Spray Foam Cost

How much does spray foam insulation cost in Chicago?

Are you looking for foam insulation to be installed in Chicago, Illinois?  Are you tired of the comfort issues you face each winter and summer in your existing home or are you building a new home/ addition, finishing the bonus room and know the misery of previous homes during extreme temperatures?  Do you dread the day the electric or gas bill arrives knowing that you will never have enough heat or air conditioning in your home when you need it most?  Are you making decisions about new HVAC equipment and need to know what the impact of BTU reduction or tons of cooling saved with foam?  Are you hoping to spend $1,000 and not understanding why the estimates range from $1000 to $10,000 and you gave the people the same information… Here is why!

Its the first thing I did in my own home when we purchased it in 2009, as I was getting into the foam insulation business and as I was buying my first home.  It was the single most important upgrade I made to my home, an existing 1951 Mid Century Modern home with 3” of nearly 60 year old insulation sitting on the floor of the attic, a furnace that was 180,000 BTU’s but nearly 25 years old when we moved in and an AC that was only 15 years old but also at the end of its useable life, according to Bronson Shavitz from Shavitz HVAC in Skokie who was the technician at the time we purchased the home.

Foam insulation is not the cheap solution to your issues but it is the one solution that will do both the insulation and air sealing that is required to stop floors from being cold, to reduce the heat loss in the winter when you foam your attic/ underside of your roof or the floor of the garage under your master bedroom/ living room/ bonus room.

Since all of us want to educate ourselves about pricing of everything we purchase I created this document for you to understand what will and won’t cost you more/ less.  As home owners, you have unlimited choices about how you invest your dollars in your house, but not unlimited budgets.

Can I DIY my foam project?

Yes, of course you can save money by doing the foam project yourself or hiring your local handy person who can “do anything”, assuming that you know what the problem is that you are tying to solve and you don’t make mistakes.  On our YouTube channel, you can see a retired shop teacher who literally built his addition to his house and purchased several “kits” of foam and after three weekends of “installing foam” he was told by his wife that the couch would be his to sleep on if he did not hire a professional.  When you “save” you are also forgoing the knowledge of others that is part of the estimate we offer you at Chicago Green Insulation.  I cannot tell you how many people have taken one or two or even three shots at solving insulation issues themselves or with others prior to calling me.  I can assure you that our price justifies itself when we are done.

How do you price my project?

Foam pricing bid exclusively by the board foot is not pricing that offers any of the assurances we offer to our customers.  If you are looking for a cheap board foot price you are excluding the value of experience, employee installers who are proud of the work they do, knowledge of the various issues and potential issues that foam can create and of course, you stand in your own way when it comes to letting us use our experience to help you with your project.  Buying foam by the board foot is a bad methodology, it would be akin to shopping for healthcare purely based on the cost of a procedure.  Cost matters but does it matter more than the results?  Drums of foam are mixed on site, these drums typically range from $2500 to $4500 per pair depending on various factors.  Foam drum pairs can be purchased for less than $1,000 per pair if you are willing to buy expired material or material with little to no testing date or no third party tested foam.  These cheap foams are not foams that we will sell and these are foams installed in Chicago on a daily basis by contractors who routinely win the low cost battle while putting more money in their pocket and leaving you with the results.  When you Google reviews for contractors one of the key words I encourage you to look for is “Problems”, what happens with their is a “problem”, where is that contractor when I need to ask a questions?  Did that contractor talk to me about the time myself and my family need to be out of the house or even worse did that contractor spray with me in the other room?  It may sound better to get a 50% price reduction on the foam estimate but is it really worth 50% less service, quality or standards as it is YOUR HOME and YOUR FAMILY in the space after the work is done.

Attic Renovation Project

Attic renovation projects come in two different versions, people who are tired of comfort issues and people who are renovating their attic to turn it into storage, a home office, guest bedroom, new master bedroom or are moving the furnace into the attic do recover space in the floors below.  Simple foam jobs are the least expensive, simple foam jobs are rectangular attics with zero existing insulation, no furnace and no storage… these are the jobs that are the least expensive and give you a very big bang for your buck.  Jobs that have storage or a furnace require either a thermal barrier paint or a drywalled room be built.  Attics that have 2×4 framing are also among the more expensive because of the requirement for more expensive foam to be used, closed cell foam but these homes also tend to be the ones that this work makes the biggest overall difference because they are older and have the least insulation before we start our work.

