How to Insulate Your Attic Yourself and Save Money

Installing your own attic insulation is a great way to save money without having to hire a professional. Learn how to do it right & get tips on what type of insulation is best for your area.

How to Insulate Your Attic Yourself and Save Money

Installing your own insulation is a great way to save money without having to hire a professional. Certain types of insulating materials, such as fiberglass or mineral wool, are simple DIY projects that can be done with minimal effort. However, other types of insulation, such as spray foam insulation, require the use of a professional. Before you start, it's important to know what type of insulation is best for your area.

Zone 7 includes most of Alaska, the northernmost parts of the continental United States, and areas of Wyoming and Colorado with high elevations. At the opposite extreme, Zone 1 is the warmest region, including South Florida, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself when installing insulation. Wadding and blankets can be removed by hand with some tools. Surplus cellulose will need to be vacuumed with an HP-Plus 1500 hp bucket vacuum.

Store removed insulation in large garbage bags. Having a well-insulated attic can save you a lot on heating bills. Take the right precautions and do it right, and you'll have an insulation job that could last 10 or 15 years. Your goal should be to place insulation with an R-value equal to or greater than 40 on top of the ceiling on the second floor.

Two Ways to Insulate Attic Stairs Yourself

There are two ways to insulate attic stairs yourself. The first requires a little more work, but is usually more cost effective.

Once you have completed the first layer between the beams, you can decide to double the insulation for greater insulating value. In addition, you may also qualify for a tax credit on the cost of insulating an attic that has suffered a breakdown (check with the IRS or Energystar).

Insulating Blocks: The Most Popular Type of Insulation

Insulating blocks, made of fiberglass between sheets, are still the most popular type of insulation because it is one of the most affordable, efficient and easy to install. Insulating the attic with fiberglass blocks or rolls is economical and, in general, easier than blowing loose cellulose. I would start by insulating it with a layer of insulating blocks covered with kraft paper that are unwound between the joists. There are some things that can go wrong, so be sure to follow the instructions to the letter; otherwise, you could end up soaking wet because of trapped moisture or in a poorly insulated attic because you've packaged the insulation too tightly or left gaps.

The Type of Insulation and Its R-Value

The type of insulation and its R-value will determine its depth in the attic floor and the thickness applied to the roof.

But sadly, homeowners who read how to install insulation on the Internet don't always realize what we do, which means their homes are at risk of rotting, moisture damage, catching fire, or leaking. The most economical method for a DIY hobbyist is to place an uncoated fiberglass insulator over any existing insulation. Because much of the work is done crawling or squatting, it's often best to have an insulation company add attic insulation.

Benefits of Installing Attic Insulation

Attic insulation traps precious heat in winter and cold air in summer, extends roof life, reduces energy bills and even improves air quality. If the attic is already insulated, check if the bottom of the fiberglass block insulation has a paper vapor barrier or polyethylene barrier.

DIY Guide for Installing Attic Insulation

Fortunately, you can correct the situation by installing the insulation yourself in this DIY guide, which should take about a day to complete, depending on the size of the attic and the pre-existing insulation material. Therefore, any problem with those other attic systems poses a threat to the insulation of the attic and its ability to do its job.

It shows in every aspect, from neatness and proper installation techniques to an inadequate insulation R-value or insufficient insulation levels to get the job done. Your assistant will insert the insulation that has burst into the hopper while you install the hose in the attic (photo).