attic blow in --- DIY v.s. Professional


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Old 01-15-11, 04:25 PM
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attic blow in --- DIY v.s. Professional

I have heard from various general contractors, that it is actually cheaper to have blown insulation done by a professional, as opposed to renting the blower, buying blow, and doing it yourself. This being due to professionals buying their material in bulk quantities. Thoughts???? Thanks.
 
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Old 01-16-11, 03:47 AM
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I'd check prices. Generally the big box stores will loan you the blower for free if you buy a minimum number of bags. The pros have a better blower and experience but I'd check prices both ways before I made a decision.
 
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Old 01-16-11, 12:28 PM
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Adding insulation to an attic is a lot easier than drilling and filling walls, so many DIY this work. It will be messy, so have some extra fans to exhaust the dust and supply fresh air. As for pricing, as marksr said, get some bids. Timing may be a factor as well, as we are in the peak of cold weather, so the insulating cos may be busy, even the free blower at the big box can be difficult to get at times.

Depending upon what you are insulating, the mineral batts are very dense and do not have the issues of air infiltration that fiberglass has. You see Mike Holmes using the stuff all the time.

Bud
 
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Old 01-16-11, 01:03 PM
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Can you use the mineral batts overhead in joist bays with wire stays, or are they too heavy? Curious.
 
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Old 01-16-11, 02:46 PM
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I bought my first bundle recently to get some hands on and they fit nice and tight, assuming the spacing is correct. I don't see any problem installing them overhead as you would fg.

Bud
 
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Old 01-16-11, 03:48 PM
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In a attic blown in is better than batts. Gets in all the nooks and crannies. (Whatever a crannie is )
 
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Old 01-16-11, 07:40 PM
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Yes, I have been told to get bids, but have not yet done this. I have a couple different contractors in my area, and have been told, it will vary by day, upon which contractor is cheaper. But yes, I do need to figure out my square footage, and get pricing all ways.. I have also been told for getting the free blower, a deposit of a few hundred dollars is required. Can anyone confirm this?
 
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Old 01-19-11, 07:44 AM
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If you were to obtain a contractor, make sure he gets into all the "crawl spaces" in your attic, I have a house built in 04 and the blown in insulation is deep whererever
you can see from the attic door. But as I crawl around in the attic, there is a small gable area over the bedroom that had very little to in some places no insulation so I had to buy batts and insulate in that area. It was particularily bad near around the edges. I got a lot of nail hits in my head but it's done! Some contractors take the easiest route when they undertake a job.
 
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Old 01-19-11, 08:24 AM
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If your home has vents installed in the eave soffits, be sure to not cover them. They are essential to your attic's ventilation. There are baffles available that maintain a clear channel from the vent into the area above the insulation that are inexpensive and easy to install as long as you install them before filling the eaves.
 
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Old 01-19-11, 08:40 AM
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Dust issues come with the blown cellulose insulation. The dust is actually a fire retardant the cellulose is treated with. When your in full flow blowing it is like being in a fog...difficult to see even with good lighting. I used cellulose on the first two places I did because I get the hebe gebes just thinking about fiberglass on my skin! The last place I did I did with blown fiberglass. The guy at the big box store told me there was no dust with the fiberglass, so I gave it a try. He was right. There was so little dust that it was tempting to take off the respariator and goggles (I would never do this) whereas with cellulose this would never be considered. The big box stores in my area just want a photo copy of my drivers license for the free rental. I think I got 1 day free with 20 bags...since I bought like 70 bags I talked them into a couple days free.
 
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Old 01-19-11, 11:59 AM
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i bought a 500 watt light just for this purpose , it was fantastic! also had the fan going in the window.

i have posts on here about my experience, will dig up and post them later
 
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Old 01-20-11, 10:11 AM
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here are 2 posts i had in other threads in response to questions

if you go with green fiber, make sure you get a good machine. there's an old 'hot dog cart' style one (lower and more rectangular) then there's one that has a higher tube and is newer and it has a circular blade that spins to feed the machine. the guy told me the new one has a better drive in it when they had to deliver it because the older one got continually clogged. put me behind over 1 hour on the job.

also make sure you put plastic down under the machine because you will lose a lot with the person filling the machine. there are threads on the green fiber in this forum and i found it a relatively easy kind of job to do.


i just did this. I think the biggest issue outside was keeping the stuff inside the hopper but i wasnt outside,my helper was so i cant verify. definitely put a big plastic sheet down under the machine and around it..she picked up probably at least a bale of waste that way. My lowes had 100ft of hose but i guess i didnt need it all because i only used 2 sections. but one section of my attic is 50 ft so i needed about 20 more to get down to the machine. Also get the taller upright machine for the green fiber, it never clogged but the lower 'box shaped' one clogged and i lost over 1 hour waiting for unclogs and also they ran a new machine out to me

as far as 20ft, i dont know if id say it blew that far. But maybe you can buy 10ft of pvc pipe and blow it thru that? i thought of that idea to reach a difficult area but didnt try it yet.

get a mask with a vent on it for when you are in the attic. i had 3 open windows plus a fan going and still looked like i came out of a volcano. Also i'm not saying raking wont work because i really dont know, but based on my experience, i wouldnt want to do it personally.

dont skimp on insulation, take time to calculate the amount you will need. I bought 60 bags for about 1400 sq ft and i know i did overblow some of the areas but hey, it's a once in a lifetime thing and it's only 10 bucks a bag. i got about R57 in the open part of the attic. very noticeable difference immediately in my kitchen which only had 2 inches before. also make sure you have plenty of markings and rulers all over the place. i wish i had a few more down. i just used sticks i broke to the right height for the most part.
 
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Old 01-20-11, 06:02 PM
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Using the cellulose will help air seal, which you should do before insulating the attic; http://www.nybtg.com/downloads/therm..._checklist.pdf
How to Seal Attic Air Leaks | The Family Handyman You may pay extra for this.

Then install the baffles to keep your air path open, the bendable one-piece plastic are a better deal from HD; Berger Building Products

DIY or have it done, SPECIFY the density you want, and the R-value. 1#per cubic foot and higher density is good, below that will give you convective loops to degrade the R-value = 30-50% in either cellulose or fiberglass; “How To” Buy/choose Fiberglass Insulation. - DIY Chatroom - DIY Home Improvement Forum

Gary
 
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Old 01-21-11, 12:50 PM
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any way to skip the blower in a pinch?

Removed this post - will start new thread.
 
 

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