How Much Should I Spend on Basement Wall Insulation?

Answered by Brett ~ May 17, 2010 ~ Comments

We're not the original owners of our 35 year-old-home. I'm not ready to do a home addition or convert the basement, but I do think it's time to re-do the basement insulation. I don't want to use fiberglass batt, but it's the cheapest. Is there a better option or at least one that's not expensive?

Paul D. ~ Detroit, Michigan

Brett Kulina

There are a couple of ways to calculate the cost of re-insulating your home's basement, the question is will your cost analysis include the future savings that can come with a well insulated home. Certainly there are many insulation products which cost more to purchase than traditional fiberglass batts, but a better insulation product may likely save you money over the long run by making your home more energy efficient, which can help to reduce your monthly utility bills . So pay now, or pay later.

Two types of insulation that generally outperform fiberglass batts are spray-in foam and blown-in cellulose. Their superior insulation performance has less to do with the material itself, and everything to do with how the material is installed. Even when fiberglass batts are carefully installed, air gaps and missed areas are common. When insulation is blown-in, or sprayed-in, the wall cavity space is filled completely, leaving no room for air gaps or cold spots in the wall. This type of insulation is also perfect for completely sealing and insulating the areas around the rim joists of your home's floor system and for insulating the areas around the window and door headers.

In general, blown-in cellulose insulation will cost a little more than fiberglass batts, and spray-in foam will cost quite a bit more than blown-in cellulose. I suggest you contact a insulation installer who works in the Detroit area and have them inspect your home's basement and give your some options and prices.

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