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Old 04-10-2009, 12:09 AM   #16
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Blowing In Cellulose Insulation - Need Advice


I was kind of kidding about it taking that long. My son-in-law said he'd come over to help, so between the two of us, it shouldn't really take 7 or 8 hours. I'll get everything prepped the night before, so it won't be a big deal. And we'll have all the bags close to the machine, like you suggested curls00.

For a while, I thought about paying someone to do this. A couple companies came over to give me estimates. One wanted around $1,100+ and the other was around $800+. I was going to have one of them do it, but that was when I thought I needed someone to vent the bathroom fan out of the attic. My husband would rather have someone else do the insulation, but this is something I can do (with my son-in-laws help).

I priced the insulation. One brand will cost about $265 total and the other brand will be about $485. Not sure why one is so much higher than the other. Those are prices from last November and from just one store. I have to check prices at Lowe's and HD still.

Thanks for the link Knucklez. That's all good info. I don't understand what you meant about the static electricity and not using any electronics.

(I was going to be a smart-alec and ask if the static electricity would make my mp3 player play the Beatles songs backwards. But I won't ask that. )

Oh, one more thing. The lady at Lowe's told me I need a heavy duty exterior electric cord. I have a couple long orange ones, is that the kind she's talking about? She said something about the machine not working with a regular cord.

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Old 04-10-2009, 08:31 AM   #17
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Oh, one more thing. The lady at Lowe's told me I need a heavy duty exterior electric cord. I have a couple long orange ones, is that the kind she's talking about? She said something about the machine not working with a regular cord.
HD gave me their ultra-heavy duty cord to use with the machine. It was THICK and HEAVY. Thankfully, free with machine rental.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:53 AM   #18
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Thanks, that's good to know. It doesn't sound like Lowe's provides one and I doubt I'll ever need one again, so I'll have to see how much they cost. If it's a lot, it might be worth renting from HD, they're only about 8 or 10 miles away.

I'm pretty sure my orange cords are not the kind I need then. They're thicker than a cord attached to a lamp, but not by that much.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:49 AM   #19
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I'm sure Lowe's or HD will rent them w/ a machine rental.

Anyhow I'm heading out on a road trip for a few days, so good luck on this and have fun!
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:56 AM   #20
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Enjoy your vacation and thanks a lot for your help.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:03 PM   #21
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by static electricity.. i meant the same thing that happens when you rub your socks on the carpet in the winter time and then you touch someone on the ear.. ZAP!

this is like you rubbing a balloon against your hair and then sticking the balloon to the wall... static electricity.

but when you blow in insulation and the loose cellulous is traveling through the house at a high rate of speed, it builds static electricity but during the entire time you are using the machine, so could be for an hour at a time! you will build up quite a static charge, so much so, that the watch you are wearing could go kaput.. (mine did).

no big deal.. you personally are immune, but you might start to feel light headed or even nautious.. just take a break if you need to.

what is the difference between teh brands? i have no idea, but you can go to the manufacturers website and read their brochures and find out. the basics you want are fire retardant, mildoretardant & good R-value. remember, you probably do not have a vapour barrier if you are chosing to blow in insulation, so mildo protection is a must.

the machine will have the proper extention cord with it when you rent it. if it does NOT have one, you should demand it. it is a matter of electrical safety. the machine draws a lot of power and you need an extension cord that is rated for this. also the extension cord LENGTH can not be "too long" either .. also a matter of electrical safety.

in preperation for this job.. go to the store and look at the machine and look at the nozzle where the cellulous will come out of (not the hose, but the nozzle). see that diameter hole size? you need to cut squares in your walls, at the TOP of your wall just under the header, so that it will just allow the nozzle to fit in. (you can cut circles like i did, but this just is harder to cut and harder to patch later with no real benefit).

when you hold the nozzle against the wall, wrap the nozzel with an old towel so there is no hole, because when the wall fills up the cellulous will come shooting out any gaps that exist around the nozzle and wall.

with your other hand you hit the remote to turn OFF the flow of cellulous. do not think you can just shout to your parter "turn it OFF!!!!!!" because the machine is damned loud and they won't hear you.

ps. make sure you get them to teach you how to clean the air filter. good air flow in the machine means you can work MUCH faster with a faster flow rate of cellulous (it is adjustable).

i did 2 floors of my house for less than $500. it paid for itself that same winter (not to mention the government grant i received for improving efficiency).

