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I have a 1 1/2 story portion on my house that has a finished office space and closet on one side. The room has no insulation as I've done a little work and had to take some drywall off the outer wall and the unfinished crawl space had none either. Because of this, it's hot in the summer and freezing in the winter.

I've created a simple diagram so you can see the profile of the space:

enter image description here

My question is if it is possible to insulate the room without having to tear down all the drywall? And if so, what would be the ideal way to do so?

EDIT:

My plan so far is to poke a hole in the ceiling of the finished space so I can hopefully crawl up there and use blown insulation to shoot it down between each rafter to fill up the ceilings and then fill up the walls by poking holes in between the studs. In the end, the insulation would look like this:

enter image description here

Do I need to be concerned about moisture or will I create ice dams on the roof? I don't have any vapor barriers or vents it seems.

  • Sure, assuming you have access to those areas. What's the question, exactly? – isherwood Mar 21 '16 at 21:16
  • You can have insulation blown in to the walls then there are only small holes to patch every 16" – Ed Beal Mar 21 '16 at 21:24
  • Do I need to worry about air flow along the roof? I don't have any overhangs at the edge so there is no air getting in there now. I was planning on either cutting a hole in the ceiling so I could craw up to the top then blow insulation Down between each rafter but if I do that, do I have to worry about moisture? I don't see how I could put a vapor barrier along the roof. – bones Mar 22 '16 at 2:30
  • Do you have soffit vents and a ridge vent, or gable vents? – Tester101 Mar 22 '16 at 2:37
  • There is no soffit or gable vents. It was too dark to see the ridge but I'm guessing there are no vents there either – bones Mar 22 '16 at 2:54
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If you want to 'do it right' you likely should remove the sheetrock from the angled parts of the ceiling.

The problem with blow in insulation is that there's no easy way to ensure you have a proper air gap and vapor barrier. You could possibly use expanding foam insulation...but even then, that can be easier to do without the sheetrock.

Re-sheetrocking can be a chore, but it's not expensive.

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You can do it outside, if you're planning any siding work. But, inside you could cut out (so you can reinstall it) a 1-foot or more slit across each wall & literally shove faced fiberglass batt insulation up to the top & down to the bottom.

This is tedious, but once you get a feel for it & in using a push stick, then it's not so bad. You can also do this with Rigid Foam Board insulation that's cut snug to the stud spacing. This is a little cleaner & easier but you'll need to put in 2 layers of 1.5" thick or 2" & 1" thick layers. You need that 1/2" dead air space for maximum insulation value with foam.

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  • The problem with 'shoving fiberglass' is you can end up compacting it, negating the benefit of using fiberglass. For retrofitting wall insulation, you want to go with blown-in solutions. – DA01 Mar 22 '16 at 16:47
  • Sure, it's possible but the stuff does have "some" memory. The push stick will hit the top plate & eliminate any compaction in most cases. You just have to get a feel for it. It's been done successfully for decades. – Iggy Mar 22 '16 at 16:57

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