how to insulate a garden shed

How to Insulate a Garden Shed: Everything You Need to Know

Last Updated on January 10, 2023

As we all know, garden sheds are a great place to store outdoor equipment, but they can also be used for various other activities, especially if it has some form of insulation. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time in your shed or you want to protect your tools and gardening equipment against changes in the weather, we strongly recommend you insulate your shed. This article will teach you how to insulate a garden shed using several different methods, so you can protect both your equipment and yourself from moisture, cold, and heat so you can get the most out of your outdoor shed space.

Before You Begin

What Is the Best Insulation for a Shed?

To achieve the best results out of your insulation project, we recommend you taking steps to insulate the walls, floor, roof, windows and door of your garden shed. This will help to eliminate any drafts and protect the interior against inclement weather.

If you have a tongue and groove fitted garden shed, consider yourself lucky because you already have a considerable headstart. Metal sheds and sheds with wood panels that don’t interlock are often more penetrable by the outdoors.

The best insulation materials for your shed will depend on a few different factors, like cost and whether or not your shed will be wired for electricity.

Insulation Options:

When it comes to insulating your shed, you have a few options, especially when it comes to the type of shed wall insulation material.

Bubble Wrap or Foam Boards:

Bubble wrap and polystyrene or foam insulation boards that work as insulation slab can make great materials for insulating a shed. These materials are all fairly inexpensive, bubble wrap usually being the least expensive of the three. They also do a fairly good job retaining heat and protecting the interior of your shed against the elements. Unfortunately, these options are not safe when it comes to electricity as they can pose a serious fire risk.

Fibreglass Wool Insulation:

Fibreglass wool insulation is a great option if you are looking for a material to insulate and soundproof your garden storage shed. However, when it comes to comparing various insulation materials, fibreglass wool is relatively tricky to handle and can even irritate your skin and respiratory system if not installed with care.

Foil Backed Insulation:

Foil-backed insulation material is highly effective and the easiest insulation material to work with. It is also safe for use in a shed that is or will be wired for electricity at some point. Of course, when it comes to insulation products foil backed insulation is the most expensive. For this reason, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of your specific requirements.

Step By Step Garden Shed Insulation

Step 1: Insulating the Walls and Roof

Insulating the roof and walls of garden sheds will help keep the cold out and the interior warmer.

Method 1: Bubble Wrap

  • Measure the panels of your shed walls and cut your bubble wrap to fit within each wall cavity.
  • Cover the walls with your bubble wrap strips taking care to overlap each layer for better insulation efficiency.
  • Tack or staple the bubble wrap insulation into place. Make sure you attach them to the frame and not the walls themselves to create a small air gap.
  • Cover the insulation with a large wood board or panel and nail it in place.
  • Repeat the process until your walls are completely insulated, and then execute the same process on your roof.

Method 2: Fiberglass Wool

  • Before you begin, make sure to wear a protective covering over your eyes, mouth, nose, and hands when handling the fibreglass wool insulation.
  • Cover the walls of your shed with a breathable membrane, tacking it into place in between the wall cavities.
  • Place strips of fibreglass insulation in between the wall cavities.
  • Cover the insulation with a large wood board or panel and nail it in place.
  • Repeat the process until your walls are completely insulated, and then execute the same process on your roof.

Method 3: Foil Backed Insulation

  • Measure the panels of your shed walls and cut the foil backed insulation to fit within each wall cavity.
  • Place strips of the insulation in between each wall cavity.
  • Cover the insulation with a large wood board or panel and nail it in place.
  • Repeat the process until your walls are completely insulated, and then execute the same process on your roof.

Step 2: Insulating the Floor

Insulating a shed base is easiest before the actual floor is in place. If this option is available to you, you can execute one of the same methods used for the wallboards.

If the shed floor is already in place, you can still do a couple of things to better insulate and protect it against a build-up of moisture.

Line the floor with a breathable membrane to lock out moisture and prevent the growth of mildew.

Cover the shed floor with a section or carpet or several large rugs. Thicker, denser rugs will provide the best results, but thinner rugs can still do a lot when trapping heat in and keeping the cold out. If you choose to place rugs on the floor without a breathable membrane, you will probably be fine. Just make sure to lift up the rugs and check for mildew occasionally.

Step 3: Insulating the Windows and Doors

Insulating the windows and the door on a shed is the best way to prevent moisture, rain, and snow from entering the interior. We recommend using hardening foam fillers, also known as rubber draught excluders, or a liquid wool insulation material for this type of shed insulation.

Slowly apply the insulation filler of your choice around the circumference of your shed’s window or windows and door frame. Squeeze enough out to completely seal the edges and fill any larger gaps that could let water or cold air inside.

If you chose to use liquid wool, wait for the product to dry completely and then use shears or a large pair of scissors to cut excess material from around the edges.

Other Considerations

Should You Insulate a Shed?

Many people wonder if insulating a shed is really worth all the work and, of course, the cost. In our opinion, the answer is a resounding yes. As you learned above, many methods to insulate a shed can be done in a time and cost-efficient manner without the need to hire a professional carpenter or handyman.

In addition, when you insulate your shed, it makes the inside a more hospitable, comfortable space that you can enjoy, regardless of the conditions outside.

If you plan on using your shed to store some items that are not for outdoor use, insulation for sheds can be very beneficial for keeping them dry.

Keep Your Garden Warm

Now that you know how to insulate a garden shed, you have a few decisions to make about how you wish to execute your insulation project. Here’s the thing regardless of what type of method you choose to insulate a shed, any form of insulation will make a big difference in protecting your equipment and the level of comfort you experience while inside. If this seems like a larger project than you want to undergo at one time, start by insulating the windows and door and then move on to the floor, roof, and walls when you are ready and have enough time. Either way, every little thing you do will provide you with noticeable results.

Let us know about your experience insulating a shed and what you think about our recommendations and data in the comments below.

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