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Attic insulation-should I insulate floor to ceiling?

I am in Conn. and the person helping me has said the roof needs to breath. This is a 4th story on a 3 family house. It is A shaped. I plan on covering the insulation after to finish the space off for storage. I think this will keep the 3rd floor warmer. The floor is insulated, but I wanted to do the wall which makeup the pitch of the roof. I have never heard of the roof needing to breathe before. Is this true or can I go ahead and insulate everything?

Question by Stacey 131    |  last reply


installing attic access ladder

Hello there, I have an access hatch already cut into my ceiling. I am now wondering whether to get a ladder and install it myself or to hire somebody. The access panel is over the steps to the basement. Here are the parameters involved: hatch: 28in x 30 in height to 1 st stair down: 8ft2in Yes, the hatch is small but there are ladders that fit it. Here's one, for example: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Werner-7-ft-9-ft-18-in-x-24-in-Compact-Aluminum-Attic-Ladder-with-250-lb-Maximum-Load-Capacity-AA1510B/203009104 So my question is, should I install it myself or is this not the sort of project one person can do comfortably, and it is best to just hire a couple carpenters to do that? Thanks. Boris.

Topic by BorisE5    |  last reply


Clever, inexpensive shelves and storage built under attic sloping roofs?

I have my office in an attic, with long sloping ceilings. The space under the slope is wasted, and ends up being a catch-all for junk. I'd like a clever and inexpensive way to built custom shelves that make the best use of the triangular space (drawers on the bottom that use the full length to the edge, for tripods, boompoles, etc.) I'd love something that includes a concealed pegboard for cables. It could be a mixture of cupboards, and drawers and recessed spaces. Does anyone have a good solution or IKEA hack idea? Thank you!

Question    |  last reply


fiber optic star field without attic?

Is there a way to make a fiber optic star ceiling without an attic??

Question by tim13211    |  last reply



I have a question about an attic exhaust fan hooked up to a thermostat. Can I connect an on off switch up as well? Answered

I have an attic exhaust fan hooked up to a thermostat.  Can I also wire it to a switch so I can turn it on and off when I want to in addition to having the thermostat turn it on when temperature reaches the set temp?

Question by David H    |  last reply


INSULATION.. Any way to make ATTIC and WALL INSULATION with recycle Items ???

Anyone knows any way of making cheap or free attic and wall insulation from recycle items? I know of a company that makes it out of recycle shreaded jeans. But then with what will I shread them and what will I wear after shreading them?...lol It will cost me Over $600.00 for a 30x60 ft attic and thats the cheapest being on sale now at Lowes and Home Depot installing it myself. The spray on foam insulation cost an arm and a leg.. Then again I will need them for making my other projects.. haha. I'm sure someone out there knows a way of making it or may have an idea of makin it with recycle material.. thanks.. This will be a a cool experiment or may I say a warm one.. =- }

Question by PitStoP    |  last reply


Extra Attic Insulation. Can I add polystyrene panels over existing fibreglass batts?

I have access to 6in thick polystyrene panels which I would prefer to re-use rather than take to the garbage dump. Can I lay them over existing fibreglass batts to increase the insulation in the attic ? The house is 4 yrs old so is up to code and is located in Ontario, Canada where the winters are cold. I'm worried about causing a moisture problem.

Question by Blakie2    |  last reply


How can i keep my attic warm on a small budget?

I live in my attic year round. its managable, however when the overhead stars are open, it sucks the heat from the rest of the house. I live in a VERY old house (still bark on the beams) with a metal roof but no insulation in the attic. i would love to not have to put in insulation and finish the ceiling (sheet rock etc.) because it would be costly and make it unhospitable in the summer. I was hopeing that someone out there had a very cool method for keeping some heat in, or creating cheap heat easily. the rouble is that all the heat simply goes out the roof, so space heaters wont work. thank you very muxh for your help! ~farley

Topic by krazy00kanadian    |  last reply


Is there a way to use Solar energy to power an attic space

I am wondering if there is a way to use solar energy to power a room through solar power. I have an attic space that I would like to finish in my home, however, I think it would be cool to use solar panels, inverters and batteries to power the rooms (electrical outlets and lights) is there an easy way to do this?

