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How To Insulate Knee Walls




Doug R. from Grand Rapids, MI wrote:

How's it going Itchy!

I just discovered my knee walls in the house were never insulated. I'm going to do it myself. Got any tips and advice for me?

I can't tell you how many times I've ran across knee walls that aren't insulated. This is a DIY project anybody can do. For our uninformed readers a knee wall is located in a area of the home with attic space behind it.

Obviously you're going to have to get into the attic to insulate the knee wall. Get your protective clothing, dust mask and goggles and grab a light and climb on in there. If your attic is insulated with loose fill insulation try not to stir up too much when walking on it. You'll need to measure the knee wall to see if the studs are 15 inches apart or 23 inches so you'll know what width of insulation to purchase.


If it is 2X4 framing buy R-13 insulation and if it's 2X6 framing grab some R-19. Make sure they're kraft faced batts.

Okay, you've gone to the home improvement store and purchased your insulation. Climb back in the attic and don't forget to put your outfit on. Most of the time knee walls will require a lot of cutting of the fiberglass insulation. I've said this before but the easiest way to cut fiberglass blankets is with the paper side down against a piece of plywood. Measure and make your cuts and hang the insulation with the paper side facing the sheetrock.


Continue with this process until you have the entire knee wall insulated. Use scrap pieces of insulation to fill any gaps or cracks. After you have insulated the knee wall you might want to use twine to keep it in place. Simply use a staple hammer and make a criss-cross pattern by stapling the twine to the studs.

Now it's time to exit the attic. Try to step on the same places as you did coming in. You may want to use a rake to fluff up the smashed insulation as it will increase it's r-value when its back to it's original condition.

That's all there is to it. You should notice your living area will be warmer and you'll save a couple of bucks on your next heating bill also.

Related Tips and Advice:

How To Insulate Your Attic With Fiberglass Batts or Blankets
How To Install Blown In Insulation In Your Attic
How To Insulate A Concrete Wall
How To Insulate Ducts


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