no insulation in attic

My home inspector did not check the attic above our master bedroom. There was attic access and it was easy to get to. We have been in our house 3 months and found our bedroom to be 8 to 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house. Upon our own inspection, we determined that the master bedroom has no insulation in the attic space above our bedroom. Is the home inspector required to check that there is proper insulation in the attics? Should there be repercussions against him since he didn’t check it and now it needs $2,000 worth of insulation?

It should have been caught. But if you are quoting $2k for insulation over a bedroom, you are barking up the wrong tree. 6-7 bags of blown in from Home Depot with free rental of the machine if you buy the insulation from them. Cost? Less than $100. Don’t fall for the insulation guys. New construction usually plans a little less than 3% of the total construction costs for insulating the whole home.

Some sellers will take anything with them…

nicely done Larry, nicely done.

The answer to your question may vary greatly by what state you are in.

Before looking to other options, I would suggest that you carefully reread the report to see if there are any notes about attic spaces not being accessed and why. Just because an attic opening is easy to access now, doesn’t mean that it was accessible on the day of the inspection. It could have been obstructed by furniture, stored items, a vehicle, etc. I’m not making the argument that this was the case with your inspection, but there are valid reasons why an attic may not have been accessible to the inspector at the time of the inspection. If that was the case, the report should clearly state that it was not accessed and why.

After rechecking the report, if you don’t find a valid reason for not accessing the attic, I would urge you to contact the inspector next and inform them of the problem with the house. Give them the opportunity to check their notes and even come back out to observe the area first hand if they want. Give them every chance to resolve the issue with you directly before looking elsewhere for remedies.

A good inspector values his / her reputation and relationship with the client above all else and will be willing to work with you to provide a valid explanation or to resolve the oversight.

Main Attic

  1. Method of Inspection: In the attic
  2. Unable to Inspect:
  3. Roof Framing: 2x4 Truss
  4. Sheathing: OSB sheathing
  5. Ventilation: ridge and soffit
  6. Insulation: Blown in
  7. Insulation Depth: 8"
  8. Vapor Barrier:
  9. Attic Fan:
  10. House Fan:
  11. Wiring/Lighting:
  12. Moisture Penetration:
  13. Bathroom Fan Venting:

This is all that it says. It says Main attic. Which is why I was asking if it was mandatory for all attic spaces to be inspected not just one? The one above my son’s bedroom did have blown in insulation. But our attic above our master bedroom has nothing. How did it pass inspection when originally built? Any more thoughts before I call the home inspector?

if we remedy this ourselves, how deep should the insulation be? At the other side of the house it is approximately 24 inches. Do you recommend first installing insulation with vapor barrier and then blowing insulation over it? if so how many inches over the insulation with vapor barrier? Please advise.

Great answers.

The report, based on your post, appears to be minimalist to say the least. It does appear to claim that the attic space was inspected from within the attic and there does not appear to be any indication that any portion of the attic could not be inspected. A proper inspection, in my opinion should include all accessible areas of all attic spaces and identification of any attic spaces which could not be accessed (of those which have some means to be accessed). Depending on location, many new homes are never inspected and most municipal inspections are not very rigorous to begin with.

The depth of insulation you need will be determined by your geographic location (to determine your target R-value) and the type of insulation to be installed (R-value per inch varies by insulation type). You can find some guidance here Most installations are toward the bottom end of the recommended levels. Whether to include a vapor barrier and placement of the vapor barrier can also vary by geographic location. For instance in Houston’s sub-tropical climate, you will typically not have a vapor barrier on the attic. In most areas there will be a vapor barrier placed on the warm in winter side of the insulation. If as the report says, you have only 8 inches of insulation in the attic space that is insulated, you are probably well below the recommended R-value for those spaces as well, so you may consider adding more there too (never add a vapor barrier when installing additional insulation over existing insulation). If the space has 24 inches as you indicate, that would call into question the validity of everything in the report.

I have seen blown in attic insulation get blown away from ceilings and form drifts in an attic, it may be that is what happened here. Check the soffits and vents for baffles or lack of them.
Is there a way that a high wind can blow the blown in insulation around? Fiberglass is prone to doing this. Cellulose is heavier and tends to stick where it was put.

Most builders will take care of it with a single phone call, that is if he has if he is a creadable builder.

Even IF your inspector missed it, insulating an attic space over one room should not cost anywhere near $2000.

I’d question who gave you that quote.

And call your inspector and ask if there is reason for the possible over site.