How to Make and Install Your Own Insulation

MOTHER's researchers show homesteaders how to make and install your own insulation, creating a low-cost, good quality insulation using newspapers and a farm-type hammermill.


| November/December 1977



Learn how to make and install your own insulation on the cheap.

Learn how to make and install your own insulation on the cheap.


Photo by Fotolia/Stocksnapper

Learn how to make and install your own insulation using newspapers and a farm-type hammermill.

How to Make and Install Your Own Insulation

Sometimes it's going to happen for the "right" reason (genuine dwindling reserves of the easily tapped fossil fuels on which our society has become so desperately hooked). Sometimes it's going to happen for the "wrong" reasons (Carter's fiasco of massive new government meddling and crushing taxes masquerading as an energy "plan", say, or profiteering by the utilities, multinational corporations, and others who supply the oil, gas, coal, electricity, etc., that we all use). And sometimes it's going to happen for both the right and the wrong reasons at the same time.

But for whatever reason or combination of reasons it takes place, there's no question about what's going to happen: The price of all the "traditional" (fossil fuel and fossil fuelderived) energy you use from now on is going to go in just one direction . . . UP!

Oh, there'll be welcome little short-term reversals of that basic trend from time to time. (Right now, for instance — thanks to new production from Britain's North Sea fields, Mexico's sudden exports of oil, the opening of the North Slope in Alaska, increased pumping in Saudi Arabia last summer, and some other factors — the world is mildly awash in petroleum, and there's some rather frantic oil and gasoline price cutting going on behind the scenes.)

For all practical purposes, though, these fleeting discombobulations can be ignored (after, of course, you've taken maximum advantage of them whenever they present themselves). Keep your eye on the basic trend. And that very basic and very, very strong trend — now, and for as far into the future as you can possibly care to peer — is for the price of all "traditional" forms of energy to rise and rise and to keep on rising.

Then again, there's nothing engraved on — a stone tablet anywhere that says you have to remain a big-time captive customer of the fossil fuel industry in the first place.

kbart64
7/19/2017 10:15:29 AM

Good lord... by the time you have purchased everything you need to do this... and factor in your time... adding in an additional 1/3 the cost to redo all the inevitable mistakes... you are better off calling an insulation company and getting it blown in by them.


mrgregcrawford
6/13/2015 3:58:44 PM

Can you provide any specifics concerning the hammermill (size, strength, rotor speed, etc.)? Thanks for the information! Greg


greg
1/8/2015 11:02:17 AM

Contractors in our area charge typically 10ยข per inch for attic installation for Blown Cellulose. Just a tad more than the article states - but prices will vary from any region. When it comes to walls, we see more failures from DIY installation than from professoinals using a tube fill process for dense-pack installation. As an avid DIY person, I sure don't want to discourage anyone but... Having a UL listed product and someone else to take the risk of stepping through a ceiling for a few cents/sq. ft. may be worth the added cost. Being chained to a fossil fuel supplier is one analagy. But, promoting comfort, sound reduction in addition to energy savings is maybe a better testament to installing insulation. Good article, though.


changingplanes
1/7/2015 7:57:12 AM

This is great if you have a hammermill at your disposal. I have to say that I believe that most people who subscribe to Mother Earth clearly understand the ramifications of a consumer conscious world and the first 2 pages were unnecessary. How about spend those 2 pages talking about good efforts in the world?


highenergy247
12/30/2014 2:45:58 PM

What the heck kind of article is this???? The title says "How to Make and Install Your Own Insulation" This is a stupid bias political article that tells me NOTHING!!! WASTE OF MY TIME TO READ.


highenergy247
12/30/2014 2:45:24 PM

What the heck kind of article is this???? The title says "How to Make and Install Your Own Insulation" This is a stupid bias political article that tells me NOTHING!!! WASTE OF MY TIME TO READ.


chad_5
9/16/2009 12:47:53 PM

At home depot here in central va $10 for 40 sq ft @1 inch You can rent the machine to blow it in for about $40 a day I beleive. Jorge. I would suggest using fiberglass with the wire peices to hold it up if it is exposed. If you want to nail board or sheetrocks up you could use cellulose if you feed or blow it ontop from one end but that is still sketchy because cellulose just falls toward gravity, down. You might even consider foam as a ceiling that prevents heat loss through the beams. Cellulose does however work great around a tub if you seal any holes suceptible gravity (great stuff works well for this). I am not sure if it is a bad VOC but it has saved me tons of time and energy.


jorge binder
6/3/2009 3:02:05 PM

Wonderful idea! But, is it possible to insulate the roof of a basement? I have a wooden floor and it's separated of the basement by just the wood and the structure. Can I insulate the floor with cellulose? or it would fall off ? Jorge B.


mike miller_3
4/26/2009 6:34:45 PM

where would somebody find the alum and borax for those prices?






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