I have an older 2-story home (almost 100yrs) in Ohio, Zone 5. Rafters, walls everything built from 2x4's and 1x6 planks for deck of roof. Just had roof done so not planning on doing a tear off at this point. Prior to roof job I had experienced ice dams and some leaking down on the 2nd floor where there was some sloped ceilings in the front of the house.
I've replaced 75-85% of the windows, rest are coming - DIY. I'm about to have furnace (40yrs old) replaced before winter with an 80%. Where there have been some room updates in the house, the walls have been insulated and the first floor walls are ~90% insulated and on 2nd floor ~60% of exposed walls are insulated. At some point I'll probably hire someone to blow in insulation in the remaining cavities.
I want to get into the attic to insulate. Here's where I need help. Would like to do it myself if it's not too difficult or time consuming.
Some key observations/notes:
- There are sloped ceilings and knee walls in
- Wiring is knob and tube - I know how to replace it with cable - all on same circuit.
- There is a dormer in front and back of house (see photo for rear view). The sloped portion of the roof is maybe 2 feet max and is for the rear view.
- There are vents on ends gables plus the roofers put vents on the roof deck on the back side of house only. There are no traditional soffits or soffit vents. There is what appears to be a 2x4 laid on edge that appears to be the only restriction that keeps air out of the attic from the overhang. When I stare down the 'chute" over the dormers I see daylight shining through the cracks.
Questions: I want to reduce the loss of energy through the attic by say at least 30%. I'm not looking to eliminate it. I say that because I am not looking for a perfect solution because I'm looking to do it myself. I'm also convinced that better (than doing nothing) may take a little longer for me to recoup my investment, but perfect will take even longer (than the better/good option).
- If I only insulate the flat part of the attic floor with either (a) or (b) options below, would there be a noticeable difference from where I am now wrt energy loss?
a) Batt Insulation in the pockets (would i need faced or unfaced?) (if I have knob and tube replaced)
b) or Rigid foam laid on top of the joists covered by Batt insulation (replace or leave knob and tube)
- If I try to insulate the sloped portion of the dormers (2ft length of slope on back room, 1ft length on front room), how would you propose I insulate that section? This is all plastered walls. Have torn down plaster and willing but reluctant to do messy tear out here. Again, it's only 2x4's. I've considered:
(a) Rigid foam (2" or 1.5") in the sloped cavity, leaving a 1.5" to 1" vent chute.
(b) Thought about calling for estimate for blowing in foam but have read pros and cons of not venting such a space. Read that would tend to create a "hot roof" section which would be problematic for an asphalt roof.
- How would I treat the longer sloped regions of the ceilings? There's much more plaster to remove and replace but if it's worth the headache? Can I make it "better" without encroaching into the living space with 4+ inches of foam. These 4 sloped walls are 4-5 feet in length and are over a sleeping area, 2 closets, a stairwell. The stairwell has tight head clearances when bringing items up as it is and the closets are tiny, so again, encroaching into the living space is not desirable.
I think I've shared the key points. Feel free to let me have it now :). I really appreciate the advice of those who've wrestled with these headaches before.