How Much Does It Cost To Insulate a Pole Barn?

Always keep in mind insulation itself in a climate controlled environment has a payback through energy, mechanical or lighting savings. Saving just $100 per month (which is not a difficult goal to reach) saves $24,000 over a 20 year life span!

Pole barn insulation costs vary depending on the type of barrier you choose. In reality, there are two popular options for insulating your pole barn or post frame constructed building. While alternates have been used, spray foam and fiberglass are the most common insulation choices.

Spray-Foam Insulation

While both options are quick and convenient to install, spray foam undeniably is the best to prevent air leaks from the base, corner, and eaves and around all panel terminations. However, it’s much more costly for increased R-values than the fiberglass options, less attractive and may have certain fire related issues, which increases potential risk

Spray foam insulation runs around $1 per sq. foot per inch. 1 inch of spray foam offers around an R-7 insulation value. In order to achieve an R-25 insulation value, it would take about 3.5” of spray foam or a cost of $3.50 per sq. foot. Of course the greater thickness of insulation you wish to use, the more expensive the product becomes.

Fiberglass Insulation

On the other hand, fiberglass insulation tends to be most cost-efficient. Factory engineered and precisely cut, fiberglass insulation can be as low as $0.27 per square foot. That is of course for the thinnest of insulation materials. Using inexpensive fiberglass insulation will not diminish quality, however. 8” thick insulated batts cost around $0.85 per square foot and come with an R-25 value. Already, this is much more valuable than spray foam.

Fiberglass insulation systems are supplied with its factory laminated facing already adhered. This gives an attractive and bright exterior finish. While different facing options are available for your fiberglass insulation, it does not significantly impact the overall cost.

As previously mentioned, the fiberglass insulation batts are produced in the factory. This saves on installation time and associated labor costs commonly found with standard width rolls. Moreover, the batts of fiberglass insulation are better suited in the event a fire breaks out. Glass does not burn, and therefore, fiberglass insulation holds high standards with respect to fire and building codes.

Steel Building Wall Insulation
Steel Building Insulation Materials

Location of Insulation Installation Factors

Depending on where the insulation is set to be applied will determine different accessories to complete your insulation system. As far as the roof of the pole barns, it depends on where the insulation is applied. If following the pitch of the roof, the thickness of the insulation is determined by the depth of the roof purlins. It also important to account for the positioning of the purlins. Whether they are situated on an edge or lying flat results in a difference of insulation material needed. If insulating to the bottom of the trusses, creating a flat ceiling, any desired thickness can be used.

The necessary accessories include washers, fasteners, steel banding, tape and screws. For the wall application you can purchase a white plastic washer with long nails to fasten to the girt. The most common sizes for these nails are 6 and 8 inches.

White metal banding can be used to secure the roof insulation that supports the insulation blankets. Steel banding without screws included adds around 15 cents per sq. foot and is sold in coils of 500 lineal feet. Understanding the amount of banding your building requires is simple mathematics. Multiply the square footage by 40% to determine the total amount of coiled banding needed.

While each building may have a unique purpose, the main goals of insulation is to create a seal-tight environment while saving on energy costs. Some building types may not require such rigorous insulation systems. Even still, it is recommended to insulate any steel building in order to save money and decrease the cost of ownership. Storage units may not require the highest quality of insulation. If the building will be occupied often, owners may want to invest in a higher quality insulation as to maintain a comfortable temperate year-round. Always remember that the insulation package is an investment that will pay for itself. The savings is not just in the energy costs but in the mechanical systems required to maintain the temperature.

Competitive estimates for the different single-layer system thicknesses are as follows:

3” Thick $0.45 per square foot
4” Thick $0.60 per square foot
6” Thick $0.70 per square foot

To estimate your cost, begin with the following calculations:

  • Square footage that requires insulation
  • Type of insulation required
  • Thickness of insulation needed

These three factors are essential to properly insulating your metal building.