Maximize Space in Your Custom Built Home

Building a custom home is a great experience. But sticking within your budget can be difficult. When figuring out how much your new home is going to cost, you usually have to think in terms of square footage. But there are ways to increase your square footage and still save. For example, building up by adding a second story on the house is less expensive than building out, because that’s less area that will need a foundation and roof coverage. I started this blog to help you find ways to get the space that you need in your custom home, without having to spend more than you can afford. Building my custom home was the best money I ever spent, and I’m happy to help you learn how to get the custom home you want.

Insulation Indecision — Spray Foam Or Fiberglass?

Construction & Contractors Blog

The type of insulation to use in a home is a major decision. The right installation, when installed correctly, helps to maintain cooler temperatures in the home in summer and warmer temperatures in winter, all while minimizing energy bills. This is a big deal, as 44 percent of energy costs in the typical home go to keeping the home at a comfortable temperature. No one insulation is right for every home, though, so understanding the pros and cons of different options, such as spray foam insulation or fiberglass insulation, can be helpful in making the decision. 

Insulating Ability

Spray foam insulation is much more energy efficient than fiberglass insulation. This is often measured with what is called an R-value. Fiberglass has an R-value of just 2.2 per inch and tends to lose R-value as it ages. Spray foam, on the other hand, doesn't get less energy-efficient over time and has an R-value of 3.5 per inch for open cell and 6 to 7 per inch for closed cell.

Durability

Spray foam doesn't settle over time, isn't typically damaged by water or pests, and is usually fire resistant, so it often lasts longer than fiberglass insulation. With fiberglass insulation, the blown in insulation tends to last a shorter time than the insulation that is in rolls or batts. Any of these types of insulation can last the lifetime of the house, however, when they're properly installed and kept away from water and UV rays.

Cost

Insulation will vary in cost based on the amount used and the type. In general, insulating a home with spray foam tends to cost between 20 and 30 percent more than using fiberglass. This is partly due to the need for special equipment during installation, including a respirator to protect the installer from potentially dangerous fumes. These fumes are only present during installation, however, before the foam sets.

Potential Pitfalls

Each type of insulation comes with potential pitfalls. In the case of spray foam insulation, if it isn't applied in a thick enough layer, it won't provide the proper insulation. If any leakage sites are missed, it could cause air to be allowed in, which makes it less effective and could allow air to condense and cause water to drip. Although rare, spray foam could pull away from the walls a bit, which could cause air leakage.

With fiberglass, pests can destroy the insulation, the fiberglass may release formaldehyde fumes, there can be more air leakage than with spray foam, and allergens may enter into the air through the insulation.

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11 October 2016