Author Topic: Insulating crawl space - DIY or outsource?  (Read 2206 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1684
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Insulating crawl space - DIY or outsource?
« on: October 06, 2014, 09:15:49 AM »
We live in a rancher with a fairly large crawl space. The insulation there is very old, installed the wrong way, and I want to replace it this month now that the temperatures are cooler and working under the house isn't difficult. I have heard anecdotally that the cost of installing insulation vs. getting it installed professionally is fairly nominal given that the pros get a deep discount on materials.

Anyone else had experience here and can offer some advice? I'm certainly not above doing the work myself, but then again if it is about the same cost to get professional installation I'd have no qualms outsourcing, I figure it would take all weekend to get this done and my time has value.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 97
Re: Insulating crawl space - DIY or outsource?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2014, 09:27:56 AM »
Get a few quotes for traditional insulation and closed cell foam insulation. We found foam to be slightly more expensive but not as high as we thought. If that is the case for you, go with it - you never have to worry about replacing the insulation again due to sagging or water damage.


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1448
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Insulating crawl space - DIY or outsource?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2014, 09:50:29 AM »
I'm a design build professional and do a lot of the work myself, but would gladly hand this off to a pro. They have better tools (electric and pneumatic staplers for instance) and the skills to make it go fast.  In your case, I would hire out the removal, then go around and seal all floor penetrations with spray foam (and wire mesh as well for larger holes, to help keep mice out) then have them come back and insulate (including pipes), and lay new plastic over the dirt. Money well spent.


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 113
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Grand Haven, MI
  • Starting late, w/ a family, but get out of the way
Re: Insulating crawl space - DIY or outsource?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 10:11:12 AM »
I agree with jmoody10, get some quotes.  I am insulating an attic, not a crawlspace, but my quotes are 3-5x the amount I can do it for myself.  For that reason I have spent a couple of Saturday mornings in my attic, getting ready.  In a Saturday or two I will finish the job.  The quotes made it obvious that it was worth it to do it myself.  I have yet to see the contractor's material discount make up for the added cost of a business overhead (insurance, employees, etc.), thus far they have always end up significantly more expensive.

On a side note, I have found a benefit of doing things myself is the understanding/comfort level I am getting with my house.  Things no longer intimidate me like they may have in the past.  I am getting more and more familiar with my home, and feel more capable of doing more projects myself.  But, even if I do have to hire it out, I will be able to ask much for intelligent questions, and be sure I am getting my money's worth.