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How Much Does Insulation Cost? 2024 Price Guide

man installing insulation

How much you’ll need to pay for insulation depends on a variety of factors, including your area, the space you’re insulating, and the type of insulation you’re using. Some options are very cheap, such as insulating a home in a temperate area, while others are more expensive. The cost works out to about $1.50 to $5.00 a square foot.

When determining how much you’ll need to spend, you’ll have to consider all of these factors. Typically, once you consider how much insulation per square foot you’ll need, determining your overall cost is much easier. There are also several ways to make your costs lower, but it is vital that you don’t skimp on insulation.

After all, without proper insulation, your energy bills will be much higher.

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The Importance of Insulation

Insulation is vital for any home. It helps keep the indoor air in and the outdoor air out. Therefore, it takes less energy to cool and heat your home if it is properly insulated. Otherwise, you may end up with tons of drafts and higher energy bills.

Plus, it is the law in most places that houses are properly insulated. What counts as “properly insulated” will vary from area to area, though. Mild areas with cooler summers and warmer winters won’t need as much insulation, as the difference between inside and outside will be less. However, colder and hotter areas will need more insulation.

It is vital that you insulate your home according to your area’s needs. Your insulation is one of the few things that will help determine your energy bill—unless you want higher energy bills, you’ll need to insulate properly.

man installing insulation on attic wood framing
Image Credit: ronstik, Shutterstock

How Much Does Insulation Cost?

For a 2,000-square-foot home, the average cost of insulation ranges from $3,000 to $10,000. This cost works out to about $1.50 to $5.00 a square foot.

You probably notice that those values vary a lot. That’s because there are many factors that go into how much insulation costs. Some homes need very little insulation, while others need very little. Those in harsher climates may end up paying as much as $24,000 to insulate a home. However, if you live in a mild climate, you may only need to pay $2,000 for insulation.

The type of insulation also matters. Rolls are the cheapest and one of the easiest to install, as well. You can even install them yourself with very little DIY knowledge. In many cases, you simply staple them to the walls that need insulating. However, you will usually need protective equipment unless you choose a material that is specifically designed to be safe.

Blown-in insulation is more expensive and requires a special machine. Therefore, you usually need a professional to install it for you. However, they are useful for insulating your home quickly and getting into hard-to-reach areas.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Of course, on top of the insulation itself, you’ll also need to pay someone to install it—usually. If you purchase roll insulation and install it yourself, you can skip this step. If you’re on a budget, this is probably the best option for you, as it is free to install. All it requires is a bit of your time.

Your area will have the biggest impact on labor costs. High cost-of-living areas will have more expensive labor costs, as the installers will require a larger paycheck. In rural areas, costs are often lower since the cost of living is lower.

Usually, you can expect labor costs alone to be from $0.25 to $2.50 per square foot. We recommend getting a few estimates before you move ahead with your project. Preferably, you should go with the second-lowest estimate.

Consult an insulation expert

Find an insulation specialist in your area, and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project.

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How Often Do You Need to Replace Insulation?

Modern insulation has a very long lifespan, but that isn’t necessarily true for older insulation. If you purchase an older home, there is the possibility that the insulation in the home may need to be changed at some point. Plus, if it is very old, it may not actually be very effective when compared to our modern insulation. You may need to purchase new insulation, even if the old stuff is still technically “working.”

When you change insulation, you’ll often have to add a removal fee. Taking out the old insulation does add some extra work to the project, which is going to drive your costs up. You can expect to pay another $1.00 to $1.50 per square foot to remove insulation.

For rolls of insulation, you may be able to do much of the removal job yourself to lower the overall cost. However, if you’re removing blown-in insulation, a professional will be necessary, as this requires special tools.

Various types of insulation
Image Credit: stockcreations, Shutterstock

Factors Affecting Cost

Several factors affect the overall cost of insulating your home. These factors will have a significant effect on the overall cost of your insulation.

The type of insulation you choose matters a lot. Rolls of insulation are typically the cheapest. However, that doesn’t necessarily make them the best option. It can be difficult to use rolls in tight spaces. Plus, they may not be as effective as other options.

Spray foam is becoming more and more popular, but it can be rather expensive. In some cases, you may be able to find cheaper spray foam for $0.50 per foot. Of course, this type requires professional installation, which adds to the price.

Whether or not you choose a DIY insulation option or professional help can also affect the price. Some types of insulation require special equipment to install, which makes DIYing the installation difficult.

You also have to consider the amount of insulation you need, which will depend on where you live. Those in colder climates will pay more for insulation simply because they need more of it. It is vital not to skimp when it comes to the amount of insulation you use. In many places, there will be a legal minimum required, which depends on your area’s R-value.

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Insulation may be expensive compared to other home repairs. For instance, you can expect to spend thousands of dollars if you’re insulating a home from the bottom up. With that said, the price does depend largely on the type of insulation you’re using and how much you need for your area. Those in colder climates can expect to pay more than those in mild areas.

For this reason, pricing can vary widely. Someone installing new insulation by themselves in a mild climate may only spend $2,000. On the other hand, premium insulation in a colder climate that is completely handled by professionals may cost upwards of $20,000. Removing old insulation only adds more costs to the overall project, while adding new insulation is often a bit cheaper.

Featured Image Credit: RachelW1, Pixabay


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