cost of foam insulation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wangshanMarch 21, 2005

I just got a bid to blow foam insulation into the walls of my house $17,000.00!!!! WTF! does that sound right????? Does any one have experience with this??? I just want to cry.

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Foam is a very time consuming and labor intense method of insulation. Also the cost of the foam is way above anything else. All I can say is shop it around a bit. Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 11:56AM
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Hello everyone....$17,000 for wall insulation?? Outragious estimate considering the material is quickly injected into the wall cavity. I am having blown in fiber insulation in the walls of my 1300 sq. ft home and A very respectable firm gave me a quote of the entire job of $1900 and is completed in one day. Job involves removing aluminum siding and drilling entrance holes thru perma stone front and all regrouting,cleanup etc. in the Buffalo NY area. Have you considered using this type of insulation instead. Best regards,Mark

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 2:11PM
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Have you priced out how much it costs to rent the machine and buy the foam yourselves?

We did it as part of a bigger project, so I can't price that out, really, but can guarantee it was well less than half of that. Now, we already had the drywall down, and it was pretty easy to blow in. But still, I'd say the most we paid was a few thousand (1600 SF house, exterior walls only).

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 3:43PM
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I looked at the diy's pretty costly materials. Fiberglass insulation has too many disadvantages( low r at low temps, and hazardous.Cellulose would be ok, but the thought of all that dust, plus the r-value still not what the foam can do. This is Chicago after can get pretty cold for pretty long. Part of the problem is that this house has multiple small roofs, sunrooms jutting out , and is about 3000 sq feet not including basement.It's stucco, old stucco with plaster walls so they have to drill many holes and some HAVE to be done from the outside.The attic is only partially insulated so that needs to be done also.I talked to the contractor today because I was about to have a panic attack(due to this and another issue you don't even want to hear about) and he is not pushy at all, says it's ok to do in steps. Even the diy website says its costly so just do it in sections.Considering the price of gas...maybe I should just bite the old bullet. I'm definetly calling my accountant to see about tax credit for this.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 5:34PM
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Would you please kindly share where you got the info on diy foam insulation?



    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 11:48PM
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Sure Ted here's a link

Here is a link that might be useful: fomofoam

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 11:14AM
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I can't imagine that a 17,000 dollar investment in insulation will EVER pay itself off in reduced energy costs. Have you thought about having a pro come in and look over the house for areas of air infiltration. I'm guessing remediating areas of leakage will be much cheaper and may improve a drafty house.

I also have a home with stucco and plaster walls. I cannot imagine it will ever look the same after holes are drilled.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 12:48PM
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I did have a pro come in ...complete with infrared camera and blower door. They expected to come at 1 and be done at 4..they were there til 7 that nite and that was just to find out what the problem was and how to fix it. The "energy detective" guy told the insulation guy in an email that wasn't meant for me that mine was the most complex house they've ever seen! And I did the math...assuming that there are NO increases in the price of heating gas from now on it will take 12 years to recover the cost.And fat chance of the price staying the same,so it's more like8-10 years. So if you've seen the cost of the foam, consider that there are 3 sunrooms that they had to do the ceiling floor and walls in,3 other areas of roof extending off the 2nd floor that had to be filled....this crew also went in from the inside..the drill bits for stucco cost a fortune and they would go thru several if they did it from the outside, so at least that won't need repairing right away. I wish I would have done this in the fall actually but better late than never. Ted did you check out that fomo site? What did you think?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 10:51AM
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That seems outrageous. Just how BIG is your house? Did they break the price down for you? Give you a price per foot or anything? If not, they should so that you can compare apples to apples when you get other bids (and you SHOULD get other bids--foam is worth it if the price is right and prices vary greatly, at least over this way--NY/NJ area).

Also, did they give you any depth specs (e.g. 5.5" in a 2x6 cavity, or 11.25" in a 2x12 roof rafter)?

These can vary as well.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 2:30PM
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HGTV had a show last night about denim insulation. It's recycled, VOC and formaldehyde free, fire retardant, and it's what James Dean would have used. Link below has some more information...

Here is a link that might be useful: Ultra-Touch Denim Insulation

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 3:43PM
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I've seen that episode...does anyone know how much that is?My house is about 3000sf not including basement, and has true4" wall studs.Plus like I said about 4 little rooflets,2 floors sticking outfrom 2nd floor.SoI guess it adds up.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 7:55PM
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Has anyone actually used that Fomofoam? I'm not sure that it's that much cheaper than the professional quote I got for the same type of foam insulation but I may be calculating wrong. I'll have to go back and look at the professional quote to make sure.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 11:14AM
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Right that's exactly what I thought after looking at it. The guy insulating my house said that it is going up 11% at the end of this month also, so if anyone is contemplating this should lock in your price for materials like NOW. He claims cellulose went up 7% 3 times since last's scary.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 7:11PM
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Thanks, I just looked at the fomo info.

