Low Hangin’ Fruit

In my previous life of management, I had a boss who used this saying. Basically it meant, take care of the easy stuff and don’t leave it undone. In other words, you should at least be able to easily pick the low hanging fruit.

Now, what does this have to do with home improvements?!?! This sounds like a spring post when we start planting things. I was reminded of this saying because people are sooooo concerned with weatherproofing their home but many times never bother to stick their heads up in the attic to take a look at the insulation situation. It truly is amazing, especially with an older home that was built before insulating was common practice. What can we tell about our home besides how adequate the insulation is? You can check out the roof sheathing to see if you have any roof leaks, are there any critters nesting in your attic, how is the roof ventilation, etc?????

Let’s just talk about insulation for this short post. First let’s have some fun and look at just a couple interesting things I have seen during my home inspections.

One sign that you might want to check the work done in the attic. They didn't even have enough class to drink a good beer!!!!

A worker must have left this up in the attic at some point. It has been sharpened so much the tip is almost to a point.

On to the important stuff, insulation. It is very difficult to discuss the proper depth you want to see because it changes for different areas of the country. Check out this site to determine what would be appropriate where you live: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_insulation_table . You might need to copy and paste that address, can’t quite seem to get the link addition down right now. It covers adding to existing insulation or adding with no insulation present. Also, you should make sure to add some fiberglass batt insulation to the hatch cover where you enter so that spot doesn’t allow hot air to escape. You can take a ruler and stick it down into the insulation to figure out the depth and the R value.

I bring this topic up because not only is it very easy to check this but it is a VERY easy DIY project to add insulation to your own attic. I prefer the blown in type because it is very easy to do yourself.  All the big box home improvement stores rent the blowers and insulation for this and even sometimes offer specials if you buy over a certain amount of insulation, ie free delivery, a gift card, etc.

A final note. I will end with what you do NOT want to see when you stick your head up into your attic. BTW, if you choose to walk around in your attic please make sure to walk on the ceiling joists or your next project (after icing your nether-regions when you go through the ceiling drywall or plaster, been there-done that!) will be patching your ceiling.

The only insulation present is some old newspaper!

Not a lick of insulation!

Thanks for reading and leave me a comment if you have any questions,

Travis “That Home Inspection Guy” Moyer

About Travis "That Home Inspector Guy" Moyer

I am a certified home inspector, rehabber, landlord, carpenter, handyman and generally inquisitive person who wants to know how everything works. I love to educate other DIY homeowners and potential homeowners about projects that they may be interested in.

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