Category Archives: Attics and Attic Insulation

Ensuring Success StLouis Small Biz Energy Efficiency Design Build Project

In todays day and age of small business enterprises I rarely find that a local St Louis area small business is actually thriving.  And when I learned that this successful small business needs to expand to meet the needs of her growing business I was more than happy to assist her in making her business a continued success by utilizing proven advanced energy efficient construction techniques for this Attic Conversion.

“Proper Design Build Energy Conservation Techniques used in this project will ensure that this business owner will keep the energy costs low and comfort levels high-Scotty,Scotts Contracting”

Here is behind the scene work on the Design Build Energy Efficiency-Attic Conversion and the Small Business Customer Must Haves for the project and how I am going to convert the unused attic space into a functional and energy efficient design build project that meets and exceeds the clients requests

Here are the clients Must Haves:

  • Energy Efficient Design (part1)
  • Open Floor Plan (part 2)
  • Kid Sized Plumbing Fixtures located in the Bathroom (part 3)
  • 1 Sink located outside the Bathroom with Extra Counter-space (part 3)
  • Flooring options require materials that do not transfer sound and are easy clean up (part 4)
  • No Harmful VOC Building Products (part 4)
  • Cost Effective (part 4)
  • Financing this Small Business Success Story Design Build Project (part 5)

Designing for Energy Efficiency

Since this project will be in the top floor of a two story building special attention was given to ensure that proper levels of insulation are utilized as well as eliminating air leakage.  

Here is a CAD drawing of the planned Ceiling and modifying the existing Roof Construction that addresses building code requirements for energy efficient design and construction.

Three Main Aspects: Natural Air Flow, R49 Ceiling Insulation, and Air Tight Electrical Junction Box Covers
Three Main Aspects of proper ceiling construction for energy efficiency: (1)Natural Air Flow, (2) R49 Ceiling Insulation, and (3) AirTight Electrical Junction Box Covers

CAD Detail cutaway view of the above Energy Efficient design calling out not only the proper ceiling construction with insulation and air barrier added to the Attic Knee Walls and Dead Space

CAD Detail-Energy Efficient Ceiling and Wall Construction by Scotty-Scotts Contracting
CAD Detail-Energy Efficient Ceiling and Wall Construction by Scotty-Scotts Contracting

In the above photos you see that Natural Air Flow is mentioned numerous times.  The importance of natural air flow-is not only suggested it is required by the new building codes that are slowly being adopted and utilized in today’s energy efficient building designs.

What gets me is that why some builders leave out this crucial step.  Its not a new concept and one that I learned in my first year of Drafting classes in 1989 while designing my final year Residential Home Drafting Project.  

What this natural air flow does is keep the upstairs cooler in the summer and is needed to assist in eliminating ice dams during the winter.

Rule of Thumb for determining this natural air flow from eve to roof peak is: 1 square inch for every square foot of space.  

This 1 square inch is then divided equally in half between the top and bottom of the building.  In the case of this building we will be using: Soffit Vent as well as Roof Peak Vent and to ensure there is unobstructed air travel Air Baffles will be utilized in the areas where the insulation contacts the underside of the roof.

Never let a Building Contractor neglect this important step in any of your building projects.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of the Design process where I address the open floor plan.

Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotts Contracting- St Louis Home Improvement Projects and Energy Reducing Needs Get Your Green Building Tips and Resources at St Louis Renewable Energy Green Blog


#DesignBuild Energy Efficiency-Attic Conversion

My next Design Build Project will be converting this unused attic into Energy Efficient and usable 2nd Floor Space.   

We will be performing major Energy Conservation Build Techniques as well as using Advanced FramingMethods on this Green Build Project 

Upon completing we will have the following RValues: R19+ in the wall, R49 Attic, R13+ in the Floor. 

My plans also call for Air Tight Electrical Junction Box Covers in the Attic as well as 6mil Poly Air Barrier for the Interior Walls. 

Stay Tuned for more project photos as well as otherCAD Drafting details by Scotty-Scotts Contracting . 