I've been looking at the backpages of these forums, as I wanted to catch the good information before they dropped off. I finally made it to these front pages.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 12:15AM
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Have you considered a wood stove to help with the cost of heating your home... My wife and I have a 200 year old farmhouse that we heat with oil and firewood it involves some work but it keeps the house warm and reduces the cost of heating this old place with oil.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 12:28AM
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I'd get a second and a third estimate. Also, can you skip insulating the sunrooms (I don't know anything about insulation but isn't the purpose of a sunroom to let the sun shine in and warm you up?)
I've heard that the cost of building materials continues to rise because of the Chinese who are building like crazy, thus increasing the demand for concrete...

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 5:34AM
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Wangshan -
For starters, FINISH the attic insulation. Then seal all the drafts around the windows and outlets with caulking.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 1:54PM
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scott2006 is something you can use.. when I was in Germany ...sometime ago...the farmers would take in a COW at night and have it sleep in the living room. Everyone would sleep around it for warmth at night. If it was very very cold... well you guessed it... a 2 Cow night.

PS " NO SMOKING" in there. hehehe. But it's a true story they only had central heating.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 9:00PM
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Thanks Scott...actually my cats are so big I call them CATtle...they keep me warm at nite but take up too much of the bed...I can't imagine having a cow in bed with me ! (insert significant other joke here)
Anyway , since it's been 2 years since I had all this done , here's an up date. I love love love the results. Not only is my house's much quieter. My gas usage is about little more than ONE THIRD of what it was, and same with the A/C. I live in Chicago where there are about 3 weeks of 'nice' weather each year , so it has made my life much better. I have also been slowly going over all the windows , doors and sill plate in the basement, upgrading and fine tuning the insulation there , which already had been done somewhat. There are 28 windows just on the first floor, so it takes time to get it all done.
Bottom line , I would do it again. To anybody who is trying to make their house warmer, I would say ,of course check doors and windows , but unless you know what's in the attic and walls , you won't get very far.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 10:01AM
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'Morning, Folks. Wangshan, I just came to this discussion after posting a note on heating/insulation about DIY foam insulating. I'm looking for someone who has done it and what there afterthoughts might have been.

You said it's been two years since you had all of this done. What did you have done? Fibreglass? Foam? Other? You sound very pleased. I'm in the mountains of Western NC. Compared to Chicago I suppose we have it pretty good. Thanks, Gene

