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Walls And Stairs

Attic Insulation An Important Home Improvement Project

by Allison E. Beatty
Repair Home Columnist

If your unfinished attic lacks insulation, you likely are losing considerable energy as it flows upward and through the roof. By adding fiberglass insulation you'll reduce your energy bills and make your home more comfortable. A contractor or home owner with some remodeling skills can do this project.

Buying Insulation

When buying insulation, you'll look for a certain "R-Value." This is the measurement of how resistant a material is to heat flow. Higher numbers provide more insulating value. Depending on your climate, you may need as much as an "R-38" for an attic. Check with a home improvement store, your contractor or the local building department for guidelines.

Also measure the depth and width of the wall cavity to determine how much material to buy.

Insulation Supplies

This home improvement project requires just a few materials aside from the insulation:

  • A utility knife for cutting sections of insulation to fit in wall cavities.
  • A hand stapler for affixing bat of insulation to wall.
  • A roll of wire for keeping insulation in place.
  • Work gloves.
  • Goggles.
  • Protective mask.
  • Clothes to cover all skin, as insulation can be itchy.

 

Installing Insulation

The key to installing insulation is fitting it in the wall cavity so it is snug, without being too tight. You simply unroll the insulation and place it in the cavity. Staple the paper backing face up to the wall studs. Then stretch chicken wire vertically across the front of the insulation to help hold it in place. Leave about 6 inches between any insulation and electrical fixtures.

Attic insulation can make a world of difference in your energy bills. By completing this relatively easy home improvement project - or hiring a contractor to do it - you will start to see results right away.

About the Author
Allison E. Beatty is a syndicated real estate writer who has been writing home improvement columns for 15 years.