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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many of you guys are offering insulation for residential attics?

I’ve never offered it until now.

I’m planning on offering Owens Corning AttiCat blown in fiberglass. My supplier will deliver the insulation and the blower with the roof materials. Of course they’ll let me use the blower for free.

The more I think about I realize this is something I should be doing. Inadequate insulation is the major cause of ice dams.

According to Owens Corning Research homeowners expect the “Roofer” to take care of everything above the ceiling.

It will help increase the size of the average sale and I’ll make more money off the job.

Since we are working on the roof we can just pop off a piece of plywood and go in through the roof.
 

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I installed rolls of R-38 a bunch of times and the highest R-Value available in a 2" x 6" cathedral/vaulted ceiling area on several occasions.

I made out pretty good doing that too.

But, they have to have the extra 2-3 thousand dollars to do it, when they already are going through the roof expense.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It was on the CT forum

Didn't we discuss this exact topic word for word several weeks ago? Or was that another forum?

Attic Cat here too. I'd like to see that research, sounds like a nice selling story convincing the roofers to sell more product.
I haven’t seen the research; this is what I was told by OC reps.

I think OC does a better job of marketing than some of the other company’s. I thing they understand how to help contractors sell. I believe their research is accurate.

Another thing they told me was that making the roofing project convenient for the homeowner was more important than warranty upgrades for example.

I only have 2 problems with OC:

  • I have reservations about the solid strip of adhesive that they use on their shingles as opposed to tar spots. It makes the shingles into a vapor barrier and could trap water that happens to get in around step flashing.
  • I don’t qualify for their highest certification “Platinum Contractor” which can offer warranties that cover workmanship like CertainTeed’s 5 star.
Anyway about the homeowner perceiving that everything above the ceiling is part of the roof assembly makes sense to me. A lot of people have come here from other countries and they don’t understand our contstruction techniques.

One time we dropped some shingles on a roof and some nails popped in the drywall ceiling. The homeowner said to me “You use long nails”. It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about, he didn’t realize that they were nail pops, he thought the nails we were using to nail down the shingles were so long that they were coming through the ceiling.
 

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I wish OC made a better product, because youa re right they have a well known name. OC shingles have alot of failures, from my discussions with others. I only install OC on request.

I don't know if everyone's perception is the same. If people percieve that everythign above the ceiling is the roofers, why would they hire HVAc contractors to install attic fans? It seems like common sense, and common sense is never common. However once we explain it to them you can definetly see the wheels churning in their heads.
 

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Let's talk about pricing for a minute. Since this is not something alot of people are yet doing, it's hard to really know where we stand competitively. I'm sure there are guys doing this for cheaper than me, but I want to make sure I am also not leaving much on the table.

Here is what I figured out this morning and put together a price list so my estimators don't have to figure out how much labor and material and add it together.


Minimum job cost for any insulation job is $1,100.00. This includes labor, material and mobilization.

Owens Corning AttiCat insulation is about an R 2.6 per inch on average. It actually varies from R 2.4 at lower thicknesses – 2.8 per inch at thicker thicknesses.

The following quick graph will help you in bidding the job. Square footages are based on interior attic measurements and do not include the over hang.

R value
Thickness
$ / square foot
20
8”
0.99
30
11.5”
1.19
38
14.5”
1.41
40
15.5
1.50
48
18.25
1.74

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Insulation pricing

Awww damn, the table didn't post properly :( It said:

r20: $0.99
r30: $1.19
r38: $1.41
r48: $1.74
My price for r-30, 11.5 inches came out to 1.09 per sqft. which is roughly about 8% lower than yours. This does not include anything other than blowing in the insulation.

I would charge extra for boxing out the access opening, recessed lights, bathroom fans and adding baffles.

My price would have produced a gross profit of 30% and I figure at your price I would produce about 35% gross profit.

I have never sold an insulation job and I don’t know what other contractors are charging, this is new to me. When I sell my first job it will be a learning experience for me as well as my installers.

After the job is done I would have to review everything to see if adjustments should be made to my price and what I am paying the installers.

I have some flexibility with labor cost because there are a lot of workers here with nothing to do.
 

