Recycled demin insulation worth the cost? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 11-10-2007, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are completely reinsulating our house (exterior walls and attic; and no we don't have to live there during the process; we are remodelling my dad's house/the house I inherited and moving in after remodel), and our contractor priced the regular "pink" insulation and the recycled demin. For the regular, it'd be about $1200 for the whole house; the price jumps to $6000 for the demin. We really want to do it, but for that big of a jump in price, we want to make sure it is worth it. So, I was wondering if anyone here has any information/btdt stories to share.

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#2 of 13 Old 11-10-2007, 08:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
For the regular, it'd be about $1200 for the whole house; the price jumps to $6000 for the demin. We really want to do it, but for that big of a jump in price, we want to make sure it is worth it. So, I was wondering if anyone here has any information/btdt stories to share.

Holy crap! A lot of the green options right now are still pretty expensive. Our water heater pooped out this summer and we wanted to get the kind that heats on demand but our plummer told us it would run us $1800 plus labor. So we went with the traditional one for around $300 (I think) plus labor. He said at that price it doesn't offset the cost of savings in water and electricity. If we could afford it we would've done it because for me it's about saving natural resources, but unfortunately coudn't afford it this time. OT but now we're replacing our 45 yr old furnace with a much more efficient one.

I guess if for you guys $6K is chump change I would absolutely do it. But for someone like me that's a small fortune and it wouldn't be an option (sorry planet).

Awesome SAHM to 5-yr-old son,3-yr-old girl and a baby girl. Blog about my home http://azaleastudio.blogspot.com
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#3 of 13 Old 11-10-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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When we needed to insulate our kitchen and bathroom, we went with the recycled denim insulation. Our contractor literally thanked us, as it was so much more pleasant to work with than the fiberglass insulation. I was happy to use recycled. Everyone was happy. But! We only had two small rooms to insulate, so the cost wasn't outrageous. Had we needed to an entire house, the cost would certainly have been a bigger dilemma. It is lovely stuff, and so soft, but you won't see it once it's in the walls so the lovely and soft factor shouldn't be the driving force!

Similarly, we looked at recycled glass countertops, so so pretty but so so expensive. We remodeled our entire kitchen with cabinets, appliances, and granite countertops for just the cost of the recycled cabinets. : If money were no object, I'd get them, but money is an object around here!!
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#4 of 13 Old 11-10-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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Is the "R" value or insulation any greater with the denim? If so, by how much? If not, it's not like you can even do a cost benefit analysis to see if you can recoup the extra expense over time and it's purely a question of whether you are willing to pay the extra money for a green alternative.
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#5 of 13 Old 11-10-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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You will be so happy with my solution (I predict). My husband is a contractor, so I have done a LOT of thinking about this.

It is good to know the price of Fiberglass (Pink) but it is really unacceptable. Especially if it is new. It is really a real boogie man. We wouldn't buy a new house, principally b/c of the Fiberglass outgassing.

The denim is BEAUTIFUL. I've seen a room done in it, and the walls weren't finished and it was fine. An insulation that doubles as a wall covering? Beautiful. I am not sure of the R-value . . . If you find out, post it!

I know that like any loft type material, including formaldehyde, animals LOVE it. You can sleep at night knowing they are not chewing on ground up glass. I also personally feel that it is wrong to ask men to work around Fiberglass. It is the next Aesbestos, IMO.

But if I was trying to make a budget a little lower, I would do some of the insulation with Blow-in Cellulose. It is cheap and not extremely toxic like Fiberglass. My husband worked for a company that did "energy audits & updating" and this is what they used almost exclusively.

So maybe I would do denim bats in the attic and blown in cellulose around the house? The denim bats really are beautiful. Let us know what you do! I would love to hear.
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#6 of 13 Old 11-10-2007, 07:48 PM
 
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another thing to consider is not only how toxic it is to put in (fiberglass insulation is being called the "new asbestos") but how bad it is at the end of it's life. when that stuff is pulled out of old buildings and the workers breathe it in and then dump it in a landfill - that is a part of the cost we don't ever think about. and with what is happening to our earth, we need to begin thinking about end of life cycle as well.

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#7 of 13 Old 11-10-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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oh yeah, on R value, UltraTouch recycled denim insulation comes in R13, R19, R21, & R30.

Talia Rose - mountain mama to Grace and Xack::  h20homebirth.gif :homeschool.gif  goorganic.jpgwhale.gifchicken3.gif

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#8 of 13 Old 11-11-2007, 06:15 PM
 
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Does anyone know of any 100% natural insulation that costs less than $5.85 per pound? I don't want any synthetic ingredients at all.

I've only found one product so far and it's prohibitively expensive.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#9 of 13 Old 11-12-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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http://www.sheepwoolinsulation.ie/

rock wool insulation (made from industrial slag) http://www.powersourcing.com/se/rockwoolinsulation.htm

some other choices:
http://www.recovery-insulation.co.uk...omparison.html

And my comments:

First, you need to know what flame retardant chemical is used in the insulation. This could help with your decision.

Next, if possible insect/small animal nesting is a concern, this would apply not just to fiberglass but also to denim, sheeps wool, etc.

With a well ventilated attic, any residue/fumes/new carpet smell from insulation should be vented to the outside.
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#10 of 13 Old 11-12-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sustainer View Post
Does anyone know of any 100% natural insulation that costs less than $5.85 per pound? I don't want any synthetic ingredients at all.

I've only found one product so far and it's prohibitively expensive.
Strawbales --- but would only work with a new construction, not a retrofit. Strawbale on average costs $2-4 a bale sepending on season and how amny you buy and the local buy that is selling, but weighs more than 1 pound a piece.
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#11 of 13 Old 11-12-2007, 05:17 PM
 
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I'm very interested in straw. It has to be mixed with clay or something so it isn't a fire hazard, right? I welcome all info on straw as insulation.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#12 of 13 Old 11-12-2007, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One of our dreams is to buy land somewhere here along the Pacific coast and build a strawbale house.

For now, I think we will go with the denim. I do agree that long-term cost is *almost* as important as short-term cost (assuming that we have the extra couple thousand for the denim). I am going to ask our contractor about blown-in cellulose. I'll keep you updated when we get to the insulation part.

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
and dd born 11/21/10 - our T21 SuperBaby ribbluyel.gif heartbeat.gif
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#13 of 13 Old 11-12-2007, 06:30 PM
 
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I'm very interested in straw. It has to be mixed with clay or something so it isn't a fire hazard, right? I welcome all info on straw as insulation.
Straw bales are sealed with stucco on both sides. The struture is still "breatheable", but is also very secure. No issues with mold, very low fire hazzard, animal and pest deterant.

We have done a lot of reserach, even attended a few strawbale weekend workshops. In September we built some mega dog houses out of strawbales.

There is tons of information out there, best book from the librarby we found is called "Serious Strawbale" it's got a light blue cover, very indepth.

Good luck
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