Tips For Insulating A Shed

11 February 2015
 Categories: , Blog


While having a shed on your lot is always useful, going the extra step to insulate your outbuilding increases its utility dramatically.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when insulating a home shed.  

Why Insulate?

Insulation acts as a protective barrier between what's inside the shed and the air outside the shed, moderating changes in both temperature and humidity.  Sure, if your shed is primarily used to store outdoor equipment like wheelbarrows and watering cans, you probably can get by with the building exactly as it was originally constructed.  On the other hand, if you would like to be able to use the space as a workshop, an office area, or even just as additional storage for household items (which may be more susceptible to extremes in temperature and moisture) then adding insulation becomes a logical upgrade.  As an added benefit, insulation can also help dampen sound, which is especially helpful if you intend to be particularly loud in the finished space (think power tools in a workshop or amplifiers in a sound studio).  

Insulating the Walls

Because they represent the biggest surface area in contact with the outside air, walls should be your first priority for adding insulation.  While using bubble-wrap-style air insulation materials is an option, standard wall insulation installed between the studs generally provides a better barrier.  Sheetrock or even plywood can then be installed over the insulation to create a finished interior space.

When choosing your project materials, you may want to consider investing in special pest-resistant insulation from a company like Kirkland's Pest Control.  Outbuildings are particularly susceptible to invasion by rodents and insects, but these specially manufactured insulation products contain chemicals that deter pests without being harmful to humans.

Look Up and Look Down

The walls may be the largest components of your shed, but because warm air rises and cool air sinks, its also important to insulate the ceiling and floor if possible.  Typical insulation products can be used between the rafters in the roof of the shed, but tackling the floor can be more difficult, especially if the shed is constructed on a concrete slab.  The most practical approach is generally to line the floor with a breathable membrane and then lay rugs or carpet remnants over it.  While the membrane should offer some protection from moisture, its important to still regularly check beneath the rug for evidence of water damage which could result in mold and rot. 

Windows and Doors

With the windows, floor, and roof insulated you're well on your way to managing the temperature and humidity in your shed.  You can extend this protection by filling gaps around the windows and door frame with hardening foam filler or liquid wool.

Insulating a shed takes an otherwise minimally useful space and makes it an ideal location for pursuing special interests away from the main body of your home.  Follow these tips to make sure your outbuilding is ready to do so much more than simply storing your pruning sheers and shovels.