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Rather than pricing extra for the box out and so forth, I just throw it in. Rather I have figured each and every job will need a box out at the hatch at least. I'll throw some cardboard around canned lights for free. Baffles are extra, and they are not included as a standard bwecause some roofs don't have overhangs and it's a way for me to go in with a low price but then upsell ont ahighly recommended upgrade.

when the customer asks why it's not included since it is so highly recommended, it is a way for me to knock my compitition rather civily as well as elevate myself onto a pedastol at the same time talking about ventilation and how I am certified and how important it is. Talking about how I know most guys won't include it, and I know our pricing is in-line with our competitors, but we do alot of extra work, so they get more bang for their buck.

I have flexibility with labor costs as well, however this is sooo damned easy we will do any of these jobs in-house. If I had to sub it out I'd have to add about $320 to every job to cover the increased expense of hiring a sub.

It's not a "money maker" job at these prices. These would be add-on prices if doing the job with a roof. I'd toss a few bucks on for sure if that was all we were doing. I figure we'll make aprox $300 gross profit on the materials for an average job depending on how many square feet and how many inches thick. Plus our labor.

I'm paying about $27 a bag. I read on CT in the insulation forum that some GC's are claiming that some guys can do a whole job for the same price as it'd cost to buy the material at a big box. How or why anyone would insulate a house with labor AND material for $300 is beyond me. Well I know HOW, I just don't know why.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is everybody happy?

How many insulation jobs have you sold?

Are you happy with the results?

Was the customer happy with the results?
 

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We've only done a hand full, not very many. I've done alot of promoting of these services this winter, but haven't very good results.

I, as well as the customers, have been happy with the results. These jobs can be done in winter when you can't roof. They can be done in the rain when you can't roof. They are so fast, so easy that it's worth offering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pircing for extras

Rather than pricing extra for the box out and so forth, I just throw it in. Rather I have figured each and every job will need a box out at the hatch at least. I'll throw some cardboard around canned lights for free. Baffles are extra, and they are not included as a standard bwecause some roofs don't have overhangs and it's a way for me to go in with a low price but then upsell ont ahighly recommended upgrade.

when the customer asks why it's not included since it is so highly recommended, it is a way for me to knock my compitition rather civily as well as elevate myself onto a pedastol at the same time talking about ventilation and how I am certified and how important it is. Talking about how I know most guys won't include it, and I know our pricing is in-line with our competitors, but we do alot of extra work, so they get more bang for their buck.

I have flexibility with labor costs as well, however this is sooo damned easy we will do any of these jobs in-house. If I had to sub it out I'd have to add about $320 to every job to cover the increased expense of hiring a sub.

It's not a "money maker" job at these prices. These would be add-on prices if doing the job with a roof. I'd toss a few bucks on for sure if that was all we were doing. I figure we'll make aprox $300 gross profit on the materials for an average job depending on how many square feet and how many inches thick. Plus our labor.

I'm paying about $27 a bag. I read on CT in the insulation forum that some GC's are claiming that some guys can do a whole job for the same price as it'd cost to buy the material at a big box. How or why anyone would insulate a house with labor AND material for $300 is beyond me. Well I know HOW, I just don't know why.
After I add in the extras my price would be about the same or higher.
My material cost is about the same.

I set up my estimating system to calculate how many bags I need. I figured it would be easier if I just paid the installing subs by the bag. I figured $15 per bag for labor.

I’m using Contracker EZ estimating software. I use it mainly for roofing because I can enter all the dimensions of the roof and it will give me a complete list of materials.

I came up with a formula that will allow mw to enter the length & width of the attic and it will tell me how many bags I need.
 

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I use two estimating systems. One is a spreadsheet in excel which is always the better way of doing it, however some estimators are lazy, old school or computer illiterate and need price lists. So I always do both.

Personally I probably won't use the spreadsheet for insulation since it's so basic although I'll make it for those "just in case" times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Proposal Specifications

I don’t suppose you mind sharing your proposal specifications for insulation jobs would you? Including warranties and disclaimers.

It would be appreciated if you can.
 

