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How Much Does Spray Foam Insulation Cost?

Spray foam insulation costs homeowners an average of $1–$4.50 per square foot. See which factors will impact your total cost.

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Foam plastic Insulation of a new home on a new roof

Default Author Icon Written by Angela Bunt Updated 06/24/2024

Spray foam insulation is relatively affordable to install at $1 to $4.50 per square foot. Plus, it can keep your house comfortable and your energy bills low. We’ll break down which factors affect pricing and provide saving tips below.

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What Is the Average Cost of Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray foam insulation costs an average of $1.25 to $1.50 per square foot, though it can range as high as $4.50. Prices can increase based on the following factors:

  • Type: Various types of spray foams are used in residential construction, and they each have different costs.
  • Area size: Larger areas cost more to insulate.
  • Thickness: The thicker the insulation is, the more it costs.
  • Location: A complicated installation often means a higher price. For example, insulating your garage might cost less than insulating your attic.
  • Labor: Labor costs depend on your location and the time it takes to complete your project. You’ll generally want to budget $0.44 to $1.55 per foot for labor.

Cost by Type

Foam insulation is sprayed between your home’s wall studs and roof. It’s then protected by other materials, such as drywall or plywood. The foam provides an airtight seal to keep moisture from entering the house, plus additional insulation. 

Spray foam insulation comes in two basic types: closed-cell and open-cell. Closed-cell insulation is an expanding plastic that forms an airtight seal. Open-cell spray foam insulation combines two liquids, a polyisocyanurate (ISO) and resin, that prevent air movement when sprayed together.

Closed-cell spray foam is more dense and protects against both moisture and hot and cold air. Open-cell has better fire protection qualities, but it doesn’t protect against moisture. Closed-cell spray foam costs $1.25 to $1.50 per square foot, while open-cell spray foam runs closer to $1.50 per square foot. 

The foam itself is only a portion of your total cost. You may need additional materials, such as a cartridge gun, cartridges, and face shield, totaling around $900.

Cost by Area Size

A typical 1,500-square-foot house could cost $4,125 to $9,750 for open-cell insulation or $4,725 to $11,250 for closed-cell.*

Square FootageCost

600

$600–$2,700

1,200

$1,200–$5,400

2,000

$2,000–$10,000

*Cost data from Home Guide.

Cost by Thickness

Thickness may have the biggest impact on spray foam insulation cost. One-inch open-cell foam can cost as little as $0.44 per square foot, while 3-inch closed-cell foam can run as high as $8.70 per square foot.

The insulation type (open- versus closed-cell) also affects the R-value, which measures how effective the insulation is. A high R-value means a room is better insulated, resulting in lower energy use and long-term cost savings. However, insulation with a high R-value costs more up-front.

ThicknessR-ValueCost per Square Foot* (Open-Cell)Cost per Square Foot (Closed-Cell)

1 inch

3.5–3.8

$0.44–$1.50

$1.25–$2.90

2 inches

7–7.6

$0.88–$3.00

$2.50–$5.80

3 inches

10.5–11.4

$1.30–$4.50

$3.75–$8.70

*Cost data from various sources, including Home Advisor.

Cost by Location

The average cost of spray foam insulation depends on where you install it. For example, installing spray foam insulation in a finished basement with an existing heat pump will cost less than insulating an unfinished basement. A large space or particularly complicated location will also increase labor costs.

LocationCost Range*

HVAC

$1,000–$3,300

Basement

$1,500–$5,600

Attic

$1,500–$7,400

Garage

$2,500–$6,500

*Cost data from Home Advisor.

Spray foam insulation is often used on the parts of a roof that are hard to reach, like pipes and ductwork in crawl spaces.
The basement is another common location for spray foam insulation because of its size and because it’s often chilly and damp down there. Spray foam helps prevent mildew and mold, a recurrent problem in many basements. Your costs could increase by $1,100 to $3,400 if you need mold remediation before insulating your basement.
Insulation is often sprayed between attic rafters and on top of an air barrier material to seal potential gaps or holes in the roof deck.
The cost to repair hail damage on your roof can be reduced by installing insulation on your garage and exterior walls. It can also protect surfaces from moisture damage.

Labor Cost

Labor costs depend on the size of your insulating project, the materials needed, and the time it takes to complete. Labor involves setting up materials, preparing the job site, removing trash, and cleaning up when the project is over.

Insulation most commonly requires two workers who work together on one wall. Labor plus materials cost an average of $1,700 to $3,000.

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How Does Spray Foam Insulation Work?

Spray foam insulation is applied using aerosol spray cans. It’s widely used in residential construction to provide insulation and air sealing at an affordable cost without specialized labor. 

This insulation sprays as liquid and expands into a dense foam packed with tiny air bubbles to fill available space. The air bubbles create a thermal barrier and prevent heat from escaping your home. 

The main reason why spray foam is popular within the residential construction industry is because it’s much more cost-effective than traditional insulation methods. Plus, it can be applied directly to any surface or material without extensive prep work.

What Are Additional Spray Insulation Cost Considerations?

Mold Removal

Your contractor will need to remove any mold before installing spray foam. This can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the area size and mold severity. It averages around $1,100 to $3,400. You may want to remove the mold yourself using a kit from your local home improvement supplier if you’re working with a space smaller than 10-by-10 feet.

New Home vs. Existing Home

It’s more expensive to insulate an existing home than a newly constructed one. A home under construction has open walls, making installation quick and easy. Retrofitting an existing home can mean removing drywall or opening up attic space. Insulating a new home can cost as little as $2.75 per square foot, while an existing home may cost nearly three times that much.

