remodel vs new construction frame-in kits

suethemidwifeSeptember 17, 2009

My electrician is planning to use a Lightolier remodel frame-in kit in my kitchen (7 recessed fixtures, model 2003R). My very well-insulated attic (unfinished, blown-in insulation) is above the kitchen. When I inquired--shouldn't you use a kit that is designed for contact with insulation? he said, we will just cut out the insulation 3" around each fixture. If I want to use what I think is the proper kit (new construction kit 2000AIC, for contact with insulation and an "air lock" which I think helps fixtures in an unfinished space not perceive themselves to be overheating and shut themselves off in the summer) he said fine, but these are harder to install and you will be charged $40 extra labor per fixture.

Part of me thinks, just let these guys do what they do, and part of me worries they're not doing it right. I have installed lots of frame-in kits before and it's no fun but I suppose I could just do it myself and they can just wire them up.

Any thoughts? Am I being too persnickety? Do the new construction kits perform any better than the remodel kits, which seem sort of flimsy to me? All you lighting experts, please weigh in. Thanks in advance.

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Remodel cans are easier to install.
But if you remove the insulation around the can, you'll essentially be having non insulated holes in your ceiling everywhere your cans are.

So take that into account. If you're fine with it, stick with the remodel. If not, upgrade to the new construction.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 3:54PM
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Maybe one of our contractor visitors will chime in -- for some reason it sticks in my head that Uniform Building Code says that recessed fixtures require a cover that can be covered by insulation.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 6:19PM
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Check with your local code.
Most areas won't let you use regular units with the insulation kept back 3".They require IC cans that are also air tight.
And follow the previous advice.Removing the insulation, and cutting out the vapour barrier is not a good move.
It seems that this electrician is not giving you the right info

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 8:03PM
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