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We propose to insulate the attic…
1. Protect the interior of the house around the work area using drop cloths and cardboard.
2. Prepare the attic by building supports around any canned/recesses light fixtures to ensure there is no contact with the insulation which may cause lights to over-heat.
3. Purchaser to remove any items stored in the attic before work begins. (You will lose this storage space. If you require a raised platform be built for storage please contact your estimator before the start of this project.)
4. We will install approximately 11.5” of Owens Corning fiberglass insulation using a blowing method directly over the existing insulation. The R value of the new insulation is rated at about R-30. (With the addition of your existing insulation, this should meet new energy efficient building codes of R-38.)
5. While installing new insulation we will ensure that the existing insulation, as well as new insulation, does not obstruct proper air flow in any way.
6. Inspect Kitchen and/or Bathroom fans, duct work, and other attic ventilation for flaws and advise.
7. We will clean the work area of all job related debris by sweeping and vacuuming.
Total Price:
Dollars ……………………...………………..$.00
Optional attic rafter baffles: (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
Install rafter baffles in each rafter pocket to ensure that air intake is not blocked by long-term settling or movement of the attic insulation, for an additional price of:
Dollars …………………………...…………………………..……..$.00
Optional additional insulation:
Install an additional 4“ of insulation to bring the attic up to an R-48 which highly exceeds local building codes and is the recommended R value for the Illinois area by the US Department of Energy for an additional price of:
Dollars …………………………...…………………………..……..$.00
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Grumpy that will be helpful.

I think the recommended level is r-49 now; I am recommending r-49.

If they have bats that are 6.5” thick I am recommending 12” of AttiCat insulation. I am rounding up the thickness to 7”, 12”, 14” or 19” depending on what they need.

I’ve seen sheet metal used to hold back the insulation around lights. You could take some aluminum trim coil and make a cylinder out of it using sheet metal screws to fasten it together.

I wonder if bathroom fans require an insulation barrier also, so that they don’t overheat. I know most of them I’ve seen are buried in insulation, but if the builder did it wrong the first time we don’t want to make it worse.

Same thing for recessed lights, there could be some that are already buried.

I need to get some pictures together to help the sales process. I tried to sell an insulation job the other day after removing ice dams.

When I started talking to the owners about what they needed I could tell that they didn’t understand. I should have taken a camera into the attic so I could show them pictures on my computer.
 

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I put together a presentation book using some job site photos as well as taking screen shots while viewing the OC installation video. Definetly a picture speaks 1000 words, with a 10 page flip book everything seems to make sense.

Last I checked which was November of 2008, it was still R 48 by the US Dept of Energy. It may have changed since then but codehere is still R 38 for new construction. Older homes are grandfathered in, but with the average roof haveing about an R 8 existing, it's not a hard sell to tell them they have 20% the insulation they'd be required to have the house were built to today's standards. That really gets the wheels turning in their cranium.

For a visual I am going to take a picture on the next job, side by side new vs old showing them how much more thick it'll be after we are done, or in other words showing them side by side just how little insulation they do have.
 

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Nice and simple. Very well done.

Ed

We propose to insulate the attic…
1. Protect the interior of the house around the work area using drop cloths and cardboard.
2. Prepare the attic by building supports around any canned/recesses light fixtures to ensure there is no contact with the insulation which may cause lights to over-heat.
3. Purchaser to remove any items stored in the attic before work begins. (You will lose this storage space. If you require a raised platform be built for storage please contact your estimator before the start of this project.)
4. We will install approximately 11.5” of Owens Corning fiberglass insulation using a blowing method directly over the existing insulation. The R value of the new insulation is rated at about R-30. (With the addition of your existing insulation, this should meet new energy efficient building codes of R-38.)
5. While installing new insulation we will ensure that the existing insulation, as well as new insulation, does not obstruct proper air flow in any way.
6. Inspect Kitchen and/or Bathroom fans, duct work, and other attic ventilation for flaws and advise.
7. We will clean the work area of all job related debris by sweeping and vacuuming.
Total Price:
Dollars ……………………...………………..$.00
Optional attic rafter baffles: (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
Install rafter baffles in each rafter pocket to ensure that air intake is not blocked by long-term settling or movement of the attic insulation, for an additional price of:
Dollars …………………………...…………………………..……..$.00
Optional additional insulation:
Install an additional 4“ of insulation to bring the attic up to an R-48 which highly exceeds local building codes and is the recommended R value for the Illinois area by the US Department of Energy for an additional price of:
Dollars …………………………...…………………………..……..$.00
 

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What about old metal coffee cans to put around the can lights in the attic?

Just an idea. I never did any of this before.

Ed
 
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