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Installing Insulation

Today my dad taught my how to install insulation into the attic of the house. Since I have a Cape Cod style house, there is “attic” space to the front and back of the second story, accessible through openings in the knee walls. Currently, the attic and knee walls are insulated, but we wanted to add some more to bring it up to code and keep the place warmer in the winter months.

If you visit this link, you’ll see a map of the United States and Canada, with associated R-Values of insulation that you should be using as a guide to insulate your home. According to this map, Northeastern Pennsylvania where I live is Zone 5, where a recommended R-Value is R-20 to R-25. You can use this information to buy the insulation that’s right for your weather zone.

Installing it was INCREDIBLY easy. A few tips:

  • Get safety glasses and a mask to protect your eyes and lungs.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants, or buy a painters suit. It really helps with the itchiness.
  • If you have knee pads, they will be very helpful as you’ll be crawling around on tiny boards.
  • Get a long piece of wood, and nail a nail into the end of it, still sticking out of the wood about 1.5 – 2 inches. You can use this wood and the nail at the end of it to push the insulation into corners and help straighten it, or get it below wires or boards.
  • Get some smaller boards to stretch across the studs to give you a sturdier place to kneel.
  • A flashlight that connects to you (straps to your head, or clips to your clothing) helps a lot. Plus you get to look super cool 🙂
  • A razor blade will easily cut the insulation to size.


That’s about it. Just take the bats, and lay them right over the existing insulation. If you don’t have any insulation, you’ll need the kind that has a backing on the bats. The backing will always face the INTERIOR of the home.

Happy insulating!

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