Topic by Nander21a    |  last reply


I have a motion detector in the attic. I'm not sure if I have a raccoon up there. Need some way to see if it works.

 I need some kind of counter to see if the light is going on and off and that will tell me if I have a visitor?I don't want to put a whole lot of money in it and I'm not that great at soldering small stuff  Thanks for any help you can give me

Question by gunner0871    |  last reply


How can I tell if I can loft my bedroom ceiling? Answered

Hi, I recently purchased a first home, and I decided it would be nice if I can loft the bedroom ceiling (using attic space that is currently wasted). How can I tell if this is even possible to do, and how much work is involved in something like this? I consider myself fairly handy, if that helps.

Question by JMH renovations    |  last reply


How To Inflate Plastic Bottles- into balloons- With Heat and Air Pressure?

1).  I would like to use PET drinking water bottles  and polyethylene plastic bottles ( taco Sauce, mustard, plastic juice bottles)- for insulation in an  attic? Choice 1). using a heat source like a heat gun and my air compressor can I inflate old PET plastic water bottles - into balloons to act as insulation spheres ?   Each week  I would spend time turning the plastic bottles into thin-walled spheres that would fill up the attic with light-weight spheres- maybe the size of a soccer ball?  . 2). If Not  choice 1). lets learn how to process plastic bags and packaging into a shredded stringy material to do the attic insulation job. The source of bottles is endless and I hate recycling these to the city and then purchasing expensive fiberglass batt insulation at $40 per roll.  Any DIY wizards try this stuff?  I could literally mega-insulate the attic. If treating the material with Sodium tetra-borate  borax -to get a fire resistance that is doable too. They make clothes, blankets, molded items and padding routinely from old bottles: Why can't I? I would build a shredder or modify a branch shredder machine to do this and make it my recycling hobby over the long term.

Question by KM6    |  last reply


bits and parts laying around

What to do with spare parts laying around in the shed or attic... use my imagination and made some bugs.... is it art or just hobby, for you to decide....

Topic by oldship    |  last reply


Ideas for old phone?

My parents were cleaning out the attic, and they found an old phone. it is like the one in the picture only without the rotary thing (it has buttons). So they gave it to me to take appart. Any ideas for what I could use it for?

Question by schoonovermr    |  last reply


interior wall help

17x 25 ft room-8 ft interior wall-taking out only 3 feet of it--can I attach support beams from the joist to the rafters in the attic to help supprt the span or do I need to do a header

Question    |  last reply


Can shredded paper be used for insulation?

I was up in my attic the other day and noticed that one of the rooms in my apartment has no insulation above it and there are a few bare patches over some of the others. could i dump bags of shredded paper up there to add some insulation value?

Question by armourkris    |  last reply


DIY Home Insulation

So I know I need to better insulate my attic for the coming winter but, money is tight and the to-do list is growing so I began thinking of alternative or DIY materials to do the job. I know Cellulose insulation is shredded newsprint treated with chemicals to make it mold and creature resistant, and on a small scale maybe that process could be a fun experiment, but not for 1000 sq ft. My next thought (and current favorite) is to acquire styrofoam packing material (box inserts, packing peanuts, un-used food and drink containers) and mill them up to about the in to some uniform size. Then get some cheap plastic bag/ tube material and fill strips with a couple of inches of styrofoam. Then the blanket o’ foam could just be laid out over the existing insulation in the attic. Now, before I start this endeavor I thought I would check with the instuctable think tank to figure out: A) any better ideas 2) what R rating a 3 inch loose fill blanket of styrofoam and plastic would have III) Is this a terrible idea due to moisture being trapped under the plastic Also in a previous forum someone suggested re-routing their dryer vent to the attic and I was wondering if anyone had tried that and/or anyone’s thoughts on that. -Odo

Topic by Odovacer    |  last reply


Can anyone identify these?

