Adding loose-fill insulation to an unfinished attic is a gotta-do-it project for even the unhandiest homeowner. Blow-in insulation will create a sound barrier and add insulating power to your home, and installing it an ideal job for a wannabe DIYer. The job requires no-brainer skills, with a nice payback in a quieter and better insulated home that’s cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
An insulation contractor will charge $4,500, which includes labor and material, to blow-in enough insulation to cover 1,500 square feet of attic area at least eight inches deep. To install the insulation by hand, you’ll spend $3,400 for the insulation. For a larger area consider renting a blower machine, which can cost $150 a day. Some of the big box retailers who sell the material offer use of the machine free for a day. Doing this job will save you 24% and lower heating and cooling costs.
Manhandling the bags up to the attic can be a challenge; they’re bulky but lightweight. You can spread the insulation the old-fashioned way—by hand—pouring the material straight out of the bags into the cavities between the floor joists. Spread it around with a garden rake or broom. To coax it into difficult-to-reach areas, try a yardstick or short pole. Leave it loose, not packed down.
Be careful. Wear a good-quality respirator for lung protection and knee pads for your shins. To avoid itching, wear a long-sleeved shirt, heavy slacks and shoes, and a hat or scarf.
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Pro Cost — DIY Cost — Pro time — DIY Time — DIY Savings — Percent Saved
$4,500 — $3,400 — 4.0 — 6.0 — $1,100 — 24 percent