I guess this is probably one of the most asked questions in terms of home insulation. This article tells you what the cost of insulation is and how to do a rough estimate on insulation cost. Before going further, I would like to point out that the estimated insulation cost here only caters to people living in the United States. However, for those not living in the United States, you can use the same guidelines here to estimate the insulation cost in your area.

First of all, the cost of insulation largely depends on R-value of the material and the size of a specific area of your house that you want to insulate. With that being said, you can determine the cost by first figuring out the R-value requirement in your area. R-value requirement depends on where you live and climate of the area as well as the specific place in your house that you want to insulate. For example, if you live in Florida and you want the wall to be insulated, then the required R-value is R-13 according to the diagram at the bottom of this article. If you live in North Dakota, the R-value is different and it is R-18. If you are going to insulate the attic for instance, then the R-value is going to be different. Anyway, the important thing to know is higher R-values means higher insulation cost. Therefore, an R-18 requirement certainly costs more than R-13 for the same insulation material.

After determining the R-value, the next thing is to find out the insulation material that you wan to use. Different insulation materials cost differently even though they achieve the same R-value. Popular insulation materials are fiberglass and cellulose. Their respective R-value is 3 and 3.3 per inch of material. Therefore, to achieve an R-value of 18, you would need about 6 inches thick of fiberglass or 5.5 inches thick of cellulose.

When you know the R-value and the insulation material, you will need to estimate the size of the space that you wan to insulate. For example, a typical 1,200 square feet house has about 800 square feet of attic space. Once you have figure out the R-value, insulation material and size of the space, you can look for a contractor. The contractor will be able to give you a quote including the labor cost with all these information.

If you plan to do the insulation work yourself (DIY) and decided not to engage a contractor, you can roughly figure out what the cost is with the known R-value, insulation material and the amount of insulation material needed for the specific space.

If you decide to ask a contractor to do the work, here is a rough estimate of the cost of insulation. For example, a rough estimate to insulate an open attic by contractor can range from as low as $0.50 in certain area to as high as $2.25 per square foot. That’s about $400 to $1800 for an 800 square feet attic space. Typically, the cost of attic insulation averages from $700 to $1100. Do-it-yourself materials for roll-out batting in an open attic can run $100$500 for an 800 square feet attic space.

Moreover, a rough estimate for hiring someone to blow insulation into a flat roof, cathedral ceiling or wall cavities is $2 -$3.50 a square foot, or $1,000 -$3,500 for filling 1,000 square feet of empty wall or roof space. A complete insulation job on a typical family home can run $2,000 -$10,000 or more, but averages $2,500 -$5,500, depending on materials, the regional climate and the local economy.

In conclusion, the cost of insulation varies greatly from region to region. One thing for sure is the DIY home insulation can roughly cut the cost by half. Therefore, if you know how to do the insulation work and you are on a tight budget, then by all means go ahead to do it yourself to save cost.

Insulation R-values-diagram

Insulation R-values-diagram

Insulation zone-map

Insulation zone-map

Related Home Insulation Guide