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Old 06-16-2009, 12:41 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2009
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Foam Insulation

Hi. I am building a new house as owner-builder. I'm interested in using foam insulation instead of that nasty pink fiberglass.
On searching the web I notice two basic types: Urethane and Soy.

Can anyone tell me the advantages/disadvantages of using foam as an insulation product, also which one it better, Urethane or Soy.

Any other information/gotchas would be welcome, such can mice/bugs burrow into it and nest there?


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Old 06-16-2009, 02:38 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Calgary, AB
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I'm no expert but I've been researching this as well for our new home. I've priced out a bunch...1/2lb open cell, 2lb closed cell (like Mike Holmes always uses), as well as the envirofoam (soy).

The 1/2lb is by far the cheapest but then adding in venting and vapor barriers plus labor it gets pretty close. To give you an idea our Cathedral roof is about 1800 sq feet and we have been quoted $7000 for the 1/2lb, and around $10 000 for the other two. The more you do, the cheaper it gets so we've added all joist ends, cantilevers, and basement walls for a total of around $14000. This is to an R40 equivelent everywhere except the basement R22.

When getting quotes be sure to have them specify the thickness, some will give you a quote per sq foot per inch, where our roof is to be 6 inches thick. I have some great links you might want to check out:

I believe the soy is a good product but as far as being enviromentally friendly, the actual soy content is quite low and the reason rain forests are being clearcut for soy farming...but that's another topic.



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Old 06-17-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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Spray foam insulation

I purchased enough spray foam kits to completely do my 1350 square foot house, 3 inches in the walls, 2 inches on the basement walls. I did alot of research before buying anything. My take is that when they say "green", they are not saying the components of the foam are green, as much as they are saying the savings in heating/cooling costs will make your home "greener". You might assume otherwise. They're wording is usually vague.
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