How Much Does Fanfold Insulation Cost?

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Fanfold insulation is an extruded polystyrene foam insulation applied to the exterior of the house.  Fanfold insulation choices should be based on how much insulation you need in a specific area of your house or building, and its purpose is to offer thermal protection to form a second barrier between the elements and the framing of your house.

How much does fanfold insultation cost?

R-19 based fanfold insulation can cost $1.80 to $3 per square foot for the materials alone.   For example, the R1 1/4′ FanFold underlayment board for re-siding sold by Menards retails for about $35 for 200 square feet.  This won’t include the professional installation.  If you were to install fanfold insulation on your own, a 1,500 square foot home could cost $4,500 in materials.

Should you need to hire someone to install the fanfold insulation, the labor cost is going to be additional. Usually, this is calculated by multiplying the area by the thickness of the insulation and then multiplied with the cost of installation per square foot (area x insulation thickness x cost per board foot = total installation cost).   For example, a 60 square foot space that’s one inch thick, and the cost per board foot is $2 would bring the total to around $120.

Fanfold insulation overview

Fanfold insulation board will be a thin extruded polystyrene board faced with a plastic film facer on both surfaces.  Every few inches, the board will be folded to be packaged easier, and tthese boards are designed to resist air infiltration and liquid water penetration.

The insulation is going to comepre-packedd and ready to be installed.  The average fanfold insulation pack will come in an accordion stack that measures four-by-fifty feet and will be folded in two-inch increments.

Depending on the brand, some products will be made of recycled material and can be energy star qualified.

What are the extra costs?

If you’re going to complete the job yourself, tools such as a hammer, stapler, utility knife and measuring tape will be required to accomplish the task.

Tips to know:

Consider using a day when there is no wind.  This is going to help make the installation process a lot easier.

This YouTube video says Lowe’s will no longer sell fanfold insulation.

The “R-value” of insulation is the term used to describe the level of thermal protection of the insulating material.  The Department of Energy recommends different R-values, depending on where you live in the United States.   Refer to the chart below to see which zone you live in.

How can I save money?

Buy in bulk to receive discounts from the manufacturer or dealer.

If possible, you can also venture for a do-it-yourself installation project so you can save on the installation fee.

Consider looking for energy star products to help save with heating and cooling costs.

If you choose to have a professional contractor do the job for you, consider getting multiple quotes delivered to your inbox for free at

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