There are many factors that go into the cost of building a pole barn – the size and location of your build, the number and types of doors and windows, additional accessories and lean-tos, just to name a few.
One accessory we get asked about often doesn’t make a difference in the look of a pole barn, but it can definitely make a difference in its feel. That accessory? Insulation.
Insulating Pole Barn Walls & Roofs
Customers often ask us if they need to insulate their pole barns. We tell them that they don’t need to; however, the cost may be worth it depending on the pole building’s intended use. If you plan to use your pole barn as a garage to protect your vehicle from the elements or as a storage building for outdoor gear and yard maintenance tools, you could save some money by foregoing the insulation.
On the other hand, if you’re building a workshop you plan to spend a lot of time in or horse barn to keep your equine family members warm in the winter, insulating your pole barn’s walls and roof may be a good idea.
Finally, if you’re looking to build a barndominium (a pole barn home) or an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) next to your existing home for family or rental income, insulation is a must – especially in the Intermountain West.
How to Insulate a Pole Barn: Fiberglass Insulation
While there are many types of building insulation, we typically recommend R19 fiberglass batted insulation for pole buildings walls and roofs. Fiberglass minimizes air penetration and slows the spread of both heat and cold by trapping pockets of air.
What R-value do you need for pole barn insulation?
When it comes to insulation R-values, the higher the number, the better the insulation. We’ve found that most of our pole buildings in Utah and the surrounding states do well with R19 insulation. If you’re looking to build an ADU or a barndominium, you may opt to install R30 or R38 insulation instead.
Can you use radiant barriers in pole buildings?
Yes! Made of highly reflective material, radiant barriers are a great middle option between full and no insulation. Radiant barriers reduce the transfer of radiant heat, meaning they help keep solar radiant heat out of your pole barn in the summer and warm air in during the winter.
At Beehive Buildings, we highly recommend a minimum of radiant barrier in the roof of every pole barn we build. We recommend this for two reasons:
- Radiant barrier in the roof helps with heat transfer and
- Radiant barrier helps prevent condensation on the roof from dripping down onto anything inside the pole barn.
How much does it cost to insulate a pole barn?
The cost of insulation is usually priced out per square foot. For walls, R19 insulation is 6” thick and costs approximately $3.13 per square foot. R19 roof insulation runs slightly less at around $2.43 per square foot. As mentioned earlier, the higher the R-value, the better the insulation – which means the per-square-foot cost of insulation for your pole barn will go up and down relative to the R-value.
If you’re looking for a more economical insulation option for your pole building, radiant barrier insulation runs about $1.13 per square foot.
Ultimately, the best way to insulate a pole barn is the one that fits your needs. If you have questions about pole barn insulation, construction or any other pole building-related questions, please contact our team of pole barn professionals at Beehive Buildings.