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Roof insulation in Canberra. Who gives a good quote?

By 21 April 2013 14

After I received a quote from a long-known local energy efficiency businesses I asked them how many bags of insulation they will provide for the $’s quoted and the number of square metres that they will cover in the roof space.  Seems that it’s a case of ‘that’s the price and we will insulate your roof’.  Take it or leave it.

The quote simply listed – amongst so much bumpf – the dollars, the product name, and energy rating of the batt being supplied. And yes I know that a quote only needs to be a firm price to complete a job, but how hard is it to properly serve a potential customer and not make them feel unimportant?

Are there any customer focussed, but equally reputable, fibreglass batt insulation providers in Canberra who would be more than happy to provide a fully itemised roof quotation?

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14 Responses to Roof insulation in Canberra. Who gives a good quote?
#1
shauno1:10 pm, 21 Apr 13

Here is a calculator to work out how many batts you need

http://www.bradfordinsulation.com.au/getdoc/c93dcdd1-5cb6-46af-ace8-14faa472e4bc/Ceiling-and-wall-coverage.aspx

And for an idea off costs you can go to bunnings website and see how many packets you need to buy. But anyway as a rough idea I got a phone quote for around $2200 installed for R6 batts for 176m2 from http://justrite.com.au no idea if thats good or not.

#2
Masquara1:30 pm, 21 Apr 13

You need to be vigilant about this purchase – you should get R5 for Canberra’s cold winters and hot summers. But there’s no point getting high-rated insulation if the installation is crap – so you’ll need to go into the ceiling and inspect the job – or insist that they take photos while up in the roof in any hard-to-get-to parts. Best is of course if the timber joists are covered – gaps between the insulation and the joists make the exercise pretty pointless, and the timber leaks heat even if the batts are well installed. I had the experience of a supposedly reputable local company installing my ceiling insulation, and they sent a clearly stoned young man on his own to do the job, and no-one checked up on his work. They had to do a full reinstall a year later after the “R5 installation” was performing worse that the previous (probably) R2.5 I had “inherited” with the house. Good luck with it!

#3
shauno1:35 pm, 21 Apr 13

So what is the best insulation batts to get? Because I will doing this in May some time.

#4
AlexanderWatson1:29 pm, 22 Apr 13

Masquara said :

You need to be vigilant about this purchase – you should get R5 for Canberra’s cold winters and hot summers. But there’s no point getting high-rated insulation if the installation is crap – so you’ll need to go into the ceiling and inspect the job – or insist that they take photos while up in the roof in any hard-to-get-to parts. Best is of course if the timber joists are covered – gaps between the insulation and the joists make the exercise pretty pointless, and the timber leaks heat even if the batts are well installed. I had the experience of a supposedly reputable local company installing my ceiling insulation, and they sent a clearly stoned young man on his own to do the job, and no-one checked up on his work. They had to do a full reinstall a year later after the “R5 installation” was performing worse that the previous (probably) R2.5 I had “inherited” with the house. Good luck with it!

I need to declare a biased opinion here because I own an Energy Efficiency company. However, what you’ve said is perfectly correct. What clients think they are buying and what they actually receive are often worlds apart when it comes to insulation. For this reason we actually use a thermal camera to check for gaps in insulation after it is installed. Forget what brand of batts are going in your roof, my advice is always choose the company that will guarantee the best installation.

#5
shauno2:32 pm, 22 Apr 13

One Issue I have with my house now is I have solar panels on the roof and I was going to put the insulation in my self but in not sure what the situation is with the wiring up there now as the system was installed while ive been overseas and gets switched on in a couple of weeks when I get back.

I dont really see the point of a thermal imagining picture of my roof until I actually install the batts because without the batts in there its obvious its going to pick up massive heat loss. With the batts in place we could then image it and find out the spots missed.

Its going to use R6 batts but what I want to know is what is the best material out there to use regardless off costs within reason that is.

#6
dtc2:57 pm, 22 Apr 13

shauno said :

I dont really see the point of a thermal imagining picture of my roof until I actually install the batts because without the batts in there its obvious its going to pick up massive heat loss. With the batts in place we could then image it and find out the spots missed..

Yeah, you do the thermal imaging after you install the batts

#7
WhiteNoise3:44 pm, 22 Apr 13

“For this reason we actually use a thermal camera to check for gaps in insulation after it is installed.”

and then after they promise to send you a quote to do the work they say you need, they don’t send the quote and ignore multiple follow-up phone calls to try and receive the quote they promised. I’ve given up as they don’t seem to need my business. Also, given the total lack of response, I have doubts about quality of the work or if they could be contacted if something went wrong.

#8
shauno4:08 pm, 22 Apr 13

Its looking like im just going to go and buy the silly things my self and get up there fit them. As for my wall insulation and under floor insulation not sure im keen to do that my self.

#9
AlexanderWatson8:37 pm, 22 Apr 13

WhiteNoise said :

and then after they promise to send you a quote to do the work they say you need, they don’t send the quote and ignore multiple follow-up phone calls to try and receive the quote they promised. I’ve given up as they don’t seem to need my business. Also, given the total lack of response, I have doubts about quality of the work or if they could be contacted if something went wrong.

