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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    New Jersey
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    23

    Question Thoughts on this project re. cost

    Apologies if my original post of this from yesterday appears somewhere - it seems to have have vanished.

    I received a lot of great feedback from my initial post about attic insulation. This has now become a bigger project which I'm farming out and wanted to know if overall this seems like a decent deal.

    After having an energy audit done, my house is very leaky and energy inefficient. It is a 100 year old house and the exterior walls have no insulation in them. In places that have insulation - it is either in bad shape (under a crawl space over a family room) or old and not up to modern standards (attic). In any event, we are about to have knob and tube wires removed so the walls throughout the house will become Swiss cheese. So, here is what we have as a proposal:

    1. blow 8" of cellulose insulation into attic rafters and then seal off with foam board. Also, all rim joists will be air sealed with 2" of spray foam.
    2. the ceiling and knee walls of the finished room in out attic will also be insulated with blown in cellulose.
    3. from the basement to the attic the house will be air sealed and tested with a blower. rim joists in the basement will be foamed and the old wooden door to the bulkhead will be replaced with a steel energy efficient door.
    4. The exterior walls will have dense pack cellulose blown in - approx 2400 sq feet.
    5. In our family room which has a crawl space below it: crawl space will have 4" of high density foam blown under it. The ceiling which currently has a wood tongue and groove finish will be removed and replaced, cellulose will be blown ion and the leaky skylight will replaced.
    6. All areas such as where the top edge of my front porch touches the house will be air sealed.

    We were quoted approx. 19K for this - is this a good deal? Understanding that many folks DIY - we have decided we are not going to insulate and let the pro's do it. Appreciate any feedback.

    Thanks - Steve

    P.S. - this will make the house, according to the "computer printout" - approximately 35% more efficient.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,436

    Default Re: Thoughts on this project re. cost

    Without getting into the details of the estimate, you have to ask yourself what your goal is.

    1. Is your goal to save energy and make the home tight, no matter what the cost is?

    2. Is your goal to be comfortable and have the insulation pay for itself quickly?

    If you say 1, than go ahead and do it.

    But if you say 2, then there are things to consider.

    Lets jump to your closing statement, that investing 19k will bring you a 35% reduction in energy costs. Assuming that your annual heating/cooling cost is $6,000, a 35% reduction means an annual saving of $2,100. At this rate, it would take you between 8 to 9 years to break even (disregarding inflation at the moment). Are you planning to be in this home 9 years or more? will you move out sooner than that?

    These are questions that we can't answer for you. Therefore you have to analyze this issue yourself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Thoughts on this project re. cost

    Hi dj1 - thank you for your response. My goal is to obtain a blend of both tightening the house up and to save money. My question may have been a bit ambiguous to begin with - I'm trying to gauge whether what I'm getting for 19K is a reasonable transaction.

    At this point, I have a Home Depot quote to just do the attic floor (not the rafters which is what I need done - learned that from these boards) and to remove the old insulation. That quote was approx $3500 and was for fiberglass batts.

    So, based on yours and others experience, my main concern is if this is a fair deal.

    Thanks.

    Steve

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
    Posts
    5,436

    Default Re: Thoughts on this project re. cost

    There is no mention of the attic in your first posting, under the 19K proposal. Are you saying that you have 2 estimates?

    At any rate, if you only want to do what HD is bidding on, you can do better than this. BTW, HD is a general contractor, which subs everything out, so there is a huge built in profit for them in the price. Also, HD is involved in hundreds of law suits from unhappy customers around the country. Get MANY local guys to bid. You'll find a good installer for less. Inspect his work before you pay. But no doubt, your final result will fall short of your expectations, for just the attic floor.

    One more thing: if your existing insulation is in good shape, why do you want to remove it? You can just add to it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Thoughts on this project re. cost

    Hi - let me answer your questions and I also realized I left out a key item:

    There is no mention of the attic in your first posting, under the 19K proposal. Are you saying that you have 2 estimates?

    I did mention the attic rafters getting insulated as well as attic space above the finished room in there. The HD estimate I thought was on its own, a bit high but it was not an apples to apples comparison. HD would pull out the current rafter insulation (the attic is conditioned) and then insulate the floor. The made no mention of doing the ceiling aspect of the finished room.




    At any rate, if you only want to do what HD is bidding on, you can do better than this. **** I agree 100% which is one reason we basically dismissed them from the running.


    BTW, HD is a general contractor, which subs everything out, so there is a huge built in profit for them in the price. Also, HD is involved in hundreds of law suits from unhappy customers around the country. *** I'm not surprised - I love the store but based on the style of their approach, they don't seem well qualified when it comes to this exercise.

    Get MANY local guys to bid. You'll find a good installer for less. Inspect his work before you pay. But no doubt, your final result will fall short of your expectations, for just the attic floor. **** Agree.

    One more thing: if your existing insulation is in good shape, why do you want to remove it? You can just add to it.
    *** - The insulation which is currently in the rafters is approx R10 based on its condition and it was put inside individual bags - energy audit guy said probably to keep it dry is why they did that. There is no insulation int he space above the finished part of the room. The new insulation would bring the attic to a minimum of R38.

    Now, all of that said, I left out an important part of this - because I've been doing the steps in accordance with NJ Clean Energy - If I move forward with this, I actually get a $5K rebate from the state and then 10K of this can go on a 0% interest free loan with a 10 year payoff period. Sorry about leaving that part out - so, I guess we are really talking about a $14K job.

    Steve

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