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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / How to close and insulate this roof?
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# Posted: 2 Oct 2018 10:40 - Edited by: jhp


Just looking for opinions on how you'd insulate and close in this ceiling.

Due to some miscommunication I ended up with gable vents and a ridge vent, but no soffit vents. There is a layer of sheeting you can see, then roofing felt, then metal roof. The building vents fine right now but I'm looking for more expert opinions on when I will eventually finish it off.

I'm in zone 7 so it gets really cold but I don't expect to really use the building between late fall and early spring anyway. I know I can't get to the “right” level of insulation due to construction type anyway...which is fine. I'm just wanting to put in something to make it a little more comfortable and slow down heat loss. I think I have three options to finish it, just wondering what you guys would do.

Right now I'm thinking of going with T&G pine or similar for the finished ceiling. No metal, no drywall for sure.

Option 1 (red lines) add perpendicular supports, install batts between supports, install ceiling boards. Seems the most straightforward and simple, but will look a bit boring and I lose the look and headroom. Walls are 7'10” so it's not a huge deal I guess. This would give me the most insulation.

Option 2 (green lines) close in the space with the t&g, dropping batts in behind it as I lay the ceiling in. I guess I'd leave the gable vents alone. This seems marginally more difficult than option 1 and doesnt really gain me much in terms of headroom or looks.

Option 3 (blue lines) install soffit vents, install ceiling baffles, install batts, install ceiling, close off the gable vents. This I think would look the best and keep an “open feeling” but is a lot more work and cost. My brain is struggling with how to actually run the t&g between the bottom ceiling support. This option seems pretty difficult actually.

A few things to consider:

Spray foam would do the trick but its cost prohibitive. This is a temporary solution for a few years, eventually this will be used strictly for storage.
I'm using traditional insulation options only.

Overall the building will have limited use – only a couple days a month and very likely not in the most hot/cold months of the year. It will only be heated/cooled these couple days a month.

I am heating with propane now but will be switching to electric soon. It does put out a lot of moisture but the building vents it fine now aside from a little fogging on the windows.

I understand the building will be leaky and imperfect from an insulation perspective – again a little something is better than nothing is what I'm going for.

Anyway let me know what you'd do. Any pictures you might share are appreciated.

# Posted: 2 Oct 2018 15:04

Easy, add a rafter tie and secure them to the side of the rafter tails right over the wall top plate. Do you have vent blocks between rafters or just blocks? Then add insulation above it. Create access door, sheet over, insulate.

Spray foam options here too.

# Posted: 2 Oct 2018 15:48

Red or green.....Blue is way too difficult if I'm seeing right. Seems like Option green will give you more headroom and a better look, less claustrophobic....
And as Toy said, you should add some vents in the blocking, just drill a 2" hole and pop in a round vent, available from Home Depot for a few bucks ea.

# Posted: 2 Oct 2018 17:04

Thanks for the replies, that's what I was kind of thinking.

No vents in the blocking right now, there is a 6" overhang. So would you add a soffit vent in every open bay or just a couple along the whole length of the roof?

# Posted: 2 Oct 2018 21:54

Quoting: jhp
So would you add a soffit vent in every open bay or just a couple along the whole length of the roof?

I assume the rafter tails are exposed. Just leave then, get a 2" hole saw, punch is 3 or 4 holes spaced evenly in a block, screes it in. You still have access inside, screen it over. Hint, use HD screen, and these are only needed on every other block, but I alwasy do it on all of them.

This is the good stuff, -Roll-KM625/202093092

no critters getting in. I used a crown stapler (air powered) to secure mine.

# Posted: 2 Oct 2018 22:59

Since you say the use is to be more or less temporary and it will end up as storage I would take the easiest route, choice one.

# Posted: 3 Oct 2018 21:00

How about instead of spray foam using "cut and cobble"? (google it if you are not familiar with the term) More work than spray foam, but a lot cheaper. And you wouldn't have to futz with vents and baffles.

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