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 9:28AM
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Well they put foam into all the walls, cellulose into the finished attic ceilings( the foam gets too heavy), foam onto the attic where it was not finished (against the inside of the roof), and cellulose into the ceilings and floors of all the sunrooms. I have 2 floors plus an attic . I paid a contractor because it was not something I wanted to deal with and it wouldn't have been worth it .It was a lot of work , but definitely worth it here. The weather is very extreme , I can't imagine it being that bad where you are. But if I had a project with open walls anyway ,I could definitly see doing it yourself and saving some bucks, especially if you are very handy and energetic.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 7:48PM
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So a 2/3 savings in gas and summer electric. Very good! Did you figure out your payback period, i.e., how long it will take for the savings to equal the cost?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 11:47PM
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I think it came out to be about 10 years...that was for 2005 gas/electric prices.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 10:32PM
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Beside pay back on the foam - there is the advantage to consider of less problems with insects and rodents.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 10:24AM
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How about a hybrid approach? On new construction, some custom home builders are using just enough foam to seal the house and fill trouble spots around windows and doors, run a line of foam all around each wall cavity, where the studs sills, etc., meet the siding, and anything that penetrates the wall or is difficult insulate with Fiberglas. Then they fill the 6" walls with Fiberglas. A contractor friend claims 80% of the benefit for 30% of the cost. (I don't know how he derived those numbers.)
It seals the house against infiltration of air and insects and the foam glues the studs, sills and runners to siding adding a lot of strength. If you are in a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake area, that is a factor. It also appears to be quieter than just Fiberglas. Most of the cost of caulking and stuffing around doors and windows is eliminated.
Has anyone had experience with this approach in existing buildings? It would only seem to apply to areas that had sheet rock removed or attics.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 2:25PM
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ok- I just got 3 estimates for foam insulation in my crawl space and basement. They range from $5800 to $12000! Now I'm more confused than ever!
Wangshan- did you finally decide it was worthwhile or not?
I tried some fiberglass bats last year but it was half-*ssed and was a disaster (soaking wet and falling down). The estimates I got are for vapor barrier on floor and spraying foam on the walls, rim joists and floor joists. IS IT WORTH IT?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 10:23PM
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The post you reference is 3 years old. Best to start a new thread.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 10:57AM
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I went with the foam. There were a few spaces that because of the wieght( attic cieling ) they put in cellulose. My energy bills were cut by 2/3 rds ! And the noise reduction was probably about 90% !!! So I am very happy with the results.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 1:04PM
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tuckerj, where do you live? How big is your space ? For me, well Chicago is up 100 in the summer and down to 10 below in the winter, like I said there are precious few weeks when the weather is actually nice. I was so fed up , honestly I didn't care if that was going to be the only thing I could afford ! My 1905 4 square with 28 windows just on the first floor and then a second floor, plus an attic and a full basement , well you can see why I needed major insulation. I am right in the city , one block from a large intersection and 3 blocks from a 8 lane highway, so you can see why the noise thing was such a great BONUS! But if these things are not that big of a deal, maybe wait, or do a little at a time, or use something else.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 8:07PM
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whangshan: i too live in chicago in cottage home 1893 that has been remodeled extensively, with two large dormers recently added with a second zone hvac w/ great insulation. unfortunately, the prior rehabs didn't insulate the first floor so it is COLD in the winter. what contractor did you use? my first floor is about 1000 sq ft with vinyl siding. i hope my estimate for foam/blown in insulation will be smaller!!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 12:36PM
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This is the guy...he came highly recomended by the team that did the evaluation (with the blower door, infrared camera, etc). pm me if you have any questions

Precise and Snug Insulation in Roscoe, IL, US (United States)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 3:58PM
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i'm thinking about foam insulation in the crawl space area of my home. is the foam a good way to go, or should i stick with that fiberglass batting

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 8:02AM
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Fiberglass is worse than useless. See link for acceptable alternatives. And, more important, where to place it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Building Science on Crawlspace Insulation

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 10:20AM
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See the most recent issue of Fine Homebuilding for a decent article on using spray foam to seal and then other insulation to reduce the expense of a fully foamed wall.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 3:20PM
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I bought a foreclosed 1257 sq.ft. rambler in Minneapolis (very cold). The house was a wreck. I removed interior rock and wall insulation. I rewired, replumed, new windows etc. Called every foam contractor in town. Got a good job for $2,450. They foamed all exterior walls full & the rim joist. The house is very quiet & my January 2011 heat bill was $103., & it was damned cold. The thermostat is set for 68 at night and 70 during the day. I am very impressed with foam. I plan on building an attached garage this spring & I plan on using DIY kit. You can D.I.Y. & save a lot of money. Hope this helps someone.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 11:19PM
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Infiltration is still a huge factor.

It is VERY hard to seal up every tiny crack and crevice.

No matter how much fiberglass or cellulose you put in the walls or the attic they are NOT very effective at stopping infiltration.

They work only when the air is NOT moving, and that requires sealing up ALL the cracks and openings.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 7:44PM
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For proper insulation nothing can be in the wall. I am working on a beta estimator for people like yourself to see what the cost are. This is phase 1 beta test and depending on how many foamers are in your area. I do foam inspections and Hurricane home fortification for insurance discounts. This is an estimator for Hurricane (Tornado) "Roof Upload Resistance". If you have your pop-up blocker set too high it will not work properly. Simple Form but if you have any questions call me @ 504-383-4786. If you refresh the screen it clears out everything (to start fresh) and if you do not click on the "Foam Seal" it does not add the Hurricane protection in to the TOTAL. You will need to know if the foam passed the NFPA 286 Apendix X, if it is going in your home if a foamer screws up your home you can sue him, if you screw it up it is your issue. call me

Here is a link that might be useful: Beta Foam Estimator

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 1:25AM
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Ever look into a Thermal Coating? I've been researching this for a while, and have found some amazing products. It defiantly seems to be the least evasive process to add insulation to an existing structure. At about $1.05 per square foot for the product, it seems to be cheaper than the alternatives. You could even do it yourself....

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 7:29PM
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How often does it have to be proven that the King's New Clothes are imaginary?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 3:32PM
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