What is the Cost of Insulating an Attic?
Attic insulation is an excellent investment you can make in your home to improve comfort levels as well as save on energy bills. Naturally, homeowners like to know what it will cost to insulate their attic so they can get the best insulation for their budget.
The average cost of insulation ranges between $1,400 to $6,300 with a national average of about $2,500. While this might seem like a lot for a space that you never use, you should think of it as an investment in energy savings and comfort.
You should also consider the cost of insulation over time. Most insulation materials will last for at least two or three decades before needing replacement. When you think about it this way, the cost of insulation can be less than $100 per year, and most homeowners will save quite a bit more than that on their energy bills.
Benefits of Attic Insulation
A properly insulated attic delivers a range of benefits, including lower utility bills. You’ll also experience improved air quality and comfort level in your home, as well as make your HVAC system last longer.
If you see any of the following signs – increased heating/cooling costs, icicles on the roof, uneven temperatures within the house or drafts coming from the attic – it’s a good indication that you need new insulation in your attic.
How to Calculate the Cost of Insulating your Attic
The size, condition of your attic, and the state of the old insulation makes it impossible to come up with an accurate figure in an article like this. However, it is possible to get a ballpark idea about the size of the investment you will need to make in your home.
The exact price you’ll pay for an insulation project will depend on several factors, so it’s important to understand what those are when considering your budget.
A professional contractor will look at things such as the type of insulation, how much insulation you need, R-value requirements, and labor costs before giving you an estimate.
Other considerations include attic cleaning and preparation fees; if replacement or new installation is necessary; if there’s a need for a mold/pest/asbestos inspection or insulation removal; etc.
Once these have been taken into account, your contractor should be able to give you an accurate estimate of the overall cost of insulating your attic space.
Type of Insulation
There are a range of different insulation types and materials available, with each delivering slightly different benefits as well as costs. Fiberglass batts are the most common type of insulation and typically run at $2-$4 per square foot for installation.
If you plan to increase the R-value of existing insulation, blown-in options are available in fiberglass and cellulose insulation. These materials cost around $1-$4 per square foot when professionally installed. Spray foam insulation can cost more as it has an average cost of $2-$5 per square foot.
Depending on what the space is being used for -whether for storage or a living area- different sorts of insulation may also be necessary; empty attics can have either batt, blown-in or spray foam. Here’s a brief rundown on the type of insulation materials available to you.
Blown-in insulation is a method used to install insulation that is cost-effective and fast. A blower is inserted into the attic via the roof to blow cellulose, rock wool fibers, or shredded paper in an even layer between the floor joists of your attic. The typical price range for this type of insulation ranges from $1,000 – $2,100 depending on how much you need installed.
Spray foam insulation can cost more than other types, because it requires training to properly apply the foam from the sprayer. Most of the companies that offer this type of insulation typically have certified installers, and getting it installed can cost you anywhere from $1,300 to $3,800.
Batt insulation is one of the most common varieties of insulation, often containing fiberglass that helps protect from mold and pests. The cost of batt insulation varies according to thickness, with installation costing $2-$4 per square foot.
Structural Insulated Panels
Structural insulated panels, which are composed of two layers of plywood or OSB enclosing a layer of rigid foam, may be an option if you’re looking to insulate an existing roof deck or beneath the rafters.
However, they’re not as common since they can be more expensive – installation costs range from around $4 -$7 per square foot. But if you want to finish up a space in your attic, it could end up being worth it in the long run.
Loose-fill insulation is a great option when you don’t have access to blowers, as it’s easier to manually distribute the material. That said, it does require more manual labor and will likely cost more than blow-in insulation costs – think $2-$5 per square foot for drop-in installation.
It’s worth mentioning that if you decide to go this route, be sure to wear protective clothing and safety gear as loose fill can be messy and hazardous. However, when done right, this type of insulation can offer a lot of benefits in terms of energy savings and home comfort.
Reflective insulation is an option that could help reduce thermal transfer in some cases. This shiny material, sometimes called foil insulation, is pre-installed on batts or rigid foam panels and can also come as stand-alone sheets to be installed over other insulation. Though its primary use is seen in warmer climates, reflective insulation requires a slightly higher budget – around $0.50 to $1.50 per square foot.
DIY Insulation Versus a Professional
If you’re feeling up to the challenge, it is certainly possible to install new insulation in your attic by yourself.
You will save on labor costs. However, ensuring that intake vents are properly blocked off is necessary in order to prevent roof damage and there’s also the risk of slipping on attic joists if proper footing isn’t taken into account.
The typical attic contains nooks and crannies that can be difficult to access. It does take experience to be aware of them to ensure that every square inch is properly insulated.
Don’t forget that you will need to ensure you have all the proper safety gear, which will add to your DIY cost.
Hiring an expert for this task is often much simpler. Not only will a professional make sure everything goes smoothly with no mess left behind, but their experience also means that potential hazards such as asbestos or mold may be spotted early enough for them to prevent further problems.
Getting an experienced installer for your attic insulation project gives you the confidence that the job will be done right and it’s over in a matter of hours rather than days. You also get the benefit of warranties on labor and materials, which is great for peace of mind.
If you think it’s time for your attic to get an insulation refresh, call Attic Pros, insulation installers near you, for competitive prices and first-rate service.