R30 insulation vs. R38 insulation

DRE06
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Anyone have an opinion.

I'm buying a 1968 home that needs all new insulation and I am asking the seller to pay for it.

Inspector said R30
HVAC guy said R38
AgDrumma07
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Where is the insulation going?

Walls?
Ceiling?

Bathroom?
Attic?
DRE06
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Attic.
Sasappis
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Given the age of the house, the R38 is probably over kill. The higher the better, but the house probably has some many other issues that you will never see the true value of the R38. You may not see the value of the R30 either, but that is still the minimum I would ask for.
DRE06
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Went ahead and asked for R38. Worst case, they come back and say they'll pay for R30.

The owner already put new double-pane windows in the entire house, so hopefully with new insulation, the house will be somewhat efficient.
buzzardb267
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You'll get a Christmas Card from Al Gore!!!
Aggietaco
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Worst case is they say no.

Don't let it be a deal breaker for you either, adding spray in insulation down the road is fairly simple, as long as you do it between October and March in Texas. I have yet to revamp the attic insulation in my 1974 home, but I've done 2 others in the winter that were cake. Besides, getting into your attic is a good way to spend some quality time with your new home and put on eye on anything in the attic you may need access to later on down the road.
Sasappis
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quote:

The owner already put new double-pane windows in the entire house, so hopefully with new insulation, the house will be somewhat efficient.


Certainly the two biggest and easiest things to do.
Absolute
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Definitely would not on walk based on insulation. IMO that is an upgrade anyway.

As long as you are doing it I would go for R49 personally, the material is not that expensive. Whatever level you end up with will help, but you will most likely not actually feel much difference.

It is a big deal that they already did the windows though.

[This message has been edited by Absolute (edited 11/1/2011 4:59p).]
stuckinaustinAG
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Some areas it is actually code to go to r38 so use that if you can. Also don't forget to look into city rebates once it's done.

Aggietaco
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City rebates (atleast here in Austin) are only available to the party that directly paid for the improvements and/or owned the property at the time of improvement. I tried to get a little back after I had the previous owner replace the HVAC system before I moved into my house and spent many hours chasing that until I got a definitive answer.
DRE06
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They said no to the insulation, but did provide $2,500 (asked for $3,500).

If their willing to help on retrofitting the aluminum wiring, we'll be able to put this to bed.
Aggietaco
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You started asking about the wrong items if you want to replace the branch wiring.
DRE06
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The insulation was a throw away.

Give some take some.
Birddog 99
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About $100/sq ft to re-wire was what I was quoted.
AgDrumma07
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Re-wiring costs are absolutely ridiculous. There's not a chance in the world you'll get a majority of your money on that when you sell.
Builder93
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If your house is that old, going from 30 to 38 is pointless. Air infiltration everywhere else will negate the added cost of thicker insulation. The house is a system that is not just the sum of the parts. The window and insulation guys love to sell people on r values as if that is the only thing involved in an energy efficient house. Even some code writers are finally figuring this out. Seal up the holes and ventilate the attic before you throw more money into thicker insulation.
cjo03
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quote:

About $100/sq ft to re-wire was what I was quoted.


seriously?
DRE06
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that had to be a typo.

I could see it being about $6-8/SF.....or $15,000 on a 2,200 SF house.
Its costing me about $3,500 to retrofit with aluminum wiring with the Alumiconn devices/connectors. Its actually costing me about $2,500, because the kitchen & both bathrooms were completely gutted to the studs and all copper branch wiring was installed. I'm having to retrofit all of the outlets/switches in the living, hallways, bedrooms, & dining room.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says there are only three safe ways to cure aluminum wiring on a permanent basis:
1) Total rewire of house (too expensive)
2) Use the COPALUM device by Tyco to pigtail each outlet/stitch/fixture (there is not a single contractor in Houston that does this, it requires a special tool that Tyco leases out at a very expensive rate, and contrators have to be specially certified to install the COPALUM connector).
3) Use the Alumiconn connectors to pigtail each outlet/switch/fixture. This is costs about $3,500 on a 2,200 SF house.

It is highly recommended that use do not use the Purple Wire Nuts made by Ideal. They are not approved by the CPSC and have a high rate of failure, and are prone to melting/burning.

[This message has been edited by DRE06 (edited 11/8/2011 8:58a).]
Aggietaco
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I still haven't seen anything convincing enough (that wasn't released by a company/group with a conflict of interest) to say that there is a significant danger to leaving aluminum branch wiring in place.

I went through the same process as you when I bought our first home 2.5 years ago and came to the conclusion that the main proponents of replacing aluminum branch wiring were those with vested interests in the tools and products that make that process easier.
AgDrumma07
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quote:
3) Use the Alumiconn connectors to pigtail each outlet/switch/fixture. This is costs about $3,500 on a 2,200 SF house.


This is what I'll be doing for my whole house. Those connectors are super expensive, but it's better than rewiring the whole house.

Most of my master bath was rewired, but we used these purple connectors for the existing wiring we couldn't switch out.
Brad06ag
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quote:
This is what I'll be doing for my whole house. Those connectors are super expensive, but it's better than rewiring the whole house.


+1 We are doing it as we replace sockets and switches (beige or painted over to white). Adds up, but isn't so bad if you're just going room by room and doing it yourself.
AgDrumma07
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Brad - get a few friends to help you and you can do an "assembly line". One person pulls off the old covers and sockets, next person attaches the new sockets, last person reattaches the new socket and puts on a new wallplate.

You can probably do the whole house in 1-2 hours that way. New sockets and plates are super cheap, but the purple connectors are not.
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