Things that you can do to economize on these costs is not to hire or DIY a bunch of fiberglass or cellulose on the floor that we will be required to charge you to dispose of.  Please do not install an attic fan, these do not work, will need to be removed for us to foam the roof and likely will also lead to condensation and moisture issues in the attic over time.

  • Foam Insulation Project (Typical Size Home)
  • Attic Renovation into Unvented Attic
  • Garage Ceiling
  • Basement Buildout
  • Typical Crawl Space with three exterior walls
  • Cathedral Ceiling Existing
  • Addition to existing home
  • 2023 Foam pricing in Chicago, IL
  • $7,000 – $18,000
  • $5,000 – $10,000
  • $4,000 – $8,000
  • $3,000 – $6,000
  • $5,000 – $15,000
  • $5,000 – $20,000

Garage Ceiling

The easiest fix in a garage ceiling is that garage ceiling that was not finished and is open framing for us to foam before it is finished with drywall.  This is the biggest opportunity to improve comfort for the least amount of money.  For many families this is not an option as the drywall was already installed.  Blank ceilings without many obstructions are the second least expensive way to improve the comfort in the living space above.  Many garages have 8 foot ceiling, there are some that have 10-15’ ceilings and those will cost more as the working at elevation is harder, more dangerous and therefore more expensive to get done but it your garage is a three or four car garage and the living space above is uncomfortable, this is the first step in realizing your goal!  The listed pricing estimate is for a two car garage…. Unfortunately a one car garage is only about 25% less expensive as you still have all of the costs of getting crews to the job site.

Basement Buildout

The range of pricing for a basement is for a basement that has framing and no drywall in place.  Adding framing and both removing and reinstalling drywall will make finishing the basement significantly more expensive.  If you are one of the luck few who either never finished the drywall, experienced a flood where the drywall was removed by others or are doing renovations where removal of the existing drywall is an insignificant increase in another drywall project in your home, this is the least expensive time to add foam to the walls of your basement.  If the basement if finished and it requires demo, that is a tough project and I would strongly suggest we start with a project in the attic to make an unvented and sealed attic assembly.

“Typical” Crawl Space

Ok, there is nothing really typical about crawl spaces, each one is unique but what they all share in common is that they are sources of cold and often critters getting in and out of the house.  Crawl spaces that are accessible are the least expensive.  Crawl spaces that are too short for a person to get in and out of, those are often not able to be done.  Crawl spaces in Chicago typically fall into three categories, additions at the back of the house where stairs used to be outside the back door of the original footprint of the home, porches that have been converted into living spaces or areas that are below existing Construciton that was vented by code at the time and now need to be unvented/ sealed to increase the temperature of the crawl by around 30 degrees on the coldest nights of the winter to allow the duct work to be inside of conditioned space.  In each of the cases we can relatively inexpensively solve these issues with foam.  Things that make this more difficult is crawl spaces that are full of storage items or even worse crawl spaces that have furnaces in them… furnaces require signifiant modifications to the costs including framing, thermal barrier paint or even drywall.  Beyond those options if you have a silver pipe from the furnace called a B-Vent meaning that your furnace is naturally vented, these may or may not require replacement due to carbon monoxide issues….

Cathedral Ceilings

The major issue here is the same as the issues above, if the cathedral exists and has condensation on the can lights, rain coming from the ceiling or seams in the drywall that require annual maintenance from your painter, these are not cheap to fix.  If your desire is to turn a room or rooms in your home into cathedral ceilings that will be much less, it will be a great investment in the new aesthetics of your home and will actually make a more comfortable home at the same time.  Cathedral ceilings that are chronic issues are a major and expensive construction project that you either created by not doing it right or buying something that someone else did not do right…. Either way, foam is the answer but these projects will not come at the same price point.

Addition to Existing Home

Additions come in many different shapes and sizes.  Additions present difficulties as we can make that new space dramatically more comfortable than the rest of the house and create misery when you use the other less comfortable portions of your home.  Pricing foam for an addition has less flexibility within the building code but the overall cost of adding square footage is offset when taking into account the ability to heat and cool a larger space with existing equipment instead of adding a new HVAC system since this new space will actually use dramatically less BTU’s or Tons of Cooling and therefor choosing the right contractor to do the foam work is off-set when we eliminate an additional mechanical room and help you and your design professionals choose the right foam/ design and pull heat/ cooling from the existing equipment.

What influences the different pricing from contractor to contractor?