I'm curious what these might be.  I recently found them in my attic, 5-6 feet long, matching set of mirrored panels.  Seem more decorative than functional, very thin metal, and one of them has rusted clear through on one side.

Topic by yokozuna    |  last reply


what setup do I need to measure energy saving after applying infrared paint into the steel roofing of my house.

The paint reflects the suns ray and lower the energy costs require to cool the house? i installed insulation and have a high ceiling but the temperature in the attic is still hot especially in the afternoon.

Question by bentio168  


Field of view of a lens?

Hunting through the attic I found an old 35mm projector. I wondered what governs the field of view of the lens system - for this projector it is obviously about the size of a 35 mm slide but for my video projector it must be considerable bigger although the lens looks similar. (I know hat isn't a very scientific judgement!)

Question by rickharris    |  last reply


Nerf guns, parts

Hello instructables community, i am looking to buy most used (it doesn't have to be, but don't go out to walmart and buy one and try to sell it to me for a higher price)  nerf guns and parts, if you take a look in your attic you might find a few for me to take off your hands    thanks, firezone

Topic by firezone    |  last reply


Acer N30 What To Do?

Well, I was rooting around in the attic, and found this old Acer N30 Pocket Pc, and well...It's pretty outdated. I can't thinkof much to do with it, but would anybody have any ideas? Floors open :) xD Has a Samsung S3C2410 CPU with 55Mib Ram.

Topic by Mercurtius    |  last reply


Any tips for running cable (speaker wire, Cat5) behind drywall?

I have an attic and no basement and there is blown insulation all over. I am an electrical engineer but that only helps with the planning part. The actual work is something I plan to get help with from one of my electricians. Any tips would be helpful and appreciated.

Question by jnixon21    |  last reply


New house, living in loft, need furniture, help?

I'm moving into a new house. Decided to move into the loft. Basically, it's the V of the roof, like an attic. I can just barely stand in the center, but I expect to do little more in there than sleep, use the computer (at a desk, IE sitting), and poo (there's a bathroom, weird, huh?). I can use an air mattress, so that's easy. Now I just need ideas for a cheap desk (I'd put the computer on the floor, but I sit for hours, because I'm a lazy-ass and a nerd, so it's gotta be comfy) and a way to store clothes (lotsa shirts, socks, some pants, regular stuff) without big-ass bulky dressers. Everything has gotta fit in an attic-style hole in the ceiling and go up a ladder. Ideas?

Topic by mr_goodbomb    |  last reply


2nd Scholarship Idea

This one is similar to my first idea except it will be used on level surfaces, could ideally be used for attics or basements. It would send live video and sound to my laptop with a microphone and webcam. I still don't know how to make it wireless. For movement control I am thinking of a joystick or just have it move in random patterns. Feedback appreciated!

Topic by sardines454    |  last reply


Any suggestion on how to extract a fish eye lens from an led ?

I need a fish eye lens for an optical sensor. I have planned to get the lens from the front of a big (relatively) led from the attic. How can i do it without compromising on the focussing capability of the plastic lens ?

Question by sfsreporter    |  last reply


Violin Missing Fine Tuning Pegs. How Do I Fix? Answered

An old(ish) violin found in the attic.  All but one of the tuning pegs are missing, but other than that, it's in fairly good condition.  How do I replace the pegs?

Question by NOODLE!    |  last reply


What a surprising find.

I'm brewing up a batch of cider for the holidays. Home brewing is something I used to be into and haven't done in a while, but I thought it would be fun to get back into. Way back, 8 years ago, when we moved I stored my empties in the attic. Dragging them out today I was surprised to find one of the bottles was capped. So being curious I cracked the top and low and behold it was still carbonated, after 8 years in an attic which can reach 140 degrees in the summer. As you can see from the rather blurry picture(sorry), the color is very dark, but with a nice creamy head, it was very clear, not surprising;y, the arome was strongly caramel. On the palate it was smooth and creamy like a schwarzbier. The flavor was caramel and balsamic without the vinegar (like a balsamic reduction). Discretion being the better part of valor, I spat it out and washed my mouth with Listerine. Still it was an interesting experience. Just wanted to share.

