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Does Adding Solar Increase Home Value?
Mark, that is a really good question. I love the idea of using the sun to help power my home but I'm frustrated that it is so very hard to do this given the barrage of misleading information being put out by those selling solar energy, and your question is only one of the very many claims being made.
In short, the answer is "maybe." Certainly some buyers will be interested to know that the home generates some/all of its own electricity. But others, frankly, won't care and see all those panels as another thing they have to maintain. Worse yet, if the solar panels have been "leased" instead of purchased, buyers may not be willing to take on the added lease payment on top of what they pay you for your home, or may want to negotiate a reimbursement for the total amount left on the lease before they buy.
Aside from the value question, I'm finding solar energy companies pitch a wide variety of proposal and payment schemes from purchase to lease to somewhere in between, softener with overly enthusiastic estimates of how much energy you'll generate. Plus, its not exactly clear what rebates are available, tax credits, and SREC, or solar energy renewal credits - where you earn credits based on how much energy you generate and then sell those credits which are market priced and hard ot predict.
Lastly, it's also important to consider how quickly technology is changing in the solar industry before making a big investment. For example, ss battery technology improves and prices go down, the shift will be not so much on how much you collect but how much power you can store to use when you need it. This would enable you to have a solar array sized perfectly for year round collection, and the storage capacity to save energy in the summer to use in the winter.
How to Insulate Finished Attic
Insulating in small spaces is often tough. When your rafter is only 8" deep, you can use only 6" of fiberglass insulation as the rest needs to be saved to allow for ventilation, which is hardly enough. Additionally, it is very difficult to get insulation into such a tight space.
However, spray foam insulation can fill in the entire cavity. It has a higher R-value and doesn't need to be ventilated, and in my view, the best way to insulate a finished attic or cathedral ceiling. The Money Pit Guide to Insulation might be a useful resource. Good luck with the project.
Best Insulation for Small Attic
Great job identifying the source of the mold issues in the attic! Improving ventilation (the most important of which is getting that bath fan exhaust duct extended), was absolutely the right thing to do. As for insulation types, cellulose and spray foam are quite different. If you went with cellulose, for one, you'd need all that ventilation. Like fiberglass, cellulose is designed to work in an "unconditioned" space. Heat is held to the ceiling level, and everything above that is at ambient temperature (hot or cold).
Spray foam, on the other hand, is designed to convert that to "conditioned" space, meaning ventilation is no longer an issue. We used this on our 1886 home and it's never been warmer in the winter or cooler in the summer.
When it's very difficult to get insulation in a tight space in either case, spray foam insulation might be your best bet. It can fill in tough-to-get-to cavities, has a higher R-value and does not need to be ventilated. A good resource is The Money Pit Guide to Insulation, which discusses pros and cons of spray foam insulation and its types. Best of luck with the project!
tips in Learn It
Quick, easy tips and ideas to help you become the master of your own domain, one simple project at a time.
Ladder Safety Tips for Smart DIYers
Ladder safety should be a top priority when using one. Make sure you follow all the precautions before you decide to use your ladder to...
Choose Energy Star Appliances
Shopping for a new appliance and not sure what to buy? All the choices can be daunting, but there's an easy rule of thumb you can follow.
Considering Alternative Energy? Check Insulation First
A poorly insulated home leaks away valuable energy dollars whether you're using new solar or old-school electric, so do all you can to...
product reviews in Learn It
The latest products in home improvement, decor and more with reviews by The Money Pit's band of serial home improvers.