Adventures in Attic Insulation

I was standing in the back of a pickup truck in our driveway operating an insulation machine we rented from The Home Depot when I heard my husband yell “STOP!” from up in the attic.  I turned the noisy machine off, and he called me on my cell phone and said, “Come in here, Genius…”

Wait, I better back up and tell you the whole story.

Our adventures in attic insulation begin with a trip to The Home Depot on an overcast day. We get there and of course, both our kids need to poop. So off we go to the bathroom wasting valuable child-cooperation time.

And pretty much after that, we were trying to be productive while our kids (fueled by post-poop endorphins) made the store their own personal playground.

He got under there and then I heard him say, “Donde es el banõ?” to the floor.

Alright, so you can buy rolls of insulation that fit in between joists, but our home energy audit recommendation was to add blown insulation to get from level R10 to R15. (There is a sheet in the insulation section of the store that will tell you the recommended level of insulation for your home, and you can also find a list of everything you need in order to do this project yourself).

The process is actually fairly idiot proof. (I said fairly).

You buy bales of insulation like this.

And put them in a machine like this.

And if you buy 10 bales like we did, the machine rental is free.

The machine breaks up the insulation. And all that runs through tubes/hoses that move the insulation to the desired location – in our case – the attic.

We weren’t sure if we had enough tube length to go from the machine outside all the way to the attic.  So, to check it, I connected the two tubes and we ran the it down the upstairs hallway and out my son’s bedroom window.

It worked, it totally reached the machine, which we left in the truck so we wouldn’t have to unload and reload it. Cause we’re lazy smart like that.

My overjoyed husband was in full HAZMAT gear and ready to blow the insulation in the attic, and my job was to put the bales into the machine out in the truck. Easy right?

Well it would have been…

The storm clouds start rolling in as I begin feeding the bales into the machine and my husband starts blowing the insulation. I keep feeding the bales, happily doing my little job. But my husband isn’t getting any insulation through the tube. He realizes something is wrong and goes to investigate.

That’s when all the yelling started. And then my phone rang.  “Come in here, Genius,” he said.

Apparently, I failed to properly connect the two tubes.  They came apart and we blew insulation into our upstairs hallway. Um, yeah.

Cue the laughing, bickering, finger-pointing and more laughing. My husband also asked me for someone’s email address at The Home Depot so he could send them a special note of thanks for this rock’n good time.

THANK GOODNESS the kids were playing at the neighbor’s and couldn’t get all in it, so we just left the mess there for the time being, taped the two tubes together and kept working. Because you know, that sky was looking kind of ominous…

So, there I am in the back of the truck, breaking bales in half all karate like (hi-yah!) so they will fit and feeding them into the machine.

Drip, drip, drip…sprinkle. Here’ it comes. Here comes the rain. And we still have about 8 bales to go – broken in half – that means 16 feeds into the machine. In the rain. In my glasses, thanks to the blepharitis.

We only had the machine for a little while and needed to finish, so I put an umbrella over it.

There was no way I could break and stuff bales under an umbrella, so I just got wet.

We got it done, and despite the mishap, (and the rain) it actually was pretty easy.

Then it was time to clean up the hallway, which my husband did because he was in the protective gear, so I did what any blogger would do – take pictures.

What’s that? Why it’s a make your own drive in movie car box.

And there was a stowaway! Remember when I made those black pipe-cleaner spiders for Halloween?

Well, this isn’t exactly the sponsored post I planned to write, but you know I had to tell you guys the truth about how it all went down up in the attic. Thanks, Home Depot, for the supplies for this project…and be sure to check your inbox for a special love note from my husband.

Many thanks to The Home Depot for providing the supplies needed for this project.

12 Responses to Adventures in Attic Insulation

  1. Paloma November 29, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    ……I think I’ll tell DH that Home Depot was hit by a train and won’t be open til spring.

    • Heather November 30, 2011 at 8:52 am #

      Yeah that would last all of two seconds in this house. We go there all the time. I think when you buy a house you should also get some stock in The Home Depot. They should just work that into the closing costs.

      Good to hear from you, Paloma. Have a great day.

  2. C Recker November 29, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    What made you decide to use fiberglass instead of cellulose insulation? I am guessing you just wanted to bring the attic level “up” and fiberglass was already present.

    • Heather November 30, 2011 at 9:04 am #

      Dude (and you have to be a dude because a girl would never ask that question), I don’t know. That’s just what my husband put on the cart. My job was to karate chop bales (and to connect the hose)….

  3. Amy @ Forever 29 Blog November 29, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    We tackled this project last year. And thankfully I was pregnant and wasn’t allowed to handle the insulation so my wonderful SIL & hubby tackled it. I feel exhausted just reading your recap because I know what a chore it is! But you will be extra toasty this Winter.

    • Heather November 30, 2011 at 8:51 am #

      Way to work the baby! Just kidding. You know, if we had done it on a sunnier day and the tube stayed connected, it would have been a pretty simple project. I kind of marveled at how user-friendly the machine was. In the machine we rented, there is even a metal clip that catches and cuts the plastic on the insulation as it goes into the machine. I thought that was pretty clever.

      Thanks for stopping by, Amy. Hope you guys had a good Thanksgiving.

  4. Rachel November 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    I’m laughing so hard. I can just picture it now — sound and everything!

    • Heather November 30, 2011 at 8:47 am #

      Yay! Glad you got a kick out of our adventure. Sometimes, all you can do is laugh.

  5. Sherryl November 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    “post-poop endorphins”


    • Heather November 30, 2011 at 8:46 am #

      So true, right? I’ve never looked it up, but there has to be such a thing. Hope you are well, Sherryl.

  6. Victoria November 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    Ok, everyone is asleep and I am laughing so hard and trying to keep quiet! I wish you had a video of this. Lucy and Ethel!!! Can’t wait to read more!! Oh, Charlie under the cart–Wish that I was there to sterlize his hands with my Wipes!! Ha!


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