How Much Does It Cost to Insulate a Basement?

Becca Stokes
Written by Becca Stokes
Updated October 6, 2021
A bright open plan living room basement
Photo: drewhadley/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The average cost to insulate a basement is between $1,400 and $6,300

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Many homeowners eventually decide to insulate their basements. Doing this doesn’t just make the space more comfortable, it also makes the home more energy-efficient. Our cost guide breaks down what you can expect to spend should you decide to insulate your basement.

How Much Does It Cost to Insulate a Basement per Square Foot?

If you are planning on insulating your basement, you will quickly learn that type of material used and its density are the two factors that impact your overall budget.

You can expect to spend between $0.25 and $2 for every inch of thickness per square foot (one board foot) or $1 to $5 per square foot total to insulate your bathroom.

How Much Does It Cost to Insulate a Basement Near You?

National Average to Insulate a Basement

The average homeowner can expect to spend between $1,400 and $6,300 on the cost of insulating their basement.

High End vs. Low End

There are four different types of materials used to insulate most basements. They are blown-in, batting, fiberglass and radiant barrier insulation. The material you choose will inform your budget. 

Radiant barrier insulation is on the lower end of the cost spectrum at $700 to $2,900 on average. On the highest end of the cost spectrum is fiberglass batt insulation. It costs between $1,000 and $2,400.

We go into more depths about these different types of insulation materials a little later on in this guide. 

Insulating a Basement Cost by City

Since the cost of basement insulation varies according to material, we’ve used one material (spray foam insulation) for our purposes here. 

City Cost
Juneau, AK$2,322
Los Angeles$2,103
New York$2,592
Omaha, NE$2,496

How Much Basement Insulation Can I Get on My Budget?

The average cost to insulate a basement is between $1,400 and $6,300. That, of course, means that some folks polled pay a little bit more, and others paid a little less. Here’s how that money breaks down: 


Since it costs between $1.50–$2.50 per square foot to insulate a basement on average. A small basement, at 652 square feet, can be served by this budget, as can a basement of average or slightly larger size (between 800 and 1000 square feet).

This budget allows for less expensive materials like foam board or fiberglass. It can also cover the costs of installation and labor. We get into the specifics of installation costs a little later on in this guide. 


The thicker your insulation, the more effective it will be in the long run. That’s why insulation materials get more expensive the greater their thickness. In this budget range, you have your choice of materials including the popular form and rigid boards for insulation, which can cost up to $5 per square foot

This budget also covers expenses like full service installation in addition to labor and materials.

How Much Does It Cost to Insulate Your Basement Yourself?

Insulation projects can be pretty DIYer friendly, if you’re willing to be patient—and to make a mess! If it’s your first time installing basement insulation, use fiberglass roll and batting or rigid foam boards.

The trickiest part of installing insulation is filling in the cracks that naturally appear without compressing the super-sensitive insulation itself. Once it is pressed down, insulation is basically useless. Most people choose to hire insulation contractors to tackle their projects, because while it’s an easy task on the surface, the mess, and the need to wear serious protective garments is no small feat.

Basement Insulation Cost Breakdown

An empty basement with wooden stairs
Photo: Spinkle/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Whether you’re installing basement insulation yourself or hiring a professional in your area to tackle the project, costs are going to break down like this: 


Materials are where you will find the most variables in basement insulation costs. The least expensive will cost $0.25 per square foot, while the most expensive options can cost up to $5 per square foot.

Protective Garments

While you won’t spend any money on labor if you tackle this project yourself, you will have to spend on protective garments in order to keep yourself safe. These items should include boots, long-sleeved clothing, work gloves, goggles and a mask. Expect to spend about $250.


Expect to spend between $0.25 to $0.50 per square foot for the cost of labor for this project. The reason the range is so wide is because of just how different materials are installed. Spray foam insulation requires a lot of training as well as prep, making the labor more expensive. But if you’re using batt insulation which easily rolls out, expect the cost to be lower. 

How Much Does It Cost to Insulate Basements by Type or Material?

There are many different options when it comes to selecting a material to serve as insulation for your basement. Here’s what you can expect to spend on materials by type: 

MaterialCost per Square Foot
Fiberglass Batting$0.30 – $1.50
Blown-In$1 – $2
Spray Foam$0.50 – $2
Radiant$0.02 – $1
Other Rigid Insulation Boards$0.25 – $2

Fiberglass Batting

When installed correctly, fiberglass batts improve energy efficiency by 25 to 30%.


Typically made of white recycled cellulose you can buy this at a your local home improvement store and then rent a blower for under $100 a day.

Spray Foam

The cost of spray foam insulation is pricier than that of the material. This is due to the extra cost to hire someone trained in this unique insulation material. Expect them to charge up to $4.90 per square foot for installation.


More commonly used in attics, expect to pay $575 to $750 to have this material installed in your home once your basement project is complete. 

Other Rigid Insulation Boards

Second only to spray foam, these are the more expensive material options. They are more expensive because they are highly rated for just how well they do the job of insulating your home.

FAQs About Basement Insulation

Why should I pick spray foam for my basement insulation?

Spray foam insulation is popular for several reasons. The first, and arguably the most important, is that the material itself is heat resistant. That means no hot air getting trapped inside your home. Secondly, spray foam also keeps out cold air, vapor, and moisture. Bonus feature? Spray foam is also a great insulator for sound.  

What should I consider when insulating my basement?

The main thing any homeowner should consider when insulating their basement is dryness. In order for insulation to do its job properly in the basement, it needs to be installed in a dry space. Basements are notoriously damp, so you’ll want to address any water entry issues you may have before you install insulation. 

What other projects should I do at the same time?

If you’re already insulating your basement, you may want to consider finishing the basement all together and making it a recreational space. It’s also common for homeowners to insulate other parts of their homes (like the attics) when they make the decision to have insulation installed inside of the basement. 

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