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20

You can buy air ducts that staple to the inside of your roof above the eave vents and fit between the rafters. The will hold open an air gap of approximately 1 inch to allow airflow past a layer of insulation. The ones I've used are made of styrofoam and IIRC they cost around $2. You should be able to find them near the insulation in your home improvement ...


18

The point of allowing airflow to reach the outside is so hot air can escape. If it doesn't escape then it will heat up the roof/rafters and cause snow to melt and then turn to ice. This can damage your roof in a number of ways. Also, moisture will be trapped in the attic and can cause mold or damage to the structure. I believe the optimum way to insulate ...


17

Aside from the fact that your attic can be very dirty, you need to be concerned about the following: If you have any gas heating equipment in the attic (central heat, water heater(s)), they may not meet regulations to allow them to be connected to the house's main air supply. You can run a major carbon monoxide (CO) risk from improper ventilation of ...


15

Short answer : money. Longer answer: Inquiring at Google Contracting Services and doing some back of the envelope math, I came up with the following price ranges for the mentioned insulation types. Spray foam is about $0.15-0.21/square foot/R Fibreglass batts are about $0.03-0.07/square foot/R Rigid foam panels are about $0.10-0.15/square foot/R As we ...


13

First of all, since it sounds like this could be considered "occupied space", you better check your local building codes and/or with your local inspector to see what is allowed. Most codes have specific requirements for stairs, and in some jurisdictions strange things like spiral stair cases may not be allowed or may require specific approval because of ...


13

Calculating Cubic Feet The first step in determining what size exhaust fan is needed, is to calculate the volume of the room. To do this, you'll simply multiply the length of the room times the width of the room time the height of the room. Length = 10 ft. Width = 8 ft. Height = 8 ft. 10 ft. * 8 ft. * 8 ft. = 640 ft.3 Calculate ...


12

I used a tall plastic bucket once to catch the mice in the garage - I just put a small amount of dog food in the bottom, they could not climb the walls or jump that high to get out. I used a "ramp" made of simple cardboard to the top so that they could hop right in! Safe, no poison and easy to carry out when "full".


10

If your insulation is damp, chances are good it could freeze or stay damp for a while. If not too much is involved, it would be a good idea to remove it to a warm place to dry out, or simply replace it. Never a good idea to leave wet material against ceiling drywall. It could dampen and ruin the drywall. If left too long, mold or mildew could result. The ...


10

4 inch thick insulation is thicker than a 2x4 (only 3.5" thick), which means you'll be compressing the insulation and decreasing the R value. Instead, I'd suggest laying the new insulation on top of the old (no need to throw out the old unless it's turned moldy), without a vapor barrier on the new (you only want one vapor barrier, against the ceiling), and ...


10

The most direct answer to your insulation question is fairly simple. Your goal should be to have insulation equaling an "R" value of 40 or above on top of the ceiling of the second floor. The cheapest method for a DIYer is to roll out unfaced fiberglass insulation over any existing insulation. We don't know what you have now, "R" value or type. That would ...


9

You're referencing the wrong code section. Nonmetallic-Sheathed Cable Romex is covered by article 334 Nonmetallic-Sheathed Cable: Types NM, NMC, and NMS. Nonmetallic Extensions Article 382 covers a cable known as FlatWire, or Concealable Nonmetallic Extension (CNE) cable. Notice that this cable has a single insulation layer over the conductors. ...


8

In Massachusetts, attic floors must support at least 30 lbs/ft² live load (the same as bedroom floors) if the attic is accessed by means of a fixed stairway (780 CMR 5502.3.1). Use a span table to determine the necessary joist dimensions, given their span length, spacing, wood species, and grade. For example, if your floor joists are 2x6 spaced 16 inches ...


8

Look at the picture above. See how the beam curves? This means the upper edge of the beam is (under load) shorter than the bottom edge. In other words, the upper portion of the beam is being compressed, and the lower edge is under tension. This means, that somewhere in the middle of the beam, there is a portion that is not under compression or ...


8

I am a big fan of the Victor Electronic Mouse Trap. They are pretty much fool-proof, and close to 100%. My wife is quite squeamish, and even she can empty them (put the whole trap in a plastic bag, open the door, and shake). They are pricy, but well worth it. We had a bit of a mouse problem last fall, and bought 2. Used a pea-size bit of peanut butter as ...


