Working in an attic is not my favorite thing to do, but there are things up there that need doing.
The first was to build a walkway so I can blow in insulation. The next was to install our whole-house fan, formerly known as an attic fan. This is it, just to the left of the walkway.
It’s supposed to be much quieter than the old-fashioned fans like the one we have in our current house. The gray rectangle on top is insulated doors that open to let two smallish fans suck air from the house and blow it into the attic. The weather for the last few weeks has been ideal for using an attic fan. We look forward to having one that’s quiet enough to leave on overnight.
There is about six feet of headroom from the top of the ceiling joists to the ridge beam, but there is about two feet less on the walkway. That means I have to stoop to make my way deep into the recesses of the attic, which I had to do Tuesday.
In the photo below, far, far in the right hand distance, out near the edge of the roof, there is a metal chimney coming through the ceiling and then continuing through the roof.
I had to put pieces of plywood across the joists to get out there. So I went from stooping in the middle of the attic to hands-and-knees just over the shiny duct you can see, and then to a crawl as I approached the chimney. The chimney is insulated but there is a requirement to keep attic insulation at least two inches from it. There was a pass-through fitting at the ceiling level that provided that space to about six inches in height, but I need to keep 16 inches of blown-in cellulose away. So I fabricated a sheet-metal shield and installed it to bring the protection up to the required level. It sounds easier than it was.
The shiny, round duct is supposed to take warm air from the ceiling over the wood-burning stove and carry it to our bedroom. The vertical sticks are for measuring insulation depth. The lower line at the top is 16 inches. The upper line is 18. When I blow the insulation in, it should all be between those two marks.
The weather has been pretty good lately. The nights have been cool and the days not too warm. That has been good for working in an attic. Tuesday, however, it was in the lower 80’s and sunny. That meant the attic was hot. I don’t know how hot it was, but when I came down the ladder to 80 degrees in the house, it felt comfortably cool.
This is me just after I finished installing the insulation shield.
Fortunately for you, you can’t tell how sweaty I was.
Everything went well Tuesday. That means mainly that I didn’t step through the sheetrock and fall to the floor below. It wouldn’t have been too big a surprise if I had. I seem to have a little problem with falling lately. First I kicked the ladder out from under me and had to drop from the ceiling joists to the garage floor, hurting my shoulder in the process. Then, after my shoulder had recovered to the point that I could work, I fell again. That time I was unloading a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood from my truck. I managed to unload it onto my foot which told me that it was pretty heavy. In the process of getting it off my foot, I stumbled and fell against the garage door frame. I hurt my shoulder again, but not enough to keep me from working. And then on Sunday while I was unloading garbage at the county transfer station, I tripped over a parking lot tire bumper and went down on both hands and my right knee. Now I feel a little more of a twinge in my shoulder, but my knee took the brunt of the fall. It’s stiff and sore.
I’m beginning to wonder about myself.
I mentioned the garage. I think we’re going to be really happy with the garage. I picked up our hardwood flooring on Monday and parked it there.
That’s about 3000 pounds of hardwood, which is as heavy a load as the trailer can handle. Even with the trailer backed in, I could pull the truck in far enough to shade the cab. Our Subaru is going to feel lost in there.
The tile is stacked outside the garage and the mortar and underlayment are just out of sight to the lower right of the photo. The tile installer is supposed to start next Monday or Tuesday. The hardwood installer is supposed to start a week later. In the meantime I hope to get electrical power to the house and the air conditioner working so that I can move the hardwood in and let it start to acclimatize.