Originally, sheds weren’t designed for you to spend a great deal of time in them. But times are changing and sheds are now regularly used as DIY workshops, studios, playrooms for children and much more. This means that they need to be more comfortable to spend time in – which is where shed insulation comes in. Insulating your shed is going to help to keep the space much warmer and more habitable – even through those winter months. It can also help to reduce that damp feeling that a lot of sheds have!
Insulating your shed is relatively cheap and easy to do, but it is going to add so much value onto the space – not only in terms of keeping your belongings damp free, but also making the space more enjoyable for you to spend time in too!
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In A Hurry?
If you are sick of dealing with the adverse weather conditions and wearing 50 layers everytime you want to work in your shed then get reading this part of the article! We have filled in with all the essential things you need to consider before you start insulating your shed!
There are many different types of material that you can choose from for insulating your shed. They all depend on your budget and the type of shed that you are working with, so there are lots of factors to consider.
- Fibreglass wool – This is going to be a more expensive option however the amount of insulation that it can offer is incredible! This type of insulation can be used in both the panels of the shed and the roof which will help to ensure your shed is as insulated as possible. It is also relatively thin considering the amount of insulation it can offer, so it won’t impact too massively on the amount of space that you lose as you can simply fit MDF panels on top!
- Thermal insulation foil – This is another great choice in terms of insulation for your shed as it is going to be very effective but also isn’t going to break the bank, which is just what you want for your shed. Another benefit of this type of insulation is that you can easily cut the pieces to size yourself and quickly secure them to your walls and roof. The foil backed insulation boards will then provide all over insulation for your shed.
- Polystyrene – This is a cheaper option that offers the flexibility of thermal insulation foil as you have the benefit of being able to cut it to size yourself. However, it isn’t going to offer the same level of insulation as some of the other options, but if you aren’t going to be in your shed for extended periods of time then it should be more than adequate.
- Insulation boards – There are also insulation boards that use the best in insulative technology to keep your shed warm. These blend various materials together to make rigid boards that will offer fantastic insulative properties, water resistance and be more breathable. These are designed to be the best of both worlds between the thicker fibreglass wool and the thin foil insulation – but this does then come at a cost.
It is important to consider how thick your insulation is as this is going to affect the amount of space that it takes up in your shed. It might not seem like much if your insulation is a few inches thick, but if you are taking this depth off all the sides of your shed it is actually going to reduce the amount of space that you have by quite a bit! If you know that your shed is on the smaller side then it is even more important to opt for a thinner insulation type!
We found insulations ranged in thickness from as little as a few millimeters up to around 3 inches, which is quite a difference!
The weight of your shed insulation is massively going to impact on how easy it is to fit. Not only this, but it is going to be a much safer option for more lightweight flimsy sheds. Foil based shed insulation is going to be the lightest option, at around a few grams a sheet. Whereas block insulation is going to be much heavier at over 200gs a piece!
TOP TIP: Due to the weight and bulkiness of block insulation you will probably find that it takes at least two people to fit. Remember to take this into consideration when making your purchase.
Size and Style
As we mentioned briefly above, you need to think about how easy it is going to be to “customise” your shed insulation so that it fits in your shed perfectly.
More expensive options will require you to measure your shed so that pre-cut sheets can be sent to you, which is going to save you a lot of time but these are considerably more expensive.
The more common option is to choose sheets or rolls of insulation that you can then cut to size yourself, which admittedly does add to your fitting time but will save you a small fortune and will help you to cut sizes that are just right for you! Look out for shed insulation that comes in strips that are going to be easy to cut through and shape to fit your shed walls and roof.
Which leads us on nicely to the different styles of shed insulation that are available to you. Shed insulation tends to come in the form of rolls, slabs, boards or sheets. Sheets and rolls are going to be the thinnest options and therefore the most lightweight and easiest to fit. However, they aren’t going to offer as much insulation as some of the other options so if you know that you are wanting to spend quite a lot of time in your shed then boards or slabs may be the way to go. Insulation slabs and boards are going to be quite a bit larger and take up more space in your shed. You are also going to need more power tools if you are planning on fitting these yourself, which is something worth taking into consideration. But in our opinion it is worth this extra effort if your shed is important to you!
TOP TIP: There are some types of shed insulation that actually have boarding already attached to one side of them. This is a great time (and energy saver) as you can fit the insulation and the boarding at the same time, plus know that the manufacturer has taken breathability into consideration for you to save you a job!