8

I think they're there for stabilizing the brown beams/joists. Typically, a loft is unused space with no floor. Between the joists, there is insulation supported by drywall or other material depending on the age of the house (as in pic 2 and 3). Typically one would put in blocking between joists to stop horizontal flexing and torsion. Since an attic ...


8

Some states subsidize professionally-installed insulation as well as other energy-efficiency improvements. If that is the case in your state, you will likely be able to hire a pro for less than what you would pay for the materials if you were to do it yourself. Massachusetts covers 75%, so I paid only $300 to insulate the attic, including two roof vents and ...


8

Necessary? No. More efficient? Yes. When the HVAC is centrally located the warmer/cooler air has less overall distance to travel to cover the entire house, as it's radiating out from the center. If you have noticed that one side of your house is less comfortable than the other, it may be worth the relocation. If the house is generally comfortable year ...


7

If the furnace and water heater are gas powered, it would be to provide adequate airflow for their combustion so that you don't get carbon monoxide forming in the utility room. Here's a link with some information. An excerpt: The heating appliances are fully isolated from the living space with partitions. Figure 1 provides two vents to the outside, ...


7

Not knowing where the house is limits the advice. However since it has a flat roof, I'm going to assume it's not anywhere where it snows a lot. You need to get a professional for several reasons. In most states, as a landlord, you're required to do something and the only way you can demonstrate due diligence with something like this is court is to hire a ...


7

There are solar-powered gable fans - an Air Vent-brand fan can be picked up at Lowe's for just over $200: The solar panel is on a cord, so it can be installed in the most sunny area while the fan sits in the gable. From the Air Vent website: The Gable-Mount Solar Vent is an exciting alternative to traditional attic ventilation. That's because it is ...


7

The 2X4's you are looking at are collar ties attached to the end of the rafters and span wall to wall. They are really only strong enough to support ceiling materials, not a live load. The new floor joists will need to rest on the upper wall plate (load bearing) adjacent to a rafter, and cross supported. The items you need to determine are span, joist ...


7

That styrofoam insulation will work, but it is not cheap per R-value (however it gives you a great R-value per inch). Insulating an attic usually means you have a lot of room for insulation and you will need high R-value so that is why the cheaper options are more popular (blown cellulose or blown fiberglass). Said another way, if you have a couple of feet ...


7

The answer is "don't do that!" The vents you're seeing are ridge vents on top and a soffit vent on the bottom. Attics need ventilation, these openings are by design and critical to avoiding serious roof damage. If you close them off, your attic will overheat in the summer, and cause ice dams and water damage if it snows. Newer vents include screens that ...


6

As far as the opening goes, you can put in a collapsing ladder, such as this one. I've installed one before and they're not too bad, just a little framing work and some large nails (I used 16p nails and you'll need a friend or two to help, the ladder and frame is somewhat weighty). This gives you a ladder and an easy way to get up to the attic and it ...


6

If they are only getting in from one spot, you can get a one-way door like this: They can get out of the attic, but they won't be able to get back in. Raccoon mating season is roughly Jan-Apr, so there shouldn't be any babies up there yet.


6

Depending on the specific structure of your ceiling, this could be a very bad idea. If done badly, it will simply increase the weight on the structure, not add strength at all. As a general rule, you should be able to put reasonable storage in the roof space without added effort. (boxes of books ok. crates of lead not ok) If you have concerns though (and ...


6

Some types of insulation will not insulate effectively when they are wet. The insulation could grow mould and the water could damage other materials that it comes into contact with such as the the wood fabric of the root, or the ceiling. I would definitely try to dry it out or replace it. Make sure you use appropriate safety equipment (gloves, correctly ...


6

Your attic definitely does need ventilation. However, it seems really odd to me that it is vented down into your garage. Is there any kind of gas powered appliances nearby? If not, I would: Install some roof vents and maybe an attic fan. Install soffit vents or some way for air to get in. (you want to create a FLOW all the way through your attic) ...


6

You could vent out the wall with one of these guys (Louvered Exhaust Vent) Or out the roof with one of these (Roof vent cap) Either way, your inspector is correct. Blowing warm moist air into the attic is probably not the best idea. It's also not a good idea to vent out the wall too close to the soffit vents, as the exhaust will just be sucked back ...



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