If you're not sure whether to tackle attic insulation installation yourself or hire a professional, this blog post will help you make a decision. We'll go over the pros and cons of each option so you can decide what's best for you.
Experts forecast that a Dallas summer will be hotter than expected this 2022, with the hottest periods in late June and mid-July into mid-August. As searing heat looms for Dallas this summer, you understand that insulating an attic is proven to keep the sizzling weather from sneaking in and keeping your paid cool air inside.
You're thinking of updating your home and making installing new insulation your DIY project. You've done your research. You've spent hours watching YouTube videos and home renovation shows, reading Facebook and Quora group postings on how to install insulation.
You believe you can successfully execute this and save on attic insulation costs in the process. Avoid getting in over your head. Give this undertaking a final thought and go over the considerations below. Hire vs. DIY attic insulation: which is best for your home insulation project?
Before you prepare your attic space and proceed with DIY home insulation, assess your attic's condition and do these initial checks first:
After you've done these initial checks, the next thing to consider if you should continue with DIY attic insulation is the shape of your attic. If you are installing insulation in a standard A-frame-shaped attic, you might be able to do it yourself. But if it's irregularly shaped or exceptionally tight, it's more suitable to have the air leaks sealed by an insulation contractor and have a professional insulation installation.
Sturdy work boots, a long-sleeved shirt, a pair of long pants, a well-fitting N95 mask, a caulking gun, caulk, a putty knife, a screwdriver, a stapling tool, a utility knife, a straightedge, a tape measure - these are only some of the tools that you need for a safe, smooth, and fast do it yourself insulation installation.
Did you know that there is specific equipment required for each type of insulation? There isn't a one-size-fits-all tool for all kinds of insulation material. The gear needed varies if you're handling insulation for walls, floors, ceilings, crawlspaces, and around objects. It will be best to rent a blowing machine for DIY blown-in insulation and acquire a spray foam gun for DIY spray foam insulation, for example.
Even then, certified attic specialists advise caution against rented equipment as they tend to be outdated, low-quality, and ineffective. Let's say you have gathered all the correct equipment. How is your skill and confidence level handling these? Lack of skills and training could spell damage to the house, a risk to your family's health, and spending more money and time than you have to.
You might have prepared all the steps and supplies for attic insulation DIY, but you also have to account for the heat you will be dealing with in your attic. An unventilated attic can reach up to 150-170 degrees in the summer. Those temperatures are sufficient to bake your roof shingles and cook an egg. If you're unfamiliar with the necessary precautions to remain cool while installing insulation DIY, you could suffer from heatstroke, dehydration, and heat exhaustion.
When done right, your household will reap the many long-term benefits of installing insulation. The primary advantage of properly installed insulation is providing your home with energy efficiency, which translates to significant savings on your energy bills.
However, improperly installed insulation can render your efforts futile and cause your energy bills to skyrocket instead. Conditioned air can escape through overlooked leaks and gaps. For a critical task such as insulation installation, you might want to leave it in the expert hands of certified insulation installation contractors.
Hiring a professional clears any uncertainty on which insulation to choose and how much to use for your attic, whether blown-in insulation or fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, mineral wool insulation, batt insulation, or fiberglass batts. A good contractor would also know all about attic preparation, sealing, an attic's airflow preservation, R-values, building codes, licenses, and insurance.
Prepare to set aside one weekend at the minimum for buying your tools & insulation material, inspection, sealing, old insulation removal, and the installation itself. DIY attic insulation can take up to two days, and air sealing alone can take a whole day.
Benjamin Franklin said, "lost time is never found again." Will you be better off spending time with family and resting before another crazy work week? Certified attic specialists can do the job faster and right the first time.
Installing insulation yourself will save you the labor costs of hiring an insulation contractor, which can average about $0.40 per square foot. But you'll need to measure your attic space yourself and buy the proper insulation to reach the recommended R-value and the equipment to install it correctly.
Can you blow in insulation yourself? For blown insulation DIY, you can rent a blowing machine for $100 a day and buy bags of 25-pound-blown-in cellulose at a home center for about $15 each. The total expense for your do-it-yourself project is about $500 or less. You may also be able to find recycled and reclaimed insulation materials.
DIY fiberglass roll and batt insulation installation can cost about $150 to $700 for a 500-square-foot attic space.
Let's compare that with hiring a contractor. Professional insulation contractors charge $1,000 to $2,400 for fiberglass batt and roll insulation installation. Should you have insulation DIY or professional installation? It might be worth contemplating that DIY and professional installation costs are not far off from one another and that the project will also cost you precious time and effort, especially with finding the right equipment for the installation.
Who installs insulation determines the success of your attic insulation installation. While you may have the best intentions at heart, there is a reason why the attic specialist is certified or licensed. There is no substitute for the experience they have garnered over their careers, no matter how many DIY videos or guides we might have seen and read.
There's little to no room for error with so much at stake. So sit back, relax, and welcome the efficiency and effectiveness that a professional insulation installation contractor will lend.