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My dining room has part of it bumped out about 2 feet overhanging from the foundation. The floor over this overhanging part gets cold in winter and I'm thinking about insulating below it. I've done a lot of work installing kraft-faced batts in the attic inside, but would the same material be practical in an area exposed to the elements? What are my other options?

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is there a basement below the dining room that is heated or at least not exposed to the outside? –  mohlsen Dec 6 '10 at 14:58
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3 Answers 3

You can use fiberglass batts, but don't leave them exposed to the elements (or the wildlife, for whom it makes perfect nesting material). One option I've seen used for covering up this sort of thing is vinyl soffit.

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If there's room you can install nailing cleats inside the bumpout's rim joist so the soffit material is held up inside the rim and is not visible from the side.

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That looks great. Can you tell me more about nailing cleats? –  Matthew Leingang Dec 3 '10 at 10:17
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Sorry, I just mean to attach 2x2 lumber or something around the inside of the rim joist, to give you a bit of a ledge into which you can nail this material. As opposed to just nailing it directly to the bottoms of the joists in the bumpout area. –  Mike Powell Dec 3 '10 at 19:29
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I would recommend spray in High density foam. You didn't mention how many square feet of exposure you need to insulate, but I assume the two feet by 10 to 20 feet. The real advantage to foam is the great total seal and air infiltration blocking. it is also pretty vermin, moisture and mold resistant. The disadvantage is the cost being higher than fiberglass bats and availability of rental sprayer and material. It may be worth the cost long term to call a local insulation contractor and check out just having them spray it in and trim it for you. A job that size would only take an hour or two.

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I had this exact problem. It also got much worse when we refinished our basement. Not sure if you have a basement, and if it is refinished. Here is the summary of my issue.

The floor joists from the basement extend out to support the bump out. So standing in the basement, you can reach out below the bump out. The space was insulated, with the insulation sitting on the "floor" of the bumpout, meaning it was resting on MDF that was attached to the bottom of the overhanging floor joists. The siding was then attached to the bottom of the mdf. We do not have the insulated siding that Mike Powell mentioned, but that would be a good idea. So above the insulation, it was open to the basement. Air could flow into that space freely from the basement, which was not heated (the vents were closed), but stayed pretty warm in the winter, probably the 60's. The floor upstairs was cool, but not cold.

We then refinished our basement, put in a dropped ceiling, and insulated all the floor joists in the house for noise. This insulation prevented any air circulation from getting into the old space between the bumpout insulation and the floor. And the drop ceiling kept most of the heat out of the basement ceiling. So all this, you would think it would help, but it made it much worse and unbearable. We had a guy look at it, and because the space in the bumpout is not getting warm air circulation anymore, that is why it is cooler than before. To fix it, we need to actually remove some if the insulation, to allow as much warm air circulation to enter this space. Still keep the insulation at the end cap of the bumpout, and on the floor, but keep it open between that insulation and the floor upstairs.

I put together a quick pic to illustrate. This is across section on the bumpout: bumpout

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+1 for the diagram alone. I think we've made it through this winter without it but I'll see in a few seasons. –  Matthew Leingang Mar 7 '11 at 3:09
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