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Old 07-29-2008, 10:44 AM   #1
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hip roof issues-terrible efficiency-help?


We are currently trying to improve out 50's ranch home that has a hip roof. W want to do simple things like insulate the attic but have hit many roadblocks so far. The slope is so long and gradual you can only get within 8 feet of the soffits from inside while laying down (maybe we should train squirrels as insulation installers LOL). We have continual soffits all the way around the perimeter of the house (mesh screen type), no ridge vent and only one little gable-end-type vent (there's a "cut out" spot on the roof that allows a vertical surface where the vent is installed). It is an absolute oven up there! We want to blow in insulation, but yet not block all the soffits, how on earth do we do that if we can't get to them to install barriers? Also, we plan to install two roof turbines to help with ventilation, will two be enough (lacking the ridge vent and all)? Also I thought of installing a automatic thermostat exhaust fan in the one existing vent, is that just overkill? We live in the deep south and the house is 2200 square feet. We have ac/furnace in the attic and the a/c is struggling due to the excessive heat. Any ideas how on earth we can improve our roof's efficiency (on a budget)?

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Old 07-29-2008, 11:19 AM   #2
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hip roof issues-terrible efficiency-help?


Firstly, lets see what the area calculations come out to be.

What is the length and depth of the exterior measurements of your attic, including the soffit overhangs?

How long is the current ridge length on the roof?

Is the continuous screened soffit a continuous 3" slot, around all 4 sides of the structure?

To allow the intake venting to still perform, you will need to install insulation baffles or chutes also called proper vents, which come in 24" widths by 4 feet in length. If you have 16" on center rafters, these baffle vent chutes have a center line perforation to snap them in half to 12: widths to fit between the rafters. They are sold at al of the Big Box supply stores by the insulation aisles.

These chutes will allow air flowage to ventilate from the soffit intake vent slots through the chutes upwards to whichever exhaust vent product that is determined to best work. These ventilation chutes can be hand stapled with 3/8" staples from an Arrow Staple squeeze handle gun, right to the underside of the decking with no adverse affects.

Then, you can have as much blown in insulation as you desire for the proper R-Value.

Also, photos of each side of the exterior elevation would be handy to look at.

Ed

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Old 07-29-2008, 12:00 PM   #3
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hip roof issues-terrible efficiency-help?


hmm..I'll have to put off measurements for right now (I'm 6 months pregnant and my attic is well over 120 degrees this time of the year-I'd have my husband do it but his balance it terrible and he'd probably end up in the hospital is I sent him onto the roof-anything home improvement wise that is up high is my job, I'm the daredevil in the family LOL). I can give you a rough estimate though. The foot print is roughly 30' x 75' . The house is a long rectangle. The interior of the attic is I'd say 5' high (I'm 5'5" and have to duck). I could go into slope calculations to get the pitch of the roof and all that jazz, but I don't think my brain is up for it today. The continuous soffits are at least 8" wide and are present all the way around. The overhang is dramatic, about 4'. I'd say the ridge is maybe 20' at the most I know about the baffles but we can't get anywhere near the edges on the attic. The area gets so tiny that no human being can get to the soffits from inside the attic. There's not even any original insulation within 10' of the soffit since you can't get over there. Unless there are flat people available, I don't think it's feasible to get to where we need to to put in baffles. I'll head outside shortly and get some photos, since it is awfully hard to explain.

Last edited by mudpaw; 07-29-2008 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:22 PM   #4
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hip roof issues-terrible efficiency-help?


on insulating the attic. Wait until your putting a new roof on remove plywood or sheathing there is your access to insulate what you can get to. Without clogging the soffits up.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:39 PM   #5
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hip roof issues-terrible efficiency-help?


The roof was completely re-shingled 3 years ago, and I really hope we have no need to tear the roof off to that extent any time in the future. Also, we do not have plywood sheathing, it's boards/planks (2 x 6 if I remember correctly). I have never known a home to need the roof taken back that far unless there is a rot issue or unless it's just really really old. Ours is in very good shape inside and out and made of cedar. I need to insulate asap. There is maybe 4" of old insulation in a few spots, not even the whole attic floor surface is covered. This is our best bet in improving our home's effeciancy as of right now. The other issues (such as old aluminum leaky awning type (crank out) windows will cost us a HUGE amount (the quotes have been in the $10,000-15,000 range for window replacement-basic double pane type). Thank god the exterior is brick and in good shape LOL) But seriously, this is about all we can afford to help lower our insane heating/cooling costs (running the a/c at 80 all summer and heating to 60 in winter gets pretty old especially when even doing that results is a bill double what the average newer home owner would pay. We have a our first child due in Nov, so this has got to get better now...not later.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:12 PM   #6
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hip roof issues-terrible efficiency-help?


What city or geographical area are you located in?

Also, how many windows are you speaking of?

I know a lot of very good contractors around the entire country from many forums I am on and could possibly refer someone that does great work at reasonable pricing for you.

I will be able to work with the approximate dimensions that you provided already, so no need for hubby to get on the roof.

As far as the insulation baffles, an insulation company that does the blow in insulation may have an alternative for you, as far as getting the intakes to still function even with the new inslation.

They may have some trade tricks that they can use for getting tinto cramped quarters.

I would think that a skinny enough guy could use a couple of narrow sheets of thin plywood to span the ceiling joists and shimmy across the floor as the worst case scenario, to gain access to those low roof decking locations at the soffit overhangs.

Ed
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:13 PM   #7
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hip roof issues-terrible efficiency-help?


Hold on though. You said your overhangs are dramatic. If I'm picturing the correct rancher style house then you have four foot soffits around your house. Then this means you don't have to crawl all the way back because you don't need baffles. All you need is blocking just outside the exterior walls all the way around the attic and make sure the soffit vent areas are swept clean. The blocking need only be as high as the insulation if you use blown in and can be from cardboard if you like. A better, cleaner option is layer unfaced batt insulation instead. Once again, you only have to insulate to the exterior of the wall. As with all insulation, two or more layers crisscrossed or staggered is more efficient that one single thick layer.

Then again, maybe I'm thinking of the wrong design and I'm wrong.
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:42 AM   #8
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hip roof issues-terrible efficiency-help?


I'm in central GA. We have ALOT of windows...two of them are pretty much floor to ceiling ( so roughly 7'x10' each) , we have a 6' x6' in the kitchen, four 3'x3' in the basement....and the list goes on ridiculously along those lines (every room has an abundance of windows and at odd dimensions-the other guy recommended sliders for many of the windows due to their shape-they don't show in the photo- but they are long strips (18' long "L" shape in the corner of each room) of 4' tall windows)...they thought they needed LOTS of natural light apparently LOL...I attempted to take some photos yesterday, but the camera wouldn't cooperate for downloading the pics to the computer. I do have one shot of most of the front though, it shows the crazy overhangs and our HUGE windows. This was taken the day we moved in...poor thing needed some TLC badly. It sat empty for 4 years.
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