Attic Insulation Cost Guide

A home services pro laying down insulation in an attic

There are numerous reasons to install attic insulation, so understanding the average attic insulation cost is crucial. Replacing existing insulation or adding it for the first time can take up a good chunk of your home renovation budget, so knowing what to expect is important.

This guide will cover the average insulation cost, the types available, the factors affecting the cost, and what to consider when installing it yourself.

Average Attic Insulation Costs

The average attic insulation cost can vary significantly by area, home size, and type of insulation. In most areas, expect to pay $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot, but paying as much as $7 a square foot for structural insulated panels is not unheard of, but it is only available for new construction.

Your average costs vary widely based on location, residential insulation codes, and standards. You must follow your state’s codes, which may mean paying for higher-quality insulation to meet the state’s standards.

We always recommend professional installation to ensure your insulation meets all required building codes.

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Types of Attic Insulation Materials and Their Costs

As with any home improvement, attic insulation costs depend on the chosen type. The type affects the cost of the materials and insulation. Here’s what to expect.

Batt Insulation

Batt insulation is the most common DIY project. The insulation is sold in rolls and installed in strips to effectively cover your attic. Batt insulation costs an average of $2 to $4 per square foot.

If you’re installing yourself, consider whether you want full rolls that you cut to fit in tight spaces, such as between joists and studs, or pre-cut strips requiring less labor.

Blown-In Insulation

Blown-in insulation is one of the most commonly used types. It comes in various options, which you should choose based on your location.

The most common type is fiberglass. This is one of the more affordable insulation materials, costing around $0.40 per square foot. 

Fiberglass is glass fibers woven into a mat. It’s one of the easier insulation types to install and is non-flammable. It also doesn’t absorb moisture, which can reduce the risk of attic mold.

Cellulose insulation is another environmentally friendly option. It costs an average of $0.33 per square foot and is made from paper products, but it has a higher R-value than fiberglass. 

The higher an insulation’s R-value, the less heat can travel through it, making it a more effective solution.

Blown-in insulation is cheaper because it is easy to install—sometimes even a DIY project. However, it can settle over time, making your home less energy efficient.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is made of foam, not fiberglass or cellulose, but it has a similar installation process as blown-in insulation. Because the foam is sprayed in, it can get into tighter spaces, giving you even more energy efficiency.

Because of its higher quality, spray foam insulation costs $3 to $5 per square foot, but the extra cost could save you money on future utility bills.

Estimating Attic Insulation Costs

If planning a major home renovation, you should estimate the attic insulation costs before calling a professional. Whether installing attic insulation yourself or hiring a professional, here are the basic factors to consider.

Calculate Total Insulation Area

First, determine how much area you need to insulate. If you’re replacing attic insulation, you may only need to install it in parts of the attic, not the entire area. However, if there is extensive damage, such as pest damage or mold growth, you may need to rip out the old insulation to add new.

Most insulation installation is best left to professionals, especially if you need to remove existing insulation or want specialized insulation installed.

Materials and Labor Cost

The type of material chosen will affect the total cost. For example, blown-in insulation costs less than spray foam insulation. The total cost depends not only on the materials but also on the labor required. The average installer charges $70 per hour, but the actual cost depends on your location, the job’s complexity, and the insulation type. If you install it yourself, you’ll save on the labor costs but must consider the cost of your time.

 Additional Expenses

If you plan to install DIY attic insulation, you may have extra expenses, such as equipment rental for blown-in insulation. You’ll also need proper protection to avoid injuries, such as goggles, gloves, and proper masking.

Even if you hire professionals, additional expenses, such as removing or disposing of existing insulation, may exist. You may also need to hire an electrician if electricity is involved in the process. For example, if you need to move wires or install new fixtures, this may be the case.

Also, if you have existing insulation that requires removal, it will increase the costs. Installers charge an average of $1 to $2 per square foot to remove attic insulation.

Factors Affecting Attic Insulation Cost

Getting several quotes from attic insulation professionals is always a good idea to ensure you get the best price. Here are some of the factors they’ll consider.

Attic Size and Layout

The size of your attic determines how much material you need. Obviously, the more material needed, the higher the cost. In addition, though, installers consider the attic layout. The more complex the layout, the more they charge.

Type of Insulation

Batt insulation is the least expensive type of insulation but also offers the least energy efficiency. Regarding cost, blown-in insulation and spray foam insulation are next. While you should consider the upfront cost and ensure it fits your budget, you should also consider the overall utility cost savings they offer.

