Would you pay to lower ceiling to add insulation?

nancyinmichJuly 31, 2010

Hi, my DF-in-L died last spring, and we are expecting a small inheritance. DH plans to spend some on new windows (ours are 1978 aluminum sliders that leak like crazy) and attic insulation. We recently had some work done in the kitchen ceiling, and our contractor peeked at the ceiling clearance above the family room, right next door. He says that there is only about 12" between our ceiling and the roof, and it is filled with batt insulation. We are planning on adding blown-in cellulose, but there will be no room for it there. It is the only tall-ceilinged room in the house.

Would you pay to lower a ceiling a couple of feet in order to add insulation? The room faces west and becomes hot with the evening sun. The family room has no windows, just an energy-star rated 6 ft sliding door. We also cannot put in a ceiling fan unless we lower the ceiling. We plan to stay here forever (we are making the home accessible). How much (if any) would you pay to have someone lower your ceiling in this case? Would you even do it? We cannot DIY.

Since we bought the house,we have had an air conditioning unit that could not keep up on hot days and the family room was miserable those days. It was replaced with a 16 seer Bryant Evolution unit when it died recently. We cannot yet judge how well it works, because the kitchen has been under construction and it is right next to the family room. The whole area is a mess. We know that adding a wall has affected air flow and we will likely need to add a cold air return and we are already planning on the extra vent in the kitchen. So, at this point, it is hard to say if the new air conditioner keeps the room nice and cool without adding insulation.

What things do I need to consider? Is it worth it to lower the ceiling just to be able to put in a ceiling fan and add insulation? The insulation up there now is "minimal." I also know that the air flow over the soffit vents outside is poor and we get ice dams there after prolonged snow and ice in the winter. My contractor is on the ball enough to put in the proper baffles to keep the air above the insulation cold and circulating - and to not block the soffits!

Do we insulate this room, or leave it be?

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Look into super insulating the existing area with a closed cell urethane spray foam insulation. Don't use an open cell foam for roof applications.

If you can apply 8" of foam, you would have close to an R-50 roof insulation. The foam is expensive but it would be much cheaper than lowering the roof thats for sure.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 6:22PM
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