Build Green Scotty! 

#DesignBuild   #EnergyConservation  #AdvancedFramingTechniques   #RValue  #CADDrafting 

CAD DesignBuild Attic Conversion Project Drawings and Before Pics
See more of the CAD Drawings for this Energy Efficient Attic Conversion at the link below

Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotts Contracting- St Louis Home Improvement Projects and Energy Reducing Needs Get Your Green Building Tips and Resources at St Louis Renewable Energy Green Blog

Poll Results:How can I help you save money on your Winter Time Heating Bills?

How can I help you save money on your Winter Time Heating Bills?


Answer Percent
Add Insulation 20%
Solar Energy System 0%
Stop Air Leaks 20%
Energy Efficient Doors and Windows 0%
Complete Weatherization 40%
Free Green Site Evaluation 20%
Other 0%


Adding Insulation:  See the Certainteed Product Page

Stopping Air Leaks:

Complete Weatherization:

Free Green Site Evaluation:



see the original poll:




Video Diagram-Heat Loss or Gain-Energy Saving-Green Build

Simple Video Diagrams with Examples of Stopping and Reducing Heat Loss for Todays Buildings

Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotts Contracting- St Louis Home Improvement Projects and Energy Reducing Needs Get Your Green Building Tips and Resources at St Louis Renewable Energy Green Blog

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Why is there ICE in my Attic and where did it come from?

  • Ice Dams are created when the Hot Moist Air Rises from the Interior of the Building.

  • As the Hot Moist Air Rises into the Attic and meets the Roof Framing System.  Condensation Occurs on the Cold Framing Members consisting of: Rafters, Roof Trusses, Roof Decking

  • As the Condensation Cools the Moisture in the Air Freezes on the Roof System.

Ice Dams1-CAD Drawing by Scotts Contracting
Example 1 of how Ice Dams Form in the Attic 

Ice Dams-CAD Drawing by Scotts Contracting
Example 2 of How Ice Dams Form in the Attic
Read how Ice Dams are Prevented in upcoming Blog Post or 
view prior Green Blog Posts on Attic and Attic Insulation
Oct 25, 2010
The construction industry’s leading researcher explains why what we think is true often isn’t, and how some of our best hunches, based on observation of field performance, have paid off with problem-free attic assemblies. by William B. Rose 
Jul 19, 2010
-Attic Insulation-I’ve put a little information to help assist in explaining ‘Attic Insulation for a Home’. I take a whole house approach to improve a Home’s Energy Reduction Needs. The Attic Area and Attic insulation being just 
Aug 27, 2011
Attic Insulation. – Proper Insulation Levels in your Attic coupled with Ventilation will save you Money on your Energy Bills. Certified Insulation Installer for: Batt Type, Spray Foam, Loose Fill-. Green and Eco Friendly options are always available.
Nov 27, 2010
Lack of Insulation In the Attic; Air Infiltration from the Interior of the House into the Attic Area; Uninsulated Heating Ducts inside the Attic. Scotts Contracting can Inspect your Attic for Proper: Insulation Levels; Adequate Ventilation; Uninsulated 
Jul 03, 2011
Attic Insulation-I’ve put a little information to explain Attic Insulation for a Home. It takes a whole house approach to Reduce a Home’s Energy Needs. The Attic Area and Attic insulation being just one area. When Combined with a Green 
Mar 27, 2011
Snow on Roof-Opportunity to Check Insulation Level. This last snow we received yesterday is the perfect opportunity to see if your attic is properly insulated. Take a look at the Roof of your Home. -Lack of Snow on your Roof is a sure indication 
Oct 19, 2011
With my Preliminary Figures using a Guesstimate ($400) on your current Energy Bill and using the Dept of Energy’s Estimate of 20% Savings for attic retrofits. I’ve determined that by Sealing your Air Leaks and Adding Insulation to the Attic the 

Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotts Contracting- St Louis Home Improvement Projects and Energy Reducing Needs Get Your Green Building Tips and Resources at St Louis Renewable Energy Green Blog

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How To Add Curb Appeal and Save on Home Energy Needs

Power Point Presentation of how Incorporating Green Building Practices can 

Add Curb Appeal and Save on Home Energy Use

Both of which will Add Value to your Home in Comfort and Appraisal Value

This Wrap Around Porch was 

Designed and Built by Scotty, Scotts Contracting

The Final Photos will be added soon!

Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotty for any Home Improvement Projects or Energy Reducing Needs for your Home or Business in the Greater St Louis Area and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will respond ASAP.

Fire Proof-Air Tight-Electrical Junction Box Cover

Air Sealing a Ceiling Electrical Junction Box

CAD Design-Weatherize-Insulate-Fire Block-Electrical Junction Box
Air Sealing Ceiling Electrical Junction Box

CAD Diagram explains how to Build and Air Tight Electrical Junction Box located in most Attics

Sealing Air Leaks

Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter and can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weatherstrip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside.

You can save on your heating and cooling bill by reducing the air leaks in your home.

Fire Proof /Air Tight Electrical Junction Box Cover used in Attics

Hint: Use Fire Rated: 5/8″Fire Rated Drywall or Sheetrock with Fire Proof Caulking to 

Create the Air Tight Seal

Tips for Sealing Air Leaks

Pie chart shows how air escapes from a typical home: 31% floors, ceiling, walls; 15% ducts; 14% fireplace; 13% plumbing penetrations, 11% doors; 10% windows; 4% fans and vents; 2% electric outlets.How Does the Air Escape?
Air infiltrates into and out of your home through every hole and crack. About one-third of this air infiltrates through openings in your ceilings, walls, and floors.
  • First, test your home for air tightness. On a windy day, carefully hold a lit incense stick or a smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weatherstripping.
  • Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
  • Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
  • Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
  • Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose.
  • Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists. These joints can be caulked.
  • Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them with more efficient windows, such as double-pane. See Windows on page 18 for more information.
  • When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes—24 hours a day!
  • For new construction, reduce exterior wall leaks by installing house wrap, taping the joints of exterior sheathing, and comprehensively caulking and sealing the exterior walls.
  • Use foam sealant around larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where warm air may be leaking out.
  • Kitchen exhaust fan covers can keep air from leaking in when the exhaust fan is not in use. The covers typically attach via magnets for ease of replacement.
  • Replacing existing door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets is a great way to eliminate conditioned air leaking out from underneath the doors.
  • Fireplace flues are made from metal, and over time repeated heating and cooling can cause the metal to warp or break, creating a channel for hot or cold air loss. Inflatable chimney balloons are designed to fit beneath your fireplace flue during periods of non-use. They are made from several layers of durable plastic and can be removed easily and reused hundreds of times. Should you forget to remove the balloon before making a fire, the balloon will automatically deflate within seconds of coming into contact with heat.
Cutaway house illustration showing areas of home where air leaks. Refer to caption for list.Sources of Air Leaks in Your Home
Areas that leak air into and out of your home cost you lots of money. Check the areas listed below.

  1. Dropped ceiling
  2. Recessed light
  3. Attic entrance
  4. Sill plates
  1. Water and furnace flues
  2. All ducts
  3. Door frames
  4. Chimney flashing
  1. Window frames
  2. Electrical outlets and switches
  3. Plumbing and utility access
Scotts Contracting is available to assist you in improving your Home or Business Energy Demands.  Please use this form below to Contact Scotty, Scotts Contracting to schedule a FREE Energy Analysis for your Property.

CAD Drawing-Insulation -St Louis Brick Home-Examples

How insulation Saves Money- How Insulation Works-Typical-St Louis Brick Home used in Examples

How Insulation Works

Top View: Brick Home with Zero Insulation
Brick Home Wall Detail with Zero Insulation

Brick Home with Insulation in Wall Cavity

Why Insulate Your House?