Topic by Tool Using Animal    |  last reply


Could one insulate their attic and/or walls with those stupid plastic grocery bags...safely and effectively, that is?

I have switched to some awesome reusable bags I bought at Office Depot that have a little bag that clips onto your purse or belt-loop. But I joke to the grocery clerks (when they look at me funny when I hand them the bags and say no more plastic) that if I bring home 1 more plastic bag I'm going to drill a hole in my wall and start stuffing them in for insulation...my question is...Could I Do That? Safely first of all, but also effectively? This would be a HUGE find if it is...We could hit a planetary Royal Flush...Reducing our energy consumption by cheaply over-insulating our homes (an option that would make it possible for poor folk to take advantage too) AND getting those pesky bags off our streets, out of our oceans thereby reducing pollution and halting the devastating effects they have had on the sea life, AND reduce the space they take up in our landfills, PLUS with this as an alternative to having to turning them in, the current backlog of "recycled" bags piling up because this economic down slide reduces the amount of these goods that China is importing to turn into future landfill occupants. So can it be done?

Question by beingteri    |  last reply


Humane Trap Ideas? Answered

Okay, so we've got critters in our attic...Probably Wolf Rats or something....I've tried using a large bucket with a board ramp. On top of the bucket I've got a towel laid across the top. For bait, I've used bread with peanut butter. My trap idea just doesn't seem to work.... The animals steal the bread without fallin' in ! They're smart .... Any other ideas? Thanks! :)

Question by Nikki213    |  last reply


Humane Trap Ideas

Okay, so we've got critters in our attic...Probably Wolf Rats or something....I've tried using a large bucket with a board ramp. On top of the bucket I've got a towel laid across the top. For bait, I've used bread with peanut butter. My trap idea just doesn't seem to work.... The animals steal the bread without fallin' in! They're smart.... Any other ideas? Thanks! :)

Topic by Nikki213    |  last reply


Modem won't work in a different room?

Ok, so upstairs in the attic we have a modem and a router, the modem works fine up there and so does the router. but when i try to move my modem downstairs to my room and hook it into my cable line to play halo or host on warcraft, it won't connect to the internet. so my question is why this happens, whats the difference between my cable line and the one upstairs, and is there a way to fix this?

Topic by Jordo    |  last reply


DIY Wireless external Harddrive

Okay, so, I've been wanting to make my external hard drive wireless, so I can access it from anywhere in the house. My question is; what is the best way to go about this? I have two old computers standing in the attic, so I could use their parts to make some sort of time-capsule inspired thingy. Is this possible? Or is it much cheaper to just buy a real airport extreme or time capsule

Topic by Tinseltoy    |  last reply


star wars lego

One day i decided to take out my tonnes of lego i had in my attic and after seeing a star wars lego hailfire droid selling for £100! i decided to make my own models, i also noticed that the models that were being sold by lego didnt use many original parts, so i have made my models and shall i post them? your call!

Topic by bedbugg2    |  last reply


Can I use a wireless access point to capture wifi and just plug in my Laptop?

I can get Wifi in my attic but not in my room downstairs. I want to get/make something that will capture the signal so that I can either plug in my laptop using an ethernet cable. I have looked at making things like a cantenna but I can not figure out how to get the signal to my laptop from the coax cable. Can someone please help.

Question by plumboy11    |  last reply


Big Mouth Billy Bass Mod?

hey guys i just found an unused "Big Mouth Billy Bass" singing fish thing in my attic and i was just wondering if anyone has/knows how to mod it to possibly play a pre-recorded message, possibly off an mp3 player? i want to make like a security device out of it, utilizing its motion-sensitive singing i figured someone out there might know how to hack it to play something other than the horribly obnoxious music it comes programmed with. thanks in advance!

