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Average Blown-In Insulation Cost

Sam Smith Foundation Repair Consultant

Blown-in Insulation – also known as loose-fill – involves spraying small sections of fiberglass into a cavity, which is a quick and efficient way of adding insulation to a home. When a home is built, strips of fiberglass rolls or batts are added to fit between wall studs and ceiling joists. However, after drywall is added on top of these, it can be an expensive process to replace or add to.

Blown-in insulation gives you the option of ‘topping off’ the insulation in your home without the need to rip down any walls or cause other damage. You simply blow in the insulation to spaces you want to be insulated. This has the added benefits of filling in any gaps in your coverage.

Blown-in insulation, therefore, is a supplemental form of insulation, unlike fiberglass rolls or batts. This changes the nature of financial decision-making. Since it’s not essential to have blown-in insulation, you can decide to install it as and when your financial situation is right to do so.

The benefits of additional insulation are the following:

  • Reduced HVAC costs (since less heat is lost during the winter and heat is prevented from entering during the summer).
  • Overall lower utility bills
  • Increased home value
  • (Potentially) lower property taxes (depending on the jurisdiction)
  • Less strain on appliances
  • Reduced sound transfer between inside and outside

The benefits are therefore great. The only limitation is the financial cost of installation. This guide will walk you through those financial costs so you can get a ballpark figure for your home. Then you’ll be able to see whether installing blown-in insulation is the right choice for you. For more information on blown-in insulation, see our Blown-in Insulation Guide.


The overall cost to insulate a 1,500 square foot home is between $1,500 and $2,000. The vast majority of this is labor costs. If you were to complete this job yourself, you can expect to pay around $500.

However, installing blown-in insulation yourself is not advisable if you don’t have experience with DIY as it can be a complex process.



As a general rule of thumb, the cost to install blown-in insulation is between $1.00 and $1.50 per square foot. Therefore, if you have a space that is 500 square feet, it will cost you between $500 and $750.

There is also an economy of scale to this, so a 2,000 square foot space will be closer to $2,000 than $3,000.


The cost for a contractor to work on insulation is between $40 and $70 per hour. Usually, blown-in installation takes around four hours to install for a smaller space, so you can expect to pay between $160 and $280.


To insulate a 1,200 square foot attic will cost between $1,200 and $1,800.


For a wall space of 500 square feet (i.e. filling a wall cavity) you will pay between $500 and $750.


If you decide to forgo the professional contractor and do the work yourself, you can rent a blow-in machine yourself. For a 24-hour rental period (which should be enough to complete the project) you can expect to pay between $100 and $200.

In some cases, an insulation manufacturer will rent the machine to you for free upon purchase of their insulation.


Below is a breakdown of the costs of blown-in insulation across a variety of measures and styles.


R-value is the measure of how well a material insulates. The ‘R’ stands for resistance, or the amount that a material is able to prevent the transfer of heat. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance. For more information see our guide What is Insulation R-value? At different R-values, the cost of materials and labor increases, thereby increasing the final cost. The table below gives a breakdown of this.



R-Value Bags Per 1,000 Sq. Ft Material Cost Installed Thickness Labor Hours Labor Cost (avg.) TOTAL
R-13 13 $430 3.5 inches 20 $1,150.00 $1,580.00
R-15 15 $500 3.5 inches 23 $1,322.50 $1,822.50
R-21 21 $690 5.5 inches 27 $1,552.50 $2,242.50
R-24 19 $960 5.5 inches 30 $1,725.00 $2,685.00


There are three main types of blown-in insulation material – wool, fiberglass, and cellulose. Each has different properties, which impacts where you can install it, the R-value, and the cost. The table below shows the different prices you can expect for different materials.

Wool $1.40 to $2.10
Fiberglass $0.50 to $1.10
Cellulose $0.60 to $2.30

More and more new installations are using cellulose because of its organic properties and the fact that it is a safer product than fiberglass (for example, the risk of inhalation and dangers from doing so are greatly reduced).


As mentioned above, cellulose insulation is increasingly popular because it is biodegradable and is less harmful to the environment and to residents of a home. However, blown-in cellulose is more expensive than fiberglass (as the table above shows).

Cellulose insulation costs between $0.60 and $2.30 per square foot, resulting in a cost of $30 to $40 per bag. Cellulose insulation comes in damp-spray or dense packs. The costs of these are below:

$0.60 – $1.80
$2.00 – $2.30


The traditional standard insulation is fiberglass. Fiberglass is made of small strands of glass; it is the most common material for rolls and batts for insulation.

It combines a low price point with a high level of insulation. Fiberglass has some of the highest R-values commercially available for blown-in insulation.

The traditional standard insulation is fiberglass. Fiberglass is made of small strands of glass; it is the most If you do decide to install fiberglass blown-in, you can save a great deal of money as it remains the cheapest option on the market. Fiberglass insulation costs between $500 and $1,060 to cover 1,000 square feet.

The table below shows the different levels of R-value for fiberglass loose-fill.

R-Value Bags Per 1,000 Sq. Ft Material Cost Installed Thickness Labor Hours Labor Cost (avg.) TOTAL
R-30 15 $500 10.25inches 4 $230 $730
R-38 20 $660 13 inches 5 $287.50 $947.50
R-44 23 $760 14.75 inches 6 $345 $1,105
R-49 26 $860 16.5 inches 7 $402.50 $1,262.50
R-60 32 $1,060 20 8 $460 $1,520

As the table above shows, the potential R-values involved in fiberglass are higher than with other types of blown-in insulation. This, therefore, reflects the fact that fiberglass is the densest material, and will also provide the lowest running costs.

For $1,500 of costs, you can install R-13 of standard cellulose blown-in insulation, whereas you can get R-60 of fiberglass for the same price. This is especially important when you consider the reduced utility bills that come as a result of having a high R-value insulation in your home.


There is a wide range of different brands of blown-in insulation available, each of which has slightly different properties (and strengths and weaknesses). The specific brand you use is best determined in conversation with the contractor who will be undertaking the work.

If you are doing the work yourself, research the different properties of each to see which one is the best match. From a cost perspective, the different prices per square foot of some common brands are listed below.

Green Fiber $0.40
Applegate $0.25 – $1.45
Nu-Wool $1.30 – $4
American Rockwool $1.75
Owens Corning $0.40

Although blown-in insulation has its disadvantages, it certainly provides a cost-effective way to insulate your home, thereby reducing your carbon footprint and saving you money.

Parts of your home such as the basement or crawl space will not work with blown-in insulation and will be better suited to spray foam insulation or specially-treated fiberglass batts.

However, in the upper parts of your home, blown-in insulation is a non-invasive way to up the level of insulation you have.

Generally, it’s worth considering blown-in insulation if you plan to stay in your home for the next five years or longer given the initial outlay and the slower return on investment that comes from reduced utility bills.

Improved insulation will increase your home’s value, although this is not always a direct reflection of the amount you spent on insulation, making it harder to factor into the financial breakdown.

What is certain, however, is that not only is this a smart financial decision, but it is one that will make your home more comfortable and enjoyable to live in. And that’s hard to put a price on.

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Sam Smith Foundation Repair Consultant
SHORT BIO: Hey, I'm Sam Smith. I'm one of our service techs here at Regional Foundation Repair. I'm here to help you learn more about your home's foundation. I've been doing this for a while, so I have a few insider tips and tricks to share!

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