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Attic Insulation Cost

Post in 'The Green Room' started by timfromohio, Aug 6, 2008.

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  1. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    While remodeling a kicthen/living room I had ample opportunity to get intimately familiar with the attic and it's lack of insulation. What would you guys expect to pay for blown-in insulation in two attic areas, each around 550 square feet? There is attic access, but due to the pitch of the roof unless you're a midget ninja it's very difficult to move around.

    Thanks for any input.

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  2. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    I checked out the HD deal, but after doing drywall, new electrical, new flooring, hanging cabinets, building hearth, new front door, .... I'm ready to pay somebody to do this job. I just don't want to crawl around up there banging my head, get itchy, etc. Normally I'm very very cheap, but this is one job that I'll pay for somebody else to do.
  3. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Read up on whether you want to blow cellulose or fiberglass insulation. I am not sure and in a similar boat with about 3 inches of attic insulation from 1963. The main couple of issues I have with the cellulose is that it is a food source for all kinds of nasty stuff, and that it is heavy. Like so heavy that it can cause your ceiling sheetrock to sag down between rafters. Not cool.

    The only really good thing about the cellulose is that it is a DIY project from HD and I am less likely to get an itchy throat.

    The insulation contractors typically employ many ninja midgets who are very accustomed to going into unpleasantly small places and performing unpleasant manual labor with unpleasant products.
  4. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    I figured the insulation contractors would have guys used to crawling in tight places. I too have only a couple of inches of ancient insulation from ~1971 when the house was built ... Must upgrade.
  5. DaveM195352

    DaveM195352 New Member

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    you might want to read up a little about which is best for blow in.... My understanding is that the cellulose has a better R value than blown in loose fibreglass. And I know, that they talk about the cellulose being better at sealing the space. remember your insulating the attic for two reasons - one to insulate but 2nd to seal and reduce airflow.

    good luck
    Dave from Maine
  6. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    where are you located? in MA?? reason i ask is because i had Nstar (local electric company ) do an energy audit on my home last year and they offer all kinds of incentives for insulation. they did blown in in my walls for 750.00 or 1/2 the cost from other companies.. MIGHT be worth a check to see if your utility companies offer the same thing

    whoops just read your user name and i'd guess you're from OH.. i'd still check to see if they offer energy audits for free
  7. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Good suggestion to contact local utility company - thanks. Will call them today.
  8. Telco

    Telco New Member

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    I had 12 inches of blown in fiberglass put into my house a year or two ago, cost 800 bucks to cover about 1800 sq ft. The insulation guy said that they were phasing out the fiberglass and doing cellulose, and that I was getting just about all the fiberglass he had left. Said that the blown in cellulose does have a better R value than fiberglass per inch and was cheaper to boot, but he didn't recommend putting it on top of fiberglass since that would compress the fiberglass down and ruin its R value. I won't use blow in fiberglass again, even though it does do the job.

    From now on I plan to only do the spray foam insulation, when I have a choice in the matter. They can even put it behind existing drywall, they just drill a hole into the void between each stud and pump it in. Once it's dry there is no floating fiberglass fibers in the air, no extra dust in the air, and nothing will eat it.
  9. SE Iowa

    SE Iowa New Member

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    I agree Telco. I blew in 16" of cellulose and now am going to vac it out and spray foam insulation. It cost about $3/ft including the vac job. It will perfectly seal off the cap and actually is better d/t air infiltration issues (R-value isn't all you should look at).
  10. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    We have a winner. Spray foam has no equal when it comes to stopping air infiltration and R value. There is a new foam made by Bayer that is doing R7 per inch. I have a contractor coming in two weeks to hit my attic and the underside of a sunroom. Can't wait to see what it does to winter heating bills. I take that back.....winter can wait, let's enjoy what's left of the summer.
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    It'll be like a coleman extreme cooler in there. How does the cost of foam compare to traditional glass/cellulose? I suppose that was the OP's question after all.
  12. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Guy from Home Depot came out Friday. I have about 1000 square feet of attic area with difficult access. Estimate was $2000. Way more than I had expected. I'll schedule some estimates for the foam stuff as well. Access is a real problem. Very small access door combined with low pitch of roof make it a pain to work up there.
  13. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Only problem with foam, is if you need to get to the space the foam is in, run any electrical lines, plumbing etc., your screwed.
    Your R value & seal are now trashed in that area & happy cutting & digging of foam.
    If your ever going to need to remodel or run lines, I would go another route. If your good to go and never going to need to do work where the foam is, then go for it.
    Foam is also about 2 to 3x the cost. Might want to figure the payback & if its worth it.
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I am constantly running new wires for electric, phone, cable, etc. plus maybe want to add AC ducting, refer lines, et. so I can see the negative value of foam with remodels. I am meeting with the energy auditor today!
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    When we got heat pump quotes we included a bidder sent by Home Depot. Out of all the bids his was the highest. At $20K, it was 100% over the next bid down! The final job was done with a more efficient unit at $8.5K.

