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Compare Roll Insulation Installation Costs and Values

roll-insulationThis guide to roll insulation explains what it is and where it is most often used. We also cover roll insulation costs for material and labor.

Roll Insulation Cost & Prices for a 500 sq. ft. Project
Low Cost $550 – $900
Medium Cost $725 – $,1250
High Cost $1,000 – $1,625
Average Cost $750 – $1,400

What is Roll Insulation?

There are two types of roll insulation that are most common: fiberglass and stone wool. Fiberglass roll insulation is made from spun fiberglass. Rock wool insulation is also called mineral wool or stone wool. It is made from molten stone or slag spun into a material similar in consistency to sheep’s wool.

Real sheep’s wool is also used in roll insulation, but it is not as commonly chosen by homeowners. It is, however, growing in popularity because it is a green building material.

Roll insulation comes in various depths or thicknesses to produce various R-factors which is the insulation rating. See the roll insulation cost chart below for common R-value options.

You’ll find rolls in several standard widths including 16 and 24 inches to fit common framing dimensions such as wall studs 16 inches on center and ceiling joists 24 inches on center.

When using roll insulation, the material is rolled into the space being insulated and then cut to fit.

The Value of Roll Insulation

The most obvious value of roll insulation is to keep heat in or out of your home, depending on the season. During the heating season, roll insulation in the attic or ceiling of your home will prevent warm air being created by your heat source from escaping.

During warm weather, the insulation blocks heat from penetrating your home and causing it to be uncomfortably warm or forcing your air conditioning system to work extra hard to maintain the temperature you desire.

Roll insulation may be faced or unfaced. Faced insulation has a layer of material, typically either treated paper or foil that acts as a moisture and vapor retarder. The insulation is installed so that the facing is on the interior of the home. Its purpose is to helps prevent moisture created in the home from the laundry, cooking, showering and breathing from passing into the wood framing materials where it may cause mold or rot.

A second advantage of the facing is that it extends beyond the insulation to form a flange which can be used to fasten the insulation to studs or joists.

Locations for Roll Insulation

Faced roll insulation is often used in ceilings or use in attics where long runs of insulation are required. It can be used in unfinished walls too, though precut batts are chosen more often than rolls which need to be cut for each run.

Unfaced roll insulation is most often installed in attics. It may form the only layer of insulation or can be used to increase the R-value where a layer of insulation is already present.

The Cost of Roll Insulation and Installation

Prices shown for Roll Insulation, divided down into Material per Sq. Foot and Labor per Sq. Foot. The labor costs in these examples are based on 10-12 hours of labor:

Insulation Rating Material per Sq. Foot Labor per Sq. Foot
R-19 $0.50 to $0.75 $0.60 to $0.95
R-21  $0.55 to $0.85 $0.65 to $0.95
R-30 $0.80 to $1.10 $0.65 to $0.95
R-38 $1.00 to $1.55 $0.70 to $0.95
R-50 $1.30 to $2.00 $0.70 to $0.95
R-60 $1.60 to $2.40 $0.70 to $0.95

Comparing Roll Insulation Costs from the Web

Roll Insulation Costs Online Compared
Place Cost Range Per Sq. Foot for Labor and Material
Insulation Guides $1.10 – $3.35
FixR $0.85 – $4.00
Remodeling Expense $1.00 – $3.40
Home Advisor $0.64 – $1.19
Average Cost from Web Comparison $0.85 – $3.00

Factors Affecting the Cost of Roll Insulation

With any type of insulation job there are going to be multiple factors which are likely to impact the price quote you receive, some of these are listed below.

  • Insulation Material – These roll insulation prices are for fiberglass insulation. Rock wool insulation costs will be approximately 50% higher, though it’s typically not available with an R-value higher than R-30.
  • Additional Materials – The installer will require some additional materials such as fasteners and foam insulation in order to do the job properly. These additional costs typically amount to $25 to $60 per 1,000 square feet of insulation depending on the specifics of the job – specific price estimates will be required for your home to price accurately, so consider a set of free no-obligation insulation estimates.
  • Job Complexity – The roll insulation costs we provided show a range. The more complex the job is, the higher the cost will be. For example, laying roll insulation over ceiling rafters is relatively easy compared with fastening it to trusses in a vaulted ceiling.
  • New Construction vs Existing – In addition, roll insulation installation costs are always higher in existing construction than in new construction because of the greater complexity of the project.
  • Pro vs DIY  – Labor costs for roll insulation cost between $0.65 and $0.95 per sq. ft., therefore by doing the installation yourself you will save around $325 and $475 for the average job of 500 sq. ft.

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

Each insulation type has its own pro’s and con’s. The advantages and disadvantages of roll insulation are listed below and should be considered before a roll insulation installation:

  • Best Used for – Ceilings, Floors and Attics
  • Con’s – Roll insulation, whilst energy efficient, can require large amounts to provide the correct thickness and therefore achieve a high enough r-value.
  • Pro’s – Roll insulation is known to decreases the possibility of moisture vapor condensing into water and leading to the development of mold, rot, odors and overall damage to an existing structure.

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