Shed Insulation – A Guide to Insulating a Shed

As somewhere that you will likely spend a great deal of time in throughout the year, insulating a shed can be very beneficial as it will extend this period of time, whilst protecting belongings inside your shed from sudden temperature changes, especially electronics and valuables. If you possess any plants which aren’t particularly hardy, these can also be stored in your shed in order to protect them from the conditions outside.

You should consider shed insulation if you’d like it to better retain heat. Once this has been achieved, insulating a shed offers the benefit of a structure which now costs less to heat and is more energy efficient.

Increasingly often, sheds are viewed as a second home – somewhere to relax, workout or pursue your hobbies. With this in mind, shed insulation offers the perfect solution to enable the full enjoyment and appreciation of your shed all year round, irrespective of weather.

If your shed is tongue and groove then brilliant! You already possess what is undoubtedly the best external cladding for negating the worst weather that the UK has to throw at your shed. This isn’t to say that owning a tongue and groove shed should discourage you from shed insulation however. It just means that you’re better suited to survive without it.

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BillyOh Master Tongue & Groove Apex Shed

What are the Benefits of Shed Insulation?

  • It’s inexpensive in many cases while offering a high level of efficiency. This isn’t something that requires you to break the bank and in the long run, can save you hundreds of pounds in additional heating bills.
  • This is a more environmentally friendly option, especially if combining your insulation with solar panels on your roof.
  • Insulated sheds tend to have a longer lifespan than their non-insulated counterpart. This is because humidity, moisture and sudden changes in temperature can damage a shed’s structural integrity over time and lead to rotting of wood and the development of mould.

Five Things to Consider Before Insulating Your Shed

  1. Not all sheds are designed to be insulated. Though metal and plastic sheds are not designed for insulation, the majority of wooden garden sheds can be insulated.
  2. Your shed will need a thorough inspection to make sure it is both dry and waterproof. If any part of your shed is leaking, then mould and decay will inevitably occur, defeating the point of shed insulation. You should look closely at gaps in the cladding, the corners of your shed and the overlaps of both your roofing and flooring. If there are any gaps in the cladding then first seal them with a sealant which is both weatherproof and resistant to moisture.
  3. Make sure your window and door frames are fully secured. Again, if cold air is finding its way in through your windows or doors then any insulation won’t properly work. 
  4. If you plan to separately add any electrics or plumbing then this should be done first.
  5. Insulating a shed isn’t a quick task. This is dependent on the level of experience you have in this and similar projects, but you can expect insulating a shed to take up the majority of a weekend. Depending on the size of your shed, it may take a professional a half or full day.
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BillyOh Storer Overlap Apex Shed

Types of Basic Shed Insulation

Bubble Wrap or Polythene

This is the quick and easy option if you find yourself short on time. Simply fix rolls of bubble wrap or polythene to your shed’s internal framing. Though you will notice a temperature difference when in your shed, it certainly isn’t as great as some other types of insulation.

There is also a safety issue involved with these two options, given that they can be dangerous when used in a shed with electrics, due to the potential for combustion.

Types of Advanced Shed Insulation

Mineral Wool (such as Rockwool)

Rockwool cavity insulation controls temperature and humidity with great efficiency. A secondary benefit is that it also provides sound insulation. This is an option which is highly affordable, though has the potential to be messy, so make sure to wear protective gloves and glasses when using and installing it.

Glass Fibre Wool

This is similar to rockwool and also offers the added benefit of soundproofing. Like rockwool, it can also present some challenges when handling and fitting it so again, be sure to take the precaution of wearing protective clothing when using it.

Insulation Boards

Insulation boards offer a multi-purpose solution to your insulation needs. As they come in a range of thicknesses, you can tailor your insulation to the weather conditions where you live. You can also cut these boards to size so there is no chance of your boards not fitting correctly.

Foil Backed Insulation

These offer several benefits, including being a lightweight material which adds to the ease of the installation process and a high thermal performance, thanks to a combination of rigid panels and foil strengths which result in high insulation power. 

Ecotherm foil back compression insulation offers the best value for money, whilst being highly efficient and safe with electrics.

How Do You Insulate a Shed?

Now that you’ve chosen your insulation material, you can begin the shed insulation process.

  1. Double check that you’ve ensured your shed is both dry and waterproof. Inspect the door, windows, roof, floor, walls and every corner. It’s better to be thorough than not and potentially miss a spot as a result.
  2. You may also want to use a sealant to fill any potential gaps around windows and doors, in order to make your insulation as effective as possible. If cold air still seems to be making its way into your shed via the doors, then a draught excluder should sort this issue out.
  3. Now, with your chosen materials, you can install your insulation between the structural frames of your shed. For the best possible insulation, you should affix these materials to the floor, roof and walls. Depending on which insulation material you’ve chosen, make sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines before you go ahead with installing it.

How Do You Cover Up the Insulation?

You’ll probably want the shed insulation hidden from view once you’ve installed it. For this, you need to fit panelling/wall boards to the inside of your shed. Once the insulation is out of sight, your shed can now be decorated to create the perfect home-away-from-home environment, right in your garden!

Much like the types of shed insulation itself, there are a range of options with regards to boarding the interior of your shed, such as plasterboard, hardboard, plywood and reconditioned pallet boards.

Each of these offers a unique set of pros and cons: 

  • Plasterboard is your basic option – offering a cheap yet surprisingly effective wall covering, but lacking the strength you may desire. Hardboard is similar to plasterboard but offers slightly more strength and resistance. 
  • Given that it is available in a range of thicknesses, plywood offers a level of toughness which should be suitable for your needs when boarding over your insulation.
  • For a more creative option, you can use pallet boards. Just make sure to remove all the nails and give each board a good sanding and paint first.

To Conclude

This guide should have helped you with the daunting task of shed insulation. When it comes to insulating a shed, the main thing to consider beforehand is what you use your shed for, and during what parts of the year, as this will ultimately help you determine the need for insulation and what material will be best for you to use.

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