Topic by puno    |  last reply


How do I install a new electrical outlet? Answered

I need guidance on how to install a new electrical outlet to an existing wall.  My bathroom only has one electrical outlet, and it's located on the vanity light over the sinks (see photo close-up of light outlet on outdated fixture with rad vintage pastel ikat wallpaper).  More info:  Usually this should be pretty easy, since there should be an outlet on the other side of the wall that you can just tap in to; but there's no outlets on the other side of any of these walls (see wall descriptions below).  There are electrical wires running through these walls though, powering lighting and heating.  So, can I just cut a hole in the wall, reach my hand in, grab a random wire, cut it, splice in wiring to a new outlet, and magically everything works?  Probably not that simple.  I can grasp the basics involved in this, but I'm not 100% certain on how to proceed with my situation since I don't think I need to deal with feeding up new separating wiring from the basement but I also just can't easily tap into an adjacent existing outlet.    Floor plan: There's 2 switches at the bathroom entrance: one for the lights, one for the bathroom fan. The light switch controls 2 light fixtures: the one overhead light (it's a light/fan combo) as well as the lighting above the sink.  See scan image for rough sketch of current electrical floor plan. Wall descriptions based on sketch: Left wall: interior wall; on other side of the wall is an electric baseboard heater; door to hallway Bottom wall: exterior wall; window Right wall: interior wall; adjacent room is unfinished "attic" area above garage with sloped ceiling* Top wall: interior wall; adjacent stairwell; wall-mounted light fixture with outlet; small under-cabinet baseboard heating vent thing I would like to know if/how I can tap into the electricity of that sink light fixture to be able to relocate the electrical outlet lower, closer to the sink counter, and possibly off to the side (so, not central to the counter as it currently is).  See scan image for rough sketch of proposed electrical floor plan (ignore birds, I was using scrap paper).  I realize if I were to relocate it off to the side, I'd need to drill through studs and make more more holes in the wall, but that's fine, as I was thinking of creating storage space between the studs anyway. I'm planning on replacing the current sink light fixture with either a) another wall fixture in the same location, b) 2 separate wall fixtures, one above each sink, or c) 3 separate wall sconces, a leftmost one, a center, and a rightmost one.  I haven't decided on what will look and function the best.   I'm sure there was a much more succinct way of asking this question and describing my situation, but I am clueless about electricity and wiring and whatnot.  Despite my inexperience and ignorance I still feel like this is a task I'm capable of, but I'd like to seek the guidance of you wonderful Instructables' folks on how to do this.  I'd like to know where you think the outlet(s) should go based on the information I provided, and then how I get the power to that outlet without electrocuting myself and frying the house.   * I first was going to say that this attic ceiling outlet is the nearest thing to an adjacent outlet, but I just remembered there's an outlet at the top of the stairs, adjacent to the attic (meaning, not on the other side of a bathroom wall).  The attic ceiling outlet is controlled by a light switch inside attic entrance anyway, and this is an insulated roof wall too. 

Question by Pompom    |  last reply


I need one old working computer from the mid 90's to 2000.

I have a program designed in the late 80's for determining noise levels from an text input file.  Namely the Stamina 20 Optima Noise Assessment program.  Been awhile since I used it but I have had a need now to use it and can;t with my current systems, Windows 7 etc. I'm hoping there is somewhere where I can find just one for a fee of course.  Ina garage, attic, warehouse, anywhere.

Question by natureone    |  last reply


DIY NYE Ball Drop

Hello all! I am seeking some suggestions on creating a mechanism for dropping a 20-25lb. New Year's eve ball. We used this Instructable to make our Godzilla sparkleball as an NYE ball, and it's pretty rockin' (thanks vwluvrs). We dropped the ball from my friend's attic last year, lowering it by hand. Manual lowering is SO last year, and we're looking to improve the drop by automating the process. Oh, and we'd like to keep this at $20 or lower :) Any ideas? Thanks for any input! I will be happy to post a vid of the drop, even if we end up lowering by hand.

