2017 Cost of Spray Foam, Blown In, Batt, & Attic Insulation in Austin TX


If you’re looking to have insulation installed, and want pricing for spray foam, blown in, batt, or attic insulation in Austin TX, then this article is for you.

austin-cost-insulation-spray-foam-blown-atticStellrr Insulation & Spray Foam sponsored an independent research group to determine the average investment of having insulation installed in the geographically specific area of Austin TX. The research group acquired quotes from 43 companies that install insulation in the central Texas hill country. Quotes contained pricing for each type of insulation on various residential, commercial, and industrial projects.

The researchers also called upon 761 people who had insulation installed in the last 12-24 months to determine what people actually paid. They also noticed that the price of installation is going up along with the increased demand due to the growth of the Austin metro and the city’s green initiatives.


Meeting Insulation Installation Cost Minimums

On almost every project, it was found that people were required to meet at least a $1,000 minimum, and many of the professional insulation companies required a $1,500 minimum. 

What the minimum means is that if you only need someone to come out and install a few square feet of insulation, you are still looking at $1,000 for the pros to come and do it. With that minimum in mind, you may try to find more areas for the contractor to improve. For example, if you are having a little insulation blown into a wall, you might as well also have them upgrade your attic insulation at the same time. That way you get more insulation for your money.


 

Here are the survey results of insulation price ranges:

Investment By Types of Insulation Materials

Austin Spray Foam Insulation Cost

Sprayed foam is the most desirable type of insulation. Why? Because it seals air leaks and fills all the nooks, crannies, and gaps in walls where other types of insulation fail.

There are two primary types of spray foam: open cell and closed cell. Open cell has an average R-value of R3.5 and closed cell insulates at up to R6. Spray foam requires significantly less space in your building than does blown cellulose and fiberglass.

Properly installed spray foam can save a regular homeowner up to $500 yearly in energy bills.

How to calculate the estimated price of spray foam:

The cost of installing foam is calculated using the board foot, which measures 12” wide x 12” long x 1”thick.

To determine how much you need, multiply the space that you want insulated by the depth of those inches. Measured as: square foot x inches deep = board feet needed. For example: 2,500 bd. ft. of space at 0.50 = $1,250.

  • Open-cell in Central Texas usually ranges from $0.45 to $0.65 per board foot (up from $0.40 and $0.60 cents in 2016)
  • Closed-cell in Central Texas usually ranges from $1.40 to $2.50 per board foot (up from $1.10 and $2.20 in 2016)

Don’t forget. When estimating the cost of having spray foam applied to the roof deck, you have to factor in the roof pitch. Here is what that means: Let’s say the pitch of your roof is 5/12, and your attic square footage is 1,000. Then you would do 1,000 x 1.08 (the factor for a 5/12 roof pitch) to get the actual number of square feet on the roof deck. You can learn more about roof pitch factoring here.

How much spray foam do you need to get the right R-value?

  • If you have 2×4 wall cavities, you can fill the cavity with open cell foam for about R-13. You would require 4-board feet per square foot of wall space.
  • If you have 2×6 wall cavities, then open cell foam gets you about R-20. You would need 6 board feet per square foot of wall space.
  • With closed cell foam, you are at about R-6.7 with 1 inch, R-14 at 2 inches, and R-20 at 3 inches, and R-27 at 4 inches.

Austin Blown-In Insulation Cost

Blown-in insulation in an attic can costs on average $1,600 to $2,300 for the average 1,500 square foot home in Central Texas. Blown-in be done as a DIY project to save money, but it requires many hours of work to do it without the professional 5,000 pound per hour blowing equipment mounted on a trailer. Doing it yourself may put insulation in your attic, but likely does not mean it is done right or effective at solving your concerns.

You can buy a bag of expanding blown-in insulation for about $37.88 (including tax) at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Then to rent the machine you have another $50-$100 plus a $200 deposit. One bag will cover: 109 sq ft at R-19.

For pro installation around Austin you are looking at a cost of:

  • $50 – $75 per bag of insulation blown loosely in the attic (about $0.50/ sq ft for R19, $1.00 for R38). To get the cost of blown insulation down to $50 per bag, you’ll need to have 50+ bags installed.
  • $2-$3 per sq ft if blown to fill in-between existing walls or a floor/ceiling combination.

HEALTH RISK WARNING:

Working in a 130-150 degree attic for more than 30 minutes can cause serious health risks including heat stroke. You will need proper nutrition, water, and breaks to avoid a trip to the ER. Also, don’t do it alone. You will need help nearby in case of emergency. Also, your phone will not likely work after a so many minutes because of the extreme heat. So have another method of communication with you in case you need to call for help.


Austin Fiberglass Batt Insulation Cost

Fiberglass batts is just about the cheapest option to insulate a building when the wall cavities area open, like an attic. However, fiberglass batts are one of the poorest air sealers. The EPA says that air-sealing accounts for up to 40% of energy loss. It is very important to obsess about how the fiberglass batts are installed. A single crack between the framing stud and the fiberglass will significantly reduce R-values.

Fiberglass batts cost between $0.70 and $1.30 per square foot. If your attic space is 600 square feet, you cost will range from $420 to $780. Keep in mind that quality insulation companies will have a minimum charge to come out and work, usually $1,000 to $1,500.


Radiant Barrier

This method reflects heat away from the building’s roof similar to aluminum foil. It only insulates against 1 of the 3 types of heat transfer so is always be used in conjunction with an R-value insulator like fiberglass, cellulose, or spray foam.

The cost of radiant barriers is by the square foot and ranges from $0.20 to $0.40 cents. However quality installers have a minimum charge to come work. Cost for a 600 square foot attic is between $500 – $750. In order to have that lower price, you would likely need to be having other work done at the same time. For example, having an attic fan installed as well, or blowing in more insulation so that you can meet the minimum.


Investment to Insulate Each Part of a Building

The research team broke down the costs so you can know the average price a specific project area. An average home in the Austin TX area is 2,500 square feet and the ones built after the 1980’s tend to be two stories. Here is what we found:


Wall Insulation

Many existing buildings are poorly insulated and the most feasible method for insulating drywalled walls is either blown-in cellulose or blown-in fiberglass. A 2-inch hole is cut in the wall, insulation blown, and the hole is closed. The cost most recently averaged about $2.20 per square foot.


Roof Insulation

If a vented attic is becoming a sealed attic, you need to make sure the HVAC unit is 90% or more efficient, otherwise the space must remain unvented. To create a sealed attic the roof is sealed prior to insulation to close soffit vents, gaps, etc. An insulated roof (vented and unvented) means a warmer attic in winter, and cooler in summer. An Austin home can expect to pay on average $1,700 to a quality installer (radiant barrier not included).


Garage Door Insulation

A 9 foot door will cost around $200 for foam board insulation.


Crawl Space Insulation

Crawl spaces get insulated depending on whether it is ventilated or not. Moisture must be removed in advance. A well-vented crawl space can be insulated with fiberglass batt for about $300. However, closed cell spray foam is a much better option and can run a couple thousand dollars depending on the footprint of your building.


Attic Floor Joist Insulation

The cost ranges widely depending on whether you have fiberglass, cellulose or spray foam installed. However, you are often looking at $1,500 to $2,500 for the whole job.


Rebates and Savings

Improving your building’s energy performance will save your money on bills. If done right, and to the extent required, you may qualify for government tax credits and rebates. Check out your city’s website for full details. Austin Energy has several rebates but you must qualify and rebate opportunities expire.


*** Please note: these prices are not specific to Stellrr’s prices. The costs are a range of what insulation companies around Austin have charged the last 12-24 months for different services.

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