Blow-in Wall Insulation Costs

Wall insulation will resist the transfer of heat (and sound) and is necessary to help maintain interior room temperatures during both the heating season and the cooling season. The benefits of insulation are comfort improvement, energy savings, and increased house value.

You will find the cost to install average blow-in wall insulation will vary with amount, type, the construction status of the building (finished or not), and labor rate. The following tables describe typical retrofit blow-in wall insulation solutions.

In the following tables the Labor Cost figure is what the able DIY person should expect to save by performing the complete installation.

Finished exterior 4” walls with no insulation: cellulose insulation will be blown-in to empty 4” deep wood frame wall resulting in R-13 insulation rating suitable to moderate climate region for a typical single story home of 1,125 sq. ft. floor area.

ItemUnit CostQuantityLine Cost
Cellulose insulation: cost per job, total of 1237 sq. ft. wall area including 10% waste allowance.$268per job1$268
Equipment rental: used to blow-in insulation material via 1" diameter holes cut into siding.$55per day2$110
Wooden or plastic plugs: to close the blow-in holes, one per 24" of wall length.$56per job1$56
Equipment purchase: disposable nozzles required for blow-in operation.$51per job1$51
Material Cost$0.43per sq. ft.1,125$485
+ Labor Cost$372per job1$372
Total Cost$0.76per sq. ft.1,125$857


Finished exterior 6” walls with no insulation: cellulose insulation will be blown-in to empty 6” deep wood frame wall resulting in R-19 insulation rating suitable to severe climate region for a typical single story home of 1,125 sq. ft. floor area.


ItemUnit CostQuantityLine Cost
Cellulose insulation: cost per job, total of 1237 sq. ft. wall area including 10% waste allowance.$402per job1$402
Equipment rental: used to blow-in insulation material via 1" diameter holes cut into siding.$55per day2$110
Wooden or plastic plugs: to close the blow-in holes, one per 24" of wall length.$56per job1$56
Equipment purchase: disposable nozzles required for blow-in operation.$51per job1$51
Material Cost$0.55per sq. ft.1,125$619
+ Labor Cost$557per job1$557
Total Cost$1.05per sq. ft.1,125$1,176

Other considerations and costs

  • There may be local subsidy or grant for the upgrade of energy efficiency.
  • Taxes and permit fees are not included. 

DIY considerations

  • This project may be suitable to an able and prepared DIY person with typical contractor’s tools. The installer must work safely atop ladders or scaffolding.

References

  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2015.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.

Cost to install blow-in wall insulation in my city

Cost to install blow-in wall insulation varies greatly by region. To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.