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- Cost to insulate a house
- Types of insulation
- Insulation costs by location
- Insulation costs by material
- DIY vs. professional insulation costs
- Protecting yourself with the right insurance
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The average cost to insulate a house is $1 to $5 per square foot or around $3,000 to $10,000 for a 2,000-square-foot home.
Installing insulation in a new home or replacing insulation in an existing home is critical to keeping you and your loved ones comfortable and safe—whether it’s freezing cold or boiling hot outside.
Although it might seem like a large lump sum to pay upfront, the cost of properly insulating your home will pay for itself in just a couple of years of reduced electrical bills.
Home insulation costs can vary. That’s why the home and car insurance comparison shopping app Jerry has compiled some useful info on what you can expect your home insulation project to cost.
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What is the cost to insulate a house?
The average cost to insulate a 2,000-square-foot house is $3,000 to $10,000. Price variance depends on many factors, including whether you are adding insulation to new construction or to an existing home.
It is cheaper to insulate a home during construction, rather than add insulation to an existing home because of the cost to remove existing insulation. Replacing old insulation adds an additional $1 to $3 per square foot. Removing insulation also can expose you to toxic chemicals, so a professional should be hired to complete this step safely.
While many types of insulation can last for a long time, some are only meant to last 20 to 30 years. If your insulation is older than that, you may be in need of a replacement.
Key Takeaway: The cost to remove old insulation makes it more expensive to add insulation to an existing house, rather than to one during construction.
Types of insulation for your home
There are four main types of home insulation to consider, each with advantages in terms of ease of installation and cost.
Blanket batts and rolls
Batts are precut sheets of fiberglass insulation, while rolls are simply longer versions of batts. They are designed to easily fit between wall studs, rafters, and joints.
Batt/roll insulation is one of the lower-cost types of home insulation and is simplest to install, which makes it an excellent choice for a DIY project.
The average cost per square foot for batt/roll insulation is between $.30 to $2.
Pro tip: Fiberglass can irritate your lungs and skin, so it should be handled with care!
Blown-in insulation is installed using a machine to blow insulation into hard-to-reach places. It is often made from cellulose material, but it also can be made from fiberglass.
Blown-in insulation can conform and fit nearly any space, which makes it ideal for adding insulation to already-built homes. The average cost per square foot for blown-in insulation is between $1.65 and $3.80.
Pro tip: Blown-in insulation is great for experienced DIY-ers, but if you’re a newbie, consider leaving it to the professionals!
Also known as rigid insulation, foam board insulation is often used to insulate the exteriors of homes below the siding.
Although thinner than blanket insulation, foam board is one of the most efficient types of insulation because of the quality of the materials used for how thick it is. Foam boards are made from polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, and polyurethane materials, which provide a high level of insulation for a thinner board. Foam board installation is also relatively easy for DIY. The average cost of foam board insulation is $2.40 to $3.75 per square foot.
Spray foam insulation is made of liquid polyurethane that is sprayed into wall cavities where it fills the space and sets. It is the most expensive type of home insulation since it requires special equipment and should be done by a professional.
While it is a more expensive choice, spray foam has an excellent return on investment on energy cost savings. The average cost of spray foam insulation is between $3.15 and $7.50 per square foot.
Key Takeaway: Batt/roll insulation is typically the cheapest insulation process, while spray foam is the most expensive.
Insulation costs by location
Insulation costs can vary greatly based on the location in your home. The size of the space and the amount of insulation used will affect the overall cost.
The attic is arguably the most important room in your home to insulate because heat rises. Many homes have nearly twice as much insulation in the attic as they do in other areas to prevent the loss of rising warm air. For this reason, the attic is typically the most expensive area to insulate.
The average cost of attic insulation is between $1,500 and $6,000.
Wall insulation is the most common type of insulation service and generally costs from $1 to $4 per square foot.
The average cost to insulate a two-car garage is $.50 to $1.25 per square foot. Keep in mind that attached garages only need the outside walls insulated, not anything connected to the main house.
Pro tip: The garage may be a room that’s best left to DIY installation, as it is relatively easy and inexpensive to complete and many home insulation companies have a minimum charge; otherwise, consider including it as part of a larger project.
Insulating your roof is a good idea if you are still having difficulty retaining heat or are considering converting your attic into a functional room. While attic insulation can be expensive, you can often bundle the price with new roof installation.
The average cost for roof insulation is $1,500 to $4,500.
Basements typically do not need as much insulation as the rest of the house since they are already cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but if you’re itching for a DIY project, who are we to stop you?
The average cost of insulating a basement costs between $1.50 and $2.50 per square foot.
Insulation costs by material
In addition to varying costs for the type of insulation and location, costs vary for materials as well.
- One of the most affordable and popular materials for insulation, especially with batt and blown-in insulations
- Average cost is $0.40 to $1.50 per square foot
- Used almost exclusively for blown-in insulation
- Average cost is $.60 to $2.30 per square foot
- Used to make foam board or spray foam insulation
- Average cost is $1 to $15 per square foot
- An eco friendly and safer-to-use option, as it is made from recycled blue jeans
- Average cost is $1.50 to $1.75 per square foot
DIY vs. professional insulation costs
If you’re looking for a DIY insulation project, our recommendation would be to stick to roll and batting or rigid foam boards.
While blown-in insulation can be a DIY task, it might be worth hiring a professional installer if you’re inexperienced, as it involves drilling into wall cavities that may contain electrical wiring and pipes.
Spray foam insulation is almost exclusively handled by professionals, as it requires special equipment and may expose you to dangerous chemicals.
Home installation labor costs can be expected to add between $.25 and $2.50 per square foot.
Key Takeaway: Stick to Batt/roll insulation or rigid foam boards for DIY projects. Blown-in and spray foam are best left to the pros!
Protecting yourself with the right insurance
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How much does it cost to insulate a garage?
The average cost to insulate a two-car garage is $.50 to $1.25 per square foot.
The garage can be a great DIY insulation project, as it is relatively inexpensive, but if you do go with a professional installation service, keep in mind that many home insulation companies have a minimum charge, so consider bundling it with a larger project.
What is the best kind of insulation?
The best kind of insulation depends on whether you’re applying insulation to an existing house or new construction and what your budget is.
Fiberglass is the most common and least expensive material for insulation. It is ideal for adding insulation to existing homes.
Polystyrene, which is used to make foam boards and sprays, is a more expensive material but provides a greater return on investment in terms of energy cost. Using foam insulation is recommended during construction.