I've been searching for a good contractor to do an attic insulation work. I've had 2 quotes so far and they are world's apart. One contractor quoted approx. $800 whie the other $1600. I've got the energy audit done so I need to improve my attic rating to R50 from about R12 to R20 which is currently. I'm more favor of Fibre glass insulation instead of Cellulose. I'm at a loss to know why there is such a big difference in price and I'm hoping someone can guide me a good attic insulator that they've had a good experience with.
I own a small 2 storey approx.1500 square footage.
Hi Shawn I've been in the business for a while and have insulated many many attics ( its not the best job in the world ) but its got to be done! But you have to be careful with who you hire because although it is a simple job there are many factors.If the contractors are 800 $ apart I would say the most expensive is the right one ( sorry ) there is alot of time spent up there if the job is done right . That is where cellulose is cheaper the labour is cut down but if the house isn't ready for it that there is some time spent on prep for that to.So just ask the right questions and the job will get done right . and its always nice if the attic is dusted first!!
Hello Shawn, Try Great Northern Insulation and ask for Angelo. He if the sale rep for the area. I have used him on 4 diffrent jobs.I like Fibre glass myself. Here is a comparision I pulled off a web site
Cellulose vs. Fiber Glass Insulation
When considering insulation for your home, you basically have two choices of insulation: cellulose and fiber glass. What exactly is the difference between these two types of insulation? Which will suit my needs better? Here are some basic comparisons between the two types of insulation.
What it's made of
Cellulose insulation is composed of primarily shredded newspaper and some chemicals approximately 20 percent by weight to reduce its flammability. Fiber glass insulation is made primarily from sand and recycled glass. On average it has 30 percent recycled content, including both pre- and post-consumer content.
Health and Safety
Fiber glass insulation has been tested extensively in studies over the past 50 years. No causal relationship has been linked to exposure to glass fibers and cancer or any other disease in plant workers or installers. With cellulose insulation however, not much is known about its safety. There has been no testing or risk assessment on cellulose insulation. Despite that it is made of primarily shredded newspapers; it does have up to a 20 percent content of chemicals not to mention the paper dust from cellulose insulation.
Although cellulose insulation is treated with chemicals to make it fire retardant those chemicals can fade away over time leaving the highly combustible shredded newspaper behind. Fiber glass insulation being made from primarily recycled glass and sand, both basically non-combustible materials, will not burn therefore not requiring any additional chemicals.
Performance and R-Value
Cellulose insulation stated an R-value but reflect the settled density only. Often times in attics when cellulose insulation is installed at the labeled settled thickness; the homeowner will not receive the state R-value, due to settlement after installation. Usually the homeowner will have to have additional cellulose insulation installed to achieve the stated R-value and maintain thermal performance. Fiber glass batt and loosefill insulations are factory-engineered to retain their thermal performance for a lifetime of the product. When installed properly, they will not significantly sag or settle, insuring that the stated R-Value is maintained.
Cellulose insulation for walls is mixed with water for installation. Vapor retarders are required for cellulose insulation. However, the installer needs to make sure that it is completely dry before closing up the wall cavity. If not, then that moisture can be held in the wall for up to a year. This moisture build up can cause rotting of timbers and corrosion of wires, pipes and other metals in the structure. Fiber glass insulation is made of glass fibers and is not absorbent. The fibers allows water vapors to pass through and it simply drains off. Fiber insulation does not cause any corrosion or damage to the home structure.
Some excellent sources of information for comparing the two types of insulation is the Owens Corning website or speak with a qualified installer. You can also find out more about your region and the recommended amount of insulation for your climate at the Department of Energy's website.
on the flip side of the fiberglass and cellulose debate.
Unless its stated as formeldahyde free on the package, fiberglass does contain formeldahyde in the manufacturing process.
While not as dusty as cellulose the fiberglass is an irritant to the skin (everyone get itchy right, imagine that in your lungs)
R value of cellulose is better than loose fill fiberglass. (all documentation supports this)
Mice love to burrow in fiberglass, not so much in cellulose as its treated with a rodent retardant (from my own experience)
Fiberglass has been listed as a "suspect" carcinogen many times in the past (there are many documents stating this, no documented proof in humans, but in test animals its conclusive)
Fiberglass does burn. (I have tried it, take a torch to a small piece of fiberglass, it burns)
If you have every seen a roof leak, then you will know that fiberglass insulation does hold water. you can ring it out, and must be replaced if wet.
Cellulose can be installed dry into walls also, which then eliminates the moisture problems spoken of.
Cellulose can be dense packed into wall cavities and cathedral ceiling spaces, knee walls, etc.
My comments on the request for insulation prices. Based on a 1500sf 2 storey home (750sf of attic space), the contractor with the lowest price is being more honest and not inflating the price due to the energy audit rebates.
Hi Shawn Our price for insulating a 750 sq ft attic from R12 to R50 is $700.00 if you are in the Hamilton area. We would probably add $100.00 for travel costs.I personally like fibreglass more than cellulose as well. We have customer reviews on our Goldbook listing if you wish to view them.
Thomas (Ted) Barlow
Barlow Insulation Inc.
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