Heating and cooling account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in the average American home. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. Insulation:

  • saves money and our nation’s limited energy resources
  • makes your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house, and
  • makes walls, ceilings, and floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

The amount of energy you conserve will depend on several factors: your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use.

Once the energy savings have paid for the installation cost, energy conserved is money saved -saving energy will be even more important as utility rates go up.

This fact sheet will help you to understand how insulation works, what different types of insulation are available, and how much insulation makes sense for your climate. There are many other things you can do to conserve energy in your home as well. The Department of Energy offers many web sites( to help you save energy by sealing air leaks, selecting more energy-efficient appliances, etc.

How Insulation Works

How Insulation Works

  • Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In winter, the heat moves directly from all heated living spaces to the outdoors and to adjacent unheated attics, garages, and basements – wherever there is a difference in temperature. 
  • During the summer, heat moves from outdoors to the house interior. 
  • To maintain comfort, the heat lost in winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in summer must be removed by your air conditioner. Insulating ceilings, walls, and floors decreases the heating or cooling needed by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.

  • Reflective insulation or Radiant Barriers works by reducing the amount of energy that travels in the form of radiation. Some forms of reflective insulation also divide a space up into small regions to reduce air movement, or convection, but not to the same extent as batts, blankets, loose-fill, and foam.

Click here to: Schedule a Green Site Evaluation to Weatherize your Building against the High Heating Costs

Roof Venting and Its Importance for your Home

A Crash Course in Roof Venting

Understand when to vent your roof, when not to, and how to execute each approach successfully

Article Re-Posted from:

Click to enlarge image

So much information has been devoted to the subject of roof venting that it’s easy to become confused and to lose focus. So I’ll start by saying something that might sound controversial, but really isn’t: A vented attic, where insulation is placed on an air-sealed attic floor, is one of the most underappreciated building assemblies that we have in the history of building science. It’s hard to screw up this approach. A vented attic works in hot climates, mixed climates, and cold climates. It works in the Arctic and in the Amazon. It works absolutely everywhere—when executed properly.

Unfortunately, we manage to screw it up again and again, and a poorly constructed attic or roof assembly can lead to excessive energy losses, ice dams, mold, rot, and lots of unnecessary homeowner angst.

Here, I’ll explain how to construct a vented attic properly. I’ll also explain when it makes sense to move the thermal, moisture, and air-control layers to the roof plane, and how to detail vented and unvented roofs correctly.

Theory behind venting
The intent of roof venting varies depending on climate, but it is the same if you’re venting the entire attic or if you’re venting only the roof deck.

In a cold climate, the primary purpose of ventilation is to maintain a cold roof temperature to avoid ice dams created by melting snow and to vent any moisture that moves from the conditioned living space to the attic. (See “Energy Smart Details” inFHB #218 for more on ice dams.)

In a hot climate, the primary purpose of ventilation is to expel solar-heated hot air from the attic or roof to reduce the building’s cooling load and to relieve the strain on air-conditioning systems. In mixed climates, ventilation serves either role, depending on the season.

Vent the attic

A key benefit of venting the attic is that the approach is the same regardless of how creative your architect got with the roof. Because the roof isn’t in play here, it doesn’t matter how  many hips, valleys, dormers, or gables there are. It’s also easier and often less expensive to pile on fiberglass or cellulose insulation at the attic floor to hit target R-values than it is  to achieve a comparable R-value in the roof plane.

The success of this approach hinges on the ceiling of the top level of the house being absolutely airtight before any insulation is installed. (See “Attic-Insulation Upgrade” in FHB #200.) It’s also important to ensure that there isn’t anything in the attic except lots of  insulation and air—not the Christmas decorations, not the tuxedo you wore on your wedding day, nothing. Attic space can be used for storage, but only if you build an elevated platform above  the insulation. Otherwise, the insulation gets compressed or kicked around, which diminishes its Rvalue. Also, attic-access hatches are notoriously leaky. You can build an airtight entry  attic, but you should know that the more it is used, the leakier it gets.

