Insulation of barns

by Scott
(Nashville Tennessee)

Do you have any suggestions regarding insulating these types of barns?

Hi Scott,

Thank you for your question.

There are several options, 3 that I recommend.

1. After your board and batten is installed and before you put up your interior wall coverings, have the cavities between the girts filled with a spray foam insulation. Then you can cover with your choice of wall coverings. This will allow you to show off the beautiful timbers instead of hiding them.

There are contractors all over the country who specialize in spray foam insulation. In my book spray foam gives you the most bang for your buck.

2. SIP's SIP stands for Structural Insulated Panels. These are basically 2 layers of plywood or OSB with a layer of foam sandwiched in between. These panels are very energy efficient but can be expensive. After your frame is up you can install these SIP's on the outside of the structure. This will give you an envelope of insulation.

3. Expanded polystyrene insulation board attached behind the siding to the girts, and behind the interior covering over the girts creating a dead air space between the girts.

It is important to get as tight of a seal as possible so that there is no air movement in that dead air space. That is not to say that the entire building should be air tight, just the space between the layers of insulation. You still need to consider proper ventilation.

This gives you the advantage of having an envelope around your building without the expense of SIP's.

Comments for Insulation of barns

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 22, 2013
SIPS panels
by: the barn people

The Barn People have been advising the use of SIPS panels for over twenty years and have never has one complaint.

All buildings must have a good foundation and roof, that's a given. The very next thing is an insulated enclosure.

This is a one-time expense just like the foundation and roof however this choice will keep heating and cooling costs down for the life of the building thereby saving thousand of dollars in future energy costs. If installed properly, you'll have a completely sealed frame with no drafts. The panels also serve to lock up the building structurally against wind shear.

You'll also find that it cuts way down on outside noise. There are times when installing an exchanger might be necessary as well. When it comes to heating and cooling a large"barn" space, the extra costs are more than worth it. Think about what a new kitchen costs!

Aug 20, 2015
customessayservicesreviews NEW
by: Steve

Hello! Have you visited this writing service that writes research papers? They're professionals. I work with them for a long time already.

Jan 24, 2016
Combination ? NEW
by: Joel

I'm thinking of going with a 24 x 36 gable style with a 3/4 loft ..The purpose of my building is to be a garage/party barn. My thought is to heat this whole area with a pellet stove as needed (weekends)...To start I plan on buying the kit as is and finding someone to do the SIP panels for the top of the roof & then going with the Ondura panels from lowes as my roofing itself. ..This way I'll be able to keep the look of the original beams for the roof , which I feel is most important...Then as I get more money I later plan on spray foaming the inside cavities of the walls 2" - 4" with spray foam & later adding mostly drywall & maybe some barn siding in certain areas to the walls...(This way I envision to still be able to have the main beams exposed on the side walls & the whole roof to keep the look I'm after.. I also plan on having the original sliding doors on one gable & on the inside of the sliders putting up an insulated steel roll down door..On the non gable side in planning on two 8x9 insulated doors under the loft...Any of your thoughts are welcome...Thank you...Joel

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Barn Geek.


 ***Please note: Our full barn kits are only available within a limited shipping area.  We are sorry if you are out of that shipping area, we are working on solutions for you that would include, hardware packages, templates for cutting your own timbers, lists of local timber suppliers, lists of local contractors, etc.  Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date on the progress of these resources.  



How to build the 20x30 sugar Shack for under $12k!  


Recent Articles

  1. Late 1800s Barn - Millfield Ohio

    Nov 18, 17 06:23 PM

    The barn is a combination of hand hewn beams and rough sawn rafters, purlins and flooring. There is a hay loft in the eastern 1/3 of the barn. The barn

    Read More

  2. 90x35 Historic Barn in Marion, Ohio

    Nov 06, 17 03:47 PM

    This large barn has a lot to offer! One half of the historic barn dates to pre-civil war with hand hewn beams. The other historic half is also very old

    Read More

  3. 40x60 Barn to Salvage - Nashville,Indiana 47448

    Oct 14, 17 09:08 AM

    Built in 1930. Approximately 40x60, poplar board wood siding weathered grey, sawn beams 8x8 2nd floor loft 1/8 falling down because of storage that has

    Read More

  4. 50x60 Plank Barn - Steptoe WA.

    Oct 12, 17 09:01 AM

    This old 1890's barn is in original condition and never painted. The two sides were additions using the lumber from the original barn. Had wood shingles

    Read More

  5. Bellweather Historic Barn Frame dated 1864 - Wakeman, Ohio

    Oct 05, 17 04:57 PM

    We just completed the barn raising on the Bellweather Historic Barn Frame dated 1864. This barn measures 40'x62' and is located in Wakeman Ohio. The crew

    Read More

  6. The Hubbard Barn 1860's 40'x80'

    Oct 03, 17 10:10 AM

    1860’s Barn frame for Sale Ideal for an event, structure, house, or studio. 40’x80’ 5 bent hand hewn native hardwoods 11”x11” timber frame, excellent

    Read More

  7. 1874 Bank Barn 40x50 - Slippery Rock, PA

    Sep 27, 17 12:02 PM

    I have a 40x50 bank barn for sale. Built 1874, 10x10 main beams. Slippery rock PA. Beautiful structure. Not sure of wood type. Roof is in good condition,

    Read More

  8. 30 x 44 bank barn + 18x24 barn - Dewitt/St Johns MI

    Sep 20, 17 08:50 PM

    Looking for general quotes on removal of an old bank barn and an old small barn (formerly used for a granary), along with their foundations (concrete,

    Read More

  9. 1860's Barn 30x40 Millstadt IL

    Sep 09, 17 12:23 PM

    Our 1860's homestead has a dilapidated barn. The stone house on the property was built in 1867. We determine the barn to be the same period. Roof collapsed

    Read More

  10. 36x46 Gable barn for sale - NE Kansas

    Aug 27, 17 10:39 PM

    It's a stately old 36x46 wide barn that has been weathering gracefully most of it's long life. It's waiting for someone who would humanely disassemble

    Read More

  11. Chicken Chateau

    Aug 19, 17 04:28 PM

    My wife decided we need some chickens for our little farm so I told her I'd build her a coop. After looking at multiple designs I fell in love with the

    Read More

  12. 40x50 Krol Barn in Clinton County Indiana

    Aug 15, 17 02:39 PM

    Timeless Barn Company, LLC has for sale a circa 1850s timber frame barn. This barn is located in Clinton County, Indiana and must be moved as the land

    Read More

  13. 22x14 Timber Frame in Frankfort, Indiana

    Aug 09, 17 09:33 AM

    Timeless Barn Company, LLC has a 22x14 timber frame up for sale. $15,000 plus shipping to your site. Timbers are clean, sound and ready to go. Rafters

    Read More

  14. 24x24 Small Barn in Southern Indiana

    Aug 04, 17 02:02 PM

    For sale: Melvin's Cabin Melvin's Cabin is a 24x24 small barn with 8x14 hand hewn beams. It was built in the 1800s and is reputed to have been a one

    Read More

  15. 1870's 40 x 60 Barn -Shelby, Ohio

    Aug 03, 17 04:06 PM

    **Ohio Valley Barn Salvage** Barn conversion frame for sale at Ohio Valley Barn Salvage. True 40'x60' 1870's all handhewn barn frame. Bent layout is 14'-14'-16'-16'.

    Read More