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Old 10-03-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
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How to approach this...


So I have a cape that was build in the early 40's and is located in Massachusetts. I have the kids 2 bedrooms upstairs and our bedroom on the first floor. I want to build a bedroom in the basement for my son and put our bedroom upstairs so I can get our room off the main floor and blow out some walls and open the layout up.

This is where redoing the second story is getting me confused. I have a newer roof that was installed probably 5 or so years ago before we purchsed the house last year.

During the summer it gets unbearably hot upstairs and with my newly istalled central air it's slightly better. Soooo that being said I already plan on ripping down all the old drywall and floors. And the way I see it I have a few options...all of which can change my plans drastically. Doing tons of research on insulating a cape has left me with too many options and now I'm worried i'll pick the wrong one.

I figured that you can either vent or not vent a cape. My house now currently has no vents except the gable vents and the ridge vent. if I go in and insulate then I can only put about 4" of insulation in to give the 2" of air space below the roof deck (i understand its bad for moisture and shingles to insulate all the way up to the deck. My other choice is what I've have been seeing a lot of is insulate to the roof deck and then place a floating roof on top of the first. (2" foil backed XPS with furring strips creating a 2" air gap and then a second roof deck with the shingles on top of that.) That will give me maximum insulation, while venting the upper roof deck.

My conundrum is that I cannot afford to do both at the same time, and seeing how my roof is brand new well do I want to just toss it? if I go and and tear down the drywall and re-insulate with option 1 then when I can afford the second option I feel like I would be missing out on the extra insulation than if I were to do it all at once. And I'm certainly not re-drywalling twice.

Hope this isn't too confusing!!! I'm just trying to get the most insulation without damaging the roof deck or causing mold problems. =\

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Old 10-03-2013, 07:52 PM   #2
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How to approach this...


It might be time to move to a larger house.

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Old 10-03-2013, 07:57 PM   #3
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lol nope...Just bought this house and I intend on dying in it. =) it's just the right size for us. Even if I wasn't going to move rooms around I still want to redo all the old ancient ineffective insulation and this would have to be done anyway.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid484 View Post
My house now currently has no vents except the gable vents and the ridge vent. =\
if this is what your currently have then you do not have much of a ventilation system.

if you have ridge vents you should have soffit vents. not effective they way it currently is.

I'd close off the gable vents after installing the soffit vents, shouldn't be that much of a project on a cape.

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Old 10-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #5
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Only problem is that I have the very old style of cape...There is no room for soffit vents because there is no over hang of the roof....I can try to post pictures tomorow
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:30 PM   #6
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How to approach this...


One option for insulation upstairs would be to use closed cell foam insulation applied directly to the roof deck. This is called a hot deck installation and is becoming much more common. Recent studies have shown that it is not detrimental to the life of the roof. It costs more than conventional insulation but provides a much higher R-value in less space. Closed cell insulation also acts as a vapor barrier.
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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Could you post your links for me please, Msradell? I only have 10 and 11% less service life from 5 year old links; "
Effect on Shingle Life

In general, shingles installed on unvented attic assemblies operate at a slightly higher temperature. This has impacts on the durability of roof assemblies. A 2 or 3 degree F. rise in average temperature is typical for asphalt shingles and a corresponding 10 degree F. rise in average temperature for sheathing (Parker & Sherwin, 1998; Rudd & Lstiburek, 1998; TenWode & Rose, 1999).
All other things being equal, applying the Arrhenius equation (Cash et.al, 2005), a 10 percent reduction in useful service life should be expected. This is comparable to the effect of the installation of radiant barriers." from; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...on?full_view=1

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Old 10-05-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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In addition to addressing the insulation, your projects will also involve quite a bit of bringing the rest of the structure up to code if you are going to start the extensive renovation that you are talking about. All new electrical and potentially plumbing will be in your future. If you put a bedroom in the basement, you will be required to meet current rise/run requirements for the stairs as well as the egress codes required for bedrooms. For upstairs, if you start altering that, you run into the fact that your current bedrooms are no longer grandfathered in on those issues as well, as well as run into minimum head height for livable space concerns, and minimum square foot space concerns. You may end up needing to rip off the roof and rebuild the second floor with a couple of dormers and added height in order to meet modern codes if you try to alter what's there.

I'm not saying that your plans are undoable. And all of the problems can be solved by throwing copious bales of money at the issues. In the end, TarheelTerp is probably correct that moving to the larger house that fits your needs will be cheaper and easier on your family. Unless you're really looking for a hobby to spend your children's college money on!
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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No plumbing upstairs and minor electrical...I have done a bunch of the electrical myself and contracted out some big jobs...Some of the DIY work done by previous owners was a little unsafe already.

My uncle owns a construction company and has done some minor work for me already so I can get a deal on labor and his cost for materials...

As for the basement, well the ceiling heights is just below modern codes and Ill do what most people around here do....do it myself as much as possible and as close to sode as possible and I sure won't be pulling permits for that....

Again, the house is plenty big enough and have ample rooms...my kids are only here every other weekend and in 4 years my oldest son will be 18....so we will never in our future need a larger house...hell even my brother in law is staying in our unfinished basement quit comfortably and using it as a "bedroom". now.


I just always over analyze everything and am just trying to get the absolute best insulation type for the second floor...i wont be changing any of the structure below the roof...just insulation and drywall...

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