Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Living Areas & Workspaces>Finishing an attic with dormers that were built poorly
2 posts / 0 new
Last post
Finishing an attic with dormers that were built poorly


My husband and I bought an 1855 house a couple of years ago and we are ready to tackle the big, walk-up attic. We'd like to finish the attic and make it a liveable space. However, right now we are wondering what would be the best way to finish around our dormers. The dormers were constructed like this: framed out the dormer with 2x4s, then put the siding directly onto the 2x4s. There's no insulation or any other kind of barrierĀ to the outside, so we are able to stand in the dormer and see through to the outside between the wood siding. Without tearing down and rebuilding the whole dormer or replacing the siding (which is not in great shape, but we are not ready to replace yet) we are looking for suggestions on how to fix this issue. We were thinking about putting up a vapor barrier and stapling it to the 2x4s. Then somehow attaching a piece of plywood behind the vapor barrier in between the 2x4s. Then insulating and drywalling over the 2x4s. We weren't sure if there was another way that might be better or more suited to our situation.

Re: Finishing an attic with dormers that were built poorly


Fix the siding now, before you put anything over it to cover up. You will only have to tear everything off later to work on the siding. And now, you can stand inside the attic for most of the work. Since the house of older, and there are no soffit vents, it is not a good idea to enclose it tight by restricting air flow. The entire house is breathing out thru the attic, and in thru the sill plate and rim joist area underneath.

You need to consider the design of the house that you have, you cannot always follow new rules and ways of making the house air tight.

Without knowing more, or seeing what you have, there is no way anyone can give information. Contact a local Architect or Structual Engineer to have them look at what you have, and what you are doing.


Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.