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Chris Nelson
Peak Construction & Design, Inc.


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The right insulation values for your home remodel project.

Insulation is one of the most important efficient values in your home.  Make sure you are using the proper insulation when remodeling your home especially in your ceiling.  It keeps the heat in your home during the winter and the cool air from your expensive air conditioner during the summer.  Call Chris Nelson, Peak Construction & Design, Inc. for more information.  760 668-3991.

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Your home may not have enough insulation, even when you follow your building jurisdiction’s requirements for insulation. Attics, more than any other area of the home, usually lack the right amount of insulation. The best way to insulate a home is during construction, but you can retrofit a home with the right amount of insulation with some work. The U.S. Department of Energy divided the country into eight climate zones to identify insulation requirements for the best energy efficiency by zone.

Where to Insulate

To make the best use of your home’s heating and cooling system, insulate your home from the roof to the building’s foundation. Add loose fill insulation to your attic or foil-faced batt insulation to your cathedral ceiling. Include insulation in the outer walls of the home. For added energy control and sound-deadening factors, though it’s not required, insulate interior walls, as well. Insulate under floors and inside the interior of your foundation. If your house is built upon a concrete slab, during construction ask the contractor to add a vapor barrier before pouring the concrete.

Climate Zones

The U.S. Department of Energy lists recommended minimum building insulation levels for each climate zone to promote energy-efficient homes. California, for example has five zones: zones 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. New York includes zones 4, 5 and 6, and Kansas includes zones 4 and 5. Your climate zone indicates the recommended insulation levels for attics, walls, floors, basements and crawl spaces.

Minimum Requirements

R-values identify insulation levels. The insulation’s ability to resist heat flow determines its R-value. The greater the number, the greater the resistance to heat movement and the better insulating factors it has. Zone 1, for example, should have attic insulation of R30 to R49; zones 2 and 3, R30 to R60; zone 4, R-38 to R-60; and zones 5 through 8 need R49 to R60. By adding attic insulation to an older home, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Expert Advice

While federal and, in some cases, state, guidelines for insulation levels are merely recommendations, the local building code is the true authority over insulation requirements. New homes and remodels must meet the minimum local standards, but often it’s advisable to exceed mandated insulation levels. In addition to the local building authority, local builders trained in energy efficiency, as well as home energy auditors and building science experts, are good sources for advice on upgrading insulation levels or planning complete thermal envelope systems. Keep in mind that insulation is only one of many elements contributing to home energy performance. An experienced home energy expert can assess your entire home (or home plan) and recommend options for meeting your goals within your budget.


When you insulate your home, verify that you have purchased the right-sized insulation for the cavity it goes into. For example, R-19 fiberglass blanket insulation cannot be put into two-by-four stud walls. R-19 insulation is sized for at least two-by-six stud walls or greater. When you compress fiberglass insulation to make it fit, the compression removes the insulating factors. The air trapped between the woven glass fibers gives fiberglass insulation its ability to insulate, not the fiberglass itself.

Peak Construction & Design is a residential/light commercial, general building contractor licensed/insured in California. We specialize in remodeling of custom/single family homes, condominiums, light commercial offices, as well askitchen and bathroom remodeling, along with new built homes, barns and out buildings . We also do general home maintenance.  We service Southern California and the communities  including Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Indian Wells, Palm Springs, La Quinta, CaliforniaPlease call Chris Nelson today at 760.668.3991!

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