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Old 06-16-2009, 05:53 AM   #1
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DIY Blown insulation time required???


I have prepped my attic, soffits, vents, sealed, etc approx 700 ft to blow in insulation, adding R31 to hit R50. One ccontractor tells me it it will take me 6-7 hours on my own -35 bales versus him taking 1 1/2 hours. I can't see taking more than a couple of hours . Does anybody have any bale per hour info or volume versus time. Again I am adding R30 blown to just over 700 square ft. I cannot fully stand in the attic as it is max 5' at peak, 2x6 rafters.

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Old 06-16-2009, 06:37 AM   #2
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DIY Blown insulation time required???


If I were in your shoes...I would budget around 4 hours at least by the time you get the blower/insulation picked up, set up and ready to go and cleaned up ready for return. Then that's assuming you have a dedicated soul to cut the bags and feed them into the hopper while you place it in the attic. Make sure everyone is wearing dust and eye protection.

His time is less because he'll show up with a truck that has the insulation and blower installed...unwind the hose and bang, he's insulating. Plus his guys have walked many attics and will know how to maneuver around the cramped space. The first house 900 sqft R38 I hired blown in, the second, 2238 sqft R50..I did my self with the help of a friend and my wife. Not a fun job, but not the worst home improvement thing I've ever done either.

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Old 06-16-2009, 01:34 PM   #3
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DIY Blown insulation time required???


I did a house myself with the help of a friend a few years ago - by the time we chased materials, got the blower set up and working, returned the blower, etc. it was a whole day job. We were throughly dirty, tired, and my allergies were messed up from all the dust and such...

So when I recently wanted similar done to the 1800 sq ft home I currently have I figured up what it would cost me to do myself vs. hiring it out. I shopped around and found an outfit that would do it for within $100 of doing it myself. Not worth the savings, IMO. After checking references I went with them. I went through the attic throughly when they were done - they did a very good job to include adhering a batt of insulation to the attic hatch and placing batts around the hatch. They were in and out in about 3 hours total - including the initial meet and greet, my crawl-through inspection, and writing the check.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:56 PM   #4
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DIY Blown insulation time required???


When I did mine last year it a cheaper to have a contractor do it than what I would have paid for the insulation (blower rental would have been free). Figure a good 4 to 6 hours time for two people, consider what a dirty job it is I think you'll decide to hire this job out.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:54 PM   #5
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DIY Blown insulation time required???


Thanks guys. I figure it will cost me about $300 more to have them do it. Either way my energy rebate grant will cover the cost or close... so I actually make some money if I do it myself. Then again, it'll be on my day off so what is a day off worth...
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:16 PM   #6
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DIY Blown insulation time required???


68 bags of celulose took two of us about 3 hours, plus blower pick up and drop off time. My helper had to hustle to keep the hopper full.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:57 PM   #7
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DIY Blown insulation time required???


My wife and I did 20 bales and it took at least 4 hours. Probably half that time was figuring out how not to over-feed the machine. It didn't come with any instructions.

Basically, don't let it get over the cross-members (inside the machine) or it will clog up.

You need a helper -- it would be a serious PITA to keep climbing in and out of the attic every half-bale or so to feed the machine. Our 20 bales did a 320 sf room, but I've got two bays that are probably only R-8. The machine and the 20 bales completely filled my Ford Ranger, and we were really beat after the job. Still worth doing to me, because I got it filled out to the edges, while the job I paid the experts to do is shallow out there. It cost us about half what it cost them to do a similar sized job, so maybe the costs vary according to where you live.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:29 PM   #8
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DIY Blown insulation time required???


Alot of the production rate in blowing insulation is dependant on the insulation hopper that you are using. Different hoppers have different bag her hour or cubic feet per min. ratings. One reason that a professional is able to do it so much faster is because they use a professional blower system. These systems are able to blow in some cases twice the rate of product that you would be able to blow using a rented hopper. For 700 sq ft you should be able to blow that in about 3 hours with a pretty steady rate. Not to mention of corse the set up and clean up. But if you do it yourself try to find out the production rates of the machines and go with the one that has the highest production rating. It could save you alot of time.
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:34 AM   #9
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DIY Blown insulation time required???


Well, in the end due to booking delays we got er done ourselves and passed the inspection with flying colors. We chose a cool fall day and it was perfect, except for when the wife started the blower with the hose up the attic hatch and I was still in the basement getting her a dust mask
I have a 4-12 pitch roof 5.5 ft at its peak so I spent 1/2 my time on my stomach on a foam sled protecting the ribs. We would blow 3 bags at a time them stop and check and level.

Cheapest estimate for what appeared to be 700 ft adding R36 was $800 plus tax if I did the prep , plus more vents and the hatch myself.
This was tedious , took about 5 hours with the wife an stopping for fresh air but net material cost was 8.99 a bag x 30 bags so savings over $500 plus a rebate from the govt of over $700 , not a bad payback.

TIP> For those with a low pitch roof, I bought a super light 10 extension handle and devised a flat plastic blade (rake style but no holes) 5 x 14" wide to fit between my joists for leveling , then I used it like a garden rake. I also took an 8' piece of 2' pvc pipe up to poke and spread.It HAD to be lite to use on my stomach,. The energy auditor was blown away by my efforts to level and fill the corners.
I got the maximum rebate plus an extra bonus for air sealing my joists and header , taking my 35 year old home to above new code....and I have yet to finish insulating my basement walls which will bring me another $2500 in rebates if I hit R23.
So far I have reduced my air loss by nearly 50% ... originally measure equal to 268 square inc opening.
If I continue with sealing the remaining baseboards and then wrap the basement I will need to put in an HRV as I am near 3.5 air change rate per hour already, but my heat bill is plumetting
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:37 PM   #10
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DIY Blown insulation time required???


Awesome!.......

Glad to hear it Chemist. I've been working on my mom's attic this weekend and I'm almost done sealing it. I hope and pray that her heat bills come down a lot once everything is insulated.

Thanks for the update!

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