How to Insulate an Exterior Stud Wall

Written by kevin mcdermott
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If you're remodelling your home and the project involves ripping open exterior walls, that's the ideal time to install insulation. Sometimes the old insulation has settled, or in some homes there wasn't insulation to start with. Either way, filling that wall with fibreglass to prevent air movement is a relatively easy project. Insulation is sold in rolls that are designed to fit between standard studs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's square
  • Razor knife
  • Fibreglass insulation with paper backing
  • Electric stapler
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Long trousers

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  1. 1

    Measure the exposed wall studs. Standard height will be between 8 and 10 feet.

  2. 2

    Lay out a strip of fibreglass insulation on the floor. Flip it so the paper side faces up.

  3. 3

    Lay a carpenter's square over the insulation at the correct measurement. Compress the square so you can cut through the insulation with a razor knife.

  4. 4

    Press the insulation piece into the space between two studs, filling the area from top to bottom. The paper-covered side of the insulation should face toward the interior of the room.

  5. 5

    Secure the piece by shooting staples through the paper tabs at the edges into the sides of the studs approximately every foot. Use the razor knife to cut away insulation as needed for electrical boxes and other obstructions.

  6. 6

    Repeat the process to fill the space between each pair of studs. Install drywall right over the insulation.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear goggles, a dust mask, a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers when handling fibreglass insulation. Make sure you purchase a dust mask that's rated for fibreglass.

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