The home building industry is a very competitive one. In metro Buffalo alone there are nearly 200 companies/individuals that will build a home for you. The initial cost of foam insulation typically adds $5,000 to a new home. Since most customers of a given home builder aren’t aware of foam insulation and its long term cost savings, they will simply see that the price of builder A’s house is $5,000 more than builder B. They will go with the lower cost builder because they perceive that they are getting the same product. What the customer doesn’t typically understand (and may never realize) is that the extra $5,000 they spend will pay for itself in energy savings and will make the house much more comfortable.
When it comes to items like insulation, furnaces, and windows, it’s important to remember that there are two components to the cost. The initial cost of the products and the ongoing costs of operating your home (heating and cooling costs). Remember that a homebuilder is only involved in half of that equation. Their customer has sole responsibility for paying for heating and cooling costs for the life of the home. As long as his customer finds their home to be “acceptable”, the builder is happy. At some point in the future fiberglass will become an “unacceptable” product to use for insulating a home in the eyes of the public in general. At that time builders will make foam insulation standard. That being said, we have never come across a builder who refused to use foam if their customer wanted to use it. If your builder refuses to put foam in your house you should fire them because they aren’t acting in your best interest. There are many more factors than meets the eye when it comes to builders.
Read the paper Why Doesn’t my Builder use Foam Insulation? for more information.