Insulation Quality and Price

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Old 10-15-20, 06:15 AM
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Question Insulation Quality and Price

Hello
I'm renovating a 50 year old home that needs insulation in the attic (it has none). This is my first experience with insulation so bare with me. A company gave me an estimate and they were going to use a popular pink fiberglass blow-in fill at $40 a bale, $85 each installed, 16 bales total. I checked at a local box store and you can get a popular cellulose based blow-in insulation at $7.50 a bale. I would need 40 bales and they throw in the blow-in machine for free if you get more than 20 bales. The cost of me DIY is obviously MUCH cheaper but my question is regarding the insulation itself. Is there really that much benefit to the pink stuff to pay that much for it or is it just hype?

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Old 10-15-20, 06:39 AM
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You would need to compare the r value per inch of each product to compare apples to apples. If the r values per inch are the same, they are probably equal. Pink is just their brand name and the rest is marketing. This is certainly something you could diy with the help of an assistant or two.
 
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Old 10-15-20, 07:08 AM
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Yes, same R value. I'm just amazed at the mark-up in labor for a guy to stand there and hold a hose to blow-in one bale. Yeah, they have to earn a living but $45 in labor per bale is kinda crazy AND I got the "veterans discount".
 
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Old 10-15-20, 07:38 AM
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Before doing anything, the attic needs to be air sealed first, and baffles added for air flow at the soffits.
I'll make a few suggestions if you do this yourself.
Wherever you set up the blower make sure to lay out a tarp first for faster clean up.
Set up walk boards down the middle of the attic.
Everyone should be wearing goggles, and a dust mask.
I used a piece of PVC pipe duct taped to the end of the supplied hose to make it far easier to reach the outside areas.
Start blowing it at the far end first, and work your way back to the access hole.
Lay another tarp on the floor at the access hole.
 
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Old 10-15-20, 07:39 AM
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Blown fiberglass is fairly clean, whereas cellulose can be quite dusty. So one product costs more than the other. Cellulose can be prone to settling whereas fiberglass stays fluffed up. Your r value decreases slightly as the insulation compacts.

Contractors have to make a living and <20 bales is a small job so the price might seem inflated compared to a big job where they blow all day long at one site.
 
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Old 10-15-20, 08:04 AM
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I'm just amazed at the mark-up in labor for a guy to stand there and hold a hose
So lets kind of remove the thought that they are doing nothing for the added cost, you have to remember, tools, vehicles, wages, profit etc are an essential part of running a business. It works for many, but DIY is why we are here!

There are pro's and cons to both types of blown in insulation and as noted, there is pre-work that must be done before anybody can just stand there and hold a hose which as you can guess hopefully goes along with the mark up!
 
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Old 10-15-20, 09:19 AM
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Before doing anything, the attic needs to be air sealed first, and baffles added for air flow at the soffits.


One of the reasons why it has to be blown in is due to the low slant of the roof. You might be able to walk stooped over down the centerline of the trusses. The soffits are inaccessible so baffles can't be installed.
 
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