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  1. #1
    Kindra178 is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default Talk to Me About Insulation - Attic

    We want to refinish our attic. We were thinking of doing the project in stages and planned to insulate first (also hoping to keep our second floor warmer).

    I have had two insulation contractors out, each quoting 25k for foam insulation. Foam seems super toxic to me. The price seems insane. Like so so ridiculous.

    Thoughts?


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  2. #2
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    I am fairly certain we had spray insulation from Home Depot for our house (2 story, 2500 sq ft) and it was around $2000. I may be off on the price, but it was most certainly not $25K. That, along with new windows, made a huge difference in our energy bills.

  3. #3
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    Do you have an energy efficiency program in your area? They’re often run by a mix of the state and utilities. There may be income guidelines to qualify, but they can help with the cost of updates that improve efficiency. Ours pays for 80% of insulation improvements (although it has to be things they recommend—not just something the homeowner wants done) and 100% for people who qualify based on income. They were going to add insulation in my attic but I have a couple things to accomplish first so haven’t had them out to do it.
    momma to DD 12/08 & DS 3/13

  4. #4
    MSWR0319 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Are you asking about spray foam or foam pieces? Either way that seems really high unless your attic is gigantic!

    We had our whole house sprayed with foam when we built it and it wasn't $25k and it was a 3000 square foot house. When we finished the basement we used foam pieces on the walls, rolls in the drop ceiling and it was probably 1200 square feet. When we finished the bonus room we used rolls for the walls and they sprayed the loose insulation in the part that was purely attic so we could easily get to any wires, pipes, etc if needed.

    I honestly don't think the total of all of those equaled $25k. I just looked quickly online and it's $700 for 12 rolls of insulation at Home Depot. I didn't do the math to figure out square footage, but the price you're being given just seems outrageous.

  5. #5
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Hmm. Maybe it varies because I'm in CA? But the contractor that I work for just built a giant mansion in Malibu (just the construction costs were over 5mil) and the total cost for all the insulation (including foam insulation) was 16K. So I'd say it seems high to me! Unless maybe it is harder to put in now than when it is still being built?

  6. #6
    twowhat? is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    A spray foam contractor who knows what they're doing is not gonna be cheap. Having said that, we did ours for about 5K, but not all of our attic was easily accessible...we just had them spray it wherever they could get to it. The insulation will work best if your entire attic is accessible. 25K seems insane to me...but everything right now is more expensive...maybe that's why?

    Anyway it makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE. Whenever we have other contractors who need to access the attic, they go up there and immediately see/feel the spray foam difference and I can see the distaste melt off their faces for needing to work in our attic in 100-degree outside temps

  7. #7
    Kindra178 is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default Talk to Me About Insulation - Attic

    I donít recall how big our attic is. It will be an office and a family room. Illinois requires r49 insulation, which is silly high.

    I never thought to reach out to the electric company! Great idea.

    Bisous, do you know what CA insulation requirements are? Our attic is completely unfinished, studs exposed. So thereís no issue with getting insulation behind the walls.

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  8. #8
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kindra178 View Post
    I don’t recall how big our attic is. It will be an office and a family room. Illinois requires r49 insulation, which is silly high.

    I never thought to reach out to the electric company! Great idea.

    Bisous, do you know what CA insulation requirements are? Our attic is completely unfinished, studs exposed. So there’s no issue with getting insulation behind the walls.

    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    I really don't know. I did ask my boss yesterday about the job. He said the foam insulation is fantastic BUT he also said that the didn't foam the whole thing because it is so very expensive. They used traditional insulation wherever they could get away with it. So 16K for only PART foam insulation for a house of about 5000 square feet.

    ETA: Also, I'm thinking it has GOT to be easier to insulate a house in Malibu, CA than Chicago, right? I don't think a climate milder than Malibu is to be found!

  9. #9
    Kindra178 is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bisous View Post
    I really don't know. I did ask my boss yesterday about the job. He said the foam insulation is fantastic BUT he also said that the didn't foam the whole thing because it is so very expensive. They used traditional insulation wherever they could get away with it. So 16K for only PART foam insulation for a house of about 5000 square feet.

    ETA: Also, I'm thinking it has GOT to be easier to insulate a house in Malibu, CA than Chicago, right? I don't think a climate milder than Malibu is to be found!
    Ty!! It is 2 degrees right now here.


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  10. #10
    liz is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    We're in a similar boat. We had the Energy Savings people out (actually a zoom call) recently. Our third floor is unfinished to the studs. We have to make some small adjustments and insulate the main area first. We are planning on using rolls of insulation for cost reasons. We've been told that spray insulation is crazy expensive when used in large areas. The Energy Specialist said we could get the spray insulation for the roof peak/ridge/unconditioned part of the attic at a significant savings going through them.

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