There are certain things that a builder shouldn’t cheap out on and insulation is one of them. It’s true that insulation isn’t as sexy as say a sleek kitchen faucet or a baronial light fixture, but it can pay big dividends for you and your clients.
Codes and energy compliance regulations set the minimum R-Value required for insulation in walls, attics and floors. Keep in mind, that’s the minimum! There’s nothing that prohibits you from installing thicker insulation for more R-value to provide your clients with greater comfort and a potentially lower utility bill.
Additional insulation can also provide needed energy compliance points, which may allow you to increase the size or number of windows in a project or offer other creature comforts, thus, making you a hero to your client.
You’re probably thinking, the greater the R-value, the thicker the insulation, the deeper the framing cavity, which means larger lumber and increased cost. While sometimes true, such doesn’t always need to be the case. More and more insulation manufacturers are producing product with increased R-values with a thinner profile. So, for example, where R-13 was the maximum that could previously be installed in a two by four wall, R-15 or greater may now be used – depending upon the brand and material selection.
With traditional batt insulation, labor costs typically don’t increase with R-value and the increase in material cost for a more efficient envelope is minor compared to the improved design flexibility that you will have and the increased comfort and energy efficiency that your customers will experience. Now that’s what we call a win-win!