Oct 09, 2013

Winter is Coming: Installing Attic Insulation

created at: 10/08/2013This ManMade post was written by Al Daniel

My wife Meghan and I moved into our first home about 2 months back. A nice little 1940’s cottage on a sleepy street. While stowing away extra boxes after a long weekend of moving, I noticed the insulation seemed a bit thin. It was there, just not much of it. I made a mental note to do something before winter hits. Meghan likes a warm house and I like saving money.   

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We had an open Saturday this weekend and figured there is no time like the present...especially before the cool weather hits. The only problem, I didn’t really know what to do. So, we teamed up with the Home Depot to learn more about the process, and how accessible it can be as a DIY effort.  We used this handy tool on Home Depot’s website to help walk me through the process. The insulation in the attic was fairly even, and a quick look showed we had around 6 inches already, about half the suggested depth.


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I measured out the space to determine the square footage we needed to cover and headed to Home Depot. We grabbed a cart and one of those iconic orange buckets, and made our way to the Building Materials section to let my new friend Larry take over. 


created at: 10/08/2013I let him know what we were trying to do: just add some extra insulation on top of existing insulation to get ready for the winter. He showed me the different options, talked about the advantages and disadvantages of each, and suggested the easiest and best option would be the AttiCat Blown-In Insulation.


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My calculations, confirmed by Larry’s expertise, said we needed 10 bags to cover the attic, which conveniently came with a free 24hour equipment rental. Larry quickly ran-through everything we needed to know to install the insulation, provided a few tips, and made sure I had a mask and goggles to keep out the fiberglass particles. He also suggested I put on gloves, pants, and long sleeves to cover up any skin.  I went ahead and grabbed a breathable hooded suit because: (a) All my winter/long sleeved clothes are packed away and (b) how could anyone pass up the opportunity to wear a onesie.


It’s pretty amazing to walk into a place not knowing a thing and walking out 45 minutes later feeling like an expert.


Now it was time to see if Larry’s crash-course in attic insulation payed off. The guys at the tool rental department gave me an extra 50 feet of hose so we could run it through the house without taking the equipment out of the truck. It was a nice little tip to save us a little time.

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Before getting started, I made sure to pick up all the coat hangers, wood scraps, easter baskets and other odds and ends that had found their way into the existing insulation. If not, they’d be buried up there forever. Man, those orange buckets are handy. 


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Once done, I suited up and was ready to go. Let’s do this.


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I had my Dad stay down at the truck loading in the packs one at a time while I was in the attic blowing-in the insulation. I worked my way back-to-front, per Larry’s suggestion, and after an hour or so, completed the whole installation.  


created at: 10/08/2013The attic was quickly covered in a pink cloud of energy saving goodness. For the first time ever, I’m actually excited to get our next power bill. 



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I’m really surprised how fast the installation process went, and easy it was to accomplish. We left for Home Depot at 11:00am and had the equipment returned, the house cleaned, and my Georgia gear on in time for a 3:30pm kick-off. I’d say it was a successful Saturday afternoon.  


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I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this sponsored post. As a part of the Installing Insulation post, I am receiving compensation in the form of cash and gift cards, for the purpose of promoting Installing Insulation and The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.



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Brian on Oct 10, 2013:

Here's one for all you home improvement types: I live in Michigan, and my tube fittings industry needs work. I'm thinking I may need to go in and add insulation after they fix the leak, so a few questions here:

1. How much insulation should I have above my ceiling?

2. Should you insulate between the studs on the roof too? If so, how much?

3. When you put insulation in above the ceiling, can you simply cut it and lay it in place or should you staple it in place?

Thanks in advance

Andrew on Oct 09, 2013:

Man I dislike attic work! Did blow-in insulation last year in my attic. Good job, better get it done when it's still comfortable.