Blowing in attic insulation. (Window Store / March 24, 2014)

Adding blow-in insulation is an easy do-it-yourself project that can prevent your attic from acting like a sieve and save heating and cooling dollars. With today's rising energy costs, it's no wonder homeowners are taking interest in buttoning up their attic. The job requires common sense skills and a blower tool you can borrow from the retailer where you buy the insulation. If you want to hire someone for the work, you'll find insulation contractors listed in the Yellow Pages and online contractor referral services. No matter who does it, buttoning up the attic with additional insulation is a job worth doing.

An insulation contractor will charge $1,347 to blow insulation into a 1,200-square foot open attic area with 12-inch deep coverage, which includes labor and material. A handy homeowner who is agile and can easily climb around the unfinished area of an attic can do the job for $980, the cost of the material, and pocket a nice 29 percent saving. Before you choose a retailer to buy the bags of insulation, make sure they offer a blowing machine to their customers. Most of them require a deposit, which is returned when you return the machine. You will also need a good respirator and old clothes to protect you from the insulation dust.

To learn how much insulation you need to upgrade your attic, go to http://www.greenfiber.com, a manufacturer's site with good instructions and advice. A chart with recommendations from the U.S. Department of Energy explains how to calculate the amount of insulation you need and how to install it. GreenFiber's insulation, 85 percent recycled material, forms a thermal blanket over living spaces, making a home more comfortable, whether the furnace is supplying heat or the air conditioning unit is keeping things cool inside.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit http://www.diyornot.com and http://www.m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$1,347 -- $980 -- 9 -- 11.0 -- $394 -- 29 Percent

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