The final cost of a spray foam installation is affected by more than the price of labour – there are other expenses involved that you might not have thought to consider. On top of the cost of raw material, a spray foam contractor needs to own and maintain expensive equipment: a generator, a proportioner, compressors, specialized tools and vehicles. It can add up to a total capital expense in excess of $100 000. It’s something worth keeping in mind when assessing a contractor’s quote.
Even after taking the capital expenses and labour into consideration, however, the price paid for a spray foam application depends on one factor more than any other: the cost of the foam itself. It accounts for more than half of the total cost of any project. But determining what kind of expense the foam represents isn’t simple, because every project requires materials and solutions that are customized to the situation.
Types of Spray Foam and their Cost
A major factor regarding Spray foam cost is the type of spray foam you need. There are two main types: open cell foam and closed cell foam. Open cell foam is lighter, expands further, and is an excellent sound barrier, while closed cell foam is rigid and specializes as a thermal insulator.
Open Cell Spray Foam
Open cell spray foam is designed to fill wall cavities completely, meaning that a thicker 2×6 wall will have a higher insulation rating with open cell foam than a 2×4 wall will, but it will also use more foam and therefore cost more to insulate. Open cell spray foam costs roughly $0.80 per board foot to insulate a 2×4 wall. The walls are overfilled with foam and then shaved flush during installation to maximize thermal resistance. This means that some material must be wasted, which will effect the final cost.
Closed Cell Spray Foam
Closed cell spray foam costs from $1.20 to $1.50 per board foot. To reach thermal resistance rating of R20, it needs less than the full depth available in any 2×4 wall cavity, meaning that no material will be be wasted. It’s more expensive because it acts as a vapour barrier, which eliminates the need for a polyethylene sheet.
Determining the type of spray foam you’re using can help you estimate how much your project might cost, but in the end, there’s only one method that can really give you an accurate idea of the cost of a spray foam installation: a professional quote.
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