Insulation helps keep our homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Many builders believe that blown-in insulation is the best option for new homes, and it is becoming the product of choice for attics as well. Blown-in insulation units can be hired by the do-it-yourself home builder.
- Skill level:
Determine what type of insulation will work best for your situation. There are two basic types of insulation -- fibreglass and blown-in. Fibreglass insulation is comes in large sections and can be difficult to install. The biggest advantage of fibreglass insulation is that it's less expensive and doesn't require special equipment. The disadvantage is that fibreglass insulation can cause your skin to itch if you aren't properly covered, and that it doesn't provide total coverage of the area. Blown-in insulation, also known as cellulose insulation, is more expensive but the coverage is better. Most builders recommend using cellulose insulation in exterior walls and fibreglass for interior walls.
Determine how much insulation you will need. Insulation is rated based on its "R" value. A product with a higher "R" value will provide more insulation than those with lower values. Depending on where you live and where the blown-in insulation will be used in the house, the amount needed will vary. For additional help, use an insulation calculator.
Call ahead to local tool and plant hire centres to make sure they have an insulation blower for hire and to determine if there will be a security deposit on the machine. Most tool hire centres have only a couple of these machines available, and depending on need there may be a waiting list. Security deposits can be as high as £200, though this money is refunded when the machine is returned.
Take a vehicle large enough to accommodate the machine. Leave your car at home and take a van. Some tool hire centres will deliver.
To hire the machine you will need a driving licence or passport to prove your identity. Read the entire hire agreement before signing. Take note of when the machine is due back and the charges that will be incurred if it is not returned on time.
Arrange to have the blower loaded in your vehicle.
Tips and warnings
- Check with the retailer for special deals. Some offer free rental with the purchase of a large quantity of blown-in insulation.
- Insulation blowers are very heavy. When loading and unloading, seek help to avoid injury.
- Pay the security deposit using cash or credit card. Depending on where you are hiring, cheques may not be accepted for deposit on an insulation blower. Many retailers have a seven- to 15-day hold for cash back when a cheque is used.
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