A Basement Cost Comparison

How does InSoFast measure up when it comes to cost and labor? This page shows three typical basement remodeling situations and draws a comparison between the “Big Box” method and the InSoFast method for handling those situations.

440 sq-ft 840 sq-ft 1,640 sq-ft

We check out factors like the cost, weight, and delivery of materials as well as the average number of parts and pieces you’ll have to deal with during your installation. At the bottom, we’ve included a list of competitor manufacturers who’ve also decided to start making “easy” basement systems.

traditional framing and insulation

When we say Big Box, we are generally talking about methods that are available at large home improvement super stores such as wood-framing and foam-board insulation from Home Depot. Such methods are complicated and timely. The average homeowner will likely hire a contractor to perform that work which adds an additional cost to the project.

Our comparison does not reflect any cost associated with taxes, shipping or hiring contractors, but keep in mind that we offer free shipping and our panels are designed for Do-It-Yourself simplicity.

installationUX_hi

Totals (excluding the InSoFast Panels) are based on material and pricing from Home Depot Online via Northeast regional area codes (yes, prices vary) as of April 2016. The recommended Loctite 3X Stronger PL Premium Construction Adhesive is available at Lowes and Home Depot. Using a 28 fl oz cartridge, a 3/8″ bead will serve 6 InSoFast panels (48sq-ft).

The diagrams for each wall assembly demonstrate how electric can be integrated but this is not included in the pricing calculations. InSoFast panels include built-in chases running both vertically and horizontally across each panel and boxes can be installed anywhere necessary. The traditional method generally requires drilling a space through each stud and boxes must be held in place against them.

We offer volume-discounted pricing on all InSoFast project orders.


2 Walls: A Half Basement

55ft × 8ft = 440sq-ft

In this example, we are only insulating two outside walls of a basement. The floor-to-ceiling height is 8 ft and the total length of the walls to be covered is 55 ft (25 + 30). Multiplying the total length by the total height (55 × 8), this project requires material that will cover 440 sq ft.

Click on a method below to see the cost breakdown of all materials involved:

Traditional Wood Framing
2x4x8′ Treated bottom plate 8 @ $3.67 $29.36
2x4x8′ Studs – 16″O.C. framing 55 @ $2.92 $160.60
2x4x8′ Top plate 8 @ $2.92 $23.36
2″ Rigid foam insulation board (2’x8′) 28 @ $19.86 $556.08
Insulation board adhesive 13 @ $6.98 $90.74
SS concrete nails for treated bottom plate – 2-1/2″ $21.52
SS 16d framing nails for studs to bottom plate $21.52
Nails – 16d framing nails $11.97
Nails – 8d framing nails to toe nailing studs $11.97
Shims $8.94
Total Parts: 466
Total Weight: 862 lbs
Total Price: $936.06
($2.13/sq-ft)
InSoFast UX 2.0 Panels
4′ × 2′ × 2″ UX 2.0 Panels
as boxes of 40ft²
11 @ $89.40 $983.40
PL Premium adhesive
*sold by others
10 @ $6.98 $69.80
Total Parts: 65
Total Weight: 187 lbs
Total Price: $1,053.20
($2.39/sq-ft)
InSoFast EX 2.5 Panels
4′ × 2′ × 2½” EX 2.5 Panels as boxes of 40ft² 11 @ $99.40 $1,093.40
PL Premium adhesive (sold by others) 10 @ $6.98 $69.80
Total Parts: 65
Total Weight: 199 lbs
Total Price: $1,163.20
($2.64/sq-ft)

3 Walls: A Partial Basement

105 ft × 8 ft = 840 sq ft

In this example, we are only insulating three outside walls of a basement. The floor-to-ceiling height is 8 ft and the total length of the walls to be covered is 105 ft (30 + 45 + 30). Multiplying the total length by the total height (105 × 8), this project requires material that will cover 840 sq ft.

Click on a method below to see the cost breakdown of all materials involved:

Traditional Wood Framing
2x4x8′ Treated bottom plate 15 @ $3.67 $55.05
2x4x8′ Studs – 16″O.C. framing 105 @ $2.92 $306.60
2x4x8′ Top plate 15 @ $2.92 $43.80
2″ Rigid foam insulation board (2’x8′) 53 @ $19.86 $1,052.58
Insulation board adhesive 24 @ $6.98 $167.52
SS concrete nails for treated bottom plate – 2-1/2″ $21.52
SS 16d framing nails for studs to bottom plate $21.52
Nails – 16d framing nails $23.94
Nails – 8d framing nails to toe nailing studs $23.94
Shims $14.90
Total Parts: 822
Total Weight: 1,646 lbs
Total Price: $1,731.37
($2.06/sq-ft)
InSoFast UX 2.0 Panels
4′ × 2′ × 2″ UX 2.0 Panels
as boxes of 40ft²
21 @ $82.40 $1,730.40
PL Premium adhesive
*sold by others
18 @ $6.98 $125.64
Total Parts: 123
Total Weight: 356 lbs
Total Price: $1,856.04
($2.20/sq-ft)
InSoFast EX 2.5 Panels
4′ × 2′ × 2½” EX 2.5 Panels
as boxes of 40ft²
21 @ $92.40 $1,940.40
PL Premium adhesive
*sold by others
18 @ $6.98 $125.64
Total Parts: 123
Total Weight: 377 lbs
Total Price: $2,066.04
($2.46/sq-ft)

4 Walls: A Full Basement

205 ft × 8 ft = 1,640 sq ft

In this example, we are insulating all four walls of a basement. The floor-to-ceiling height is 8 ft and the total length of the walls to be covered is 205 ft (60 + 42.5 + 60 + 42.5). Multiplying the total length by the total height (205 × 8), this project requires material that will cover 1,640 sq ft.

