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Compare Batt Insulation Installation Costs and Values

batt-insulationThis guide to batt insulation explains what it is, where it is used and batt insulation material and installation costs. Batt insulation is a very common form of insulation because it is affordable and versatile. The average batt insulation project will be around 500 square foot in size, taking into account labor will mean that the average cost for batt insulation is $600 – $700 for 500 sq.ft, this price will vary depending on several factors (discussed below) and the state within which you live.

Batt Insulation Cost & Prices for a 500 sq. ft. Project
Low Cost $450 – $650
Medium Cost $540 – $775
High Cost $675 – $875
Average Cost $600 – $700
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What is Batt Insulation?

Insulation batts are precut lengths of insulation primarily used in walls. The lengths are cut to fit walls with heights of 8, 10 or 12 feet.

Fiberglass batts are most common. Rock wool, also called stone wool or mineral wool, is a type of insulation produced from molten stone or slag spun into a wool-like material. It is an expensive form of insulation that is used most often for fire-rated applications because of its resistance to burning.

Batts may also be made of sheep’s wool or wool composite that includes a small percentage of polyester adhesive used to hold the material together as a batt

Insulation batts are used in framed buildings. They are designed to fit between wall studs or ceiling joists, so they are made in various widths with 18 inches and 24 inches being the most common. Different thicknesses or depths are also produced to fit the type of construction such as 2×4 or 2×6 framed walls or ceilings.

When choosing batt insulation, you have the option of batts that are faced or unfaced. Faced batts have treated paper or foil on one side that acts as a moisture retarder. The facing is wider than the batt to form a flange that is used to secure the insulation to wall studs or floor/ceiling joists with the use of staples or other fasteners.

The Value of Batt Insulation

Batt insulation is effective in resisting the transfer of heat. In cold weather, it helps keep heat from the furnace or other heat source from leaving your home through walls and ceilings. In warm weather, the batt insulation helps resist heat from outside from penetrating into your home.

Many homeowners don’t realize that insulation is just as necessary during cooling as it is during heating to help control energy use and costs while keeping the home comfortable.

Locations for Batt Insulation

Faced batt insulation is used most often in unfinished walls. The insulation is installed with the facing on the interior of the home. This is done because moisture most commonly originates inside the home through cooking, laundry, showers and breathing, and the resistant barrier prevents the moisture from getting into the building materials where it can cause mold or rot.

Most homes being built or renovated on the exterior have a breathable house wrap that prevents excess moisture from outside from entering the walls and ceilings.

Both faced and unfaced batts are used as floor and ceiling insulation. However, rolls are used more often than batts in floors and ceilings because batts are precut to specific lengths. Using rolls allows the installer to cut the piece the fit the length needed.

The Cost of Batt Insulation and Installation

Batt insulation is popular because both the material and installation are affordable. Here are average batt insulation and installation prices:

Batt Insulation Costs, Materials and Labor
Insulation Rating Material per Sq. Foot Labor per Sq. Foot
 R-13 Batt Insulation   $0.30 to $0.40   $0.60 to $0.90
 R-19 Batt Insulation  $0.40 to $0.55   $0.60 to $0.90
 R-21 Batt Insulation  $0.48 to $0.65  $0.60 to $0.90
R-30 Batt Insulation $0.50 to $0.70  $0.60 to $0.90
R-38 Batt Insulation $0.75 to $0.85  $0.60 to $0.90

These batt insulation costs are based on fiberglass insulation. For rock wool, expect materials costs to be 40% to 60% higher and the labor costs to be about the same.

Additional materials such as insulating foam, fasteners and tape will cost $25 to $45 per 1,000 square feet of insulation installed. Installation costs are based on two installers working 4-5 hours per 1,000 square feet of insulation.

Comparing Batt Insulation Costs from the Web

Batt Insulation Costs Online Compared
Website / Source Cost Range Per Sq. Foot for Labor and Material
Insulation Guides $0.90 – $1.75
FixR $0.12 – $0.60
Remodeling Expense $1.73 – $3.10
Home Advisor $0.64 – $1.19
Average Cost from Web Comparison $0.91 – $1.80
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Factors Affecting Batt Insulation Installation Costs

Batt insulation costs outlined above provide an overview of the costs you are likely to expect, however there will be a few factors which may affect the cost of your batt insulation project:

  • Square Footage – Square footage is one of the most common determining factors in any insulation job, since a larger square footage will lead to more materials, which is turn will lead to increased labor costs to put down the material. So, calculating your square footage accurately to start with is important to estimate your job
  • Required R-Value – As the batt insulation pricing table shows above, the higher the required r-value, the more expensive the insulation. So if you live in a particularly cold climate, then expect to pay more for your insulation as the r-value will need to be higher and the thickness will need to be greater
  • Job Complexity – The complexity of the job will be assessed through various factors. Things which will mean the job is considered more complex include removal of existing drywall, removal of existing insulation, access to the area where insulation is going to be installed (e.g. for attic insulation), and the presence of large amounts of pipework which insulation must be installed around
  • Home Age – Home age will usually affect how complex the job is. Usually, new build homes have less factors likely to make the job more difficult, which is the opposite to old homes.
  • DIY or Pro – The average labor cost for batt insulation installation is between $0.60 – $0.90 per square foot, this can vary depending on where you live. Therefore for the average 500 sq.ft. project, you can save between $300 and $450 in labor costs, however you need to remember that this does not include the cost of any specialist tools you may need to purchase if you don’t have them.

As discussed above, the major factor in batt insulation cost is the complexity of the job. If the installer must remove existing drywall and old insulation, the cost will be significantly higher due to the labor involved. Furthermore, that drywall will need to be put right which will mean the additional drywall repair cost must be taken into consideration. The same is true if access to an attic is difficult. Expect the lowest installation costs in new construction and the highest in older homes.

Pro’s, Con’s and Best Uses for Batt Insulation

There are pro’s and con’s with any insulation type and it’s important to understand these before choosing 1 particular type of insulation.

  • Best Used for – Walls, Attics, Floors
  • Con’s – Batt insulation can be difficult to work with when fitting into specific tight spaces. It also takes up a lot of room to give you the insulation thick enough.
  • Pro’s – Batt insulation is relatively inexpensive when compared to other types, particularly roll and loose fill (spray foam) insulation.
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