Q: I need to insulate my attic since what I have up there is little to nothing. The small brick home is only 1,450 square feet. What is the best stuff to put up there at reasonable cost? What is the best stuff that I can install myself? —Annette Z.
A: One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to insulate an attic if you’re having a contractor do it is to have him blow in loose-fill fiberglass insulation.
If you’d like to do the work yourself to save some money, I’d suggest blown-in cellulose. It’s a pretty straightforward project, although it is a little messy. Simply open up the bags of cellulose (it’s a gray, papery material, made primarily from ground and treated newspaper) and dump them into the blower. Direct the hose from the blower into the attic, and spray a uniform layer of insulation. Complete instructions, including safety precautions for protecting yourself and creating air spaces around chimneys and other heat-producing fixtures, are included with the insulation.
Blowers and bags of cellulose insulation are available at most home centers and some other retailers that sell insulation. Many home centers and larger retailers will also give you free use of the blower if you purchase a certain minimum quantity of insulation, so there’s a way to save even more.