“Hands On” with Showcase Participant, Robert S.

Robert decided to take the DIY approach with home upgrade recommendations from CCI’s home energy audit. Here is a self-reported account of Robert’s projects to date.

Air Seal & Insulate Attic

During October — December, 2019 I spent a fair amount of time in the attic, placing plastic sheeting over the knee walls and adding insulation to places on the knee walls where there wasn’t any at all. In addition I added a door seal on the bottom of the attic door (and also filled some rafter space that didn’t have insulation). As part of this project I also took the opportunity to organize the attic contents and clean up the cobwebs and dust that were present. As our attic was walk-in, I was able to set up a workbench for the lumber work. Most of the materials used for these projects were ones that I already had purchased, so there was no additional expense, but there were some purchases that were made. As I live in Mt. Lebanon the go-to place for me is Rollier’s Hardware.


  • Plastic Sheeting
  • 1” Plastic Cap Roofing Nails ($6)
  • 2” Rigid Foam Insulation
  • Unfaced fiberglass insulation
  • 1 ½” Common Nails
  • ½” Plywood
  • Scrap 2x4 lumber
  • Scrap 1x4 lumber
  • Clear Packing Tape
  • Door Seal ($30)
  • 2 1/2” Common Nails ($6)


  • Scissors
  • Exacto Knife
  • Hammer
  • Shop-Vac
  • Sabre Saw ($80)
  • Hand Saw
  • Measuring Tape
  • Extension Cord
  • Power Strip
  • Clamp Light
  • Broom
  • Breathing Masks

In the above lists, the items in bold were purchased specifically for this project, and those costs are included in the total listed below. The other items were available around the house (prior purchases for other projects). See pictures on the following two pages.

Total Cost: $122

Total Time: ~24 Hrs

Air Seal & Insulate Attic

Door and Door Seal (front)
Door and Door Seal (back)
Plastic Sheeting on Knee Walls
Plastic Sheeting on Knee Walls
Shelf as a platform so I could install the plastic sheeting above the stairs.
Plastic Sheeting on Knee Walls
Plastic Sheeting on Knee Walls

Program Your Thermostat

Based on feedback from the plan, the temperatures for our Nest thermostat have been adjusted as shown in the following table. This happened during December, 2019.


Heat and Cool


Total Cost: $0

Total Time: ~30 Min

Seal Air Leaks — Chimney Damper

Earlier this year we needed to have the top of our chimney redone as the bricks were spalding. During that time the mason was able to fix our chimney damper (it had gotten out of its grooves) so it is functional again, and did not charge us for it. As a result, we no longer need to get a top-mounted damper.

Total Cost: $0

Total Time: ~30 Min

Conservation Consultants, Inc.

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