What you'll need

  • Dust mask or respirator
  • Insulation
  • Protective clothing
  • Safety glasses
  • Step ladder
  • Straight-edge cutting knife
  • Tape measure
  • Work light
  • Utility knife
  • Manufacturer recommended tape

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How to Plant a Shade Tree

If located properly around your home, trees can have a positive impact on your heating and cooling costs. Choosing the right type of tree matters, too. While evergreens help block the wind in every season, deciduous trees help block the strong sun in the summer, but allow sunlight to pass through bare branches in the winter to help warm your home.

How to Install Home Insulation

In a typical home, improperly insulated walls can account for up to 20% of heat loss.

Concrete, stone and masonry foundations often have less insulating value and can be improved with the use of additional insulation.

Before attempting to insulate your basement — or upgrade existing insulation — make sure to throughly inspect the room for any signs of water damage or water leakage. If these problems are not addressed before insulating, you run the risk of long-term mold growth and poor indoor air quality.

Getting Started

Warning: Airborne fiberglass is irritating to the skin, eyes and lungs. Wearing safety glasses, dust masks or respirators and clothing that covers your skin can significantly reduce those problems.

Adding or improving insulation can create a more comfortable home environment by maintaining a satisfactory temperature and improving the warmth of the floors above and below the added insulation. In addition, the extra insulation can lower your energy bills by more than 25%.

Insulation value recommendations will vary depending on the location of your home and the area of your home that needs insulating (e.g., the basement or attic). Commonly, R-11 is suitable for basement walls. For optimal energy efficiency, attics should have a rating of R-40.

  • For an unfinished basement with unfinished walls, use blanket insulation with a flame-resistant polypropylene facing.
  • For finished basements, use faced or un-faced batting insulation between studs in a framed wall.
  • For an easy upgrade of your overall insulation, add an extra layer of fiberglass batting.

Installing New Insulation

The steps outlined here are intended as a guide. Exact insulation steps may vary home to home.

Insulation can be friction-fitted or stapled into place. Trimming of insulation can be easily handled with a regular utility knife. (Tip: To cut fiberglass insulation, place the insulation face down on a scrap of plywood. Lay a board across the roll and press down to compress the insulation while you cut.)

  • Unroll the insulation with “facing” pointing toward you and staple every four inches. You’ll need a helper and a small ladder to ensure safety and precision.
  • Lastly, tape all of the seams and joints with a manufacturer recommended tape.

 To insulate a stud wall:

  • Measure the height of the wall and cut the insulation batting to fig snugly between the top and bottom plates (horizontal piece to which studs are attached).
  • If using high density R-15 un-faced batting, press into place and allow the friction to hold the batting in place.
  • If using faced batting, press into place and staple the flanges to the edges or sides of the stud.
  • Work from top down, pulling the flange down as you staple to remove any puckering.


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