GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Temporary attic insulation

GBA Editor | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I have recently purchased a home that has minimal attic insulation (4″ cellulose). I would like to add either batt or rigid foam insulation to increase the R-factor. The issue is that 3 yrs (Minnesota winters) from now I plan on adding a 2nd floor, and would at that time need to pull up the added insulation, which would be reused on the addition. There is easy access to the entire attic, and I would like to take advantage of the tax credits now. Any recommendations on which product to use, or is this a waste of my time?

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    How certain are you that you will build this addition in three years? If the time frame is uncertain, that increases the pressure to upgrade your insulation as soon as possible.

    Reusing insulation is problematic. There are two problems: the labor required to remove it, and the problem of storage during construction.

    In theory, cellulose can be vacuumed up and bagged. Fiberglass batts can be removed and rolled up. These bags and rolls can be passed down the attic hatch and taken to an empty barn or garage, and stored there while your addition is being built.

    Most contractors won't want to do this work. In fact, if you pay a builder to do it, the labor might cost more than the value of the insulation.

    If you have a barn or a big garage, you could do the work yourself. It will be dusty, itchy, hot work. The amount of money you save will equal the cost of the insulation.

    If you are certain that you will tear off your roof in three years, it might be best to pay higher fuel bills until your addition is built. Or, to help save the planet, you could call up your local cellulose contractor and blow 12 inches of cellulose in your attic. When the time comes to demo the insulation, you can either bag it up or send it to the dumpster.

  2. will goodwin | | #2

    If your roof is not a truss roof, or a very low pitch it should be easy enough to put down batts or foam and reuse it when you raise the roof.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |