Looking for accurate cost information related to crawl space insulation?
Perfect, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Why should your crawl space be insulated?
- What does crawl space insulation cost?
- What factors go into the installation?
- What are the different kinds of crawl space insulation?
- Can you install crawl space insulation yourself?
- How can you save money on installation?
Crawl spaces are desirable because they offer storage capability, they provide easy access to plumbing pipes or ductwork for repair, and they protect your home from potentially harmful moisture in the soil.
However, crawl spaces also create uninsulated areas that can let cold drafts into your living space, making your home less comfortable and increasing heating costs.
Crawl space insulation is a popular home improvement project that can solve the problems associated with heat transfer through the open area under your home.
Below, we’re going to discuss why crawl spaces should be insulated, what installation costs, and how insulation could be an excellent option for your home. We’ll also go over some tips for saving money on the installation process.
Why Should You Insulate Your Crawl Space?
The most significant reason to insulate your crawl space is the ability to control heat transfer to and from the area under your home.
In colder weather, the unconditioned air in your crawl space can often be colder than outside air due to higher moisture content. Since your living space isn’t fully sealed off from your crawl space, that cold air often makes its way up to your first floor, making your entire home colder and more uncomfortable.
You may be able to deal with cold air coming up through your floors, but your heating system might not.
Your boiler or furnace will need to work harder to combat the drafts, which can raise your energy bills substantially and put undue wear and tear on your equipment.
Crawl space insulation can improve your home’s energy efficiency in the summer as well by reducing the need for air conditioning.
Summer heat tends to rise to your living space from the hot and humid area below your floors. This heat transfer can make your home hotter and put more stress on your HVAC system.
Aside from energy savings, insulation can also help prevent the buildup of moisture and associated problems, especially when coupled with a dehumidifier.
Crawl space insulation will help stop the humidity under your home from damaging your floor joists, beams, subfloor, and other construction material, ultimately reducing repair costs and damage to your home.
Lastly, it can improve air quality in your living space by reducing humidity that makes its way through your flooring.
How Much Does It Cost for Crawl Space Insulation?
The cost of installing crawl space insulation will depend on several factors, including the size of your crawl space, the type of insulation used, and how easy it is to access the area.
The average cost to have crawl space insulation installed on a standard, 1,000 square foot home ranges from $1,250 up to $2,500 depending on the insulation type.
We will give you a cost guide for each type of insulation below to help you determine a more accurate price for installing crawl space insulation in your home.
What Are The Different Types Of Crawl Space Insulation?
There are four different kinds of insulation that can be installed in the space under your home. Each has its upsides and downsides, so we’ll review them below along with the cost to help you figure out which is best for your situation.
Fiberglass Batt Insulation
Fiberglass batt insulation is the most common insulation type for the living spaces of houses. It comes in rolls of various R-values but generally sits in the low-to-mid-range of insulating capability.
It’s the most readily available as well, and the average total cost for installation will be approximately $1,750 for a 1,000 square foot crawl space.
Fiberglass insulation is prone to moisture damage, so it’s best for conditioned spaces with controlled humidity. It can sag and lose insulating capability if it becomes wet and can require mold remediation if moisture problems are allowed to persist.
Batts are easy to work with and can be a straightforward DIY project for handy homeowners.
Foam Board Insulation
Foam board insulation comes in rigid boards that often have the highest R-value and best insulating capabilities. The average cost of rigid foam board installation is around $2,000 for a 1,000 square foot crawl space, given the higher labor costs.
Foam board insulation resists moisture well and can act as a vapor barrier, making it an excellent option for some crawl spaces. They can even be installed directly onto foundation walls.
However, their rigidity can make installation challenging or impractical for crawl spaces with limited accessibility or footprint irregularities. As such, we recommend paying an insulation contractor to install foam board.
Spray Foam Insulation
Open cell and closed cell spray foam insulation are expandable foams that generally offer the best coverage and can seal areas that would otherwise allow air leaks in addition to insulating.
It comes in various R-values but usually has an outstanding insulating capability. Spray foam insulation costs about $2,500 on average to install in a 1,000 square foot property.
Spray foam resists moisture, mold growth, and mildew formation, often making it the ideal insulation type for crawl spaces. Closed-cell foam is the most moisture-resistant insulation and is excellent for areas with high humidity.
It can be applied to all areas under your home, including your crawl space walls. However, it’s relatively expensive to install and can’t be done without proper professional equipment.
Blown-in insulation consists of free-floating pieces of insulating foam that get blown into an area.
In crawl spaces, it will settle onto the ground and protect the entire space from outdoor temperatures. Blown-in insulation costs an average of $1,250 to install in a 1,000 square foot crawl space.
This type of insulation gets applied via a hose and doesn’t require access to the crawl space, making it great for under-home areas with limited entry points.
Considerations For Insulating A Crawl Space
There are a few things you need to consider other than the ease of access to your crawl space and the price of insulation. We’ll go over these additional factors below.
The location of your home can often dictate which types of insulation will provide adequate protection. The insulation’s R-value is the main factor determining insulating capability.
Those types with a lower R-value, like batt or blown-in insulation, may not be suitable for colder climates where more protection from heat transfer is required.
The size of your property can help determine which insulation type is best as well. Larger homes will have significantly higher installation costs, especially for foam board insulation.
If you have a vast crawl space in an area with a moderate climate, blown-in insulation may be the best option for managing costs and providing protection from the outside temperatures.
No matter which type of insulation you use, the price of insulation will increase with your home’s size. Material cost and labor costs will generally increase proportionally to your crawl space’s square footage.
Type of Insulation
The type of insulation used is the most significant value factor for installation. For material alone, foam boards are typically about double the cost of blown-in insulation per square foot. Added labor costs for boards also contribute to the total price difference.
Vented or Unvented
Lastly, your crawl space ventilation will play a part in the cost of installation. Unvented crawl spaces may require installing a dehumidifier that will control humidity levels.
Vented crawl spaces may first need crawl space encapsulation to seal gaps and prevent unwanted drafts from entering your crawl space and your living space above.
In general, crawl spaces should be fully sealed, so a professional may conclude that sealing is required if you have moisture problems below your home.
Can You DIY A Crawl Space Insulation?
Crawl space insulation can be a DIY project depending on the type of insulation used and the ventilation and humidity control you have below your home.
Batt insulation is the best option for a DIY project because it’s easy to install. However, you should only install it yourself if the humidity in your crawl space is already controlled.
Foam board is far more challenging to install and is best left to professionals who will ensure it’s applied with adequate coverage and minimal waste from improper cuts.
Spray foam and blown-in insulation require special equipment, so you’ll need professional insulation for these as well.
How To Save Money On Crawl Space Insulation Costs?
The best way to save money on crawl space insulation is to choose the type that suits your property best. For example, labor costs to install foam boards will be astronomical if you have minimal access to the space.
However, insulation with easier installation – like blown-in insulation – may not provide adequate protection in difficult-to-access crawl spaces if you live in a cold climate.
Choosing the most appropriate insulation for your area and crawl space accessibility can save you thousands on labor and material costs.
You can also save money on crawl space insulation by choosing the type suited for the moisture conditions under your home.
For example, batt insulation isn’t ideal for moist crawl spaces that aren’t ventilated and don’t have a dehumidifier and sump pump installed to control moisture. Choosing insulation that is appropriate for the air conditions in your crawl space can cut down on future repairs and possible re-installation if damage occurs from water in the air.