Average fiberglass rolled and batt insulation cost
WHAT ARE FIBERGLASS ROLL AND BATT INSULATION?
Fiberglass rolls and batts are the most traditional form of home insulation. Both rolls and batts are sections of fiberglass, contained within a packaging material, usually consisting of a treated exterior.
Batts are pre-cut shapes that are simply ‘slotted’ into the spaces between joists or studs in your home.
By contrast, rolls are long segments, which you cut yourself to fit into the same spaces.
Batts are easier and faster to install, although both of them do fundamentally the same task. Most homes already have some form of batt or roll insulation, most commonly in the roof or attic space. Installing more of these will increase the overall insulating ability of your home, so it’s certainly possible to add more insulation even if you have some in place.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ROLLS AND BATTS?
Unlike spray foam or blown-in insulation, rolls and batts can be simple enough for you to install yourself, without the need to hire a contractor (although the process is easier and faster if you do). Additionally, you will need to take some safety steps, as fiberglass can be an irritant. The benefit of installing insulation in your home is that it stops heat escaping.
The two main advantages of this are:
Your home remains at a pleasant temperature for longer
You use less energy to heat your home, because of a reduction in waste
The financial side of things is the most compelling reason to install insulation in your home. With fiberglass rolls and batt insulation, the initial outlay of the materials is often made up for with the ongoing utility bill savings.
This guide will walk you through these costs to help you make the most informed decision. For more information on the details of this insulation type, see our guide on fiberglass roll and batt insulation.
Below is a breakdown of some of the most common costs involved in installing fiberglass rolls and batts in your home.
The average cost per square foot for installing fiberglass batts is between $0.64 and $1.19. So, for a 500 square foot section of your home, you can expect to pay between $320 and $595. This includes the cost of labor.
If you were to complete the work yourself, you would likely pay between $145 and $200 to insulate the 500 square foot area.
Unlike other home improvement projects, installing batts or rolls is not extremely difficult, and therefore the labor costs are lower than with things like working with wiring, plumbing, or construction. You can expect to pay between $25 and $50 per hour for labor.
As mentioned above, it is possible for roll and batt insulation to be installed without the need for a contractor, which would obviously save the above costs.
With a growing demand for environmentally friendly products, more and more consumers are switching to ecobatts, which is made with recycled glass (and sometimes sand). Ecobatt insulation is comparable to traditional fiberglass in terms of R-value, composition, and installation – you probably wouldn’t notice the difference between the two unless you had a particularly expert eye.
Ecobatt insulation costs around $1.80 per square foot (based on an R-19 grade material).
Materials vary in price somewhat depending on how much you buy. There is a wide range, particularly as you scale up your volume requirements. The below table shows the breakdown of the different costs of materials. Generally, as you get up to larger square footage, the cost per square foot rises slightly because you tend to assume a higher R-value.
If you hire a contractor, the rising material costs are offset by the declining labor costs (it’s cheaper per square foot to hire a contractor for 2,000 square feet than 1,000 square feet).
INSULATING SPECIFIC PARTS OF YOUR HOME
The above figures are averages taken across different parts of the home. However, depending on which part of your home you’re looking to insulate, the prices will be slightly different. If you want to insulate your basement, for example, you will need to use fiberglass that has been treated against moisture, which is not necessarily a concern for the attic.
In addition, labor costs also vary because of the difficulty of reaching different parts of your home, as well as the size of the spaces involved.
This section of the guide will discuss four of the most common parts of your home in which to install batt or roll insulation. You should also see our guide on spray foam insulation costs and blown-in insulation costs as these will provide a comparison of other insulation types for you (spray foam is better suited to basement walls, for example).
By far the most common place to add insulation to a home (your home almost certainly already has it) is in the attic on the floor. Using unfaced insulation rolls in an attic will cost around $500 for an average-sized attic. The most common strip size of these is 15 inches by 25 feet, which should fit standard gaps between joists.
If you include labor in that, you can add $150 to $300 to the overall cost.
If you already have drywall covering your wall cavities, then it is almost certainly better to use spray foam or inject-in insulation, as it avoids the need to expose the cavity and therefore is a faster and cheaper process. However, if you do decide to install batt insulation, for a standard-sized room, you can expect to pay around $350.
If you are placing fiberglass insulation in an exterior wall, you will need to ensure that you have faced insulation. That will help reflect heat back into the building, as well as prevent it from traveling through the wall.
CRAWL SPACE CEILING
The ceiling of the crawl space (i.e. the underside of your floor) will cost around $448 to have insulated with batts. This will help prevent your crawl space from acting as a major escape route for your home’s heat.
The cost for a basement ceiling is around $448, the same as that for a crawl space. In both cases, the price is for unfaced batt insulation.
If you are installing batt insulation or fiberglass rolls, then you may be forced to remove the older material. In some cases, this is because it is damaged or simply perished with age.
If insulation gets wet, for example, it will require removal, as it will no longer be effective. Damp insulation can also spread moisture and be a major source of mold (particularly if it is cellulose insulation).
Either way, if you need to remove insulation, you will need to pay a professional to remove and dispose of it.
In general, you should work on the rule that removing insulation costs between $1 and $2 per square foot. Again, the larger the space, the lower the cost per square foot.
The most common place from which to remove insulation is the attic; the cost of removal for a 3,100 square foot attic is around $3,410, which equates to a cost of $1.10 per square foot.
The entire process takes roughly 12 hours and is somewhat laborious because of the need to remove the insulation by hand (foreign objects like mouse droppings, wood chips, and water damage all cause damage to removal machines).
Again, it is possible to save money by removing it yourself, although you’ll need to agree to a quote with a contractor for professional disposal. You can usually bundle this in with the cost of a new replacement.
Unlike other forms of insulation – such as blown-in or spray foam insulation – fiberglass rolls and batts are usually the most basic form of insulation.
They represent the first line of defense. This means that the decision of whether to install them or not is somewhat simple.
If you don’t have them installed, your home will be cold in the winter and (depending on the climate) hot in the summer. As well as the comfort levels of your home, you will also waste a significant amount of energy to heat your home because it will be escaping.
Put simply, you’ll be paying a lot of money to heat the air immediately outside your home.
Because of this, and the fact that batt and rolls are easy enough to install without professional help, the barrier to entry is actually extremely low for installing this type of insulation in your home.
In addition, it’s not an either-or situation – you can just install a small amount of insulation at a time as your budget makes that possible. Slowly but surely you’ll start to notice the benefits in your overall comfort level, as well as in your ever-decreasing utility bills.