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Additional Shed Insulation Features
Now that you know the main things to consider when purchasing shed insulation, here are some of the additional features that we only found on the best shed insulation. If you are wanting to do the job right and know that your shed is going to be of great importance and use to you then these are the features you need to be looking out for.
- Eco friendly – If you are environmentally conscious then look out for some of the best shed insulations that are made with recycled materials. Some types of insulation will be made out of up to 40% recycled materials so they are keeping your shed warm and helping the planet!
- Water resistant – It is unlikely that you will find shed insulation that won’t be at all damaged by water, as it needs to have some level of breathability in the membrane to avoid damp and moisture build up. However, most sheds need a lot more maintenance to keep them watertight than your home will and you could find some bits of rain water sneaking in from time to time. If this is the case then you are going to need to know that your shed insulation won’t be damaged by this.
- Fire resistant – Some of the best shed insulations will be fire resistant, which in our opinion is well worth looking out for. Accidents happen, this we will know, so having fire resistant shed insulation is just going to provide an extra layer of protection for your shed. This is going to be even more important if you are planning to complete DIY or other projects in your shed.
- Sound insulation – Some of the best shed insulation will not only be able to keep the heat in but also the sound! If you are planning on using your shed as a workshop then this is going to be a fantastic feature that will avoid any arguments with your neighbours! It can also stop the sound from getting in – so if you are wanting a quiet place to work then opt for sound insulation!
Fitting Shed Insulation
Now that you know the main things you need to consider before purchasing shed insulation, you need to know about how to fit the insulation, as if you have some basic skills and determination you can probably do this yourself to save contractor costs!
The first thing that you need to check is the condition of your shed. You are going to need your shed to be in good condition if you are planning on fitting shed insulation. A shed that suffers from damp or has leaks is just going to result in damaged insulation that will be less effective!
The next thing you need to think about is whether you are going to be using your insulation just for the roof of your shed or for the walls as well. Once you have decided this you can start taking measurements for the size of the walls and also from the peak of the roof. Make sure to leave around a 2 inch gap between wall and roof insulation to allow for some ventilation and avoid damp and mould build up but apart from this you are going to want your insulation to fill as much space as possible to avoid heat escaping!
When you have measured out your pieces you are ready to position them on the wall and then staple or secure them into place. Most power staple guns will be able to get the job done, although if you have gone for bigger slabs of insulation then you may need to reconsider. This is the part that is going to take two people for a good quality finish so make sure to rope someone in to help!
You are then ready to cover your insulation with MDF or other materials. Job done!
TOP TIP: Fitting a layer of membrane in between the insulation and the shed wall to help improve circulation and reduce any damp. Some of the best shed insulations will actually come with this membrane included but others don’t.
We found this handy video which goes into a little more detail on fitting shed insulation.
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Upgrading Your Shed?
If you are planning on spending more time in your shed and have big plans to turn it into a mini woodwork room or DIY cave then there are lots of other ways that you can make your shed more welcoming than just adding insulation.
For example, if you are planning to add insulation to your shed then now may be a good time to also replace the roof felt! Why add insulation when the roof may be looking tired and damage the insulation if it begins to leak. Here are some of the best shed roofing felts.
Once you have added insulation to your shed, if it still isn’t retaining heat quite as well as you would like and you still feel like you are working in an igloo then why not consider purchasing a shed heater to take the edge off?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use bubble wrap to insulate my shed?
Technically yes the tales that you can use bubble wrap in large sheets to insulate your shed are correct. However, this is going to provide very minimal levels of insulation and should never be used if you are planning on having electrics or heating in your shed. You also need to understand that bubble wrap is not going to be sufficient if you are planning on using your shed for any length of time or if you have anything valuable in your shed so you may be better going for more sufficient options such as fibreglass wool or foil backed insulation boards.
What warranty comes with shed insulation?
Most shed insulation comes with a 5-10 year warranty, which considering sheds themselves last on average 15 years isn’t bad at all! However, you will actually find that shed insulation can last up to 30 years!
Should I put insulation on the door of my shed?
Depending on the style of your shed door, it may be worth covering it with insulation. The more wall and door space in your shed that is covered in insulation the warmer the space will be, so if you have large, double doors then putting insulation on them will definitely make a difference to the warmth of your shed!
Do I have to use special shed insulation for my shed?
No! You don’t have to purchase insulation that is specifically designed for a shed. There are plenty of generic types of insulation that will work completely fine in your shed, they may just have to be cut down to size!