Attic Antics

You guys are already jealous of how cool my parents are, but just you wait. On Black Friday, did they run around town hunting for insane deals, biting and clawing people to buy Christmas gifts? No. They spent the day in my attic. We have a (fortunately) tiny attic space, but it backs up against Hubby’s and my bedroom. In the summer time, that section of roof just bakes in the sun, and that heat sets up camp in our living quarters to torture us.

The solution? Radiant barrier. This stuff resembles silver bubble wrap. You simply staple it to the under-side of the roof, and it reflects heat right back out before it has the chance to make you miserable. My hope is that it will also keep the AC unit itself cooler, so it doesn’t have to work as hard. Here you can see some of the completed sections.

Personally, I find attics to be frightening. There appears to be a floor, but you can’t actually walk on it or else you’ll fall through to your death; there’s a chinzy little ladder to climb up and down that seems like it might collapse so you fall to your death; there are bugs and itchy insulation that you can’t touch or you’ll get cancer. I held onto the rafters for dear life with every step, terrified that I would fall and my useless T-Rex-like arms would fail me. At least it wasn’t hot in there.

To figure out how much of this stuff you need, measure the area to be covered, and measure the space between the joists (aka the boards running along the slopey ceiling area) so you know what width to cut your pieces. It comes in rolls at home improvement stores, and it’s fairly inexpensive.

You only need a staple gun to install it. We had three, only one of which seemed to be functioning at a given time. I spent most of the time reloading,  fiddling with, and swearing at each staple gun, attempting to make them work. Even the small amount of area I covered was hampered by the fact that I’m only 5’7″, and the ceiling is 8′. You may need a step ladder, but my dad is over six feet tall, so I just whined until he finished it for me. I did a lot of pointing as well.

Mom faithfully documented the whole thing for both of our blogs, and made dozens of trips up and down the balsa wood ladder of doom, bringing supplies, taking pictures, and taking supplies back down again.

If you are at all familiar with my dad, The Intrepid Traveler, you know he’s hilarious, although not always on purpose. When I was actually doing some work, this conversation occurred:

Me: “It’s getting a little crooked, is that ok?”
Dad: “Yeah, as long as it’s straight.”

He wasn’t being intentionally funny, but it cracked me up, regradless. Speaking of hilarious, the man knows I hate Newt Gingrich, so he “hid” a magazine, with Newt on the cover on top of one of my bookshelves. When I say “hid” I mean propped up so that his piggy little eyes were staring at me from across the room. I had to wait for a tall person to come over and get it down for me. The family that pranks each other…should live far apart to avoid repurcusions.

So thanks, Dad, for climbing around my attic like a monkey, and putting my home improvement skills to shame. And thanks for not finishing the beer. You must truly love me. 😀


December 3, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . House Stuff.


  1. ihavetriedit replied:

    This may be a stupid question, but does it help insulate in the winter, also?

    • thatcleverchick replied:

      Yes. Insulation helps keep the heat inside, but since this particular product is on the outer wall, heat will probably still seep out of our bedroom and dissipate. Our next project will be to increase the amount of insulation on the wall (seen behind me in the first picture) that separates our room from the attic. That should make a big difference for us.

  2. B replied:

    You are welcome.
    love, the Intrepid Traveler.

    • thatcleverchick replied:

      It’s not every parent that would give their kid alcohol and radiant barriers in the same month!

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