How to Install a Retro Fit Insulation Board

What You'll Need
Hammer or pneumatic nail gun
Insulation boards
Utility Knife
Plastic vapor barrier
Pry bar
Construction adhesive

You can add insulation board to your home as a means of increasing energy efficiency. Insulation can save money on energy costs, provide some soundproofing, and even increase the resale value of the home. Retrofitting insulation is ideally done during renovations. There are two ways to install foam insulation board. One is putting it on the outside of the home under any new siding that is being installed. The second option is to put it in the walls of the home if you are undergoing a major renovation.

For outside installation:

Step 1 – Plan the Installation

Calculate the amount of insulation board needed. Insulation boards come in 4x8-foot sheets. It normally hung horizontally so calculate the height of the area to be insulated and the width of the area to determine the square feet needed. Decide which thickness to install. The boards come in thicknesses from ½ to 4 inches. What you choose will depend on the space you will have between the sheathing and the siding and the energy efficiency you want to attain. Also consider the other materials you will need such as a vapor barrier or furring strips to add ventilation.

Step 2 – Add Vapor Barrier

Adding a vapor barrier will help to reduce condensation and therefore damage to the walls. Add a vapor barrier by unrolling it and nailing it to the framing.

Step 3 – Install the Insulation

Place full size boards on the sheathing and nail them in. Foam insulation boards are easily cut with a utility knife to the size needed. Cut the ends of the boards as you reach the end of the wall and cut around openings.

Step 4 – Install the Siding

Now you are ready to install the siding over the insulation. One advantage is that the insulation provides a good nailing surface for the siding.

For inside installation:

Step 1 – Remove the Drywall

Remove baseboards and any molding around the walls. Remove the drywall back to the studs.

Step 2 – Calculate the Insulation Needed

Take a look at the area between the studs and decide the thickness of insulation that it will accommodate. Also calculate the square footage needed.

Step 3 – Install the Insulation

Cut the insulation in widths to fit between the wall studs. Also cut pieces for irregularly shaped areas and cut around openings and electrical outlets. If installing on a concrete wall then attach it with construction adhesive.

Step 4 – Alternative Insulation

For areas where you are not doing an extensive renovation then you may not want to remove the drywall. Consider having insulation blown into the walls. Small holes are made in the walls but are easily patched. This takes special equipment and training so hire a professional for this job.

Choosing the right insulation and installing it properly will keep your home at a more comfortable temperature while saving you money.