Topic by teej    |  last reply


No power in any outlets up stairs power comes and gos ? Answered

I live in a old cobble stone house it seems there is one line that feeds all the out let’s the power comes and gos i have checked all the plugs to see if there was a loose connection every thing was tight the only power I can find comes from the attic but again there is no power ther again how can I trace the power feed to upstairs the wires are all steel Rome wire can a breaker be bad  I’m not even sure what breaker runs upstairs any help would be appreciated thanks mike

Question by MikeB641    |  last reply


Has anyone tried to make a solar light tube

I already have sky lights installed in an unfinished attic. I figure I could try lining some heating duct with some of those Mylar emergency blankets, butt it up against the skylight and then install a modified recessed light fixture in the ceiling. Connect the tube to the light fixture and it should work the same as the $300 units. I understand the effect the dome could have on collecting light, I do have some security camera domes, but don't want to go cutting holes in the roof unless it will work. ???anyone Thanks

Topic by meisjedog    |  last reply


Is it possible to virtually install from recovery discs?

I have a new macbook pro that comes preinstalled with snow leopard. Upon digging in the attic, my brother found mac os 9 and the recovery discs for my dad's macbook pro (the old model, 2006, preinstalled with tiger). I was curious if there was a way to virtually install tiger (like using virtualbox). The reason I want this is because I want the classic environment to play some old games, and I tried Sheep Shaver for mac os 9, but it crashed when I tried to play the game. From what I understand, tiger was the last to support the classic environment.

Question by A-Nony-Mus  


Re: dipole HD antenna?

 I noticed in Home Depot 4' x 8' sheets of metal lathe used for putting stucco on housing exteriors.  It was cellular with each cell being an elongated hexagon approx 5/8 inches in length.  The long sides of each cell had been bent at 20-30 degrees (guess) to provide a cavity based substructure for the stucco.  My thoughts went to the fractal antenna posted by williamruckman  on Jan 3, 2009.  An interior attic roof would provide an invisible and safe location similar to the entry point for a dish cable.  The lathe could be shaped virtually without limitation for tuning.  Thoughts??  VR?

Question by von rad    |  last reply


Can I use existing phone lines to run internet in another room of my house?

Is it possible to somehow backfeed my cable modem ethernet into my existing phone lines running throughout my house to be able to access the internet from another room? I currently have no Phone service provider as i use a cell phone instead. My house was built circa. 1975 and my ISP  is . I have a desktop with no wireless capabilities. My only option would be to crawl in my HOTT Florida attic and run 150+ feet of CAT-5... Any advice would be appreciated! Many Thanx, JCB

Question by jcb5360    |  last reply


I need a new procedure, a new idea on how to get squirrels out of my attic, and how to keep them from coming back?

First let me tell you I have tried Moth Balls, fox urine, ultra sonic sending units, large rat traps. None of these things have gotten rid of the varmints. My research tells me that they , squirrels, have their young in the winter months, and you don't want to wall out a mother when she has young in the house. So I live in New England, and Winter is almost over, I need a true way to get them out and keep them out. HELP HELP HELP

Question    |  last reply


Bluetooth cam using iPod display?

I'm looking for an instructable (or help) to set up a portable camera and display.  I don't know if this is currently feasible, but I would like to use my iPod Touch as a display for a small, battery operated camera.  Wondering if a Bluetooth connection might work.  Wondering if a cel phone might work as a remote camera.  I want this to help me easily back-up my truck and connect to my trailer.  Also to put camera on a stick and put it into walls, attics and crawl spaces in order to see into difficult places.  Also to put on some kind of snake and pass into sewer pipes, etc.  Is there such thing as a Bluetooth transmitter that would work with a battery and a ccd cam? Thanks in advance

Topic by cologadgets    |  last reply


overabundance of ram cards, what should i do?

I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to electronics, i know some basics, but when it comes to computers i'm not much of a hardware guy. so when i came across a box in my attic full of 18+ ram chips, i had absolutely no idea what to do with them. from what i can tell they'd be useless in anything running anything more than 16 bit. any ideas on what to do? should i invest in some rom blocks etc and build a retrocomputer to play vintage games on? any ideas of any kind are welcome, i really hope y'all can give me something to do with em. 

Question by sparhawk7    |  last reply