Insulation is what helps keep our homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Many builders believe that blown-in insulation is the best option for new homes, and it is becoming the product of choice for attics as well. Blown-in insulation units can be rented by the do-it-yourself home builder.
Things You'll Need
Determine what type of insulation will work best for your situation. There are two basic types of insulation: fiberglass and blown-in.
Fiberglass insulation is purchased in large sections and can be difficult to install. The biggest advantage of fiberglass insulation is that it's less expensive and doesn't require special equipment. The disadvantage is that fiberglass insulation can cause your skin to itch if you aren't properly covered, and that it doesn't provide total coverage of the area.
Blown-in insulation, also known as cellulose insulation, is more expensive but the coverage is better. Most builders recommend using cellulose insulation in exterior walls and fiberglass for interior walls.
Determine how much insulation you will need. Insulation is rated based on its R value. A product with a higher R value will provide more insulation than those with lower values. Depending on where you live and where the blown-in insulation will be used in the house, the amount needed will vary. For additional help, check the Lowe's Blown-In Insulation Calculator in the Resources section below.
Call ahead to local home improvement retailers to make sure they have an insulation blower for rent and to determine if there will be a security deposit on the machine. Most home improvement retailers have only a couple of these machines available, and depending on need there may be a waiting list. Security deposits can be as high as $250, though this money is refunded when the machine is returned.
Make sure to take a vehicle large enough to accommodate the machine. Leave your car at home and take a truck. If a truck is not available, consider having the unit delivered by store personnel.
To rent the machine you will need a driver's license. Make sure to read the entire rental agreement before signing. Take note of when the machine is due back in the store and the charges that will be incurred if it is not returned on time.
Arrange to have the blower loaded in your vehicle. The blowers are generally located in the same area of the store as the insulation.
Tips & Warnings
- When in doubt about how much blown-in insulation to purchase, check with an expert at the home improvement store. Employees in the contractor sales department deal with these questions frequently and know what works best for the area. Check with the retailer for special deals. Some offer free rental with the purchase of a large quantity of blown-in insulation.
- Insulation blowers are very heavy. When loading and unloading, seek help to avoid injury. Pay the security deposit using cash or credit card. Depending on where you are renting, checks may not be accepted for deposit on an insulation blower. Many retailers have a seven- to 15-day hold for cash back when a check is used.
- Photo Credit Photo courtesy of Atticinovations.com
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