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Looking for information on insulation costs

Martin Holladay | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

For an upcoming article on insulation choices, I’m looking for up-to-date information on insulation costs.

I’d be very grateful if GBA readers could share information on costs. If you are a GC, have you received more than one bid for a recent insulation job? Please share your numbers.

The most useful information would include R-value information and square feet. But even if you don’t know the number of square feet, it would be useful to know that the bid for fiberglass batts was $4,000, while the bid for spray foam was $9,000. Or whatever.

I’m looking for any and all pricing information — cellulose, fiberglass, spray foam, mineral wool, rigid foam. Tell me your numbers!

Thanks.

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Replies

  1. user-992104 | | #1

    Martin,

    I compiled (what I hope is a comprehensive listing) for my area (NY, Capital Area - Albany zone 4a), I am in the middle of building my own house. To me, performance *and* cost were both key factors, so I wanted to find a middle ground between the two.

    In no particular order for 2x6 framed walls:

    ultra touch (denim batt): $1.37/sq. ft R-21
    cellulose (dense pack): $2.20/sq. ft R-21
    fiberglass batt: $0.54/sq. ft R-19
    demilec spf: $2.00 /sq. ft R-21
    icynene spf: $2.25/sq. ft R-21
    air krete: $2.25/sq. ft R-21
    roxul: $1.08/sq. ft R-23
    EcoTouch: $1.51 R-21

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Richard,
    I assume that all of the prices are the installed price by an insulation contractor?

  3. user-992104 | | #3

    Martin,

    Sort of - the batt insulation is not installed - you are right that is a key difference. To clarify additionally, the SPF/cellulose/airkrete are "rough quotes" as they depend on house size - and naturally will vary depending on travel costs, etc.

    But those are quotes directly from installers of these products - the batt insulation I can obviously do myself.

    These prices are from my personal spreadsheet from the perspective of cost to the homeowner (me) - batt insulation I can obviously do myself, but naturally I don't have the equipment for an icynene/demilec/etc. install.

    Hope that helps!

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    Richard,
    The information is extremely helpful. Thanks.

    I'm curious to see whether other readers post higher or lower prices than yours.

  5. user-992104 | | #5

    Martin,

    You are most certainly welcome.

    I am also interested in other prices - but its safe to assume that prices will always vary for a multitude of reasons (distances from installers to site, fluctuating product costs, shipping costs, house sizes, etc.).

    It may be nearly impossible to get an "apples to apples" comparison - what I think would be most helpful would be a relative ranking of costs per product. That would probably be the biggest take away to a home owner/builder like me.

  6. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #6

    Richard,
    I know that prices vary widely by geographical region. The more data I can gather, however, the better understanding I'll have of relative costs.

  7. user-1012653 | | #7

    Martin
    Here is a midwestern, Iowa number for you.
    Here are some numbers from me. I did not bother getting a price on batts, for obvious reasons! But I think I recall my insulator stating around $.60 installed for r-19.
    All prices installed by a high quality insulating company:

    12" thick dense pack cellulose- $1.45 sqft, netted and blown
    12" thick blown fiberglass, $1.50 netted and blown
    5" open cell foam, $1.60 sqft
    1" closed cell foam, $1/ inch/ sqft

    Numbers are kind of random, but that is what I have!

  8. seDUbRtWbM | | #8

    Hi Martin,

    NREL has some averages although they're low for the Mid-Atlantic region zones 4 & 5. http://www.nrel.gov/ap/retrofits/index.cfm

    In the residential retrofit market I see large price disparities. Larger contractors tend to be much lower in price probably due to purchasing power. I could have poorly installed fiberglass batts installed cheaper then I can but them from a box store.

    These are retail averages.

    Closed cell SPF $1.00 - $1.50 per board foot. For larger projects whole roofs or basement walls
    Small SPF projects sprayed from kits tend to be much more per board foot $2.00 - $6.00
    Dense packed cellulose or fiberglass in a 2 x 4 wall $2.00 - $3.00 per sf
    Open blow attic cellulose or fiberglass R-19 $1.00 - $3.00 per sf
    Rigid 2" poly-iso board $3.00 - $9.00

  9. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #9

    Jesse and Richard,
    Thanks!

    Keep those numbers coming.

  10. dankolbert | | #10

    My numbers are a little dated, but:

    $1.10/bf for ccsf
    $1.70/sf 2x6 walls dense-packed (incl. netting & foaming doors & windows)
    $1.00/sf loose pack 12"

    Haven't used any other products in ages.

