8 Cheap DIY Insulation Alternatives

If you’re a DIYer, you’ve probably noticed that the cost of building and home improvement materials seems to be perpetually on the rise. And the same can be said for the cost of cooling and heating homes and commercial buildings. Meanwhile, homeowner incomes and commercial building heating and cooling budgets aren’t exactly growing at the same pace. And sadly, for many people and companies, they’re actually heading in the opposite direction. So, when it comes to insulating a home or building, you would be well-served to consider some cheap DIY insulation alternatives to the more commonly used types of insulation.

Explore these insulation alternatives, and shop repurposedMATERIALS today to discover great deals on used and unused surplus building materials. Shop Now

Types of Insulation

Fiberglass is the most popular type of insulation used in homes, but it’s not necessarily the most effective. It’s cheap, but there are many other types of insulation that are actually more energy-efficient and may even pay for themselves with lower heating and cooling bills. Here are eight cheap insulation alternatives to consider the next time you’re insulating a home or building:

Used Polyiso Insulation

Polyiso insulation, or polyisocyanurate is a type of rigid foam board insulation that typically comes in 4’ x 8’ sheets. It is commonly used in residential and commercial buildings for both roof and wall applications. One beneficial feature of polyiso insulation is that the R-value increases with the thickness of the foam. In fact, it has the highest R-value per inch of thickness of any type of insulation.

Polyiso insulation is relatively affordable when purchased new. But you can often find it used and save even more on the cost! repurposedMATERIALS sells used polyiso insulation that has been reclaimed from deconstruction projects. You can purchase it by the bunk and get as many as 20 sheets of it for a very reasonable cost. We have several thicknesses available to best meet your needs.

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Cellulose insulation is made from ground up newspaper, cardboard and other plant-based materials. Because it makes use of recycled materials and keeps them out of landfills, it’s a very eco-friendly insulation. Cellulose insulation is usually blown in between joists in loose particles that clump together, forming a thermo barrier that retains heat in the winter and coolness in the summer.

Sheep’s Wool

If sheep can effortlessly survive frigid winters and stay cool during hot summers, they must be onto something with that wool of theirs. Sheep’s wool makes ideal insulation because the fibers in the wool form millions of tiny air pockets that provide a natural thermo barrier. It’s also water-resistant and fire retardant.
Fiberglass Board Insulation

Fiberglass board insulation is used to insulate heating ducts and equipment. Fiberglass board is designed for systems that operate below ambient temperatures and is used where vapor barrier protection is required. In addition to the Polyiso insulation mentioned above, repurposedMATERIALS often has cheap fiberglass board insulation in our inventory.

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Insulated Roofing Pavers

Insulated roofing pavers are used on flat roofs. They’re made from a mixture of concrete and insulation. They’re extremely functional because they turn flat roofs into spaces that can be walked on and used as patios and gathering areas. The pavers form a floating surface that allows for air circulation between the paver and the roof membrane while reducing heat and cooling loss from inside the building.

At repurposedMATERIALS, we currently have a large quantity of insulated roofing pavers available! Explore our inventory to see if they might be a fit for your insulation project.

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Bubble Wrap

The next time you get a package delivered that has bubble wrap inside, consider saving it and using it for window insulation. While not exactly visually appealing or view-friendly, bubble wrap can be used to cover windows during the coldest winter months like January and February. If you don’t mind the obstructed view for a couple of months, covering your windows with bubble wrap can save you a lot of money on your winter heating bill.
Billboard Vinyl

Once their advertising campaign is over, retired billboard vinyl makes great tarps, covers, liners, tarpaulins, and more. They can also be used for insulation in some cases. For instance, one creative DIYer used billboard tarp vinyl to create cheap DIY RV skirting to help keep his RV warm in the winter. You can also “glue” multiple tarps together with waterproof vinyl cement to create any square footage configuration you need.

repurposedMATERIALS regularly has used billboard vinyl in stock. Explore our inventory today to see if it is the right fit for your project.

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For backyard sheds, ice-fishing shacks and other structures that don’t require insulation that meets building codes, newspaper is a great cheap insulation alternative. Shredded or simply stuffed between exterior and interior walls, it does a great job of retaining heat and maintaining cooler temperatures. For obvious reasons, however, it should never be used untreated in homes due to its flammability.

Some Quick Insulating Tips

In addition to the cheap DIY insulation alternatives mentioned above, there are several other simple insulation tricks and hacks you can do around your home to improve energy efficiency. Weather-stripping around windows and doors and caulking cracks along floors and walls can prevent hot or cool air from escaping and save you money on your energy bills. Plugging chimneys that aren’t in use will also help. You can buy an inflatable chimney balloon to plug it, use an old blanket or even some towels. Just don’t forget to remove it the next time you use the chimney!

More at repurposedMATERIALS

For more smart ways to save money and keep used materials out of landfills, explore the wide range of used and unused surplus materials at repurposedMATERIALS today. Find the perfect items for your next project at unbeatable prices!
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