Several weeks back I had a post on insulation which was basically just me thinking out loud, or finding a way to justify the expense, as we tried to decide on whether to go with spray foam , cellulose, or rolled.
As mentioned in the prior post, I undoubtedly have a pretty big affection for spray foam and all of its benefits. I’m usually not one to buy into a product’s media hype but I bit, chewed and swallowed this stuff and the shows on DIY & HGTV have done nothing to help. But the cost, the cost is crazy high when compared to other options so what is one to do?
So after a ton of further research and consciously trying to remain armed with an unbiased opinion I decided to get quotes from several different insulation companies. Part of my thinking was, If I can’t reasonably accept the fact that this stuff is too expensive then maybe having it repeated to me 5-7 times by complete strangers will to it. Plus, if I’m lucky maybe I’ll be able to tap into their knowledge a little and come up with a solution, they are the experts.
From each of them I asked for a quote on spraying the entire house as well as their opinion on whether to use open or closed cell. I also requested a quote for their most economical as well as cost-effective solution and last I asked for a quote on a hybrid solution which would require some creativity.
I limited the companies to only those that had great reviews or that were referred to me by others but as I found out the difference in experience and knowledge was vast. It also became quickly apparent that quite a few of the companies invested a substantial amount more money into training their representatives “how to sell and use all of the right jargon and lingo as well as the various tax incentives” versus educating them on the actual product – product knowledge. Unfortunately and regardless of pricing this eliminated a few of the companies pretty quickly, I’ve read too much about how improper installation of spray foam is potentially the blame for a lot of the negativity associated with it and if the guy selling it is clueless then I simply don’t have confidence in the applicators.
In the end it came down to two companies, both great & highly referred and their pricing was very competitive however we ended up going with Spray Foam Services. Their representative, John Hartsfield not only knew his product but it was his creativity that sold us. Basically after thoroughly evaluating our house, not the simple walk in the door and look around, John came up with a hybrid approach that seemed to make the most sense and also helped to lower the expense.
We ended up using open cell on the entire interior of the roofline, batts in the walls as well as in the ceiling of the new basement and in a couple of weeks he’ll be back to finish spraying closed cell spray foam on the exterior walls of the original basement.
And yes, the end cost was slightly higher than a more economical approach of using cellulose in the attic and batts in the floor & walls but…well, we’ve been able to save a little money in other areas and I’m “hoping” (gambling) that in the long run we’ve made a wise decision – time will tell.
I’ve really tried to stay away from needlessly promoting all of the various subs and vendors along the way, however I have no problem doing so when someone exceeds our expectations. John’s crew showed up on a Saturday morning and worked until after dark spraying the roofline, putting up the batts as well as sealing all of the doors & windows and then came back Monday morning to finish it up.
Cleanup? Never would have known they were there, spotless. Seriously, these guys knew what they were doing and went about it in a professional manner which somewhat helped to justify the added expense of the spray foam.
September 1, 2013 at 3:37 AM
I just finished reading your entire blog from start to finish. I cannot express to you how concerned I was reading all your posts dealing with your first GC! As I continued to read post after post I just felt worse and worse for you, I was so scared that you would keep your old awful GC past the point of no return and would never get your forever home. I’m so glad to see that you fired him and have found a new GC worth his salt. I’m eagerly awaiting updates on your future progress! :)
September 3, 2013 at 5:33 PM
You’re way too kind and thank you for your concern. I hope to post updates soon however unfortunately our project has had a lot more drama and twists to it so I’ve been in full concentration mode on finishing the house. Thank you again for your interest and hopefully I’ll get something out before too long.