Attic ceiling insulation

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I have a large, unfinished attice, with ceiling height of ~ 10 feet at the peak. Currently there is no insulation on the roof or side walls. In the summer it is extremely hot, refrigerator like during the Connecticut winters. I am sure the attic temps extremes adversely effect the temps in our living area, the first two floors.
I would like to add insulation, but unsure how to proceed. Do I add battt insulation; with or without a vapor barrier? Would it be prudent to also add add a radiant barrier. Can I apply sheet rock over the suggested insualtion, to have a "finished' room?
dave
BTW I am new to this site, after I saw a link on another site. I am sure impressed with the breadth of advise here - Great Find !!
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Oh boy! .....this outta be good. ;)
nb
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On 2/26/2014 10:38 AM, notbob wrote:

I'd been wondering what site is this? Moaners Hub, or the other one, can't think of the name of it.
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I can't find a listing for Moaners Hub. It sounds like an interesting site that you seem to know something about. Can you provide a URL?
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On Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:02:57 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

He wants to keep it to himself - because the full name is the ho moaners club and he wants to keep all the moaning loose women to himself
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Yeah...you don't want to DAGS for Moaners Hub looking for it...or maybe you do.
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Oops! My bad. Wrong guy.
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On 02/26/2014 09:31 AM, Dave C wrote:

The absolute most important thing to do is ensure that there is insulation between the attic and your living space...VIZ: along the floor of the attic.
Other than that, there should be plenty of vents in the roof to allow heat to escape in the summer.
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It is also ok to insulate the rafters ***if the attic is to become full-time occupied space*** in addtion to the attic floor.
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On 02/26/2014 01:59 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you plan to occupy the attic, that's a whole different situation.
Someone else here can undoubtedly give you an answer.
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On 2/26/2014 10:31 AM, Dave C wrote:

So, tell us a bit. Are you reading this on a web page? Browser? please post a URL.
Maybe this helps: -------- Original Message -------- Subject: Attic ceiling insulation Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 10:31:35 -0500
Organization: Newsgroupdirect Newsgroups: alt.home.repair
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On Wed, 26 Feb 2014 10:45:53 -0500, Stormin Mormon

What the heck difference does it really make, Stormy??? You've got a real bee in your bonnet about how the usenet is accessed.
As for the OP's question - IF you insulate the roof and side walls of the attic, the vapor barrier goes on the "finished "side, and you need ventilation on the "unfinished" side. if you line it out to use as "conditioned space"
Otherwize, just make sure you have adequate insulation in the ceiling of the upper story, and good ventilation in the attic. With the roof shading the ceiling and protecting it from cold winds, and ventilated to let heat and humidity out, the ceiling insulation has a bit less work to do than the insulation in the roof would.
You COULD put radiant insulation on the bottom of the roof - it would give you SOME advantage.
The only reason I would insulate the roof of the attic is if I wanted to use it as "living space" - summer or winter. Otherwize I'd just frame out the attiic floor and add another 8 inches of insulation and lay down a plywood or chipboard floor if the area was to be used for storage. (make sure any rewiring that needs to be done from the attic is done FIRST!!!!!. - and seal the upper floor to prevent hot/moist air from escaping into the attic.
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If it was the same episode I watched a few months ago, they found the remnants of a staircase, like maybe just the railing. They figured out that the staircase was (originally) very narrow, something like 16" wide and had a 180° turn in it.
Didn't they do kind of a holographic, computer simulated portrayal of what the staircase must have looked like back when it was in service?
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I gotta say that if I owned that house...no, wait...before I even _bought_ the house, I would have seen the 3rd floor window, gone up to the 2nd floor, not found a 3rd floor and been curious. I would then have grabbed a ladder and climbed up to find out what the window was for.
I find it hard to believe that the current owners, and the owner before them, weren't curious about the window and never knew there was a third floor. What did they think the window was doing there?
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Stolen without permission from:
http://www.facebook.com/notes/hgtv/q-a-with-mike-holmes/368222283430
Ashley Fabian Neri: My mom and I love your show; we watch it almost every time it is on! I am wondering the same as most people do on here, who covers the expense of fixing what people have had messed up?
Mike: The show is paid for in a lot of different ways--really depending on the situation. If the homeowners were lucky and actually have some of their construction budget left, they kick in. My crew is paid for by the television production--my company. And we get a lot of materials donated by sponsors. We have the subtrades volunteering their time—and that’s worth a lot. They are great people. If the homeowner has no money left, we find it somewhere in the budget. It all works out in the end.
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Dave C wrote:

Hi, How could you have a house like that? No local building code? Sounds like you are living in a hut. I think you are trolling!!!
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On Wednesday, February 26, 2014 10:55:23 AM UTC-5, Tony Hwang wrote:

A house like what? One with no insulation in the attic areas under the roof and side walls? That's how houses with unfinished attics are built and it certainly conforms to code.
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On 02/26/2014 10:21 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Yep...totally standard.
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wrote:

He might be, but my brother's 88 year old house (when he bought it) is as the OP described. There was NO insualtion in the house. There was no building code in effect when the house was built - and it was a "well built" house at the time. Double brick construction, with well over 10 feet fom the attic floor to the ridgepole, and a 12/12 pitch roof. He insulated the roof and attic walls and drywalled the whole attic, with a roughly 6 foot wide flat ceiling, crossventilated above that, and troughers run from the soffits up to the vented ridge. It's his wife's craft and sewing room and he has a drafting desk tucked into the other end. Don't know if he can get to it any more or not!!!
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On Wednesday, February 26, 2014 10:31:35 AM UTC-5, Dave C wrote:

The first thing that needs to be decided is if the attic is going to be finished and made into a living space. That determines where the insulation goes. Building codes also apply to any such conversion, if it's allowed, required means of egress, etc. Ten ft headroom at the peak isn't a lot. You have to figure out how much usable space you get before the headroom is gone, how low you can go by code, etc.
If it;s converted to living space, then the insulation goes between the roof rafters, with a vapor barrier on the side facing the living space, air baffles installed between the rafters, under the roof deck, before the insulation goes in to allow for airflow. Existing rafters may not allow for desired insulation and may have to be built out using strips to get increased depth.
If the attic is unfinished, then it's supposed to be cold in winter, hot in summer. The insulation goes on the attic bottom, between the ceiling joists. If you want to add more, that can be done via a variety of methods, including blowing in cellulose, which is probably the easiest. Radiant barrier could also be stapled to the rafters, how much that helps, is it worth it, questionable. Certainly plenty of insulation over the ceiling joists is more important. And proper ventilation of the attic, eg sufficient soffit vents combined with ridge venting, making sure insulation doesn't block the soffit vents, etc. is very important.
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