How Much Does It Cost to Insulate a House? [By Area of Your Home]
Home is where the heart is and that’s a statement that resonates with just about everyone. There is simply no substitute for your home because that’s the place where you can feel most comfortable. To create that comfortable home environment, you need to insulate it properly.
Installing proper insulation allows your home to effectively retain heat during the winter. The insulation is also responsible for keeping the heat at bay during the dog days of summer. The importance of insulating your home cannot be overstated, but how much will you have to pay for that?
The cost of insulating your entire home is $21,600. You can avoid spending that much money by picking and choosing specific parts of your home that you want to insulate. The final cost of the insulation project can change based on key factors. It can change based on the insulation material and the type of insulation you’ve opted to use.
Do you want to feel as comfortable as you possibly can while relaxing inside your home? If that is your goal, then you should not hesitate to invest in home insulation. Discover how much insulating your home will cost by continuing with the rest of this article.
Cost to Insulate Your Home by Location
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You can effectively regulate temperature levels inside your home by installing insulation. However, installing insulation throughout every part of your home can be expensive. Homeowners are potentially looking at a bill of $21,600 if they want to cover all their bases in terms of insulation.
Given the cost of whole home insulation, many folks prefer to target specific areas instead. Detailed below are the areas that homeowners commonly insulate.
Don’t forget about your basement while you’re selecting parts of your home to insulate. On average, insulating a basement will cost you $4,400.
The basement is a prime candidate for insulation because it’s often responsible for significant heat loss. If you failed to properly seal that part of your home, it will struggle to maintain your desired temperature. Even when it’s sealed, the temperature level in your basement may still vary greatly from the rest of your home.
Insulating your basement is also a good idea because it prevents moisture from pooling in there. Without adequate insulation, items you store in your basement could deteriorate rapidly.
If your home doesn’t have a basement, it likely has a crawlspace instead. The crawlspace is another part of your home that can benefit from insulation. Adding insulation to your crawlspace will cost an average of $3,300.
The crawlspace provides homeowners with a unique insulating opportunity. Depending on how your crawlspace is laid out, you can insulate its ceiling and your floors at the same time. You’re effectively killing two birds with one stone in that scenario.
Alternatively, you can also cover the walls of the crawlspace with insulation. The insulation installed on the walls of the crawlspace can still improve temperature retention even if they don’t warm up your floors.
The garage is another area inside your home that warrants consideration for insulation. The average cost of insulating a garage is $4,300.
How much you’ll ultimately spend on insulating your garage will depend on how it’s designed. The attached garages are cheaper to insulate. You only need to insulate an attached garage’s exterior walls because the rest of it is likely insulated already.
Insulating detached garages is more expensive because you have more area to cover. Then again, many homeowners will opt against insulating a detached garage since no one is staying there anyway.
Next up, we have to talk about the cost of insulating your home’s exterior walls. Compared to insulating other parts of your home, working on the exterior walls is considerably cheaper. The average cost of insulating exterior walls is $1,300.
Although the average cost of covering your exterior walls with insulation is relatively low, it can still climb in a hurry. That’s because many exterior walls are damaged in some way. You will have to seal any cracks or holes on the wall before you can add insulation.
The insulation bill may be low, but you still have the repair bill to worry about. If possible, insulate your exterior walls while your home is being built so you can avoid those repair-related expenses.
Do you have a limited budget allocated for home insulation? If so, you may want to consider insulating your attic first. The average cost of attic insulation is $1,900.
We recommend prioritizing your attic for insulation because that’s where a lot of warm air typically escapes. As warm air rises through your home, it will pass through any openings available. Your home will not maintain temperature consistently if your attic is not insulated.
Talk to the contractor regarding how much insulation to install in your attic. Don’t go overboard with the insulation or else your attic will turn into a damp space. Mold and mildew are more likely to thrive in damp attics.
Insulating your roof is another worthwhile home improvement project. However, it’s a project that won’t come cheap. Expect to pay $5,200 if you want insulation added to your roof.
Roof insulation is pricey mainly due to two reasons. First, insulating a roof is tricky because of where it’s located. Workers may need more time installing the insulation because your roof is not easily accessible.
