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Finishing our attic

Our house is a 1931 cottage that has a peaked roof and a great attic space...big enough to be a second floor. We'd like to finish it, but had some questions about insulation and whether or not the roof itself needs to "breathe".

Can we put insulation directly against the ceiling (inside of the roof), or do we need baffling to promote air flow?

The former owners also covered the soffits with insulation. Is it ok to leave it that way and finish over it?

We've heard many versions of what to do with these issues, so any advice would be appreciated!

Re: Finishing our attic

Yes, your roof needs to breathe, from the soffits to the ridge at the peak. Insulation should not cover or block any of that path. You can use rigid board insulation on the uderside of the rafters to allow the air flow between the rafters and under the roof sheathing. Celotex is a great product for this application. 1/2" is R 3.5 I believe You can layer the sheets, overlapping each joint as you go. Use longer drywall screws to attach the drywall.

The first question - are the floor joists adequate for the loads? In most older homes (such as mine) the ceiling / attic floor is undersized for the spans.

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