DIY

How to Insulate a Wooden Shed

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If you have a wooden shed which you plan to spend a lot of time in, keeping it warm and comfortable is extremely important, so insulating it is key.

Here’s the thing.

There are several ways you can go about insulating sheds. Some of them are more cost effective but offer less insulation and protection.

You need to be aware of exactly what you are trying to achieve and your budget restrictions before you begin. Keep reading for more step-by-step advice.

When deciding on the type of insulation needed, you should always remember that there are a few separate areas you need to improve: The walls, the floor, windows and doors.

There are specific demands and requirements for each of these components, so make sure to follow the advice for each of these below.

The Walls

Bubble Wrap

This is the cheapest and most cost-effective way to insulate a wooden shed.

  • Measure the shed panel and cut the bubble wrap to fit.
  • Overlap the bubble wrap strips to avoid heat escaping through any gaps.
  • Staple or tack the wrapping to the shed.
  • Place a sheet of MDF boarding over the panel and screw or nail into place.

Top Tip: Attach the bubble wrap to the framing of the shed and not the actual panel, this creates an air gap.

Fibreglass Wool

Fibreglass wool is extremely well-suited for insulating a shed. Always remember to protect yourself, cover your eyes, nose and mouth and also wear protective gloves when handling fibreglass wool.

  • Tack a breathable membrane (e.g. Tyvek wrap) to the inner walls of the shed.
  • Place the fibreglass wool shed insulation on top.
  • Add a solid sheet wood board, covering the fibreglass.

The Floor

If you are yet to construct your shed and build a base, you might want to consider our How to Build a Base guide and fit yourself some underfloor insulation to the grid of your shed base. This will provide amazing insulation and help reduce the 40% of heat lost through a shed floor.

When it comes to insulating shed floors that are already in place, there are two main ways to ensure that heat gets retained inside your garden shed.

  • Line the floor with a breathable membrane.
  • Lay a rug or another piece of cloth (like a section of carpet) on top.

Top Tip: If you don’t add a breathable membrane, make sure you regularly check under the rug to see that no damp or rot is building up.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are the most common entryways of water into your shed.

There are two main methods to prevent this:

  • Apply a hardening foam filler alongside the edges of the windows and any gaps in the door frame.
  • Or use liquid wool for the same purpose. Simply allow the materials to dry out, and then cut out any excess.

Top Tip: Shed heat insulation will also provide a level of noise insulation.

If you’re going to use your shed as a workspace, it is recommended to use the fibreglass method. This will provide better noise insulation than the bubble wrap approach.

For more information about all things sheds, check out our Advanced Guide to Sheds which covers how to apply treatment to your shed, how to build a shed and so much more! 

Disclaimer: Please note that this guide is intended to present general information regarding the subject. All information indicated are representative and not exhaustive, which means that the results may vary depending on your item, its size, complexity and other circumstances. This is only advice and we do no accept responsibility for any problems you may have whilst following this guide, it is only a representation and not a definitive guide. When in doubt, please ask your manufacturer before proceeding.

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  • Mr Robert Perry

    Hi there, you mention using a “breathable membrane” to line the floors and walls of the shed before putting on foam boards or fibre glass insulation, what are good examples of such a material ? Thank you.

  • Mike

    @Robert

    I believe he is talking about something like Tyvek wrap

  • http://www.lotusenergyhealing.com Dr Paola Bisicchia

    Thank you for such great advice.
    I have a question for using the fibrglass method: some people advice to put the fiberglass on the wooden wall, then cover it with a poly vapour retarder. Would you advise this method?
    I can’t seem to find a breathable membrane which is not too expensive.
    Could I use poly instead of such membrane in contact with the wooden exterior wall?
    Thank you

    Paola

  • Emmaz Father

    TASK !

    I have a large workshop , the walls have a waterproof lining fitted , the roof is unlined
    The wall struts are 75mm deep and not evenly spaced
    for the walls I’m thinking of fixing 50mm kingspan to the struts, leaving a void behind and then covering with 9mm ply

    for the roof I want to tack or 9 mm ply to the rafters but drill holes at either end of the roof to ventilate the voiid above this ply, then fix more kingspan to this ply, and then add more ply

    This is a little elaborate but it will make the shed nice aand warm and dry

    Q

    Will leaving a void behind the wall insulation case me any condensation problems?

    TASK 2

    My office in the house is built over the garage and is cold in winter

    The garage has a ceiling and I’d like to fix kingspan to this ceiling to help warm up the office

    Q

    Again will I cause any vapour problems ?

    I don’t under when and when vapour barriers are needed and the consequents of not having them

    TIA

    Geoffrey

  • jackie

    I have a garden shed for storage this was already in place when I moved in. It has no insulation and evetyhing is going mouldy. Just after some advice to do this cheaply. There are no Windows and is just for storage. Thank you Jackie

  • Simon Richardson

    Have you had a reply to this as I was thinking of using the foil insulation method. I need to use my shed as an office up to 2 days a week. Cannot decide whether to use polystyrene or the foil bubblewrap.

    • JC

      Insulation is a tricky old game! Ive done a couple of sheds over the last few years and have found a few things work well:
      1. Block up all the gaps (sounds obvious but a couple of tubes of high quality flexible exterior mastic around the joins is a must)
      2. Use a breathable roofers membrane to line the shed
      3. If you infill between the studs with KingspanPolystyrene you need an air space behind it so attach some 10mm beading to keep the sheets away from the walls
      4. Multi-layered insulation on a roll works better but you need to over-baton the fabric before attaching the inner wallply. (and its pricey)
      5 Circular soffit vents are a good idea (high up undeer the roofline) but make sure you get one with an insect mesh

  • Simon Richardson

    This maybe a silly question but why with the foil backed bubble wrap is it fixed to the panels and with normal bubble wrap it is fixed to the frame.

    Also what is the advantage/disadvantages of using Polystyrene instead?

  • Telea

    Thank you so much for your help awesome !

  • Sam

    Anyone in the walsall area do insulation of summer houses?

  • Joseph Lewis

    The article brings more than a few important matters related to the making of garden sheds before us. The author has painstakingly provided various practical tips regarding this. I found the article to be extremely helpful.