The other reason why roof insulation is expensive is due to your limited options. You can only use select materials for roof insulation.
Still, insulating your roof is worth it not just for the energy savings. If you want to build a usable attic, you must first insulate your roof.
Lastly, we must talk about insulating specific rooms. You will have to spend $4,500 to properly insulate one of the rooms inside your home.
Room insulation costs can vary wildly. That tends to happen because different rooms may require different types of insulation. The amount of insulation required may also vary from one room to the next.
Have the contractor over so they can evaluate the room before insulation is installed. That way, you will have a better idea of how much you’ll have to spend on the project.
Cost of Insulation by Material
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After identifying the parts of your home you want to insulate, you can now choose your preferred insulation material. The selection process can be quite daunting because of all the available options.
To make the choice easier for you, we’ve highlighted the defining qualities of commonly used insulation materials. Go through the available options and see which one makes the most sense for your intended application.
Cellulose is your first material option for home insulation. It’s also among the cheaper options as it only costs $1.50 per square foot.
Pick cellulose if you want to install eco-friendly insulation. 85 percent of the materials used to create cellulose are recycled. To be more specific, the cellulose insulation is made from old paper that has been carefully processed.
Installing cellulose insulation also grants your home additional fire and insect resistance, according to the Department of Energy. Any added protection for your home is great to have. The fact that you’re getting it from your insulation is a nice bonus.
Cork is one of the more expensive insulation materials. You’ll have to pay $7.50 for each square foot of cork insulation.
Is cork insulation worth that high price tag? Given that cork is a natural material, you can argue that the elevated price is worth the money.
On the other hand, the lackluster R-value of cork insulation leaves a lot to be desired. Homes equipped with cork insulation may still end up using a lot of electricity during the summer and winter seasons. Consider installing a different material if you want something energy efficient.
Fiberglass is a very affordable insulation material. You can find retailers who sell fiberglass insulation at the price of $1 per square foot.
In addition to being affordable, fiberglass is also a widely available type of insulation. Just about every supplier offers insulation made from fiberglass.
There is no real downside to using fiberglass insulation. It boasts a solid R-value and can significantly improve your household’s energy efficiency. High-density fiberglass is a great purchase if you want effective insulation.
You should also note that fiberglass insulation is made from recycled materials. Count that as another reason why fiberglass insulation can be a good choice.
Polystyrene insulation is available to use for residential applications. However, you should know that polystyrene insulation is pricey. The average price of polystyrene insulation is $8 per square foot.
Installing polystyrene insulation is pretty easy because it’s such a lightweight material. It’s also a versatile insulation material in terms of form and that allows it to squeeze into all kinds of spaces.
The main issue with polystyrene insulation is that it becomes less effective over time. Combine that issue with the price of polystyrene insulation and you can understand why many homeowners are not fans of it.
Going back to insulation materials made from recycled goods, we have rockwool. You’ll have to pay $2.70 per square foot if you want rockwool insulation installed inside your home.
Rockwool provides solid R-values along with some fire resistance. You can install it in certain parts of your home to protect them better from potential electrical fires.
Note that rockwool insulation contains materials that can be harmful to your health. Because of that, you should leave the installation of rockwool insulation up to the pros.
To finish up this section, we have wood fiber insulation. Wood fiber is another pricey option that costs $5.50 per square foot.
Compared to the options we’ve listed here, wood fiber is not very versatile. It can only be molded into certain shapes so there are spots in your home it simply cannot fill.
Moisture can also deal a significant amount of damage to wood fiber. You may have to replace it sooner rather than later because of that.
Cost of Insulation by Type
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You must now select a type of insulation to install inside your home. More often than not, your choice of material will affect which types of insulation are made available to you and vice versa. Talk with your contractor to understand which insulation types you can select based on the choices you already made.
Once again, we’ve highlighted the most popular types of insulation used in homes throughout the country. Read up on them and see which one works best with your home.
To kick off this section, we’re talking about batting insulation. You may also hear suppliers refer to it as insulation batts. Batting insulation is affordably priced at $1.15 per square foot.
As you can imagine, the low cost of batting insulation makes it a popular choice among homeowners. A well-packed batt of insulation can also provide a good amount of R-value.
