Thursday, November 20, 2014


In a house there always seems to be a "cold room."  Sometimes it's a room with big crappy windows, sometimes it's a basement, and sometimes it's an old porch that was turned into a sunroom.  The latter situation is one I had to deal with.  Every late fall through early spring, we had a door (seen below) leading to our sunroom that would remain closed because it was simply too cold.   

While I was running new wiring in September/October timeframe, I was constantly going in the blistering hot attic to trace some wires down or demo them out completely.  I was finally to the front of the house for the wiring; this meant an even further joist walk from the back of the house to the front.  I had to make my way for a drop that was a shared wall of the sunroom and living room. To my surprise, when I got there, there was no insulation to be found anywhere on the ceiling of the sunroom.

Now normally you would assume first thing, cold room = crappy insulation.  I could assure that for the rest of the house this was not the case as there was about 10 inches of blown insulation everywhere.  Also from the view  into the attic it appeared there was insulation blown in there as well.  I cannot tell you how angry I was when I realized the 2 cold winters we had in this room were for no reason whatsoever.
Installing insulation is fairly easy, anyone could do it.  Add insulation.  Done. That's how simple it really is.  The stuff that is important however is where are you putting it? Does it need to be faced/unfaced?  Should I just get a blower and blow some in?  Should I get really fancy and get sprayfoam?
I was adding it in a ceiling where we had access from the attic.  This type of application is slightly different.  First, since it was a small area about 90-100 sq. ft., I just chose to use rolls of fiberglass insulation.  Second, since I was running the insulation right to the roofline, I needed to add baffles so the roof can still breathe properly.  The baffles, I assume, are where most DIY people would go wrong, this is very important for your roof.  Your roof needs to breathe or your new 30 year roof just became a 20 year roof.  You can see some of the installed baffles here: 

Next is actually installing the rolls, the first layer is faced.  The faced side of the insulation is always installed to the warm side in the house.  Then when you add the next layer of insulation (if you so choose), run it perpendicular to the first and make sure it is unfaced.  If you have 2 faced layers, moisture could be trapped between the layers and no one wants a moldy attic.

Now that worthless sunroom for winter is useable space year round.  Instantly, you could tell a difference in the room.  So yeah, we spent $100 on insulation and baffles, but adding 100 usable sq. ft. year round is more than worth it.
Finished product!

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