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

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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!

Jan 24, 2016
Combination ?
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

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