This is the last area that I would like to address.  The list of things that are involved in this are long but I will try to be brief.  Not all foam is the same, you have open and closed cell foam, open cell foam comes in many flavors/ different R values and should not be used on masonry construction you also have foam Closed Cell foam with HFO vs. HFC (this is not insignificant, the difference between the two has to do with the odor and we pay extra and charge you extra but when you get material that your nose is not happy about, you are getting what you pay for), what is the density of that closed cell?  Where does it become a moisture barrier, at what depth of foam, will you install 1” of closed cell and then fill in the cavity with other insulation?  (No is the answer), can you do a flash coating of foam?  (Again, No!)… You have foam that is a name brand or contractors who are not proud of the brand of foam they are spraying because they change brands all the time based on pricing.  Foam material pricing is significantly influenced by the brand of foam, whether that brand is a US/ Canada Made brand of foam that is tested and not expired material.  I get calls all the time where I could cut the cost of my materials by as much as 75% based on using one of these off brand foams with or without testing data, expired material (Think old milk but in this case, old foam will shrink and leave gaps that essentially leave you in the same old place after they leave, while having saved significantly on the foam install.). There are top shelf brand foams and cheap foams, you are making that choice when you look only at the low price alternative.  Additionally, there are box foam installers that have no foam truck… box foam is great for fixes, we even use them occasionally or I suggest them for a small DIY fix but never do I suggest it for the whole project.  Equipment, knowledge, the care and concern of the installers.  The people you talk to when calling/ texting about work to be done in your home, these things cost money and are part of the cost you pay for when you are soliciting a contractor for work.  You do get what you pay for!

When researching foam contractors, I encourage you to not just look at price or reviews but also look at the praise that organization has received for their work.

At Chicago Green Insulation we recognize our role in the communities we serve.  We love the work we do at Community Partners for Affordable Housing helping make homes energy efficient and affordable for hard working families who work at our schools, hospitals and grocery stores serving us every day.  We appreciate the opportunity to work with instructor Matt Kaiser at Evanston Township High School and their student built houses sold at 50% of market rate to qualifying individuals including the lead janitor who is now the proud owner of a student built Chicago Green Insulation foamed super well insulated home that allows him walk to and from the high school and pay heating and cooling bills that are as much as 90% below his previous rental property. Our work at Habitat for Humanity of Lake County securing $250,000 worth of donated material from Dow Chemical to foam insulated dozens of homes throughout Chicagoland.  Our work with the Inner-City Muslim Action Network and Brother Billy Moore who is dedicating every waking moment to ending violence on the streets of Chicago and offering young people construction trades training as a pathway to a career!  Our work with former US Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Chicago CRED mentoring and training young people about how foam installation can be a path without violence, great pay and a job that does not prohibit you for being employed based on your past… or Curt’s Cafe, a truly brilliant organization doing soft and hard skills culinary training, helping young people get their GED.  We have been featured in Crains Chicago Business, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, Highland Park Neighbors, Spray Foam Magazine, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses national and local recognition.  Recipient of the 2019 Highland Park Chamber of Commerce, Community Builder Award.  2017 Employer of the Year from the Lake County Illinois Coalition to Reduce Recidivism.  2021 and 2022 Recipient of the Bob Pascal Award for giving leads selflessly to others in the group.  2014 Recipient of the award for giving the most referrals in Chicago of any Graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.  2022 selected as one of 10 alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program to speak at the national conference in Washington DC.

The last point about pricing… What does the contractor you are talking to offer you about knowledge and trust?  We work hard for every current, potential and future customer to give the best of our knowledge.  That costs money but it save you money in the long run.  We will repair challenges from drawings, we will educate code officials who don’t know foam like we do, we will be at the inspection as needed to ensure that the foam passes without issue and so we can answer the questions that can hold up the drywall install in real time.  When shopping for foam by the board foot price, you are being “penny wise and pound foolish”.  Call the other contractors to see the difference.  Call us when you are ready to get it done right!  Don’t just take our word for it, look at the reviews from real customers!

Comfort is only a FOAM CALL AWAY!  847-987-3626

Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation

  • Licensed by major spray foam manufacturers
  • Reduces heating and cooling costs by as much as 60%
  • Helps meeting the new Illinois Energy Efficiency building codes
  • Improves indoor air quality, gives you control over the air in your home/ business
  • Stops air infiltration – An average American home loses enough air each day to fill two Goodyear Blimps
  • Keeps dust and pollen out
  • Decreases noise pollution – amazing for people with who are sensitive to noise or vibrations
  • Adds strength to the building structure It is permanent and will not sag
  • Reduces capacity requirements, maintenance and wear of HVAC equipment
  • Closed Cell Spray Foam, in addition to all of the items above, also stops moisture infiltration

What People Are Saying…

Click to Call