How to Insulate Your Attic to Keep Cold Air Out

Uninsulated pull-down attic stairs can be a source of heat and cooling loss in your home, since they only have a thin piece of plywood separating the attic from your conditioned living space.

There are several options available for insulating an attic stair opening, including:

    • Construct a DIY foam box ($20) in the attic around the opening with a hinged cover.
    • Install a premade attic stair cover, such as the Owens Corning Attic Stair Insulator or Duck Brand Attic Stairway Cover, which sits over the attic stairs ($40-$50).
    • Install the Attic LadderMate ($120) foam cover that attaches on the ceiling over the attic stairs.
    • Install the Attic Tent ($200-$240), a zippered attic stair cover that attached to the attic floor.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information


Danny Lipford: Making sure you have the right amount of insulation in your attic is some of the best money that you can spend to drive those energy bills down. But one of the areas of the attic that is so often neglected is this space right here. Whether you have attic stairs like we have here or just a little scuttle hole, this is an area that can lose a lot of energy because you only have about a quarter-inch piece of plywood that’s separating the hot attic from the nice, conditioned space you have downstairs.

It certainly makes a little sense to try to insulate this a little bit. Pretty easy, this is an attic tent. There’s a lot of different kinds of attic tents that are available. This one’s only about $40. You can see it’s insulated, has a little foil on the outside. And basically, like the name implies, it just tents itself over the space creating a little air barrier there to protect you from the elements of the attic. Now, there are some more expensive versions that have a zipper, that allow you access in and out of the attic.

And also you can build a very inexpensive one by using a piece of three-quarter-inch foam board. You can cut it out to create a little box. Use a foil tape to close up the corners and to create a little hinge. Works perfectly, and that’ll only cost you about $25.


  1. You can simply put inutalsion on top of the flooring but do NOT put anything on top of it. This would crush down the fibers and the trapped air in the fibers is a great part of its R value. You could pull up the flooring and insulate underneath but depending on how thick you want your inutalsion to be it may be better to put the inutalsion on top of the floor and then make some shelves for storage. Rememebr the shelves cant crush the inutalsion either.

  2. Saw your show for the first time today, 11/28/16. You had a attic tent that was like a pop up tent. I’m interested in the name of that. Can you email me.

    Thank you!


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