    Go directly to blown-in insulation specialists in your area. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they quoted half the HD bid.
  16. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    I'm hoping that HD was way high. I have calls in to two other outfits. We just redid the kitchen - cabinet estimate from HD was almost 2x over what we wound up paying, I guess I should not have been so surprised at the insulation estimate.
  17. wenger7446

    wenger7446 Member

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    We just got a price to remove the old rock-wool with wood debris (from a recent re-roofing) and reinsullste with r38 blown in and the cost was $890.00 for about 700 sqft. That price included the draft vents between the rafters.

    Ryan from Philly
  18. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

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    For my house now, I know the following sq' prices.

    Closed Cell Spray Foam (R-7 per inch) - $1.00 /sft/inch. You want 3" then it is $3.00 sft
    R-19 Fiberglass Batts - $.65/sft installed. In eastern PA - they usually install it for the same price you can buy it retail. It never makes sense here to install your own.
    I'll look tomorrow for some more sft costs. Post a specific need if you have one and I'll try and look up the price.

    To the posters talking about running wires in walls after the spray foam is installed:
    There are 2 kinds of spray foam - First Open Cell, that completely fills the void. That is the one that makes it hard to wire later. Second is closed cell and does not fill the void. Open cell is cheaper than closed cell, but not a lot.
  19. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    3" x R7 = R21 per sft/inch? 21 ain't enough in PA. Double that and now your closer. Me myself, I am going 2' Blown in attic, self install, done deal.
    A link to this "closed cell" spray in foam, that does not fill voids would be appreciated. I'd like to read about it. If it doesn't fill voids, what good is it?
  20. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The PUD's energy auditor came by and we discussed attic insulation. He actually poo poo'd blown in cellulose in favor of blown in fiberglass. Claiming that there are fiberglass prodcuts that are not itchy and have similar R value per inch as cellulose. Then there is the fire issue. Cellulose insulation has been made that will burn, it is newspaper for drying out loud and if the anti-burn chemical is wrong or worn out then you can have a problem.

    He assessed my existing attic insulation as R-11 but oddly prioritized my floor which has zero insulation on top of a veneted crawlspace. So I am better off iunsulating my floor than upgrading my attic if I can only do one of them. Of course the walls are the next priority and windows the last. I had already replaced my windows in typical ass-backwards fashion.

    1$/SF/inch/R-7 and I need R-40 would get me say 5 inches over 1000 feet for 5000$ for this foam stuff? Phooey. Blown in is much much cheaper.
  21. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

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    The 3" thing I was talking about walls. Sorry.

    I don't have a link for the closed cell. I will see if I can get one. The closed cell does make a tight seal on the exterior, but still leaves room on the inside (wall) for wires & plumbing. I maybe should have used the word cavity. It doesn't completely fill the cavity.

    For R-38 blown-in ceiling (or attic) insulation, installed in Eastern PA it is about $.65/sft. If you guys are getting prices higher than that - eastern PA is mostly rural labor. If you are in the city I would guess your labor cost is higher. Or you haven't found the right installation company yet. The bigger guys purchase insulation for pennies on the dollar.
  22. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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    Tim,

    I was able to get Fiberglass bats from a guy on CraigsList for half the Lowes or HD cost.

    Erik
  23. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for all of the price feedback. I have a second outfit coming out Monday afternoon. Over the phone, based on square footage, they estimated $700. That was more of what I was thinking. $2k ... they must have inhaled a few too many fibers!
  24. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

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    I just hired a guy for R-38 Blown-in, new construction, $1400 for 2,200 sft ($.636/sft). Existing homes will have a little higher labor factor. Not as easy to get into as a new home.
  25. DaveM195352

    DaveM195352 New Member

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    according to a little chart I made up in Excel... the material (Home Depot or Lowes) is about $9 per bag - at R30 - in would take about 45 bags or $405 of material - at R38 would be about $638. for the material

    seems like $800 is alot for labor - would make a nice weekend DIY project.

    Dave from Maine
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