House flipping gutting house - no insulation

10 Replies

Hey all.  I'm removing all of the old Sheetrock in a home, and I notice the walls and ceiling have no insulation. Insulation is expensive and I'm wondering if i should pay to add it or just go back up with the Sheetrock. It's a small house in a lower priced neighborhood

@Brandon P. - if you’re in Oakland and lower priced is above $200k, do the right thing and put in the exterior wall / ceiling / attic insulation to recommended specs. Make sure your agent includes that as a bonus marketing piece for energy efficiency.

@Brandon P. I also just gutted a house in Berwyn, IL, and we had to totally re-insulate the whole place. Honestly, that was one of the least expensive things we did. Once you open the walls, you normally find electrical, plumbing and hvac that need to be repaired too! 

Is this for a rental, or a flip? I personally would do the insulation, as it is fairly cheap. Look around at some other building houses to get the best deal. Sometimes there are places that are a lot lower than the big box stores on some items. 

If you pulled a permit you will have to insulate. insulation isn't expensive. If the tenant has to put all their money towards heating or cooling, that may affect YOUR bottom line.

Did you get permits for the work, like you probably should ? then you will be required to put insulation in the walls. I have a house right now that i gutted, planning on spray insulating it. worth the money to insulate a house.

It has already been covered, but your permits will require you insulate the house. I have heard there are some places that are requiring houses built with 2x4 framing to actually upsize to 2x6 to get the needed insulation factor. Hopefully that is not the case for your project.

@Brandon P. I am an experienced flipper. The others have told you that insulation is cheap and you should do it - and I don't disagree. What I would like to point out is the ethical / karma factor. I find all sorts of things on my flips that would be easy to hide or ignore. But I don't ignore them. I take pride in my work. I take care of the "unsexy" stuff first; and by doing that I take care of my end buyer... 

@Brian Pulaski , that is true, it has to do with the energy code, Res-check,  and where you live. if you are not touching the outside ( where you could add polystyrene insulation) then you must widen your walls to gain more insulation. you do not have to re-frame with 2x6's but you can pack out the wall the extra 2".

please insulate.  it's cheap and it's the right thing to do.  especially in low income neighborhoods.  your building department's Residential Plans Reviewer can help figure out how much insulation is required.  just call them.

** doublecheck with your building department for local code modifications.**  if the property is in Oakland, CA, the Climate Zone is 3, so the insulation for frame (wood stud) walls should be "20 or 13+5" which means use R-20 batt, blown, or spray foam insulation (if it fits), or use R-13 batt insulation along with a sheet of rigid R-5 insulation behind the drywall. (information based on the 2015 edition of IRC - most residential building codes in the USA are based on this standard)

No question. Insulate. It is code for a reason. If someone later asks about it, are you going to lie? It also helps with sound, and comfortable, quiet houses are nicer to live in.

Blown insulation. Home Depot will rent you the machine you diy.

I would insulate behind drywall and attic. They add value to the property.

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