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Old 04-10-2009, 04:10 PM   #22
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remember that you must cut holes above doors and below windows. it takes a long ass time to prep the house for the machine. also, if you have areas that are really tall wall with no breaks, like front door lobby or the wall beside stairs.. then there will be TWO places in that wall you will need to cut holes.

and how will you reach up there so high? do you have scaffolding? what about the stairs? how will you reach to the top where the hole needs to be cut (right under the header).

are there closets or shelves somewhere in your house that is also an exterior wall? you need to clear space to get in there and cut a hole in the wall to insulate it.

the holes you cut.. you should use a template so all holes are the EXACT same. this will make patching the holes a heck of a lot easier and faster. i can show you a good technique on how to patch the holes when you are done if you are not sure.

work out a plan. .cut all your holes. then rent the machine.

if you are prepared and have a helper and bought more than enough insulation.. you can do the entire house in 4 hours. but its cheap, just rent it for 24 hours and take your time. don't worry about it cause you make up this money (and then some) by doing it yourself .
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:03 PM   #23
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Thanks Knucklez. I appreciate all the good information. I'm just insulating my attic, but my neighbor is talking about renting the machine for their walls. Your info will be helpful for them.

That's pretty awesome to save enough on heating in the first winter to pay for the insulation. I can imagine your house must be a lot warmer for your family.

Thanks also for explaining the static electricity's effect on electronics. My dad was a test engineer for a company that made tanks over by Detroit. There was something there that ruined his watches. I always thought it was big magnets, but maybe it was the stat. elec.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:13 PM   #24
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call your local insulation company. they will do a better job and it is about the same as or less than the cost of rental and purchase of diyer stuff. it will be done in a a fraction of the time as well and not near as dusty.
I'll second that motion! I hired a contractor to do mine, and am I ever glad that I did!
An experienced contractor will do a job that would take you all day in 2 or 3 hours!
And they are responsible for the cleanup! (and damages)
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:14 AM   #25
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i will decline that motion

remember, this is a DIY website.. why DIY? mostly three reasons:
1) willing to trade my time to save money
2) willingness to learn something new
3) not all contractors are good, some are down right scoundrals that leave you high and dry crap work & take your money to boot.

i think you have to pick and chose your battles. some things require contractors some things do not. for me, i am more than capable of blowing in insulation properly, cleaning up the mess and otherwise completing the job to my satisfaction. if i'm not sure if it is to code, i will hire the city inspector (even for non-permit jobs) to give a look.

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Old 04-12-2009, 07:40 PM   #26
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i will decline that motion

remember, this is a DIY website.. why DIY? mostly three reasons:
1) willing to trade my time to save money
2) willingness to learn something new
3) not all contractors are good, some are down right scoundrals that leave you high and dry crap work & take your money to boot.

i think you have to pick and chose your battles. some things require contractors some things do not. for me, i am more than capable of blowing in insulation properly, cleaning up the mess and otherwise completing the job to my satisfaction. if i'm not sure if it is to code, i will hire the city inspector (even for non-permit jobs) to give a look.

Knucklez
Nobody is a more DIY than I! I built my own house once. Totally renovated a duplex and completely renovated my retirement home!
At the moment, I'm on the downhill side of 70 years and am in the process of replacing a porch roof with a new one.

There's two jobs that I have learned to use a contractor for. One is roofing and the other is blowing insulation!
Both of these jobs are not really rocket science and are difficult to screw up.
They are just tough, labor intensive jobs that are best left to those are equipped to do this work quickly and efficiently.

There are questionable contractors out there, I will admit! Care should be taken when selecting one and once you have found a reliable one, never, never let him go!
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:13 PM   #27
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i hear ya!

i never worked so hard in my life for so little money as when i am work'n on a DIY project.

ps. i don't do roofing. i hire that out because i do not bounce well.

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