We'd never done it before, though we've lived in several houses that could have used it. But in this 1974 house, it couldn't be ignored. The house had almost NO attic insulation left. What was there had compressed so much, it only measured a couple of inches in most spots. As in two inches--nowhere near where it should be.
So we decided blowing in attic insulation would be high on our priority list in renovating this house. We moved in at the beginning of the summer, and in Texas, there was no way I was going to send my husband up into the attic in the sweltering heat, possibly to never find him alive again. (And I wasn't volunteering myself, that's for sure!) We did, however, want it done before winter.
Phase one of the project involved my husband installing an attic pull-down ladder, making a new hole (which he later finished off with a frame, so it does look better than this now!) instead of expanding the woefully tiny attic access that only the circus tall-man could have slipped his skinny little body through.
Not having any idea how long this little project would take us, we got up at dawn-thirty on a cool Saturday morning and hoped we wouldn't make too many enemies in our neighborhood with our racket. We hooked up the hopper--which consisted of plugging it in and dragging the hose to the furthest point in the attic and then chucking in bales of insulation. My job was easy: making sure the hopper didn't get low. So basically, I just fed the monster all day long. It was noisy and dirty and completely boring.
My husband's job was just a tiny bit harder, but mostly on his knees and his head. His mission was to wrangle a hole, angling it over our cathedral ceiling, while simultaneously making sure not to fall between the ceiling joists all the while minding that his head didn't get snagged on the roofing nails that jutted out like a medieval torture device.
It took approximately 7 hours and 39 packages R-60 to insulate our home. One of the easiest (says me, who only had to stand there) and most effective projects to date.
Tip I wish we'd been smart enough to consider:
Make sure to do any electrical work BEFORE doing this. We are still planning to install recessed lights in the kitchen. Now hubby will have to dig through his hard work in the attic to get access. Eh, why make it easy on him, right?