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Old 04-05-2020, 09:33 PM   #1
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input for beginners - i was one of them


this subgroup has been huge in helping me educate about insulation.



atleast for attic, if there is one thing you should do, must do, is AIR SEAL. If you cant add insulation, atleast make an effor to air seal.

I air sealed last october and did not get around adding insulation. Insulation as it stands in my attic, I can see the joist and this is new england i am talking. However, just by having air sealed the attic, it has made a HUGE difference in keeping the house warm. I have noticed that in very cold days, i lose about 1F/hour.



My attic was never air sealed since it was build in early 90s.

https://i.imgur.com/JCUvB0p.jpg this was one of gaps up there. Imagine how much heat was escaping.


AIR SEAL.
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Old 04-05-2020, 09:41 PM   #2
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


Thanks for the feedback. You will see that recommendation echoed a bunch in the insulation forum. Stopping the air flow is paramount in making for an efficient home.
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Old 04-07-2020, 10:10 AM   #3
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


Good advice - maybe.

The insulation guy said that the insulation in my attic is the original from the 1950s (crumbly old fiberglass). He agrees that air sealing is important - but he also says that it's much easier to do properly after all the old insulation has been removed. That way they can find all the gaps that would otherwise be hidden. Then he recommends blowing in to a depth that would provide R-49.

The problem: $20,000.


Just sealing would probably be much less, but not sure if it's worth it if they can't find all the gaps.
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Old 04-07-2020, 10:34 AM   #4
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


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Originally Posted by snic View Post
Good advice - maybe.

The insulation guy said that the insulation in my attic is the original from the 1950s (crumbly old fiberglass). He agrees that air sealing is important - but he also says that it's much easier to do properly after all the old insulation has been removed. That way they can find all the gaps that would otherwise be hidden. Then he recommends blowing in to a depth that would provide R-49.

The problem: $20,000.


Just sealing would probably be much less, but not sure if it's worth it if they can't find all the gaps.
If it is fiberglass it can be moved around and replaced and save the other insulation for another day. I am guessing that is what the OP did here.
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:33 AM   #5
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


@snic $20,000 BOOO!! That job would take a small crew at the most 2 days. 4 man-days at $300 per day per man equals $2,400. Double that for materials and you're still a long ways from $20K. Just wild guessing but bad estimate looking for a sucker.

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Old 04-07-2020, 01:04 PM   #6
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


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Originally Posted by snic View Post
Good advice - maybe.

The insulation guy said that the insulation in my attic is the original from the 1950s (crumbly old fiberglass). He agrees that air sealing is important - but he also says that it's much easier to do properly after all the old insulation has been removed. That way they can find all the gaps that would otherwise be hidden. Then he recommends blowing in to a depth that would provide R-49.

The problem: $20,000.


Just sealing would probably be much less, but not sure if it's worth it if they can't find all the gaps.

Go to Lowe's an buy yourself some fiberglass. There's no use getting ridiculous about it. You will never recoup $20K.
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Old 04-08-2020, 06:16 AM   #7
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


Research and study what insulation means and done for a house. It is one of easy diy things and with more bang for a buck. Cellulose can be used for air sealing and it is IMPOSSIBLE (in practice) to hermetically seal a house, even if ventilation is done separately.


$20k for a house? Is this for the attic only? I don't understand the op's success also? How was the air sealing done and is it ventilating now?


Contractor cost is not just about the labor, material and time. Why are doctors and lawyers expensive? Because there are fewer of them. There are more blue color workers because it takes less brain (my belief that ability to memorize amount of info). Bigger part of the cost is actually cost of living in the area. Blue color people also want to send their kids to college, example. And because professions such as carpentry and electricals don't have "steady" jobs, they have to figure out what they need to live on for the year, at least, then figure out how much they have to charge. This isn't easy and the reason for general low income status of the blue colors. Reason why factory steady work is out of this country, because the wall street holds that purse string. 2 trillion relief money (all out of the national debt) will go to wall street salary first.
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Old 04-08-2020, 07:07 AM   #8
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


Air sealing is more than just recouping via resale value, it's also energy costs while you're living there too. I think you gotta balance how long you plan on owning the place vs the cost vs your desire for X (comfort, cost savings, etc.)

That said, in my 1977-78 house just replacing windows and throwing on Tyvek wrap under the siding cut our heating bills about in half...

I'm planning to spray foam my entire house eventually, but I don't plan on selling it, even if we were to decide to move, the kid gets it so for us it's a lot longer timescale to "recoup" the costs. I figured up the costs to have it done at over $100k cause Alaska and 4" stud construction (that's 2" spray foam on the walls & 4" on the roof's, plus the detatched shop) I guess a lot of folks just do 1" specifically for air, rather than for air+trying to get ideal insulation values.