  11. Danny Kelly | | #11

    Hi Martin - just recently did this exercise for a presentation I was doing for some architects - here are a few for NC - all prices are per square foot installedand include the 15% price increase we got last quarter:

    kraft faced fiberglass batts:
    R-15 - .49
    R-19 - .41
    R-30 - .63
    R-38 - .71
    R - 30 blown - .48
    R-38 blown - .58

    Blown in fiberglass walls
    2x4 wall - .65
    2x6 wall - .90

    Damp spray cellulose in walls
    2x4 - .58
    2x6 - .81

    Open cell foam
    2x4 - 1.00
    2x6 - 1.40
    roof rafters 5.5" (I know, I know, but that is what everyone does down here) $1.40 plus .75 when ignition barrier is requuired

    Closed cell:
    2" - 1.75
    3" - 2.50

    12" netted cellulose for double stud wall - $2.00

    We get prices all over the place from one company to the next even locally, interested to see where others are coming in.

  12. mUQRJUcHkC | | #12

    Danny, under fiberglass batts you listed R-38 blown - .58, What do you mean by that?

  13. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #13

    Richard,
    I think he means that the cost to install R-38 worth of blown-in fiberglass insulation in an attic is $0.58 per square foot in his area.

  14. mUQRJUcHkC | | #14

    That's what I was thinking as well but I wasn't sure. Thanks.

  15. Danny Kelly | | #15

    That is correct Martin- sorry for the confusion

  16. matt9923 | | #16

    Are there any up to to date numbers out there?

  17. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #17

    I have about $4.31 per square foot for R38 worth of ccSPF in a cathedral ceiling. This was for about a 580 sqft project. Another $250 was an added to fill about 100 sqft or so of 2x4 walls while the contractor was already on site. This was from fall of 2017.

    Bill

  18. WSGUERIN | | #18

    Very recent Contractor Quotes and/or Owner Costs From the mid Hudson Valley + tax and delivery

    WALLS:
    R-30 Mineral Wool Comfort Batt 7.25" thick, $43.50/39.9 SF 33 bags needed for about 1,200SF, 6 bats/bag = $1,435

    I'm DIYing the install and it's slower going than I expected. I'd estimate, after fighting my way around the wiring with care, a newby can install 12 batts an hour.

    Also, I built the thermal breaks using 1x2 furring strips and 5 sheets of 4 x 8 x 1" EPS = $320
    ------------------------------
    CEILING
    Dense Pack Cellulose Unvented Ceiling 13.5" R-49 DPC (10,206 Board Feet) $3,265.92
    Dense Pack Netting 756SF $302.40

    Here, the cost does not include the addition of depth to the 11.875" deep truss. DIY at $300 more

    BUT I am not convinced of an unvented DPC ceiling so I passed on this approach....
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    CEILING
    Closed Cell Spray Foam, Approximately (7") R-53 (5,292 Board Feet) 5,027.40 or $6.60/SF

    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    CEILING HYBRID
    Closed Cell Spray Foam to R-30 ~4+" thick: 18' x 42' ceiling = 760 SF installed (4,000 Board feet) = $3,807 with some narrowing of the rafters for mineral wool fit.

    R-30 Mineral Wool Comfort Batt into the ceiling below the Spray Foam, R-30, $2,465 installed

    Total = 6,275. Highest cost due to double install process.

    VAPOR BARRIER
    Intello+ $1.50 / SF
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Waiting for AirKrete quote and a 2nd quote on the spray foam

  19. JesseTrinque | | #19

    copy past of invoice prices of some insulation I did on a project last month in eastern CT:

    1700 sq ft of R19 Fiberglass Batt, Foil Faced - Install R19 Fiberglass Batts Against Floor Sheathing Foil Face to radiant heated Floor with Insulation Hangers 16" OC

    $1735 with installation for fiberglass

    Closed cell spray exterior wall 2.86" thick (R20) - Spray Wall Sections Where There Are No Panels near Doors aprox- 40sq ft
    Closed cell spray roofline 4.29" thick (R30) - Spray 7 Deep x 30 Foot Wide Section Of Mezzanine Roof Line
    Closed cell spray gable ends 2.86" thick (R20) - Mezzanine Gable End Wall Above Panels - aprox 20 sq ft
    Closed cell foam flash 1.5" thick R10.5 - Spray Over Wall Beams and Corners To Air Seal aprox 200sq ft
    30'x40' attic blown in with R49 cellulose

    $3000 installed for CCSPF and blown Cellulose

    Another project I did:
    R38 blown in on flat attic floor blown cellulose 30'x36' - $1225

    closed cell trussed gable roofline (attic ceiling) at 5-12 pitch 24' wide x 43' long 5.5" deep 1.5" flash on all exposed rafters.
    closed cell 3" thick of entire 2x10 rim joist in basement 150'L
    closed cell 3" thick of entire 2x10 rim joist box between floors 120'
    closed cell under porch floor 5.5" thk 5'x24'

    All closed cell work - $9,950

    in-tumescent paint option for attic ceiling mentioned above - $1731.25

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