Click on a method below to see the cost breakdown of all materials involved:

Traditional Wood Framing
2x4x8′ Treated bottom plate 29 @ $3.67 $106.43
2x4x8′ Studs – 16″O.C. framing 205 @ $2.92 $598.60
2x4x8′ Top plate 29 @ $2.92 $84.68
2″ Rigid foam insulation board (2’x8′) 103 @ $19.86 $2,045.58
Insulation board adhesive 46 @ $6.98 $321.08
SS concrete nails for treated bottom plate – 2-1/2″ $41.52
SS 16d framing nails for studs to bottom plate $41.52
Nails – 16d framing nails $35.91
Nails – 8d framing nails to toe nailing studs $35.91
Shims $26.82
Total Parts: 1,715
Total Weight: 3,214 lbs
Total Price: $3,338.05
($2.03/sq-ft)
InSoFast UX 2.0 Panels
4′ × 2′ × 2″ UX 2.0 Panels
as boxes of 5 panels or 40ft²
41 @ $78.40 $3,214.40
PL Premium adhesive
*sold by others
35 @ $6.98 $244.30
Total Parts: 240
Total Weight: 601 lbs
Total Price: $3,458.70
($2.10/sq-ft)
InSoFast EX 2.5 Panels
4′ × 2′ × 2½” EX 2.5 Panels
as boxes of 5 panels or 40ft²
41 @ $88.40 $3,624.40
PL Premium adhesive
*sold by others
35 @ $6.98 $244.30
Total Parts: 240
Total Weight: 736 lbs
Total Price: $3,868.70
($2.36/sq-ft)

A Note about Competitors

Why work so hard? We’ve been asking that since day one and everything we do and make starts there. Crafting simplicity while maintaining a feature-rich product is far from simple and there’s a wide history of complex building techniques that can attest to it. Today, simplicity is a hot trend and possibly one in danger of becoming sales jargon. So, with the threat of buzz words ever-looming in dark corners, we feel it’s important to throw a spotlight on everyone – even us! Here’s a list of manufacturers of basement finishing products who claim the “why work so hard” ethic. Go check ’em out because the right decision is your decision.

One more important thing: Even as competitors, we all agree that fiberglass insulation with a plastic vapor barrier is a terrible way to remodel a basement.

  • OK, this does seem like a great product and I’d love to get the contractors I work with (I’m an energy consultant/HERS rater) to consider it as it’s getting harder for them, with increasing energy codes, to efficiently insulate the basement walls from the outside. The picture of the “contractor at work” you used at the top of this article shows him carrying a couple of bales of R13 fiberglass, implying that that’s the material you would be comparing to, but your examples assume R10 rigid foam with a full stud wall on the interior which would make your estimates more expensive than if the stud/fiberglass method was used. Most all of the contractors I work with if they don’t put 2″ of foam on the exterior of the foundation will use 1″ on the exterior and then add a stud wall with R13 batts inside where the living space is, leaving just the exterior R5 on the mechanical rooms.
    My question is, how can I sell your product as cost-effective to those contractors who presently use studs/fiberglass?

    • Great question! Here are some points we would bring to the discussion.

      1. This comparison only considers the costs of framing and insulating. It leaves out things like running electric (aka raceways built into the InSoFast panels) and the cost of the completed job including finishing and details. The optimum value comparison for the contractors will be the finished room, not just an unfinished energy wall.

      2. An InSoFast installation can eliminate delays and added days of work because it combines multiple components in one. An insulation inspection can be checked off at the same time as the framing and electric inspection. You can also potentially hire fewer sub-contractors for these jobs.

      3. The amount of time it takes for someone to complete an InSoFast job is about the same time it takes for a seasoned professional to do it the traditional way, somewhere in the range of 175-240 sf/man-hour. However, InSoFast really doesn’t require a professional to get professional results. This kind of work can easily go to the new guys, and it often does.

      InSoFast is easy, even for the novice. At the risk of sounding “high on our own supply” we’d also offer up the potential cautionary tales of homeowners opting to do the jobs themselves should their contractors refuse to adapt. Check out our Featured Projects section for more on that.

      Lastly, you mention putting 1-2″ of foam on the exterior of the foundation…we really hope you don’t mean like this.

  • Tammy Bahm Woodburn

    Are the panels designed to cut along a horizontal and/or vertical axes? With an 85.5″ floor-to-joist height, 2 panels certainly don’t fit.

  • chief7

    Hi, I am interested in your product. I have a Manufactured home with an attached room constructed of corrugated steel.Can Insofast panels be installed on this type of surface? Thanks

    Lawrence

    • It is very likely as we have had great results in corrugated steel shipping containers. Next to the condition of your wall, one of the biggest concerns here will be the amount of surface contact between the InSoFast studs and the steel as it will determine the holding power. For comparison, we have tested our studs using PL Premium 3X against concrete for a peak stress of 108psi.

      You should check out our Container InSerts product page to read up on the installation recommendations for this type of surface. We’d also recommend ordering a sample panel and performing an adhesive test on your wall.