DIY Installation: Adding Radiant Barrier Insulation

Last week I posted that my husband and I were embarking on a huge weekend insulation DIY for the Fourth. Thanks to all the great comments and advice we got from everyone in the Apartment Therapy community, we were able to narrow down our insulation options and gain a general idea of their installation parameters.

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My father-in-law came down to get in on the fun (since I'm almost eight months pregnant I really could only provide moral support), and after about 14 hours of working in the blazing hot attic, the radiant barrier was a success!

This was the product we used from Home Depot. The majority of the panels installed without much struggle by simply flexing into place. While the instructions for install say that you can do so without tools, we used a staple gun to secure some of the panels to fit nicely in between the rafters that may have wiring or other obstructions.

Money saving tip: order 'contractor packs' of 50 online to save roughly 20%, or use your best negotiating skills to see if they will match it in-store. Money saving tip #2: the IRS offers a 10% Energy Tax Credit for efficient home renovations up to $500, so save your receipts!

In 100-plus temps, our house struggled mightily to get below 78 and would hover around 76 at night. On day two following the installation, our AC was no longer running non-stop and was three-degrees cooler throughout the day though which means more comfort and energy savings. Next week, they plan to rent a machine and blow in additional non-toxic, recycled GreenFiber insulation as well as additional turbines for ventilation.

It will take a summer or two to recoup the investment, but my initial impressions of this install is that it was a huge success. I was happy to not have to use foam or fiberglass materials that are messy and full of chemicals or deal with an outside contractor. This was not a project for the faint-of-heart DIY'er and if my husband could do it again? He would've waited until December.

Visit the Enerflex Radiant Barrier site for more info.

Images: Robert Howl