A new kind of home insulation material is slowly replacing fiberglass batts in new homes. You may be able to profit from this change in the way homes are insulated by starting your own spray foam insulation business.
What Is Spray Foam Insulation?
The worker in the photo above is installing polyurethane based spray foam insulation in a new home. This type of insulation can be made from petroleum products and even soybeans. The two main types are open cell spray foam and closed cell foam. Closed cell foam has a higher “R – value” or insulating factor, but is more expensive. Open cell spray foam insulation is used in many new homes because it is typically cheaper to apply.
Is It Hard To Learn How To Install Spray Foam Insulation?
The technique of spraying spray foam insulation requires skill and time to learn so that product is not wasted. Installers must learn how to properly clean hoses and nozzles so that expensive gear is not fouled up. You’ll need to learn about local fire codes and installing fire retardant to exposed insulation. Installers must learn how to spray the product in an even and controlled manner so that trimming for the dried insulation is minimized. A spray foam installer that I spoke to recently said that it takes new employees about a month or more of on the job experience to learn not to waste product and to become proficient at applying the foam at an even depth. You’ll also need to learn how to maintain the equipment yourself, to avoid costly repair expenses. This may mean attending a spray foam insulation equipment manufacturer’s short courses.
What Does It Cost To Start A Spray Foam Insulation Business?
A spray foam rig can cost upwards of $40,000, not including the truck. You will most certainly need business liability insurance, typically with a one million dollars of coverage, as well as worker’s compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, etc. You’ll need working capital to buy drums of material, parts, fuel for your truck, and maintaining an office and shop. You and your workers may need hazardous materials training, asbestos safety training courses, etc, just to work in your city, as well as a contractor’s license. You’ll need to spend money on ads in local papers or TV, as well as business cards, printed brochures, etc. By the time you add it all up you may be into your new spray foam insulation business for over $200,000, all before you get your first customer. You can find resources for starting your own spray foam insulation company at the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance.
When Starting Your Own Spray Foam Insulation Business, Know Your Market
One of the keys to success in starting any business is to know what the competition is in your market, as well as what the demand is for your product. It helps if there is a lot of construction going on in your area. With the economic downturn, this has made spray foam insulation businesses more competitive than ever. A big advantage would be if you could form a partnership with an associate who is a home builder, and be their exclusive contractor. Selling the money saving and green advantages of spray foam insulation may also help you get your business going. Try to get a booth in local green building expositions if possible and demonstrate the advantages of the product. Also, one person’s misfortune may be your golden opportunity. If you can find spray foam insulation equipment that has been foreclosed on and which is up for auction, you may be able to save on start up costs.
You can often get help in starting a new business from the SBA or the Small Business Administration. U.S. veterans, minorities and others may even qualify for federal grants when starting a spray foam insulation business.