There are three things that make any renovation project great – 1) the improvement of your quality of living, 2) an increase to the market value of your home and 3) lower energy bills. Some projects fulfill all of these three benefits while others might do one thing solely great. Believe it or not, one of the under-the-radar projects with a multitude of investments is re-insulating your home.
Think about it, insulation creates a barrier for you home which keeps heated and cool inside which thus increases the comfort of each room and by proxy your quality of living. A home that has overgone an insulation overhaul recently is going to be more appealing to buyers which hereby increases your market value. Finally, re-insulating is one of the best ways to lower utility bills while also lowering the strain on your HVAC system.
So the question becomes, does your home need to be re-insulated?
Is There Insulation Installed at All?
You’ll likely know if your walls are not insulated, mostly because your home was a hot stove all Summer. That being said, there are areas of your house that could be missing crucial insulation. Some contractors forget to insulate around windows after installation for example. The small area between the top plate of your wall framing and the floor joists of the room above is another area often overlooked. Then again, although rare, there are homes that don’t have insulation on some exterior walls. Before you become aware of signs that you need to insulate your home, you better make sure there’s some installed at all.
Have You Caulked Windows and Doors But Still Feel Drafts?
It doesn’t make sense to jump to an insulation project if you haven’t first solved the problems that are causing your room to be uncomfortable and your utility bills to rise. That would be like putting on an extra pair of pants because your arms are cold. Some of the biggest sources of heat (and cold) loss are gaps around windows and doors or missing siding and other openings to the outside. Your energy efficiency might also be lacking because you have old single-paned windows installed too. Check out these areas to make sure they’re sound before you investigating insulation.
Are You Going to Change Insulation Type?
Honestly, it generally doesn’t provide that huge of an energy savings to insulate just to insulate – basically removing the batting just to put in new batting. Now if the insulation has gotten wet or is too thin then the new install becomes very valuable. You need to:
- Know what you have currently for insulation (to do this: cut off power, remove outlets, pull out pieces)
- Know what you want for the new insulation project.
What Is the Collateral Damage Involved in the Project?
Something else to consider when retrofitting new insulation into a home is just how much demolition is going to be involved in the project. Unfinished walls are no problem but if you want to upgrade to a thicker R-factor fiberglass batting in a finished living room, it’s going to involve removing sheetrock. You might actual save money on upgrading to blown in insulation (small hole in wall) when you consider drywall and painting costs.