Square FootageCost To Install in New Home*Cost To Install In Existing Home

1,000

$2,750–$6,500

$3,150–$7,500

1,500

$4,125–$9,750

$4,725–$11,250

2,000

$5,500–$13,000

$6,300–$15,000

2,500

$6,250–$16,250

$7,875–$18,750

3,000

$8,250–$19,500

$9,450–$22,500

*Cost data from Fixr.

Removing Old Insulation

You may need to remove existing insulation before installing spray foam. The cost for this job depends on where you live, where the insulation is located, and how it was installed. Metro areas typically have higher labor prices than rural ones. Blown-in insulation may require additional removal equipment. Your costs will also increase if pests or mold are found during the removal process.

Spray Foam Cost vs. Other Insulation

Spray foam isn’t your only option for insulation. The most common type of insulation is fiberglass, which comes in large rolls, loose fill, or pre-cut sheets called batts. Fiberglass batts have an R-value of 3.1 to 3.4 and offer effective and affordable insulation options. They’re fireproof and eco-friendly but don’t block out moisture or create a seal.

Blown-in or loose-fill fiberglass insulation is blown in using a vacuum instead of being unrolled and nailed in. It has the same benefits and drawbacks as other fiberglass insulation.

Rock wool is an insulation made from liquid rocks and a steel product called slag. These ingredients are heated together to 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit and then spun into fibers. Rock wool is highly durable, great at preventing mold, and helps soundproof your home. However, it’s very heavy and can increase labor costs for installation.

Here’s an overview of the cost by insulation type.

Insulation TypeCost*

Spray foam

$1.00–$4.50 per square foot

Fiberglass batts

$0.80–$2.60 per square foot

Rock wool

$1.10–$3.10 per square foot

Blown-in / Loose-fill

$1.00– $2.80 per square foot

*Cost data from Home Guide.


What Are the Pros and Cons of Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray foam insulation can improve your entire home’s energy efficiency and decrease your utility bills. However, it has some drawbacks.

Pros
Can last up to 80 years
Seals off cracks and gaps to prevent outside air from infiltrating your home
Cons
Messy and cumbersome installation process
Can be expensive

Should You Hire a Professional vs. DIY Spray Insulation Installation?

You can save a lot of money by insulating small spaces, such as the areas around doors or windows, yourself. However, an experienced contractor is best suited to handle larger insulation jobs. 

Professional Spray Foam Installation

Professional installation is a good idea for many reasons. A professional can complete the project faster and more efficiently because they have the equipment, knowledge, and expertise needed. You’ll also receive a warranty on the workmanship, ensuring the installer will fix any issues that arise.

DIY Spray Foam Installation

If you decide to install the insulation yourself, you’ll need to buy supplies. Most home improvement retailers sell do-it-yourself (DIY) kits, or you can buy materials individually, including a sprayer machine, thermometer, respirator mask, and gloves. Kits can range from $40 for a small option to $850 for a larger one.

Cost of Supplies

SuppliesCost

Faceshield cover

$70

Cartridge gun and case of foam cartridges

$825

Spray foam insulation kit

$1,000

*Cost data from multiple retailers.


How To Hire a Professional Spray Insulation Installer
Proper roofing maintenance tips include researching companies before hiring one. Ask for referrals from people you trust, and get quotes from at least three companies so you can compare prices and services. Also, ask for the company’s licensing information or look them up on the Better Business Bureau website. 
Once you’ve narrowed down your options to a few companies, set up appointments with each one and walk through your house. Ask the following questions:
How long will they be working in your home?
What permits are necessary?
Can they do an energy audit? 
Finally, review the final estimate and get a written contract before beginning work.

How To Save on Spray Foam Insulation

There are several ways to save money on spray foam insulation. The best way is to put in the insulation during construction, which will save on labor costs. You can also reduce labor costs by completing small insulation jobs yourself and hiring a contractor only for bigger projects. Finally, you can combine foam with more affordable fiberglass batts, which provides the benefits of both insulation types.


Our Conclusion

Installing spray foam insulation is a large and complex project. It’s easy to make costly mistakes or even injure yourself in the process. Adding insulation to your doors or window frames can be a good DIY project, but hiring a professional insulation contractor is the best choice for insulating rooms, attics, or garages. You can typically complete this project for a few thousand dollars, depending on the factors detailed above.

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FAQ About Spray Foam Insulation Cost

Is spray foam insulation really worth it?

Spray foam insulation can save you hundreds of dollars on energy bills each year, and maybe more if you live in an especially hot or cold climate. It offers long-term comfort, monthly budget breaks, and virtually no problems after it’s installed. 

Is it cheaper to use spray foam insulation?

Spray foam costs more up-front than traditional insulation, but it can lead to big savings on heating and cooling costs over time. Spray foam starts at about $1 per square foot. It’s often more expensive than other insulation types, such as fiberglass, because it takes more time to install.

How much does it cost to insulate a 1,200-square-foot house?

Insulating a 1,200-square-foot house can cost $1,980 to $16,500. The total cost depends on the insulation type, whether it’s a new or existing home, and where you live.

What are the disadvantages of spray foam insulation?

Spray foam insulation is considerably more expensive than fiberglass insulation. It also shouldn’t be applied by yourself unless it’s a small project, so you’ll likely need to hire a professional.

What is the difference between spray foam insulation and traditional insulation?

Spray foam insulation has a higher R-value than traditional insulation, meaning it’s more effective. Additionally, spray foam doesn’t crack from moisture like fiberglass insulation can. It’s also more expensive than traditional insulation and typically requires a professional to install.

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