previous
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • How to Install Housewrap Solo
    How to Install Housewrap Solo
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Buyer's Guide to Insulation
    Buyer's Guide to Insulation
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
  • The Hobbit House and More
    The Hobbit House and More
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • Electrical Articles & Videos
    Electrical Articles & Videos
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Play the Inspector Game!
    Play the Inspector Game!
  • The Passive House Build
    The Passive House Build
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • Shorten a Prehung Door
    Shorten a Prehung Door
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
next
Pin It

New Insulation for Old Walls

You can upgrade insulation without gutting your walls, but not until you know what’s in there now

Installing insulation as a house is being built is easy to do. Beefing up the insulation in an existing home is a tougher task, especially when you don't know what insulation-if any-is already in place. Senior editor Justin Fink takes a look at the most common types of insulation that exist in homes today, including balsam wool, urea-formaldehyde foam, vermiculite, fiberglass, rock wool, and cotton batts. Fink then provides information on contemporary insulation upgrades, such as rigid foam (EPS, XPS, and polyiso) and blown-in options (cellulose and fiberglass). This article includes sidebars on determining what type of insulation is already in walls and on ways to remove old insulation (if that is necessary for performing an upgrade).

Plus, use our Insulation Upgrade Payback Estimator to estimate how long it will take to payback your investment based on savings in energy costs.  

New Insulation for Old Walls

Become a Fine Homebuilding Member

to view this article and over a thousand more

Learn More