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Spray Foam Insulation Confusion!

14 years ago

Hi. I am trying to make some decisions on spray insulation but it is so easy to get lost in all of the information online. IÂd like to post my situation and see if anyone can give me some advice:

We are in the middle of a home renovation in northern New Jersey. We added a second level on top of a split and pushed out the back of the house, went with an open floor plan on the main floor. Total sf is somewhere around 2800 sf. Plus unfinished basement. We were not considering foam insulation until just recently (didnÂt know anything about it, contractor didnÂt either). Anyway now weÂre in a bit of a rush situation where we are ready to put up fiberglass batts and are rethinking what to do. Tyvek has already been wrapped around the house, but siding isnÂt up yet.

I had two foam spray companies come out for an estimate. Due to our budget (which wasnÂt planning on foam) the first company recommended that we spray the walls in the main floor, the 3 bedroom split level, and the new master level above the main floor. They said to put 8" batts down in the attic instead of spraying and that weÂd be in good shape. Also, the estimate does not include the basement, garage, or the den, which is connected to the garage on the level between the basement and the main level. The den would either be done in the future, or we will just do batts when that room gets renovated later this year. Our exterior walls are 4".

So the first company recommends closed cell and charges about $11,500. He seemed to have a lot of experience and was thorough about showing me what he was going to do. The second company, more of a big box kind of operation, strongly recommended that we go with open cell because he said the house still needed to breathe. Their quote was $7400 for 4" open cell or $8500 for 2" closed cell if we insisted on closed cell. They said the insulation R value would be the same either way.

So now IÂm confused. I know it is hard to say, but IÂm wondering if I really am going to see a return on my money with this plan. I have a new HVAC in the basement and a smaller one in the attic for just the new master bedroom floor (about 900 sf).

Also, the open cell seems so much more fragile. I thought we were trying to stop the house from breathing, and that is where a lot of the energy savings comes from.

One last thing. The closed cell company said that if I get an energy audit done on the house after spraying, I could get a check from the govt up to $5000, less for sure in my case. I am waiting to talk to the audit guy (a separate company) to find out more.

I guess thatÂs about it. Can anyone give me some ideas to consider? Thanks a lot!

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