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What is the Best Way to Install Insulation? (DIY vs Hiring an Insulation Contractor)

By: Amanda Ringler on March 28th, 2017

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What is the Best Way to Install Insulation? (DIY vs Hiring an Insulation Contractor)

Insulation Contractor  |  DIY  |  DIY insulation  |  Foam insulation contractor  |  insulation

Your home isn’t as comfortable as it could be and your energy bills are through the roof, so you know it’s time for insulation.

Here’s the big question – do you do it yourself or hire an experienced contractor?

There are many factors you need to consider when thinking about updating your home’s insulation, including how easy it will be to install yourself and realizing that some jobs will be well above your pay grade. Some areas of your home will require the skilled hands of a contractor, while others can be a DIY project if you don’t mind getting dirty.

RetroFoam of Michigan has more than 15 years of experience insulating thousands of homes across the lower peninsula. We know quite a bit about insulation, so we can tell you which areas of your home can be a DIY project and when it is time to call in the professionals.

Here are the pros and cons of the Do-It-Yourself insulation job and calling an insulation contractor.

DIY Insulation Pros and Cons

fiberglass home insulation

There is a lot of time and effort that needs to go into a DIY insulation project, not to mention the blood, sweat, and tears if the project goes wrong.

Pros:

  • Fiberglass batts and rolls are fairly inexpensive and can be installed in open and accessible areas like attics, crawl spaces, and rim joists by the handyman homeowner.
  • Blown-in cellulose insulation can be installed by the homeowner, but a machine must be rented for the installation. It can be used in the attic.
  • Foam boards are a little more expensive, but can also be installed as a DIY project.
  • Can be cost effective if the insulation DIY project goes as planned.

Cons:

  • Mishandling fiberglass can lead to the material getting embedded in the skin or being inhaled, which can lead to serious illness.
  • If the cellulose blowing machine isn’t run by someone who knows how to use it the cellulose will go all over the area, including duct work causing dust all throughout the house. This will add more cost as more cellulose will need to be purchased and the vents will need to be cleaned.
  • Foam board, much like fiberglass batts and rolls, must be cut to exactly fit the area to be insulated. I the cuts don’t match up to the cavity where it will be installed, more insulation will need to be purchases adding more cost to the project.
  • Most insulation DIY installations take a significant amount of time to complete for an experienced handyman to ensure it is done correctly.
  • If something goes wrong and part of your home is damaged, the homeowner is on the line for making the repairs and paying for it.
  • If there is old insulation in the house, the homeowner will need to remove it and dispose of it. This will add more time to the job and possibly expense.
  • Even an experienced handyman homeowner could miss structural issues in the attic, for example, which could lead to costly issues in the future. If a leaking roof is missed and water becomes an issue in the attic, then the roof will need to be repaired and the insulation replaced.

Insulation Contractor Installation Pros and Cons

Injecting RetroFoam into an existing home

Hiring a contractor can  cost more than doing the work yourself, but realistically there are times when calling the professionals will save you time and money in the long-run.

Pros:

  • Areas of the home like existing walls can be insulated by a professional without tearing down drywall.
  • DIY spray foam insulation is extremely difficult, especially for large jobs. Hiring a specialized foam insulation contractor may be the only way to receive the benefits of foam insulation.
  • The amount of time to finish the insulation job will be cut down drastically compared to a DIY project.
  • A good contractor will carry licenses and insurance, so if something were to go wrong or there was an issue, then they would take care of it.
  • An experienced contractor will remove and dispose of any existing insulation in areas like the attic, crawl space, and rim joist.
  • A good insulation contractor will have an understanding of current building codes, energy efficiency codes and rebates, and will know what to look for as far as structural issues and mold, mildew, and animal infestation signs.

Cons:

  • Hiring a contractor is more expensive than a DIY project that stays on track without any mishaps.
  • If the contractor isn’t reputable and experienced and there is damage to the house, the homeowner could end up paying to fix the issue.
  • A homeowner may have to wait a few weeks to get on the contractor’s install schedule.

Deciding the Best Way to Install Insulation

There honestly aren’t that many cons to hiring a professional to complete your insulation project in your home. While it is more expensive that doing the work yourself, an insulation contractor will be able to complete the job faster and more effectively.

Every homeowner has a different set of skills, and while some homeowners have the knowledge and ability to do the jobs effectively themselves, others don’t. If you fall into the category of ambition with no experience, it could save you money in the long-run hiring a professional.

Homeowners who are worried about high labor and material costs should consult multiple insulation contractors to get estimates for what the project will cost. If you are leaning towards foam insulation as the best option to insulate your home and live in Michigan’s lower peninsula, give us a call at 866-900-3626 for a free estimate, or fill out the form on our website.

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