The one catch to batting insulation is that it’s not easy to install in existing walls. Installers will have to open your walls before they can set the batts in place. If you don’t want the installers removing your walls, then batting insulation is not for you.
The next option available to you is blown-in insulation. Blown-in insulation is another reasonably priced option at $2.40 per square foot.
In contrast to batting insulation, blown-in insulation can be installed just about everywhere. No matter how tight the space is, you can fill it using blown-in insulation. Tight spaces are even ideal for blown-in insulation because they contain the material better.
Installing blown-in insulation is also a fairly straightforward DIY project. As long as you have a blower and the appropriate safety gear, you should be able to install blown-in insulation.
Foam Board Insulation
Do you have some large spaces to fill behind your walls or underneath your floors? If so, you should consider picking up some foam board insulation. Foam board insulation is available for the price of $3 per square foot.
The density of foam board is its main selling point. It can withstand a good amount of force and remain intact.
You can also use foam board to cover up holes in your wall. Once installed, foam board insulation can create a tight seal.
Installing foam board insulation can prove to be a challenge. That task is often better left to the professionals.
The most affordable type of home insulation you can find is the radiant barrier. You can purchase radiant barrier insulation for the low price of $0.70 per square foot.
So, why are radiant barriers so inexpensive? That may have something to do with the fact that they don’t provide insulating material. Instead, the radiant barrier is supposed to work as a reflective surface that directs heat away from your home.
The radiant barrier is supposed to work together with insulation to regulate temperatures. You cannot use it alone and expect good results.
Rigid Board Insulation
We’re going from the cheapest option that is the radiant barrier to the most expensive option known as rigid board insulation. Homeowners have to pay $7.50 per square foot if they want rigid board insulation.
Despite its high price tag, rigid board insulation is not especially versatile. Using it outside is an absolute no-no because it can get damaged if it’s exposed to moisture. Even inside your home, you need to carefully choose where you’ll install rigid board insulation.
Still, people pay that high price for rigid board insulation because of how it dampens sound. Install rigid board insulation throughout your home to keep unwanted noises away.
Spray Foam Insulation
Rounding out the list of insulation types is none other than spray foam insulation. You’ll have to pay $5 per square foot for spray foam insulation.
Blown-in and spray foam insulation are often confused for one another, but there are notable differences between them. For instance, materials used for blown-in insulation include cellulose, fiberglass, and rockwool. With spray foam, suppliers mostly stick to polystyrene.
Spray foam insulation also expands after it’s applied. That allows it to fill up space inside walls very quickly.
Labor Cost to Install Insulation
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It’s now time for you to consider the costs of installing your chosen home insulation. The average price for installing insulation is $0.40 per square foot.
Other installers will charge as much as $0.50 per square foot. Some installers will also offer a lower than average rate of $0.25 per square foot.
Whether or not you should install insulation yourself depends on certain factors. First off, you should check if you have the necessary equipment. Since purchasing the required equipment will cost a significant amount of money, you might as well pay for professional installation.
You should also consider how difficult the installation will be. Some insulation materials are harder to install than others. Hiring professional installers is a good move if you don’t want to risk wasting your insulation materials.
Cost to Remove Existing Insulation
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The installers may not be able to set the new insulation in place right away. That’s because you still have to get the existing insulation removed. The average cost of removing existing insulation is $2.20 per square foot.
The cost of removing insulation will change based on where it is located. If the insulation is in your roof or another hard-to-reach spot, the professionals will ask for more money. Note that the type of insulation you need to get removed can also impact how much the professionals will charge you.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Insulate an Old House?
Using batting insulation is recommended if you want to insulate an old home without spending too much money. Aside from being affordable, batting insulation can also cover up some damage on your walls. That makes it a multi-purpose addition to your home.
Is It Worth Insulating an Old House?
Whether or not insulating an old house is worth it will depend on how much damage it has sustained over the years. If the walls have huge holes in them and there are cracks all over the place, the insulation won’t make a difference. The home should be repaired before insulation is added.
Can You Over-Insulate a House?
Yes, over-insulating your home is a possibility. Installing too much insulation can turn parts of your home into moisture traps. You’re also wasting money because those supplemental layers of insulation are not doing much for your household.
Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.
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