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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Electrical, HVAC & Energy Efficiency > Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping Cost


How Much Does Weatherstripping Cost?

 
 average costMedium: Do-It-Yourself Supplies Can Run $50-$350 

Weatherstripping uses a narrow piece of metal, vinyl, rubber, felt or foam to provide a seal and eliminate gaps around moveable windows or doors, or any small opening (such as around light switches or electrical outlets). Where two types of materials come together (such as glass against a wooden frame), silicone-based caulking can be used to weatherize the area.

Typical costs:

  • Do-it-yourself supplies (weatherstripping, caulking gun, tube of caulk, rubber gaskets for electrical outlets and switches, and specialized items such as a fireplace draft stopper or an attic chair cover) can total $50-$350 to weatherize a typical home, depending on overall size of the house and number of gaps to be sealed. ThisOldHouse.com estimates it takes about 4-6 hours of moderately difficult work and about $100 in materials to make a home's doors draft-free[1] . Lowe's estimates that you can weatherstrip[2] a typical home in a single day.
  • Most types of weatherstripping are designed to be easy to install, although some (such as interlocking window channels) are difficult and may require hiring a skilled handyman or carpenter at $30-$150 an hour for 4-8 hours, or $120-$1,000 in labor costs.
Related articles: Home Insulation, Programmable Thermostat, Replacement Windows

What should be included:
  • The first step is to detect air leaks[3] by turning off the furnace on a cool, windy day; shutting all windows and doors; turning on all exhaust fans that blow air outside; and lighting an incense stick and passing it around the edges of possible leak sites, such as windows, doors, light switches and electrical outlets. If the smoke travels horizontally, there's a possible air path to the outside that may need weatherstripping or caulking. Or detect larger cracks at night by shining a flashlight at potential gaps and have a partner stand outside and watch for light. Because weatherstripping and caulking will limit indoor-outdoor air circulation, you should first determine your ventilation needs[4] .
  • All exterior doors, all doors leading to an attic or garage, and all operable windows should be weatherstripped. Several different kinds of weatherstripping are available, and they vary in terms of durability, effectiveness and ease of installation. Michigan State University describes the different types[5] of weatherstripping and their uses and BobVila.com provides a how-to video for easy-to-install forms of weatherstripping.
  • Weatherstripping and caulking should be inspected and repaired annually, just before the winter.
Additional costs:
  • Instead of using incense smoke or a flashlight, you can get a more accurate measurement of air leakage (and specific weatherizing recommendations) by hiring a professional energy auditor[6] to perform a blower door test[7] for about $200-$500, depending on the size of your home.
Shopping for weatherstripping:
  • Weatherstripping products and kits are sold at most hardware, home improvement and big box stores. Major manufacturers include Frost King, M-D Building Products and Swisco[8] . Better Homes and Gardens provides a quick chart for choosing which type of weatherstripping to use in a particular application.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20152571,00.html
  2.  www.lowes.com/cd_Weatherstrip+Windows+and+Doors_666574941_
  3.  energy.gov/articles/detecting-air-leaks
  4.  energy.gov/public-services/homes/home-weatherization
  5.  www.msue.msu.edu/objects/content_revision/download.cfm/revision_id.498886/workspac...
  6.  energy.gov/energysaver/articles/professional-home-energy-audits
  7.  energy.gov/public-services/homes/home-weatherization/home-energy-audits
  8.  www.swisco.com/cl/Weatherstripping
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