(Badly) Finished Attic

veggiegirl_ma_6bJuly 8, 2009

We have a 1920s two family in the Boston area. Actually, the top floor and finished attic of a 2-family. We are getting the roof done and skylights put in the attic bedroom. Part of the reason for the skylights is how *hot* the attic gets in summer.

When the roofer was framing out the skylights today, he found part of the reason our attic gets so hot: bad insulation. The beams are 2 x 6, 24" on center, with R-13 stuffed in a more or less random fashion. You can tell that in some places they just sort of jammed it on there the wrong way. The roofer is adamant that we need to tear out the drywall ceiling and redo the insulation.

He is saying that we should replace the 2 x 6 beams with 2 x 10 beams, have icynene sprayed in, and raise the crown height to add a couple of ceiling fans. His rough estimate is that the job would cost 12-18K. I should note the attic has two decent size bedrooms (for an old house!) and a 3/4 bathroom.

Is this our only option? I'm really hating the previous owners right now for doing such a crappy job. Really, R-13?

We're not particularly handy. I just learned how to use a drill. ;) However, if we could save a bundle doing some of this ourselves, we MAY be willing to learn.

Thanks for any advice!

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Reframing a roof is not generally a good idea for a first-time diy job.

The framing and insulation are inadequate. But to determine the best approach, seek out a qualified architectural technologist or other licensed design professional. For instance, flat roofs can be insulated from above. So instead of ripping up drywall and reframing, you might be able to beef up the framing, then insulate from above.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 9:51AM
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Just a suggestion but we have found over the years that getting input from at least 3 different tradesmen usually gets us a lot of new ideas we hadn't thought of for whatever project we are into. We have also found that the cheapest price isn't always the best deal but then again, no sure thing on the highest price either. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 10:42PM
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