My question is about what is typical / expected on new construction. I have done a lot of remodels (over a dozen) in my life but this is my first 100%, new construction.

Contractor is insisting we insulate (EDIT: the attic) before he tapes. I simply want to know why, as his explanation wasn't clear. If anything, I would think he'd prefer I wait to blow the insulation until after he's completely done with the drywalling and taping/mudding/texturing so he can leave the house in a warranty state before I spend more time in the attic. Also, if I blow insulation in now, won't the insulation stick out of the cracks and mess up his mud job? Furthermore, wouldn't you want the drywall as hot as possible (un-insulated from attic heat?)

My question is 90% what is typical/expected here, and 10% explanation as to why please.

  • 1
    Do not think that cooking the mud is a good idea, it would dry too fast and probably shrink or crack more. Insulating first will make sure drywall does not sag any, after mudding, and will keep drywall at a more constant temperature(day/night time) as mud dries.
    – crip659
    Jul 16, 2021 at 22:34
  • I would go with the contractor, he has the experience and should know what he is doing. If you insulate first that will put less stress etc on the drywall after it is taped helping prevent cracks.
    – Gil
    Jul 16, 2021 at 23:00
  • I don't know why he cares that much, but to your specific concerns, insulation won't fall through the cracks and mess up the mud, and heat isn't that big a factor in drying mud -- airflow is. (Unless you're talking about -20 to +130 -- then there's a difference.) Maybe he just wants his taper to not melt in an uninsulated house... Jul 17, 2021 at 3:29
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate Na... this is Montana. We're talking about maybe 95-100 degrees. And actually, it's clouding over now so probably more like 90 degrees. I was up in the attic all day yesterday when it was 95 outside and the attic wasn't more than maybe 100. Has REALLY good airflow and is well vented as it should be.
    – maplemale
    Jul 19, 2021 at 16:38
  • @Gil Assuming a contractor knows what they are doing / never questioning their decisions = folly. You should understand what they are doing and when something doesn't make sense (such as this), question. Not doing this has cost many people, many millions of dollars and continues to be the case.
    – maplemale
    Jul 19, 2021 at 16:43

2 Answers 2


Drywall is not tolerant of extreme temperature swings, especially as the joint compound dries. The contractor knows that if he tapes in one climate and then things change he may have problems to deal with. He wants the environment stabilized, as it will be when occupied.

Even though the walls are done, they're not directly exposed to the extreme heat of an attic. That could cause overly fast drying, or expansion/contraction issues during daily temperature swings.

This is not unreasonable. Here in Minnesota I wouldn't expect a taper to begin in an uninsulated or unheated home for the same reason.


The best job of insulating a wall is with an insulation that also has a vapor barrier attached to it. Blowing in insulation after the drywall is installed is not the best idea, unless the drywall installer also installs a 6 mil poly vapor barrier. You could have the wall cavity filled with wet cellulose that is blown in, let dry, and then add a vapor barrier and then have the drywall installed. If the drywall is already installed, you "put the cart before the horse" as my parents always said. The cavity should be insulated before the drywall is installed. If the drywall is installed it should not matter if he tapes before or after the cavity is insulated. If the drywall is up already, I hope you are using a foam type insulation.

my 2 cents.

  • The walls are already done with a vapor barrier on the inside + already insulated. This question is 100% about ceiling,/lid not walls. The way i've done this before when I'm doing my own remodeling / adding an addition, is I drywall ceiling and then blow in. Regarding a vapor barrier, there is a lot of intense debate here and some depends on location + type of insulation. But in general, vapor barriers on a ceiling are at best a waste of time. My ceiling looks like swiss cheese with penetrations. Better off just using a good latex paint.
    – maplemale
    Jul 19, 2021 at 16:46
  • You seem to know what you're talking about with walls anyway... maybe you can speak to the ceiling question. Does this contractor's ideal of install order make sense to you or no?
    – maplemale
    Jul 19, 2021 at 16:47
  • Unfortunately, the fact that you were just asking about the ceiling, @maplemale, was not clear from your question.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 14, 2021 at 13:19
  • @FreeMan It was tagged "Attic". I'll edit though. Fair point.
    – maplemale
    Dec 15, 2021 at 16:53

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