It’s easy to understand the appeal of building a barndominium instead of a traditional home. They are much cheaper to build, they take less time to install, and they are also a great use of space.
You can customize them to suit your needs, and they can make great dual purpose spaces if you’re self employed or work from home. However, one factor that’s super easy to overlook is insulation.
Are Barndominiums insulated?
Insulation will be crucial for creating a warm home. It can also work to reduce the energy you need to heat your barndominium because the heat will be better retained.
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, no. Insulation is something that you will need to add 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.
This is because during the winter months, buildings which aren’t insulated can become incredibly cold. If you choose not to insulate your barndominium, this could make them impractical buildings to live in depending on your state.
How are barndominiums insulated?
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 of these types of insulation will come with 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. There are two different types of spray foam insulation for you to choose from: closed-cell foam and open-cell foam.
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 which are cut to size and fit into wall cavities during the building of 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.
Similar to rigid board insulation, you will need to install batts or blanket insulation while you are building your barndominium. It’s not the most ideal choice of insulation 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 whether you are insulating an already existing building.
If you are building your barndominium yourself from scratch, it may be best to opt for 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 choice of insulation. This is because it is much more affordable than loose-fill insulation, and it is able to 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 you insulate your barndominium just to make sure 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.
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 bear in mind 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 that has sufficient insulation will be a great home for you throughout the year.