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Adding Insulation to the Home. How Much and Where?

March 15, 2016

While it's not necessary for a typical homeowner to get overly technical with home insulation, it's definitely an advantage to understand the basics. It will make for a better working relationship with a prospective insulation contractor, and decision making along the way will be much less stressful. The "big picture" with home insulation encompasses a number of considerations, all of which can be assessed with the contractor:

  • the home's original building construction (building envelope)
  • the existing condition of insulation in the roof, attic, and walls
  • the nature of the home's foundation walls and basement floor
  • the homeowner's insulation goals and energy-saving targets
  • the homeowner's project budget (incentives and/or rebates)

Whether the project includes adding insulation, removing insulation, or reinstalling insulation, it's essential to identify the best return-on-investment. Here, an experienced contractor can offer valuable advice on product options and installation techniques. Clearly, different types of retrofits will deliver different levels of energy savings. And in some cases, annual utility savings could even offset the original project investment.

  • improving airtightness is key to every insulation project
  • adding/topping up insulation to the roof and attic cavity
  • enhancing insulation to below-grade/above-grade walls
  • insulating the basement floor (as wells as exterior walls)

Another area of consideration when insulating the home is about how much insulation product to add. Once again, it's important to identify (along with the contractor) the target for energy savings. There's a dramatic difference between a homeowner who wants to reduce energy consumption by 25% and a homeowner who wants to reach for 50%. All of this will depend on the scope and extent of the insulation retrofit project. Regardless of energy saving targets, an expert insulation contractor will recommend eliminating air leakage prior to any insulating work. By any measure, this component of retrofitting will deliver energy efficiency while allowing newly installed insulation to perform much better. In fact, air sealing and adding R-Value to existing insulation will make a remarkable difference in energy consumption throughout the seasons. Beyond airtightness, the location of the insulation upgrade is also significant. This will clearly depend on the project budget, and will be reliant on a cost-benefit assessment from the contractor. In other words, which approach will allow the homeowner to achieve the best results in the most cost-effective manner? In short, this will be contingent on the insulation product, the amount of R-Value, and the location of the install. Experienced contractors are expert at making viable recommendations. There may be an option to insulate the home from the exterior. Or, it may be best to top-up the attic insulation, while installing an air barrier. It may also be possible to enhance the insulation in some of the above-grade walls, including interior walls. For some, the prospect of fully insulating a basement floor (and replacing the flooring) may be the best route. One of the best times to install home insulation is alongside other home improvements. It makes renovation sense, and it makes budget sense. And it's one of the best ways to do the job right the first time - energy efficiency will be optimized; home comfort will be enhanced; utility costs will be reduced; and in many cases the home will enjoy a higher resale value.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Muskoka, Haliburton, Northern Ontario

1027 Elwell Park Road
Gravenhurst, Ontario
Canada P1P 1R1

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Central Ontario

29 Ferndale Industrial Drive
Barrie, Ontario
Canada L4N 9V5

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Greater Toronto Area

2 Guided Court
Etobicoke, ON
M9V 4K6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA East

103 North Port Road
Port Perry, Ontario
Canada L9L 1B2

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

South Central Ontario

450 Industrial Dr,
Toronto (Milton), Ontario
Canada L9T 5A6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Eastern Ontario

1035 Moodie Dr #1,
Nepean, ON
K2R 1H4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Niagara Region

25 Lincoln Ave
St. Catharines, ON
L2P 2C7

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.

Homestars Best of 2021 Award

Best of 2021

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2021.

Homestars Best of 2022 Award

Best of 2022

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2022.


GNI is the Authorized & Trusted Insulation and Air Sealing Installer for Lowe’s

Energy Savers

Energy Saving

Energy saving and energy efficiency is easier than one might think. Great Northern Insulation helps to identify performance issues, while taking advantage of improvement opportunities.

100% Canadian

100% Canadian

Great Northern Insulation is recognized as Canada's largest full-service insulation contractor. GNI is 100% Canadian owned, proudly serving Ontario customers since 1980.

Foam Masters

Do it right the first time
- with foam mastersTM

WALLTITE® ECO™ is a high-performance system, professionally installed by certified and approved specialists. Its C.C.M.C. approved (Canadian Construction Materials Centre) - with product quality guaranteed - and with installation by highly trained experts with the technical know-how to do the job right, the first time.

Insulthane Extreme

Insulthane® Extreme

For the ultimate in high performance spray foam insulation, Insulthane® Extreme is the professional choice for residential, commercial, and industrial application. With improved thermal performance over other products, Insulthane® Extreme has an exceptionally low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Considered environmentally friendly, this next generation spray foam insulation is non-ozone depleting, and exceeds specifications of other HFC product alternatives.


3MTM products.
Quality + Performance = Savings

3MTM energy-saving products are designed to keep warm air in, and cold air out, while keeping energy bills down. Products optimize energy efficiency in buildings and homes; improve indoor environment for occupants; and effect the reduction of seasonal energy costs. 3M products are authorized for LEED credits (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).


Baeumler ApprovedTM
Professional, Certified and Insured

Baeumler ApprovedTM gives you peace of mind when connecting with contractors, trades and home service providers. All Baeumler Approved members have demonstrated high quality work for customers and other trade professionals. Members must also have Workers Compensation, liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 and prove professional certification.

Holmes and Holmes

Holmes and Holmes


Mike Holmes and his son Mike Jr. (MJ) convert MJ’s bachelor bungalow into a two-storey home for MJ and his girlfriend Lisa. Choosing the newest materials and build techniques, the father and son team follow Mike’s famous motto – “Make it right.” The show can be watched on HGTV and DIY Network.


Enbridge Incentives

The Home Efficiency Rebate Plus program offers up to $10,000 in home reno rebates – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.


Great Northern Insulation proudly abides by a renovation-specific Code of Conduct set by RenoMark™.


We are Verified & Bonded by eRenovate. When you choose to proceed with our services through their platform, you receive the gaurantees set forth through their program.

As Seen on Love It or List It

The GNI crew have been featured installing insulation on Love It or List It - have you seen our logo in an episode?

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