Mar 15 2021 / Buyer's Guide ,

Buyer’s Guide: How to Insulate a Pole Barn

One of the most attractive reasons to build a pole barn in the Tri-State region is its cost-effective nature compared to other types of structures. But if you’re cost-conscious, it helps to step back and look at the big picture and think of what you need to do to ensure that it stays cost-effective. A building with poor insulation sheds heat in the winter and lets heat infiltrate in the summertime. That, in turn, can raise energy bills to a point where your savings vanish like steam from a bathroom mirror. So choosing how to insulate a pole barn is extremely important.

Why Insulate a Post-Frame Building?

Pole barns, or post frame buildings, do come with a built-in advantage when it comes to heat and cold. The structure has fewer thermal breaks than a stick-built structure of similar size, which gives them some degree of added protection from the elements. That, in turn, means easier post-frame building maintenance.

While that alone may be fine for a storage shed, it certainly won’t do much to improve comfort and safety in a post-frame home, a stable, or a barn. So to prevent temperature swings, stay comfortable, and save on utilities, it’s important to insulate.

Types of Insulation for Post-Frame Buildings

Many of the common types of insulation used in other types of structures work just as well in post-frame buildings. However, there are a few challenges that can be unique to post-frame structures, especially if you’re a fan of wide-open spaces and exposed rafters. But as we’re about to see, where there’s a will there’s a way.

Wall Insulation

Walls are usually insulated on both the outside-facing and inside-facing sides. The outside is typically clad in Tyvek or HouseWrap for an inexpensive and quick vapor and thermal barrier. On the inside, you have a number of choices.

  • Rolled fiberglass insulation is a cost-effective solution using material we’re all familiar with.
  • The foam board is rigid and may be covered in foil for an added vapor barrier. Thanks to a number of material choices and thicknesses, it’s versatile and easy to install.
  • Hybrid insulation uses a layer of closed-cell foam in tandem with rolled fiberglass, giving a tighter air seal without the cost of the foam alone.
  • Foam insulation may use either open-cell or closed-cell foam, with the latter being the more desirable option because of its density and superior sealing properties.

Roof and Attic Insulation

Most of us remember from our science classes that heat rises. So it’s important to insulate your roof and attic, too!

  • Blown insulation usually consists of a loose fiberglass fill that’s used to insulate attics. Installation is quick and easy.
  • Hybrid insulation combines blown insulation with a higher-density spray foam for a tighter air seal.
  • Foam roofs put a layer of foam between the roof deck and roofing material to insulate and lock out moisture. This method is common when the structure lacks an attic.


Average Cost to Insulate a Post-Frame Building

Costs vary from one material to the next and based on the nature of the project. Obviously, insulating a structure as it’s built is a much simpler proposition than insulating one that’s currently occupied. Your choice of insulant matters, too, with fiberglass batting and foam boards being much less expensive than full closed-cell foam. But as we mentioned earlier, it’s important to weigh your short-term cost against longer-term comfort and savings; this is one instance where you really do get what you pay for.

Custom Buildings, Insulation, and More

Of course, insulation is just one step among many in building a custom post-frame building that’s right for your needs. As a post-frame building contractor in the Tri-State area, we’re here for everything from design services to construction, maintenance, repairs, and more. So call Koskovich and Murphy today!