Might consider the DIY spray kits. I imagine it's messy and time consuming, probs takes a bit of practice too, but my costs were cut in half doing it myself (and that included shipping shipping a pallet or two of the canisters up here.)
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Old 04-08-2020, 05:39 PM   #9
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


I was quoted $7K to cellulose my upper and lower attic space. They also said they had to remove all the fiberglass and spray to R-60 so it would settle to R-38.
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Old 04-08-2020, 05:40 PM   #10
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


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Originally Posted by Mystriss View Post
Air sealing is more than just recouping via resale value, it's also energy costs while you're living there too. I think you gotta balance how long you plan on owning the place vs the cost vs your desire for X (comfort, cost savings, etc.)

That said, in my 1977-78 house just replacing windows and throwing on Tyvek wrap under the siding cut our heating bills about in half...

I'm planning to spray foam my entire house eventually, but I don't plan on selling it, even if we were to decide to move, the kid gets it so for us it's a lot longer timescale to "recoup" the costs. I figured up the costs to have it done at over $100k cause Alaska and 4" stud construction (that's 2" spray foam on the walls & 4" on the roof's, plus the detatched shop) I guess a lot of folks just do 1" specifically for air, rather than for air+trying to get ideal insulation values.

Might consider the DIY spray kits. I imagine it's messy and time consuming, probs takes a bit of practice too, but my costs were cut in half doing it myself (and that included shipping shipping a pallet or two of the canisters up here.)

You'll never recoup $100K. Buy a vacation home in Florida and spend the winter there...
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Old 04-08-2020, 05:59 PM   #11
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


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You'll never recoup $100K. Buy a vacation home in Florida and spend the winter there...
I think you missed the part where /even if/ we move, the kids taking the house. We tend to be "hand it down" folk rather than the "use it and leave it" type. Everything we put into this place is going to directly benefit our kido so it's worth it for us
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Old 04-08-2020, 10:45 PM   #12
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


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Go to Lowe's an buy yourself some fiberglass. There's no use getting ridiculous about it. You will never recoup $20K.
And if you want to blow it in Lowes has the blower as well.
I believe it is free to use if you purchase enough insulation.
Blowing in is much much faster than laying in bats. A little messy though.
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Old 04-09-2020, 03:54 PM   #13
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


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And if you want to blow it in Lowes has the blower as well.
I believe it is free to use if you purchase enough insulation.
Blowing in is much much faster than laying in bats. A little messy though.

I know they are not perfect, but fiberglass batts are so versatile. If you screw up, they're are also easier to remove. If you screw up foam, it is a mess. If you ever have to work under your insulation, loosefill is a mess, too. I would never DIY foam. Fiberglass is not perfect, but for DIY it is the best bang for the buck...
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:39 PM   #14
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


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@snic $20,000 BOOO!! That job would take a small crew at the most 2 days. 4 man-days at $300 per day per man equals $2,400. Double that for materials and you're still a long ways from $20K. Just wild guessing but bad estimate looking for a sucker.

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In fairness, it includes removing the old crappy stuff, caulking everywhere, installing baffles, and putting covers on top of a bunch of can lights. Still, I agree that $20k is beyond ridiculous, and I'll be getting other estimates.

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Originally Posted by carpdad View Post
Research and study what insulation means and done for a house. It is one of easy diy things and with more bang for a buck. Cellulose can be used for air sealing and it is IMPOSSIBLE (in practice) to hermetically seal a house, even if ventilation is done separately.


$20k for a house? Is this for the attic only?
It's actually for *part* of the house - it's a 1000 square foot attic, but there's also a side attic that isn't included in this. (The recommendation for that was spray foam and bring it into the heating/cooling "envelop" of the house, which actually makes a lot of sense - there's a heating/ac unit in there, and it would work a lot less hard if it were at room temperature.)

I'd consider doing it myself, although it's a huge pain to work in the upper (1000 sq ft) attic because the roof is low and access hatch is tiny. If I could get the price down to something reasonable I'd rather pay someone to do it.

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I was quoted $7K to cellulose my upper and lower attic space. They also said they had to remove all the fiberglass and spray to R-60 so it would settle to R-38.
How big was the space total? What part of the country are you in? I'm near NYC, where everything is expensive. Still, it would be nice to have some idea of what the going rate is elsewhere.
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:57 PM   #15
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Re: input for beginners - i was one of them


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How big was the space total? What part of the country are you in? I'm near NYC, where everything is expensive. Still, it would be nice to have some idea of what the going rate is elsewhere.

Those guys are there to sell you a product. See what a GC would charge you for the job.
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