How do people get this simple approach wrong? They don’t follow the rules. They punch a bunch of holes in the ceiling, they fill the holes with recessed lights that leak air, and they stuff mechanical systems with air handlers and a serpentine array of ductwork in the attic. The air leakage from these holes and systems is a major cause of ice dams in cold climates and a major cause of humidity problems in hot climates. It’s also an unbelievable energy waste no matter where you live.

Don’t think you can get away with putting ductwork in an unconditioned attic just because you sealed and insulated it. Ductsealing is faith-based work. You can only hope you’re doing a good-enough job. Even when you’re really diligent about airsealing, you can take a system with 20% leakage and bring it down to maybe 5% leakage, and that’s still not good enough. With regard to recessed lights and other ceiling penetrations, it would be great if we could  rely on the builder to air-seal all these areas. Unfortunately, we can’t be sure the builder  will air-seal well or even air-seal at all. So we have to take some of the responsibility out of the builder’s hands and think of other options.

In a situation where mechanical systems or ductwork has to be in the attic space or when there are lots of penetrations in the ceiling below the attic, it’s best to bring the entire attic area inside the thermal envelope. This way, it’s not as big a deal if the ceiling leaks air or if the ducts are leaky and uninsulated.

Vent the roof deck

If the attic space is going to be conditioned, either for living or mechanical purposes, or if a home design calls for a vaulted ceiling, provision R806.3 in the International Residential Code calls for the roof deck above the space to be vented continuously from the eave to the ridge. This is easy to accomplish in simply constructed roofs and difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish in roofs that have hips, valleys, dormers, or  skylights that interrupt the rafter bays.

If you choose to vent the roof deck, then be serious about it and really vent it. The code calls for a minimum of 1 in. of airspace between the top of the insulation and the back of the roof sheathing. That’s not enough. For best performance, the airspace in the vent chute should be a minimum of 2 in. deep. Unless you’re bulk-filling rafter bays between 2×10 or 2×8 rafters with closed-cell spray foam, this approach will likely require you to fur out the rafters to accommodate additional insulation to achieve desired R-values. That can be a pain, but you won’t run into the problems associated with having too little air circulating under the roof. To be sure your roof is getting enough ventilation, there are simple calculations that you can follow.

Beyond the decreased capacity for insulation when venting the roof deck, venting the roof deck or the attic has some other drawbacks worth considering. In cold climates, snow can enter the soffit and ridge vents, melt, and potentially cause rot. Similarly, in coastal environments or in regions with lots of rain and wind, moisture can be forced into the vents and into the roof assembly. In hurricane-prone zones with frequent high-wind events, vented-soffit collapse can pressurize a building, which can cause windows to blow out and the roof to be blown off. Finally, in wildfire zones, floating embers can enter the vents and cause roof fires. If any of these issues are of concern, there is another option.

Click to enlarge image

Create an unvented roof

Through provision R806.4, the IRC also allows you to build an unvented roof assembly. Unvented assemblies work particularly well on complex roofs that would be difficult or impossible to vent properly or on roofs where it would be difficult to insulate properly if the roof were vented.

It should be noted, however, that in high-snow-load areas, you still need a vented over-roof to deal with ice damming. In essence, you’re creating a hybrid vented/unvented roof system.The goal in an unvented roof is to keep the roof deck—the principal condensing surface in roof assemblies—sufficiently warm through the year to prevent condensation from occurring. In most climates, builders have to insulate the roof sheathing to prevent condensation from occurring within the assembly. The exception is hot-dry climates such as in Phoenix, where condensation isn’t as big an issue.

Condensation control is most often accomplished by installing rigid foam above the roof deck or by installing air-impermeable spray-foam insulation directly against the underside of the roof deck. The code also allows for air-permeable insulation, such as fiberglass or cellulose, to be used under the roof deck as long as rigid foam is used above the roof sheathing. Flash-andbatt (or flash-fill) assemblies are also allowed. Any of these approaches can adequately prevent condensation from occurring within the roof when the rigid foam or spray foam is installed at the appropriate thickness.

