Question: I’m interested in installing a radiant barrier – can I really install it myself? Just how difficult is it?
Yes, you can do this! Access around the attic is probably the single biggest factor people face when installing AtticFoil™ Radiant Barrier. You might have a large, open attic that could take half as much time as a small attic that is crammed with obstacles (such as ductwork, storage, etc.) that is difficult to maneuver around in. The second tip we always recommend to DIY-ers is to get a helper! A second set of hands makes this project go much easier and faster. Just like painting a room could be done by one person alone, two or more people can dramatically speed up the process and make it even easier. There are plenty of jobs for the helpers: measuring, cutting, holding one end of the roll, etc. are all great ways to utilize a second person. In fact, many customers talk to a friend or neighbor before purchasing and often times they will place an order together to save on shipping and then each one will help the other with installation. The process of installing a radiant barrier is simple enough that even teenagers and college kids can help.
Still Have Concerns About This DIY Project?
No problem. We recommend that just as you would with any new DIY project you take it slow. Start out by purchasing a small roll – 500 or 1,000 square feet is a good amount to start with and it’s a relatively small investment to give it a try with. Choose one section of your attic (we recommend a south-facing slope of the roof or over a “hot” room) and see how it goes. If it goes well and you’re able to get coverage, then go ahead and purchase the rest of the material you need to finish up the job and you’re good to go.
If however, you are having trouble or decide it is just not a project you want to do – you can either stop with where you are or you can hire someone to finish the job for you. Probably one of the biggest benefits to installing a radiant barrier is that the job doesn’t have to look nice and pretty to be effective. As long as you have an air space on at least one side of the foil, then the foil will work! So don’t worry about the cosmetics of the job and just focus on covering as much as you can, as fast as you can. For more tips and pictures from customers who have done it themselves, check out our “Do It Yourself” installation pictures.
Our Best Tips for an Easy Installation
- Get started EARLY. There’s nothing like the afternoon summer sun beating down on the attic to make for a long workday. Get started before the sun gets high and you’ll be more comfortable.
- Let It Rain! – Simply put a sprinkler on the roof and let it rain. Just keeping the roof wet will make a HUGE difference in attic temperature inside the attic. See it done here.
- Determine your workspace ahead of time. If you don’t have a floor in your attic, purchase a piece of plywood or some 2×4’s that you can use as a walkway while installing the foil. This will make your install easier and you don’t have to worry about stepping through the attic floor into your living space.
- Clean your soffit vents. Ventilation in your attic plays a huge role in the attic temperature so you want to make sure you have an entry point for the air, as well as an exit point. Typical entry is at the soffit vents. Soffits should be clean and clear of any debris to allow for maximum airflow. Just use a wire or nylon brush (like a tire brush) and clean from the bottom. Then use a leaf blower from the bottom to push any debris from the top of the wire mesh.
- Start at the bottom (or far corners) and work your way to the top (or to the exit). This is the easiest way to handle the installation; while doing this, it’s best to overlap the foil just an inch or two eliminate any gaps between the pieces.
- Do not cover any exhaust vents. If you have attic fans or vents from a kitchen or bathroom, take caution to not cover these areas with foil. You can simply cut out a piece of the foil over these areas and move on.