Insulation Cost Comparisons

Has anybody done a cost comparison between the various types of building insulations? Assuming a building's construction makes it feasible to use any type, what's the proportional difference in cost? Lets say it cost "\$1" to insulate a house to a certain value using blown-in cellulose, how much would it cost to do a comparable job using polystyrene panels? Fiberglass?
Labor costs should be included in the comparison.
The comparison would have two sets of numbers for two situations: one for new construction, and one for existing structures.
I don't think the prices for the materials differ much for different parts of the US, so I don't think that's a factor. I'm not certain about this though.
This is just for theoretical discussion. I want to be able to contribute to a discussion, "Typically, polystyrene costs X times more than cellulose".
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* Nehmo Sergheyev *
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You'll need to add the energy savings to the cost. I know that the FHA has started to offer "energy" loans. If you build a house that'll save X dollars over a year in heating/cooling bills, they'll allow your mortgage an amount representing the increased savings.
Sure type X insulation might cost Y more, but you'll save Z per month in utility bills. What's the payback? What's your baseline? Each part of the country is going to have a different perspective based on local conditions.
P
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I have not done a comparison as you ask but point out that each has a defined use and some are better for a certain job. Foam board , the most expensive type of insulation comes in 5 -6- 6.5 and 7.2 R per inch and the 7.2 R inch foamboard can have foil face for a radiant barrier. Sprayed foam I hear is R 7 . Making foam double the R value of other types. Cellulose is paper, releases dust which can enter a house. And if it gets wet its ruined. Cellulose also settles and looses more R value over the years than fiberglass batts. Your 10 yr R value loss with cellulose may be 30 % . Its the cheapest and for good reason. Fiberglass is good all around.
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Fourth Quarter "2003 HomeTech Remodeling and Renovation Cost Estimator " for Ontario has four pages on insulation material & installation costs: fibreglass blanket; perimeter fibre or styrofoam [doesn't specify if extruded or high-density beaded expanded], baffles, blown in fibreglass; cellulose, vapour barriers, radiant barriers.
They publish for all areas of the States as well, though it's not cheap.
Natural Resources Canada has a lot of information on this, with R-values, federal grants etc. Some of the booklets such as "Keeping the Heat In" have R values for each type, see http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/infosource/home/index.cfm
Here in Toronto "Greensaver" has done 14,000 blower door tests & heat load calculations using the "Energuide for Houses" Hotpoint software, reputed to be rather complicated.
One of the best videos I saw during a Thermal Retrofit course with my union was from a company in Minneapolis that used a similar method. During that course we did heat load calculations on different building assemblies, and calculated payback time for furnaces using current fuel prices & efficiencies. I think the Hotpoint program is specific enough to tell a homeowner how much of an energy savings can be gained by X amount of money spent on retrofits or upgrades, so is able to tailor things to their budget, & prioritize steps according to payback.

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I recently ballpark priced via telephone about 2200 sq ft of 2X4 wall space (8 to 10 foot walls) in the Dallas area. here were the results: Rock Wool=\$0.63/sqaure ft. Damp (blown in) Cellulose=\$0.67/square ft. Fiberglass bats=\$0.50/square ft. Optima (Blown fiberglass for walls)=\$0.90/square ft. Spray foam=\$1.20/sqare foot.
I only made about 5 phone calls, and these were rough phone estimates.
One cellulose guy was about \$0.57/sqare foot. If I called around enough, I could probably get it done cheaper.
It was very interesting that for a 2500 square foot house (roughly 2200 square feet wall space) the difference between celulose and fiberglass bats was \$300 or less, yet I believe performs so much better. Spray foam came out to about \$1200 extra over fiberglass bats. Much less than what I had expected (especially if you include the savings of downgrading from Tyvek to felt).
On the estimates, I told them this was a home to be renovated, but that I tore down all exterior walls and flooring (essentially same as new construction. Prices were the same.
The foam guy wanted to know if there were many slanted ceilings, but I had none.
Finally, the foam guy promoted a flat \$750 per unit, regardless of unit size to foam the ductwork. (Sounds like a good deal if you have one big unit).
For my situation, I would most likely go with the damp cellulose, but the foam pricing looked very interesting.
Good luck,
Ted
On Thu, 04 Dec 2003 22:53:19 GMT, "Nehmo Sergheyev"

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On Thu, 04 Dec 2003 22:53:19 GMT, someone wrote:

And that's what makes this whole discussion frivolous. Because the type of insulation used is very much related to what else is going on in the building.
If a building were already constructed with uninsulated stud walls, do you include cost to remove the interior walls and replace them do you can price fiberglass batt, or do you even need to consider it when there are various blown in sustems to use.
Similarly if you have a 2x6 wall and need R-19 or less, why would you use a more expensive but thinner insulation when you have the space. But if you only have 1-1/2 furring space why would you 'only' use fiberglass wneh you could get more R using rigid foam.
Sorry, but as a practical matter, insulation cost does NOT exist independently "with all else equal". The very fact the several different systems exist simultaneously on the market, suggests there is no one cheapest and best way for all situations, or everyone would be doing it.
-v.
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Nehmo Sergheyev wrote:

Check the US Department of Energy website they used to have some information - but probably not to the level you want. Your request is actually quite complex to get a simple answer. It would depend upon local climate conditions, and construction type as factors as well.
Michael
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