loss vs. what you could be getting in the future by expending XX time and labor and money in the present.
The economic term is "present value of an annuity" the annuity being what you won't spend on cooling a lossy space.
Hey there Yoyizit, thanks again for the input. I have a ton of insulation laying around and lots of 1/2" & 5/8" sheet rock. So in doing it Bill's way of furring out the studs, it wouldn't cost that much. Labor is me with a helper. Again wish I had thought this way, before I started.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:01 PM   #27
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Attic converted to second floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by rebuildergirl View Post
Can you recommend where to get this open cell foam insulation and does it require a machine to install? Also a rough idea of its cost. Thanks.
There are some do it yourself kits of the closed cell foam but it's expensive. Tiger Foam is one. Fomo Foam is another.

A lot of insulation companies are getting into foam.

Icynene, Bayer and Demilec are the three brands I can think of at the moment.

Cost is regional. It's about 1.75 to 2 times the cost of fiberglass around here. Closed cell is more expensive.

Last edited by KHouse75; 06-02-2009 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:24 PM   #28
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Attic converted to second floor


Hi. Just a few things I noticed.

1. You have no collar ties to keep the rafters from sagging and spreading the walls. These would also act as your ceiling.

2. The rafter span is way more than allowed for a cathedral ceiling without a ridge beam holding up the roof.

3. You need soffit and ridge vents.

4. You need to seal any penetrations in the attic/house junction.

5. You need fire blocking at the knee wall/attic junction and at the floor/attic junction.

Thickening the rafters for insulation is on the right track, but a small part of all required.

Your local Building Department would help you to build this safely, both structurally and effectively.

An added benefit, if ever you sell, you would get more money and not have to remove your hard work.
Be safe, G
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:35 PM   #29
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Attic converted to second floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by rebuildergirl View Post
I'm a bit confused... Dave: Your saying, you put in R19 insulation for the walls, and R30 & R 38 in the ceiling, and your energy bills did not go down?

Wow, I was only going to put insulation thick of about 4" thick, the width of the true 2 x 4 rafters. I'll look and see how thick the R30 is, and will measure the rafters, but Dave you're saying it didn't help, with keeping the temperature more moderate? Dave what are suggesting to do it right? It's hard because of the shape of the rooms with the cathedral ceilings, because the wider you fur out the studs, the more head room your losing, and since the walls have been furred out the code of 5' the closer you get to the walls you head space is affected. More on the smaller room than the larger.

sktn77a has interesting comments. Can't do anything about the knee walls, there alrealy built. I were to sister the 2 x 4s to 2 x 6s or 2 x 8s, maybe I could do it, just on the upper part of the structure about 6' to allow for the head space?
I went from using 3 tanks of oil down to using 1 to 1,5 tanks of oil a year with insulation & new windows/doors. I put R19 in 6" walls (2x6) - stuffing R19 into 2x4 walls will not work. You can buy R15 that will go into 2x4 walls.

There is more to pay off then how long you will live there. Once you go to sell a buyer will look at 2x4 insulation as ceiling insulation as a huge downside.
Insulation is VERY inexpensive
I've saved the cost of the insulation & new windows & doors in the past 5 years in lower heating costs
I would not put less then R30 in a ceiling
Knee walls you can still use R19, add insulation behind the 2x's

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBAR in WA View Post
Hi. Just a few things I noticed.

1. You have no collar ties to keep the rafters from sagging and spreading the walls. These would also act as your ceiling.

2. The rafter span is way more than allowed for a cathedral ceiling without a ridge beam holding up the roof.

3. You need soffit and ridge vents.

4. You need to seal any penetrations in the attic/house junction.

5. You need fire blocking at the knee wall/attic junction and at the floor/attic junction.

Thickening the rafters for insulation is on the right track, but a small part of all required.

Your local Building Department would help you to build this safely, both structurally and effectively.

An added benefit, if ever you sell, you would get more money and not have to remove your hard work.
Be safe, G
It looks like small collar ties were added?
GBAR brinsg up valid points
Are they really 2x4 as you said or 2x6 rafters? Span distance?
Distance from one to the other?
They may not have been designed to hold the added weight of sheetrock etc
You will find that without proper ventilation & insulation (ridge, soffit) that the converted attic will STILL heat up quite a lot

You need to make sure this is right before you finish it

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