Your Complete Guide to Barndominium Insulation

When building a barndominium, a common question that is asked is, “are barndominiums insulated?” The answer is yes, barndominiums are insulated. Find out how, why, and all the different options of barndominium insulation that you can choose from.

Are Barndominiums insulated?

Insulation will be crucial for creating a warm home. It can also reduce the energy you need to heat your barndominium because the heat will be retained better.

However, not everyone thinks of insulating their barndominium when they build it. As insulation isn’t something that’s automatically included with your kit, it can be easy to miss off the building list altogether.

Barndominiums aren’t insulated when they are first built. You will need to add insulation to your barndominium afterward once it has been built. This will be a worthwhile investment if you plan on living in your new barndominium year round.

Springtown, TX Barndominium by HL Custom Homes

Why Does Your Barndominium Need Insulation?

Metal buildings are really good at retaining heat, making them perfect in cooler climates; however, a barndominium without insulation may not be a great option in other areas because they will not be super comfortable climate-wise. That is why insulation is super important no matter where you build your barndo.

Metal is known not to be a good insulator. It absorbs heat and cold easily. In the hot summer months, the sun hits the metal and makes the inside of the building hot and humid. During the winter, the metal becomes very cold, making the interior cold which may cause condensation problems.

Insulating your barndominium helps prevent this from occurring. It helps keep interior temperatures stable.

Adding insulation may also prevent condensation. When warm air (whether from the sun or the heater) hits cold metal, condensation forms. As time goes on that can damage and rust.

Insulation also protects your barndominium from elements like sound. It dampens outside noises and works as a sound barrier so you won’t be able to hear animals, cars, and other things that pass by your barndo as much.

What is the Best Barndominium Insulation?

As with many different types of buildings, there are several different ways that a barndominium can be insulated. The main types of insulation used for barndominiums are:

  • Spray foam
  • Batts or blanket
  • Rigid board
  • Loose-fill or blown-in
  • Vapor barriers

It’s worth remembering that each type of insulation will have pros and cons. These tend to vary in price and will all be best suited for different stages of barndominium development.

Spray foam insulation

Spray foam arguably offers the best coverage out of all the insulation methods. This is typically inserted through a hole in the cavity wall after you’ve built your barndominium. You can choose from two different types of spray foam insulation: closed-cell foam and open-cell foam.

The closed-cell foam tends to be the preferred insulation of choice for metal buildings such as barndominiums. This is because it expands less than open-cell foam and provides a vapor barrier for your home. Open-cell foam is softer and more flexible.

Loose-fill or blown-in insulation

This type of insulation is very similar to spray foam insulation. Loose-fill insulation is typically “blown-in” to small holes throughout your exterior and interior walls, which makes it a more convenient option for already built barndominiums.

Loose-fill insulation is made using loose fiber or pellets, which are made up of fibers such as fiberglass, shredded recycled newspaper, or rock wool.

Loose-fill or blown-in insulation is one of the more expensive insulation methods. However, it does offer you superior coverage.

Rigid board insulation

Rigid board insulation makes use of stiff boards that are cut to size and fit into wall cavities while building your barndominium. These stiff boards tend to be constructed using fiberglass or polyurethane.

Because stiff boards are more convenient than some alternative insulation methods, they make a great fit for insulating flat roofs.

Another interesting fact about rigid board insulation is that they provide you with great soundproofing properties. Some states may require an additional flame retardant layer if you choose to install rigid board insulation, so this will be worth checking before you build your barndominium.

Batts or blanket insulation

Batts or blanket insulation is the choice of insulation for many when building traditional homes. This is because it is easy to install and is much cheaper than other insulation options. This type of insulation comes in rolls which can be cut to size to fit into your wall cavities.

Like rigid board insulation, you will need to install batts or blanket insulation while building your barndominium. It’s not the most ideal insulation choice if your barndominium is already built.

What is the best insulation for a barndominium?

The best insulation for a barndominium will entirely depend on whether you are building your barndominium from scratch or insulating an existing building.

If you are building your barndominium yourself from scratch, it may be best to opt for a blanket or rigid board insulation. These will be easier to install while you construct the building itself and are likely to be much cheaper.

If your barndominium has already been built, then closed-cell spray foam will be your best insulation choice. This is because it is much more affordable than loose-fill insulation and can offer great insulation properties.

Closed-cell foam insulation helps to keep heat and moisture out of your barndominium. It can also keep any heat in during the cold winter months.

Another great feature of closed-cell spray foam insulation is that you can add multiple layers to increase the R-value.

Some states have a minimum R-value that your choice of insulation must meet in order to be legal. It will be worth double checking what R-value you need to meet when insulating your barndominium just to ensure it complies with your state’s laws.

Are barndominiums good in cold weather?

Unless your barndominium is insulated, it won’t be good in cold weather. That’s because steel is an excellent insulator of both cold and heat. So while you might be able to get the steel walls of your barndominium to retain its heat well, it will also retain the colder temperatures well. 

An insulated barndominium will keep you warm during the colder months and will also be able to keep you nice and cool during warmer weather.

In Summary

So there you have it! Now you know that barndominiums aren’t insulated as standard and that this is an extra cost factor you will need to consider when building your barndominium. You should choose the best method of insulation for your needs, which for most people tends to be spray foam insulation if your barndominium is already built. If building your barndominium from scratch, you should opt for blanket insulation. A barndominium with sufficient insulation will be a great home for you throughout the year.

If you are ready to start building the barndo of your dreams, check out our barndominium floor plans to help you create the barndominium of your dreams or use a barndominium design software program to help you plan out your space for your new home. When in the planning stages, be sure you also check out the barndominium financing and insurance options that are available. For more helpful tips, visit our FAQ barndominium section to get answers to all your barndo questions.