Stop the Madness! Cantilevers Can be Fixed!

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 by Joy Padgett

Sometimes, the way a house is built can lead to problems for those who live in the house. It isn't always intentional, but it almost always happens. Why should you suffer in a home that isn't comfortable when you don't have to?

Sometimes, a “cantilever” is used as a design feature to enlarge the second floor of a home and create additional square footage. This is a plus for many buyers. BUT, this architectural feature usually causes problems for those living in the home.

First, let’s define “cantilever”...just in case you're not sure what it is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a cantilever is “a long piece of wood, metal, etc., that sticks out from a wall or other structure to support something above it”. Think about a balcony. It is a great example of a cantilever as it projects outward from the wall it sits on. he very crude drawing below is my attempt at art....LOL!

Cantilever and Soffit

While second floor cantilevers can provide unique structural appeal, they can turn into a comfort nightmare. Why? Well, these cantilevers form soffits under the floor framing that hang out over the first floor. These soffits tend to leak a ton of air making the floors and your feet cold in winter months. What’s worse is that these soffits open into the space between floors and allow cold air to flow between the ceiling below and the floor above.

Unfortunately, when the house was built, chances are the contractor used fiberglass batt insulation in the soffit (which we discussed yesterday) and didn’t air seal the soffit before installing the proper insulation. Furthermore, the batt insulation that MIGHT have been installed is probably resting on the drywall for the ceiling below instead of against the subfloor for the rooms above. This is simpy a sub-par method of insulating the cantilever.

The problem is this: batt insulation doesn't fill the space between the ceiling of the room under it and the floor of the room above it when a cantilever is involved. So, while the ceiling of the room below can be considered "insulated" the same cannot be said of the floor of the room above because no insulation is touching it. PLUS, this space wasn't air sealed, so air is allowed to flow back and forth and up and down through the cavity the cantilever creates. This problem can be fixed and you can end your suffering from living in a home that just isn't comfortable for you.

I think you deserve to live in a home that is actually comfortable. I believe your home should be meeting your high expectations and you shouldn't settle for less. I think you could come up with a multitude of other things you'd like to spend your hard-earned money on than your utility bills. Am I right? I mean, am I RIGHT?

Of course I am! It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to see that! So, what more do you need? Why are you letting your house control you? Why are you letting your house tell you which rooms to stay in? STOP THE MADNESS! Get your uncomfortable home fixed!!

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