Home Energy Efficiency Upgrade

Ideas, costs, tips and plans - the information you need for a successful Energy Efficiency Upgrade project

March 2015

Homeowners have many important questions about their Energy Efficiency Upgrade Project. How much will it cost? How long will it take? What problem areas do I need to watch out for? Can I recover my Energy Efficiency Upgrade investment when I sell? Can I do some of the work myself? What can I do to make sure that the work is done right?

Costs, materials and best practices for the example Energy Efficiency Upgrade project will help you answer these questions. Use this information to develop a budget, bid requirements, hiring contracts and a project plan.

Energy Efficiency Upgrade - Project Overview

The approximate costs and value of a typical Energy Efficiency Upgrade project are summarized below. Use higher estimates for larger metropolitan areas and the lower estimates where home prices are below the national average. Adjust costs for substitutions or refinements in the last section. For size differences of up to 25%, scale total costs in direct proportion to the size of your project. Use the adjusted costs as a basis for setting a material budget and for comparing contractor bids (if you choose to have a professional perform the work).

Project descriptionImprove energy efficiency of existing home. Insulate areas prone to high heat transfer. Minimize air infiltration.
Project size1700 square foot home
Material and labor cost$2,313 - $2,699
Material cost$1,661 - $1,937
Do-it-yourself assessmentThe typical Energy Efficiency Upgrade project can be completed by a moderately skilled do-it-yourselfer; as with any project, high quality Energy Efficiency Upgrade requires attention to detail and careful planning.
First year Return on Investment - ROIResults vary widely and can be affected by the range of home prices in your neighborhood, the overall condition of your home and sensible design choices. A high quality Energy Efficiency Upgrade project in an appropriate neighborhood can return 93% or more of its initial cost.
First year Return on Investment - ROIResults vary widely and can be affected by the range of home prices in your neighborhood, the overall condition of your home and sensible design choices. A high quality Energy Efficiency Upgrade project in an appropriate neighborhood can return 93% or more of its initial cost.
Green ratingEnergy Efficiency Upgrade projects can employ renewable resources and environmentally friendly materials. Existing components can often be recycled or reused. Efficient lighting, insulation and appliances can create a substantial reduction in energy utilization.

Energy Efficiency Upgrade - Project Plan and Details

The following list includes major work tasks commonly performed during Energy Efficiency Upgrade. Use this list to understand the timing and sequence of different steps in the Energy Efficiency Upgrade project. Click any Task name for a complete written specifications, FAQs and quality checklist for the task - this essential information will help you control Energy Efficiency Upgrade project cost and quality.

Do you expect to spend more than $250 on your Energy Efficiency Upgrade project? If so, it is important create and manage a detailed plan for all project activities.

TaskService ProviderTimeDifficultyBasic Cost Range
Insulate AtticInsulation Contractor1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$1.38 - $2.44 per square foot
Install Wall InsulationInsulation Contractor1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$0.79 - $1.36 per square foot
Insulate WindowsFinish Carpenter1 d$19.93 - $33.88
Insulate BasementInsulation Contractor1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$2.65 - $4.75 per square foot
Insulate Water HeaterPlumber1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$76 - $136
Insulate Basement WallsInsulation Contractor1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$2.65 - $4.75 per square foot
Seal DoorFinish Carpenter1 d$42 - $74
Seal WindowsFinish Carpenter1 d$32 - $57
Install Batt Floor InsulationInsulation Contractor1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$1.59 - $2.76 per square foot
Caulk Perimeter Of HomeCarpenter1 d$1.04 - $1.76 per linear foot
Install Storm DoorFinish Carpenter1 dLevel 3 - Complex, Difficult$259 - $465
Install Storm WindowsWindow and Door Installer1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$130 - $236
Install Window Weather StrippingFinish Carpenter1 dLevel 1 - Basic$24.64 - $42.60 per window
Install Door Weather StrippingFinish Carpenter1 dLevel 1 - Basic$34 - $59 per door
Install Window ShadesFinish Carpenter1 dLevel 1 - Basic$99 - $176
Replace ThermostatElectrician 1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$178 - $312
Install Exterior DoorFinish Carpenter1 dLevel 3 - Complex, Difficult$320 - $571

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Energy Efficiency Upgrade - Proven Ideas and Project Tips

Review these tips, design suggestions, options and lessons learned before finalizing your Energy Efficiency Upgrade project plan.

  • To maximize return on the Energy Efficiency Upgrade project, limit cost to no more than 1.25% of home's total, post project value
  • Identify and consider construction materials and components that will qualify for tax credits or utility company rebates
  • For best resale value, select a taste neutral design for your Energy Efficiency Upgrade

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