Attic ceiling insulation

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You have two general options. One would be to just load up batts on the floor and make sure there is venting in the space. That's cheap and easy, saves on heating costs, but you lose use of the attic. You can alternatively insulate the walls and ceiling, then use the room for storage.
The better solution would be to insulate and finish it off. For that there are a couple of important points:
* Make sure you don't have insulation in the floor.
* Make sure there's a ridge vent in the roof and soffet vents, as well as space next to the roof. (One can buy cheap styrofoam panels to achive that, if desired.) The basic idea is that the wood in the roof needs venting so that moisture doesn't get trapped in there and rot it. A little research should make that all clear. The general design of a cathedral ceiling is that hot air rises out through the ridge vent, pulling fresh air in through the soffet vents, providing a flow between the roof structure and the back of the insulation.
Once you've taken care of the venting, insulate ceiling and walls, add a vapor barrier, and drywall it.
I'm assuming you don't have any horizontal bracing and that there are just low kneewalls on the sides. If there is bracing it needs to stay. Drywall around it.
If the sidewalls are low kneewalls, it might make sense to move in your finish walls and leave room in the eaves for storage.
And what about skylights? You probably want to add some window area and improve venting of the living space. That's something to plan before closing it up. (A note for maximizing skylight benefit: If you frame a 4" depth around the top and bottom of the skylight you can graduate that up to the 6" or 8" roof depth for a better look and more light. It's hard to explain. If you look at a typical skylight you'll see it's set deeply into the roof framing. The glass may be 8" or more from the ceiling plane. Imagine that inset as a cardboard box. What I'm suggesting is to "fold out the top and bottom flaps" of the box for a larger opening on the ceiling side.)
However you do it all, just remember that you want insulation behind the living space and free air flow behind that. Vapor barrier is certainly a good idea. It will help by retaining humidity in the winter. It will also be required by some codes. But don't use fiberglass with foil facing to get a barrier. Staple plastic around the entire interior for a good seal.
Another issue is building permits. Do you plan to get a permit? Is there a local building commision? In a typical old New England house there could be lots of issues that an inspector is not willing to grandfather in: Narrow stairway up to the attic, insufficient window surface, etc. Before you decide to get a permit, make sure there aren't any problems like that.
|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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On Wednesday, February 26, 2014 11:33:55 AM UTC-5, Mayayana wrote:

Why is that better? Unless he needs the space and the space can be made into something really usefull, it's pointless.
For that there are a couple of important points:

There is insulation in the "floor" and I don't see any point in tearing it out.

Vapor barrier is universally required today in my experience.
But don't use fiberglass with

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On Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:33:55 -0500, "Mayayana"

Actually that is not a problem. Insulation in floors between stories is not an issue - it is used for soundproofing. The only problem with insulation between the upstairs and the attic is it will be a bit harder to heat the attic...

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As noted, I am new to this site. I will learn, how to more accurately post my questions.
Answers to some of the comments received:
1) I just became aware of this Usenet site, as a result of a "mis-post" to alt.windows7.general. His "doorbell install question" was obviously NOT a Win 7 question. When I inquired of that poster, he noted this site was the intended posting site.
2) My house is not a hut ! Iindeed it if I wanted to sell it, I could easily get over $1M. It is a 3 story house (inc referenced, unfinished attic) that is situated ~ 15 feet from Long Island Sound.
3) A major mistake that I made in my initial post, was NOT noting that our attic is now basically a large, but unfinished room. There is no ATTIC roof or wall insulation. There is existing attic floor insulation (unknown depth??) between our attic floor and the second floor living area.
-4) The attic has 3 windows areas - each with 2 to 4 window panes - that open and provide summer cooling/ vent openings. I also use a fan to increase the air exchange. In the winter, that un-heateed attic is obviously real cold (CT).
-5) We get a LOT of solar heating, from the sun reflecting off the ocean. That solar heating often, on sunny days, can raise our living space temps by well over 25 degrees. (This second floor room is now 68 degrees, and the only heat is from "waste heat" from my PC. The Branford outside temp is <20!).
-a) Obviously, in the summer, that added solar heating is unwanted. I would like to insulate our attic area, to make it more useful year round (I have my wood working shop in the attic). I also thought that by insulatiing our attic, it would ALSO miminimze the seasonal temp extremes in our first 2 floors (living areas). That issue was the intent of my post.
No longer NEW to this site!! Hopefully I am Learning!!
ALWAYS appreciative of Good Advice!!
THX
dave
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On Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:00:27 AM UTC-5, Dave C wrote:

See my earlier post.
I also thought that

If the intent is to reduce the heat/cold going into the living space, then the most effective solution is to add insulation, eg blown in cellulose. If the intent is to make the attic a finished liveing space, then that's a whole different matter.

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So let's say your attic has 200 square feet over which the ceiling is at le ast 5 feet high. Your window area must be at least 8% of 200 square feet (1 6 square feet). Meanwhile, the 4% openable area requirement means you need 8 square feet (4% of 200, that is) providing access to the outside. http:// www.epdmcoatings.com/liquid-rubber.html
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