If you’re spraying foam on the underside of the roof deck, be sure you’re using the right product. Closed-cell spray foam works in all climates, but especially well in climate zones 5 through 8, where high R-values are desired and where airimpermeable insulation also must be a vapor retarder. Lowdensity, open-cell foam is permissible, but in climate zones 5 and above, it has to be covered with a vapor-retarder coating, like rigid foam or painted drywall.

Also pay attention to roofing materials. Asphalt shingles require special attention when installed on unvented roof assemblies in hot-humid, mixedhumid, and marine climates due to inward vapor drive. To keep moisture out of the roof assembly, a roofing underlayment with 1 perm or less (class-II vapor retarder) must be installed under the shingles. Also, check to be sure that you are in compliance with the manufacturer warranties when installing shingles over an unvented roof in all climates. Some manufacturers don’t warranty or offer only a limited warranty when their products are used over an unvented roof assembly.

Shingles that are installed on unvented roof assemblies operate at slightly higher temperatures, roughly 2°F to 3°F warmer than shingles on vented assemblies. This can reduce  their service life by roughly 10%. You can vent the roof cladding, which will increase its  longevity, but the expense of fastening battens over the roof sheathing, then adding another layer of plywood over the battens as a nail base for the shingles, may not be worth the expense. After all, the shingle color and the roof orientation are much more significant concerns when it comes to shingle life.

Unvented roofs

Unvented roofs aren’t nearly as common as vented assemblies, and builders may not be familiar with detailing them correctly. While there are certainly a variety of ways to build an unvented roof assembly that performs well, here are three examples worth considering

Option 1: Insulate below the roof The most conventional approach to insulating a roof is to put all the insulation below the roof deck. This approach is especially prevalent in retrofits when the existing roof is in good  shape but the attic is being conditioned

Prevent condensation with the right amount of insulation

Click to enlarge image
An unvented roof assembly is possible only if you keep the roof sheathing warm enough to prevent conditioned air from condensing against it. The map at right, which is based on table R806.4 of the IRC, lists the minimum R-values required to prevent condensation in unvented assemblies in various climate zones. The thickness of the insulation will vary depending on the type. These R-value requirements are intended only to prevent condensation and don’t supersede the code-required R-values for energy efficiency, which are also listed.
The success of a vented attic or roof deck relies on its airtightness. The space above the top plate of exterior walls—at the bottom of each rafter bay—is especially important. Baffles placed in this area channel intake air into either the attic space or vent chutes, and also prevent insulation from falling into the soffit and blocking airflow.
Click to enlarge image
Site-built: 2-in. chutes and baffles Cut 1-in.-thick rigid polyiso insulation into 2-in.- wide spacer strips, and glue them to the inside face of each rafter with a spray-foam adhesive like Pur Stick ( Cut the polyiso insulation to fit snugly in each rafter bay, and foam it in place against the spacer to create a 2-in. chute or baffle.

Size: Custom-cut polyiso foam
Cost: $23 per sheet
Source: Dow

Click to enlarge image
Prefab: fast and functional The AccuVent soffit insulation baffle is made of rigid recycled plastic. It’s more durable than other foam-based products and installs quickly with staples. These baffles should still be air-sealed with spray foam, but they’re a good option if you’re looking for a stock product.

Size: 41 in. by 22 in.
Cost: $1.68 each
Source: Berger Building Products

Drawings: John Hartman
From Fine Homebuilding212, pp. 68-72
July 14, 2011

Weatherization Tips- Home

I encourage everyone to utilize the information to Weatherize Your Home or Schedule a Free Green site evaluation and Scotts Contracting will outline a Personal Energy Plan to reduce the Costs of High Summertime Cooling Bills.

Attic Insulation-Energy Solutions-

  • Part 1 on Home Weatherization Series

Attic Insulation-I’ve put a little information to explain Attic Insulation for a Home. 

It takes a whole house approach to Reduce a Home’s Energy Needs.

  • The Attic Area and Attic insulation being just one area. When Combined with a Green Roofing System- The pair combined are your First Defense Against Rising Energy Costs.


