Insulating the attic of a Cape, what could go wrong?

Am I right in assuming that I have to take out the entire 2nd floor ceiling in order to do this right? Are there any tricks to insulating the attic of a Cape that is different than a colonial. I'm a little nervous that I won't be able to do this right because of all the angles, would it be wise to call in a contractor for some of the work? If so, what part of it would be too technical for a layman? If I am going to have to rip out the ceiling would it be a smart move to install a whole house fan? I'm hoping that changing the insulation will help mitigate some of the oppressive heat that builds up in the summer, will it?
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Blown-in insulation would probably be a good choice if space is tight.
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