09:04AM | 07/18/05
Member Since: 11/08/03
3 lifetime posts
We have moved into a 75 year old 1 1/2 story craftsman bugalow in Kansas City. The master bedroom and study are upstairs.

The attic is not vented that I can see and has three long narrow multipane windows in the dormers. The floor is finished, the rafter exposed, and the tubing that carries the heat and air conditioning is not insulated. The exterior walls are not insulated , not is there insulation on the floor. The attic face north and get eat and west exposure as well.

The upstairs freezes in the winter and bakes in the winter. There is one vent to each room on the north wall.

What can we do ourselves and what do we need a professional for. We need to save every penny we can!

Oh, by the way! A previous owner installed a door to the attic, and tried to make a closet by drywalling , and leaving a floor to roof opening a couple of feet wide to access the rest of the attic.


09:19AM | 07/18/05
Member Since: 07/01/03
550 lifetime posts
Sounds like a very nice Craftsman house. Your project is quite large. The insulating and finishing needed to make this space comfortable and economical, are well within the scope of a DIY project. The place to start of course is with a plan. The plan details project scope and sequence and allows it to be budgeted. It might be worthwhile to hire someone to assist you in making a detailed plan that you can follow. If you work without a plan, keep in mind where you eventually want to add lighting, power outlets and any fixtures that need to be installed before walls are finished.

For insulation, you need to insulate from the attic floor along the knee-walls and the rafters. I suggest that you use foam channels like Raft-R Mate to allow air to sweep between the insulation and the roof deck. Use fiberglass blankets or batts between the rafers, then apply a vapor barrier if needed and finally drywall.

There is a lot more to your project, but your questioni s pretty wide in scope, and I think I will wait for a more specific question.


10:39AM | 07/18/05
Member Since: 11/08/03
3 lifetime posts
How do I know if I have roof vents or eave vents?

Is the something I can buy to wrap around the flexible foil tubing that supplies the air to the vents?


10:47AM | 07/18/05
Member Since: 11/08/03
3 lifetime posts
There is barely enough room to stand in the center of this attic area. It is at the most 5-6 feet on the floor from the outside of the bedroom wall to the bottom of the rafters.The length along the front of the house is maybe 45 feet long, from one end of this side attic to the other end. Therefore, I don't know about drywalling??


01:57PM | 07/18/05
Member Since: 07/01/03
550 lifetime posts
Attic vents were generally not installed in buildings like yours. Without insulation, they did not condense moisture along the roof deck. If you insulate and tighten the house, some roof venting will be important. If you insulate the attic rafters, a ridge vent and soffit vents will need to be installed. If you insulate the attic floor to keep the lower story insulated, you can simply open attic windows to ventilate, or install gable vents.

Insulating ducts three good options:

1. cover the existing ducts with foil backed insulation.

2. install insulated flexible ducts to replace existing uninsulated rigid ducts.

3. enclose ducts in an insulated chase. Use foam board to construct the chase over a 2x4 frame.

Bob Vila suggests you look at this article:



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