Insulation Thickness and R-Value

Insulation with a higher R-value means it has greater thermal resistance, which may be required in colder climates. However, this also means greater cost. The greater the R-value you need, the thicker the insulation required.

Accessibility of Attic

Not all attics are completely accessible. Installers who need special equipment to access your attic or find it challenging to access may charge more per hour.

Additional Cost-Effective Measures

If you’re trying to make the most of your attic insulation, consider other energy-efficiency upgrades, including:

Air sealing: Attic insulation can only do so much when it comes to insulating your attic. If your house has leaks, the insulation won’t be as effective. Before installing new insulation, consider professional air sealing, a service that inspects and seals any leaks. This can prevent moisture and air from entering the house and prolong the life of your insulation.

Vent installation: If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, the insulation will not work as well and may not last as long. Your contractor can help you determine whether you need to install or replace new vents.

Maintain your attic: Many homeowners forget to check their attics during routine inspections, but this simple task could prolong the life of your insulation. Check for air leaks, moisture, and pest issues and have them taken care of immediately.

Check for payment plans for financing options: If attic insulation costs are outside your budget, ask companies about any financing options they offer, including payment plans to make it more affordable.

DIY vs Professional Installation

If you’re handy, you may consider a DIY installation. While it’s an option, there are pros and cons to consider.

Cost Considerations: DIY vs Professional Installation

Installing insulation yourself saves labor costs, which can mean as much as $70 per hour. White, this is a benefit; there are some tradeoffs. First, consider the safety of installing it yourself. You must have proper safety equipment and the knowledge to handle the insulation.

Next, consider the complexity of the job. If the attic is finished, it may not be a DIY job because you must install the insulation behind existing walls and potentially underneath floors.

You may also need to rent special machinery, which will increase the cost, not to mention the time you must give up on doing it yourself.

Benefits of Hiring Professional Installers

When you are comparing the cost of DIY vs professional attic insulation, consider these benefits of hiring professionals:

Efficiency of installation: Professionals know how to install insulation quickly and efficiently. They have the necessary workforce and tools to do the job quickly. If you do it yourself, it could take weeks of your time unless you have unlimited time to commit to the job.

Safety: Insulation requires special handling and can cause health concerns if not properly handled. Professionals have the proper training and protection to handle insulation while addressing any concerns such as unstable flooring, air leaks, or moisture issues.

Proper installation: Entrusting attic insulation to the professionals ensures it’s handled right and will stand the test of time. Professionals inspect the attic first and address any issues that could affect the insulation’s effectiveness before installing it.

It’s best to leave attic insulation for the professionals. If you need help with financing, discuss your options with a local company. There are more options than most homeowners realize, enabling them to leave the complex installation to the pros.


Attic insulation costs are definitely an investment in your home, but it pays off. The energy efficiency attic insulation provides can decrease your utility costs and lengthen the life of your HVAC system.

While DIY attic insulation seems like a good idea to save money, it’s one of those projects best left to the professionals. The safety and effectiveness of installation make paying for professional installation worth it. Plus, you get the peace of mind that the project will make your home more energy efficient.

Get quotes from three or more professionals to compare the costs and see your options for attic insulation.


How much does insulating a 2500 sq ft attic cost?

The average attic insulation cost is $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot, or $3,750 – $6,250. The total cost depends on the attic size, type of insulation, any required cleaning or prep work, and the attic layout’s complexity.

Is insulating my attic worth it?

According to the Department of Energy, properly insulating your attic can save up to 10% on total energy costs. While the upfront cost may seem steep, it will pay off in the long run. Not only will you save money on energy, but you’ll put less stress on your HVAC system. This may mean fewer repairs and that your system lasts longer.

What is the cheapest way to insulate an attic?

Blown-in insulation has the cheapest cost per square foot, but it requires professional installation unless you have the proper machinery.

Should I remove the old attic insulation before adding the new one?

You don’t always need to remove old insulation before adding new. It depends on its condition. It should be removed if you have pest issues, mold, or the insulation sinks below floor level. Your professional installer can help determine if you should remove or keep existing insulation.

What time of year is insulation cheapest?

Fall and spring are the cheapest times to insulate your attic. The temperatures aren’t extreme during these times, so the demand isn’t as high. This also allows professionals to accurately evaluate your attic and its needs, inspecting for issues like air leaks or mold without worrying about excessive temperatures.