  • This includes: proper attic ventilation, ceiling protrusions(Light Boxes / Ceiling Fan), access points, mechanical and electric points, Attic Knee Walls, Obtrusion’s-

  • Anything that will allow the unconditioned air from the Exterior of the Home

Adding Radiant Barriers for Existing Buildings-in a nutshell this bounces the Exterior Temperature back outside and the Interior Temperatures Reflected inwards

Radiant Barriers are being used in more Construction Projects in today’s construction techniques to assist homeowners with additional savings on utility bills.

  • Attached to the Underneath Side of Existing Rafters- Best Option for Retrofits

  • Reflective Radiant Barriers have R-Values that range from R-3.7 to R-17 (When used in accordance with Manufactures Recommendations and Insulation Levels)

    Radiant Barriers can also act as vapor Barriers 

Prior Experience: R30 2×4 Vaulted Roof System Example #105:

  • Light Color Shingles on Exterior

  • 1 in roof decking

  • 2×4 Rafters 16″ Space

  • R13 Batt Insulation

  • Double Sided Radiant Barier

    • Also Acts as Vapor Barrier

  • Adequate Ventilation Provided by

    • Automatic Power Attic Fan Peak of Roof

    • Proper Vents in Soffits and Gable Ends


  • Reduced the Need for 1 window AC unit in Typical Two Story Stick Built Home-

  • This translates to a Savings of $30 / Month during Cooling Months or $120-$160 / Year.

    • This Application Payed for itself in the 1st Summer 06. At the time of writing this article the estimated savings for 5 yrs is $600. This Pays for 100% of the Materials used in the Green Roof Retrofit System in the Upstairs Bedroom Remodel.

  • The Only drawback reported by owner (which wasn’t really a drawback since it was his teen-age sons room) was the decrease in cell phone reception-

    • Caused by the Reflective Nature of the Reflective Foil Radiant Barrier.

Energy Star, Department of Energy, US Government Suggestions for Optimum Home Energy Savings (Reference Links Below)

Attic Add Insulation to meet Suggested Guidelines for the St Louis Area

  • w/ no insulation Add Insulation to achieve=R38 to R60

  • If existing 3-4 inches Add Insulation to achieve=R38

  • Suggested needed R value of Insulation on Attic Floor=R25 to R30 Optimum  Performance would be to upgrade to: R30-R60- Green Fiber Blow-In Natural Fiber Insulation.

Insulation when used in conjunction with a Radiant Barrier can lower the Cost of Insulation by reducing the Amount of Insulation Needed

Scotts Contracting is Available to assist you in improving your “Homes Energy Efficiency”

When Scotty comes over to perform an Green Site Evaluation.

  1. Scotty will inspect for the above mentioned problem areas.

  2. Discuss the various solutions.

  3. Next-Determine the Materials and Labor Needed to Complete and Fix the Areas Quoted in the Project.

  4. I’ll then submit a Project Proposal that will discuss project in detail.

  5. Answer any Questions, Explain Procedures, and determine the least obtrusive time to Weatherize your Home.

  6. Computerized Energy Audits for your Home for Estimated Energy Savings are also available- [Equest, Sam, HEED are just a few of the programs I am currently using. The Latest Simulated Advisory Model Beta is in the testing stages and being offered by the US Department of Energy].

Looking forward to meeting you and discussing the ways I can help with Lowering your Energy Bills for your Home or Business.

I encourage everyone to utilize the above information to Weatherize Your Home or Schedule a Free Green site evaluation-

Scotty will Weatherize You Building Against the High Costs of Ameren UE Electricity Rates that increase your Homes Summer Time Cooling Costs- Any Green Projects done to reduce energy needs reduces Pollution from burning Fossil Fuel (Coal) that creates our Electricity.

I will Save You $Money$!!!!

Scotty, Scott’s Contracting

Find me at: Green Me UP-Scotty

Referrence Materials:

Re-posted from: Weatherization Tips