Call Now 1.800.265.1914

How To Choose The Right Insulation When Renovating Your Home

August 21, 2018

Renovation time is probably the best time of all to upgrade and retrofit your insulation. Beyond the budget considerations, the next most important thing is to choose the right insulation. You may be adding some space to your home. You may be opening up the attic for another room. Or you may be creating a “bonus” room above the garage. Whatever the case, this is the perfect time to remedy air leakage issues, boost insulation performance, and improve ventilation throughout the home. All of it goes together, and all of it contributes to enhancing home energy efficiency.

A building is a "system" - so it’s important to choose the right insulation

As a building, your home comprises inter-dependent components that work together as a system. All of the building materials and all of the mechanical components interact from season to season, creating the indoor living environment for its occupants. When there are changes, like a renovation, the system is affected, sometimes with positive outcomes, sometimes negative. That’s why it’s so important to treat the house as a system and consider all of the various influences as a whole.

Renovation time is the perfect opportunity for a home energy evaluation 

While it’s important to choose the right insulation when planning for a retrofit, it’s wise to do a home energy evaluation before any of the work begins. With an EnerGuide Home Evaluation, a professional Energy Advisor undertakes a comprehensive assessment that incorporates both the exterior and interior of the home.

The Energy Advisor uses various diagnostic tools, including a “blower door test”, to collect data about the energy efficiency of the home. With EnerGuide, all the data is entered into simulation software in order to determine an EnerGuide Rating. The Energy Advisor also physically inspects the home during the test for air leakage pathways (holes). The results of the evaluation highlight the problems that need to be remedied.

Want to know what insulation is right for your renovations? Click here to schedule your free in-home assessment.

If you plan to do some renovations in the attic – make sure it’s done right

If you’re planning a renovation in the attic space, you should use a professional to reach maximum energy efficiency because of how your attic is actually independent of your home’s envelope. Besides the experience and expertise, professionals work according to the building code. Everything is installed according to manufacturer’s product specifications. And importantly, the building is approached as a “system” – which means that all of the inter-related mechanics are dealt with – insulation, air movement, and ventilation. The “system” can therefore work as a whole, and the home’s energy efficiency can be maximized. In this way insulation performance is also optimized, whether fibreglass, cellulose, or spray foam.

During a renovation, particularly when the attic is involved, there’s an opportunity to install an air barrier and vapour barrier while the space is wide open. Any professional will tell you that an air barrier is essential to energy efficiency – the continuous barrier prevents air leakage and thus allows the installed insulation to perform at its peak. Here again, it’s important to choose the right insulation that will deliver the most efficient, yet cost-effective results.

If you’re finishing the basement - air leakage and moisture control is key

When finishing the basement, both air leakage and moisture control must be addressed before any work commences. Done right, and with quality products, energy efficiency can be greatly enhanced in the basement. Air leakage can be blocked; air moisture can be controlled; and R-Values can be boosted – all at one time. With better energy efficiency, the entire house benefits. This may require the input of a specialized basement contractor.

Depending on the project budget, there are various options for insulating the basement – from fiberglass and mineral wool batts, to spray foam insulation, to basement blanket wrap.  During a renovation, there is more flexibility with installation. With a professional on hand, it’s possible to choose the right insulation for the job, and ensure the best return-on-investment.

When a basement is properly insulated, the dollar savings on heating and cooling are substantial throughout the year. More than that, you’ve created a basement living space that is comfortable in winter and summer. For best results, however, professional expertise is much preferred over the DIY option. By addressing the basement as a “system” insulation professionals deliver results.

If you want to add a “bonus room” to the garage - do it right the first time

Even in an existing “bonus room” above the garage, there are problems that make the room very cold in winter and very hot in summer. So it’s important when adding a brand new room, to do it right the first time. The exterior walls, the roof, and the flooring (above the garage) all have to be sealed and insulated to ensure energy efficiency. For the insulation to perform, its necessary for air leakage to be blocked, and moisture accumulation to be prevented.

If garage work is involved, there are building code requirements to follow. In most locales, an attached garage must be “gas proofed” in order to protect residents from being exposed to toxic fumes. This is best accomplished with an application of spray foam since the envelope will seal the space completely without allowing for incoming or outgoing air movement. With the spray foam application the space will also be highly insulated at the same time.

Want to know what insulation is right for your renovations? Click here to schedule your free in-home assessment.

Why updating insulation is so important during a planned renovation

Home insulation is probably the most important of all renovations when you consider the return-on-investment. No kitchen or washroom reno will deliver the same cost benefits as an upgrade to insulation. And when you choose the right insulation products, the retrofit will save big money on both winter and summer utilities.

The fact is, minimizing air leakage, along with enhanced insulation, can lower energy bills by a whopping 50%. That means that an insulation retrofit would pay for itself in a few short years. Upgraded insulation also provides enhanced comfort from season to season. And best of all, it will contribute to the home’s value.

Great Northern Insulation – the industry leader in residential insulation

Large renovation or small, Great Northern Insulation can provide licensed, certified installers to ensure improved energy efficiency. We help you to choose the right insulation and recommend products that are the most cost-effective.

For a FREE home energy assessment, contact Great Northern Insulation today at 1.800.265.1914 or fill out a form below. We’ll show you how a quality approach can make a difference for many years to come.

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

Trusted for Over 40 Years

Over 40 Years in Business

At GNI, we service your project with the most experienced staff in the industry. Ongoing professional development is an obsession at GNI and we will not compromise at any level to bring to our customers the very best Installers, Sales Representatives, Customer Care Personnel, Field Superintendents, Estimating and Technical Support to your project.

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

January, 2021 regulatory phaseout of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with the introduction of WALLTITE CM01. Using hydrofluorolefins (HFOs) with lower global warming potential (GWP) compared to HFCs, WALLTITE CM01 is the next generation of spray foam insulation.



Heatlok® Soya HFOTM leverages Honeywell’s latest Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent technology. This new hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agent is the most environmentally conscious blowing agent produced to date, with a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP) of 1, which is more than two orders of magnitude (99.9%) lower than HFCs used in this industry.


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).

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?

Climatizer Cellulose


CLIMATIZER PLUS cellulose insulation is manufactured from a minimum of 85% locally-sourced post-consumer recycled newsprint. Non-toxic additives are applied to the uniquely fiberized paper generating a building material with superior thermal and acoustic properties, as well as exceptional resistance to fire, moisture, mould and pests.

Please, enter a valid value

Incorrect values!