7 Replies


I have a rental SFH , it is a 1962 rambler. The tenant complained that the power bill is hight almost $400 (seems high for 1270 sq.ft rambler). I had PSE (Puget Sound Energy, based in WA) do an energy assessment and they recommended that attic needs insulation as it is thin. I have a bid of $1600 for the following:

Attic (1270 sq. ft.)

  • Seal all accessible air penetration points between conditioned space and attic with low expansion foam.
  • Install baffles into low vent rafter cavities to allow for adequate ventilation.
  • (full sofit)

  • Shield non-­?IC rated can lights with sheet metal. Insulate fan exhaust
  • duct with R-­?11 CertainTeed Sustainable insulation.

  • Insulate attic access hatch and apply weather striping
  • to framing.

  • Insulate attic access hatch at opposite end of home and apply weather
  • striping to framing.

  • Blow in Green Fiber 100% borate treated cellulose to R-­?49.
  • PSE gives a rebate of $600.

    Is this worth it? or are there better options.

    Also PSE is giving out free refridgerators and washers if your unit is older than 1990 and is in working condition. Get yours.



    @Inderpal Chadha ... Get a couple more estimates..I insulated a couple properties in the fall and it was far more reasonable...I bought material from HD and got machine to blow free...Handyman/1 helper completed task(of course get someone who knows what they're doing...took about 2.5 hours on each property....

    @Inderpal Chadha costs like RE tends to be local. I would say this, if you go the DIY route like @Rolanda Eldridge suggested you MUST do the sealing they proposed. Actually sealing could save more energy than the insulation. If you are handy and want to do an inexpensive improvement I would seal the building envelope like they stated and see what kind of energy savings happens.

    It has been my experience that the energy savings rebates for contractor work is a bit of a game. The power company will only rebate for work done by one of their approved contractors which, again in my experience, cost more than hiring a competent contractor to do the work but who has not been "approved" by the power company. When I looked into it, it was about the same price either with or without the rebate. YMMV.

    I'm sure you could hire a handyman to do the sealing and then a local insulation contractor blow in the insulation and save money. Call an insulation contractor and see what they charge for just the insulation in the attic. It doesn't take them long most of the time is in the setup and take down.

    I think $1600 sounds reasonable, but as previously stated costs tend to vary from place to place. I second the advice that the air sealing is theist important and time consuming part, and it shouldn't be skipped. If you can trust this contractor I would have them go ahead and do it. I have blown in insulation myself personally in 4 attics and it is not a fun job. It takes a day and has cost me about $500-700 each job. For $1600 to have everything sealed and blown sounds reasonable to me. Of course getting another estimate is prudent. Just make sure that you can trust the contractor doing the work. It's very easy to lie and say you sealed properly after everything is covered in a foot of cellulose. How is anyone going to check? Good luck!

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I will be calling in couple of more bids and go from there. After rebate , it costs me $1000.

    And again, I just got a free fridge and washer from Puget Sound Energy as these appliances at the unit were older than 1990.

    $1600 is worth it for all that work. I just purchased 20 bags of pink blown in for $630. The house is 1070 sq. ft. doing the work myself.

    I always do it myself but that's me. I just buy the materials and it can be done in a day. If your not handy than get 3 quotes and pick the best one. Sounds a little high but every area is different. 3 quotes tell you if they are in line. Maybe try Angie's list for reputable contractors where you can see their ratings.

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