Attic Insulation Cost Comparison: 4 New Better Life Changing Material

Attic Insulation Cost Comparison: 4 New Better Life Changing Material

Attic Insulation Types and Costs Comparison

Planning a home improvement project includes insulation for sound, temperature and moisture. Insulation budget considerations should include cost/value ratio and measure performance. R49 is the minimum code for attics in zone 5 which includes parts of the Midwest and Chicago.

R38-R49 loosefill fiberglass for example, does not perform well in extreme heat (summer days in Chicago averaging 85-90 degrees) or extreme cold -10 30 degrees ), while spray foam, mineral wool, or loose fill cellulose are all options for the attic floor.

Cost to  insulate an attic R-49 in per 1000 sq ft
  • Cellulose $3200
  • Fiberglass $2700
  • Spray foam $8608

The evaluation of attic insulation types involves assessing factors like air sealing, baffles and hatch covers for comprehensive energy efficiency in your home.

insulation comparison chart
insulation comparison chart

Cellulose Insulation Costs Per Sq Foot Calculator

Cost for cellulose insulation include:

  • Attic insulation............................$2.30 Per Sq. Ft.
  • Cathedral ceiling insulation.......$3.50 – 5.00 Per Sq. Ft.
  • Flat roof insulation......................$3.50 – 5.00 Per Sq. Ft.
  • Basement insulation...................$1.50 – 4.00 Per Sq. Ft.
  • The exterior wall insulation........$1.50 – 4.50 Per Sq. Ft.
  • Garage ceiling insulation............$3.50 – 5.00 Per Sq. Ft.
  • Transition wall insulation............$2.50 – 4.00 Per Sq. Ft.
  • Furnace room insulation.............$1.50 – 4.00 Per Sq. Ft.
  • Crawl space insulation...............$2.50 – 4.50 Per Sq. Ft.
  • Kitchen wall insulation................$1.50 – 4.50 Per Sq. Ft.
  • Bathroom wall insulation............$1.50 – 4.50 Per Sq. Ft.

*Prices are based on the current average cost and may vary based on the scope of work.*

Cellulose loose-fill insulation has a major advantage over batt or spray foam powerful truck-mounted blowing machines blown directly into the stud cavity with the drywall already in place.

Advantages:  A cost-effective alternative to spray foam when retrofitting building or residential homes. Cellulose is plant-based recycled green materials. Non-itch.

Disadvantages: Thermal Bridging

“ON AVERAGE YOU CAN GET FOR $3 PER SQUARE FOOT – CELLULOSE R21 / FIBERGLASS R15 OR FOR $4 PER SQUARE FOOT – MINERAL WOOL R23 SPRAY / FOAM R21″

Insulation cost per sq ft

Insulation cost per sq ft:

  • spray foam 1.65 per inch x sq ft
  • cellulose on attic floor 2.50 per sq ft
  • cellulose blown in walls / ceiling 2-4$ per sq ft
  • mineral wool 4-5$ per sq ft
  • fiberglass 1.90-2.40 per sq ft

Insulation materials are produced in a variety of ways using several different material combinations.

Why start with the attic?

Achieving results such as comfortable stable home interior temperatures with the desired amount of humidity / dry air.  By reaching the recommended home insulation R-Values through thermal performance or R-value of insulation is dependent on proper installation of that material and its interaction with surrounding materials.

Comparing insulation cost for 2×6 sidewalls, attic insulation, cathedral ceilings, and basement insulation, we find cellulose is preferred with exception of basement wall insulation.

Since R-Value is measured in enclosed spaces, any air infiltration into the insulated cavity significantly reduces the intended R-Value.

We install the correct/optimal insulation levels for your attic R60, ceilingR38-60, sidewall R21, basement R13, and crawl space R13-38.  

Your budget $3 per sq ft for insulation which includes additional considerations. Fire stop and air seal cost an extra .35 cents. Cellulose provides R21 insulation, fills voids and gaps left by fiberglass, performs better in summer, and has better fire resistance, mold mildew and moisture resistance, and is pest resistant.

Feature 3 Jpg
  • Insulation labor and material
  • Fire stop
  • Air seal
  • R-value to code
  • Proper ventilation
  • Cozy comfortable interior
  • Pass occupancy inspections


Common housing or remodeling materials may contain toxins, chemicals, or harsh substances that may harm your health. Insulation is no different.

VOCs found in polyurethane spray foam insulation. Formaldehyde found in rigid foam.

Attic Insulation Cost Advantages / Disadvantages

Insulation cost factors measured by R-Value as a key performance indicator.  

Spray foam is superior in R-value per inch, making it ideal to choose a combination of closed cell spray foam as the bottom layer and fiberglass batts to fill in the depth of the framing cavity (called the flash and batt method.)

Flash and Batt Method is a new hybrid combination of closed cell spray foam and fiberglass batts to reduce costs of labor and materials for spray foam insulation.

Flash and Batt Method
Flash and Batt Method

Areas to Choose Cellulose Over Spray Foam include

  • Cathedral ceiling
  • Attic duct work
  • Knee wall
  • Vented attic
  • Sidewall
  • New construction sound dampening

Spray Foam Insulation Cost

Spray foam insulation cost: currently $1.65 per inch. However, consider the depth of insulation needed. With 3" of foam vs 16" of cellulose, you'll achieve greater heat retention: R60 vs R21 rating for an enclosed space.

For an existing cathedral ceiling, consider four options: fiberglass batt, loose fill fiberglass, loose fill cellulose, and closed cell spray foam. Cost per inch includes labor, material, and installation.

Comparing spray foam to 6" of cellulose in a cathedral ceiling: Spray foam costs $4.50 for R35 (benefiting from a tighter seal), while properly sealed cellulose gives about R21 at $2 per inch.

If opening the ceiling for spray foam, consider the cost of drywall removal and replacement after spraying.

Fiberglass is rarely used except in basement walls.

Green Attic applies spray foam to cathedral ceiling roof rafters, rim joists, and crawl space and basement walls most commonly.  Cellulose insulation is used for garage ceilings, exterior and interior walls and ceilings for sound and thermal protection and attic floors for optimal heat resistance. Fiberglass is rarely used except in basement walls with the paper side facing out towards the living space as a vapor barrier.

Wall insulation: 2×6 cellulose stops air 35% better than fiberglass. It's fire retardant and doesn't require drywall removal. Gaps and cracks in older homes reduce R-value compared to spray foam. Cellulose is cost-efficient with a lower R-value on a 2×4.

In wintertime, fiberglass is ideal as drywall retains heat. In summer, fiberglass allows heat to pass through, heating the drywall.

Basement Insulation - Mind the Moisture Barrier

To choose the best type of insulation, you should first determine the following:

  • Who will diagnose the current conditions of the home based on occupants experience with cold or drafty rooms in the winter and hot / humid 2nd floor bedrooms  and create an action plan for change? will install the insulation.
  • What is the reason for choosing to add insulation / ventilation to your attic, exterior  walls, garage ceiling, basement, or crawlspace and what are the recommended R-values for areas you want to insulate.
  • Where  you want improvements on the interior living space ( home )  install/add insulation.
  • Why types of insulation Cost Per Inch Vs. R-Value.

For a comprehensive understanding of attic insulation removal and replacement cost, reach out to the Green Attic Insulation team today. Schedule a free consultation to assess your needs and explore cost-effective solutions for a well-insulated home.

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