Can I install insulation myself, or should I hire a contractor?

Home Energy November 09, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF
Depending on the construction of the home, the amount and type of insulation present, and accessibility to specialized equipment, a handy consumer may be able to install insulation in a home. For example, if the house has an open attic space without insulation, a consumer may be able to easily roll out glass fiber insulation. However, if the attic space is finished, or the attic requires additional blown-in insulation, the consumer will be required to have access to an insulation blower. This equipment may be difficult to loan or rent locally. When insulating a home that has existing insulation in the attic, it is important to assess the type and levels of existing insulation as well as conditions (clearances and firebreaks, poor wiring, roof leaks, asbestos containing materials, air sealing, ventilation, etc.) that may need to be corrected by a contractor before insulating. The presence of heat sources, such as recessed lighting and chimneys, may require safety measures to be taken before insulation is installed. Installing insulation in closed-wall cavities will also require specialized equipment and expertise. To assure that any insulation job is done correctly and safely, the best advice is that every home and situation should be carefully assessed by a qualified constructor before do-it-yourself insulating. For more information on insulation types and applications consult the publication: Insulating Tips DOE . See the eXtension web site to find Local Extension offices near you.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.