Doesn’t sound like our normal service. We are far from perfect and client’s quotes have occasionally slipped through the cracks when we’ve been swamped with demand. However, I find it hard to believe that if you’ve called up a few times that you still wouldn’t have been sent your quote. We track the opens on the emails we send to make sure client’s receive them. Sometimes though the email address we send the quote to is wrong for whatever reason. We actually had a client call today with a similar story to yours, we sent his quote to his work email address at the clean energy regulator and its still showing as unread. Looks like a follow up call to confirm his email will be needed tomorrow. I’m more than happy to follow up on your quote too if you’d like to give me a call tomorrow. We don’t like losing customers, especially before we’ve been able to show them just how great our installers are!

#10
thatsnotme10:55 pm, 22 Apr 13

shauno said :

Its looking like im just going to go and buy the silly things my self and get up there fit them. As for my wall insulation and under floor insulation not sure im keen to do that my self.

I’m not sure I understand the logic behind all of this. If you need ceiling insulation, and you’re given a quote to fit ceiling insulation (presumably to cover the entire ceiling!), what are all of the other details you’re after going to give you? If you hired a bricklayer to build you a wall, would you demand to know how many bricks they purchased? Or would you just want to make sure they finished the wall?

Having been through the process of having ceiling insulation replaced recently, I’d say the company doesn’t have an answer to the questions you’re asking. We got a couple of quotes, and in both cases the approach taken was the same – the guy came in with a step ladder, stuck his head up through the manhole, and did a visual inspection / estimation. So I’d say they have no idea how many m2 your roof space is. They also probably have no idea how many bags of insulation they’ll need – they’ll likely bring along more than enough to cover the job, and then take away any excess to use on the next job.

If you really can’t handle that, then sure, get up there and fit your own insulation. I expect that you’ll be regretting your decision fairly quickly. Our insulation was fitted in a day – and that included removing the old stuff, and vacuuming out the roof space before fitting the new stuff. It sure as hell would have taken me a lot longer to do it myself.

#11
Kurrajong10:12 am, 23 Apr 13

You say “I’m not sure I understand the logic behind all of this”

My reason for starting this topic is that I shouldn’t pay for batts that end up going to someone else’s job.

The quote is based on the external floor area of the house (measured by the company) and its calculation of batts required to cover that area. If an installer can’t reach a tight corner (and who is going to get up into the roof to check?) then I end up paying for goods not installed.

Any good tradesman will give you an itemised quote for materials and labour (including brick-layers you mentioned).

Who else has used Alexander Watson of Mitchell? Will they provide an itemised quote? Is the thermal imaging done at night?

#12
dtc11:54 am, 23 Apr 13

Kurrajong said :

You say “I’m not sure I understand the logic behind all of this”

My reason for starting this topic is that I shouldn’t pay for batts that end up going to someone else’s job.

The quote is based on the external floor area of the house (measured by the company) and its calculation of batts required to cover that area. If an installer can’t reach a tight corner (and who is going to get up into the roof to check?) then I end up paying for goods not installed.

Any good tradesman will give you an itemised quote for materials and labour (including brick-layers you mentioned).

If you have ever found a brickie who has quoted you the exact number of bricks used, then well done.

Are you paying for a job (insulate my roof) or are you paying for labour and material? You might say its the same thing, but they are completely different ways of looking at/quoting for a job. One is outputs based (the job is completed), the other inputs based (how many hours of work/bags of insulation). Do you want a detailed hourly quote from an inefficient installer? Or a lump sum figure from someone efficient?

Most labour and material quotes are complete guesses anyway – they might be 15% within reality if the person is experienced, but some are over and some are under.

Of course, you can just say ‘if you quote me for 34 bags of insulation, then I want you to give me what is left over’, then insulate your shed or use them as mattresses for guests.

#13
NoImRight12:41 pm, 23 Apr 13

Friend of mine who is a builder says this happens to him sometimes. He builds a wall, say, goes to finish up and loads his pallet of bricks back on the truck. Owner comes out and says “where are you going with my bricks?”. His response is always “you didnt buy any bricks, you paid me to build a wall”.

#14
EnergyExpert11:36 am, 17 Sep 14

shauno said :

Here is a calculator to work out how many batts you need

http://www.bradfordinsulation.com.au/getdoc/c93dcdd1-5cb6-46af-ace8-14faa472e4bc/Ceiling-and-wall-coverage.aspx

And for an idea off costs you can go to bunnings website and see how many packets you need to buy. But anyway as a rough idea I got a phone quote for around $2200 installed for R6 batts for 176m2 from http://justrite.com.au no idea if thats good or not.

As a representative of Just Rite Pty Ltd., I would like to bring this news into the notice of the readers of this thread that we have launched an online store, http://www.justritestore.com.au selling all types insulation batts. The URLgiven by the person does not sell insulation batts, its just a corporate website

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