a worker that's attaching an insulation born into a metal home

Pole Barn Insulation: Everything You Need to Know Guide in 2024

a worker that's attaching an insulation born into a metal home
a worker that’s attaching an insulation born into a metal home

Whether you are building a garage, a storage space, or a pole barn home, insulation is a critical part of the building you want to be done right. This article will look into different types of pole barn insulation options and everything you need to know.

Pole Barn Insulation Overview

Insulating a pole barn will ensure that your building will not have extreme temperature swings. A pole barn with a consistent temperature means the structure is comfortable for people and safe for animals sheltered in the building. Well-insulated pole barns are great at resisting heat flow and are more efficient and eco-friendly.  Check out our ultimate pole barn guide for complete information on these types of structures.

Comfort is not the only advantage. Well-insulated pole barns have less demand for energy. This translates to significant savings on utility costs as the heating and air-conditioning aren’t as needed as in buildings with poor insulation. 

Good insulation can also extend the life span of the building. Controlled airflow prevents excessive moisture accumulation that can damage the pole barn and any equipment stored inside. Moisture can cause rot and mold to the walls and ceilings of the building, but all can be prevented by proper insulation.

In addition, good wall insulation can also reduce noise. This is also a perfect feature for pole barn homes. Materials used for insulation can muffle sound vibrations well. Sounds from the other side of the wall will stay on that side and ensure a quiet and peaceful living environment.

It is worth noting that alternative housing solutions, such as pole barn homes and barndominiums, have steadily increased in popularity among new homeowners.

The Different Types of Insulation You Can Use on Your Pole Barn

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam is regarded as the best option for insulating a pole barn for its performance. The R-value of spray foam insulation ranges from R4 to R6.5 per inch. R-value indicates how well an insulating material can resist heat flow and is a great measurement to determine how well a material can insulate.

You can also choose from two types of spray foam insulation – open cell and closed cell. Closed-cell foam costs a little more but has a higher insulating value. Spray foam insulation is an advantage because the foam covers every inch of the wall cavities, unlike other types of insulation, such as blown-in insulation, which can settle to the bottom and would not be effective on certain areas of the walls.


  • Superior Insulation. Spray foam insulation offers excellent insulation properties offering a high R-value per inch.
  • Vapor Barrier. Spray foam insulation forms an airtight seal preventing air and moisture leaks. This protects your pole barn from mold and mildew.
  • Low-maintenance: Spray foam has excellent longevity. It lasts for many years without the need for replacement. This makes them a fantastic investment in the long term.


  • Installation. The chemicals used in spray foam insulation can be harmful if improperly handled. This means installation requires specialized equipment and trained professionals. Hiring a contractor would also add to the cost.
  • Cost. Spray foam insulation generally costs more than other types of insulation, such as fiberglass or cellulose. Cost is an important factor to consider because it affects the overall price of your pole barn.
  • Not environmentally friendly. Spray foam insulation can contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment. However, there are more eco-friendly options available.

Foam Board Insulation

Foam board insulation, which is also referred to as rigid foam insulation, is usually used in attics. They are composed of polystyrene foam, polyurethane foam, or polyisocyanurate foam. The material contains small air pockets that effectively reduce heat transfer, similar to spray foam insulation. However, the key difference is that foam board insulation is supplied in rigid panels, making them easier to attach to the wall. Due to its high-quality insulation, many homeowners prefer foam board insulation. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that this type of insulation can be vulnerable to moisture and condensation. As a result, it is important to ensure that the walls of your pole building are well-sealed.


  • Excellent insulation. Foam board insulation provides a high R-value per inch.
  • Provides an air barrier. This helps lessen heat loss and air leaks from outside.
  • Low maintenance. Foam boards have a long lifespan and do not require frequent replacement.
  • Ease of installation. The material is lightweight and easy to handle. This makes foam board excellent for DIY builds.


  • Cost. Rigid foam boards can be more expensive compared to other insulation materials.
  • Moisture. Foam boards can be susceptible to moisture buildup if the walls are not well-sealed.
  • Risk. Some types of foam board materials can release toxic gases if ignited. It is important to ensure proper fire safety measures are in place.
  • Not environmentally friendly. Foam boards are made from petrochemicals and can be challenging to recycle. 

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation comprises tiny strands of glass fibers and is a popular insulation material commonly utilized in residential and commercial buildings to boost energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling expenses. This insulation is available in fiberglass batts or rolls and is inserted between the studs, joists, and rafters of walls, floors, and pole barn trusses. By creating air pockets between the fibers, it restricts heat transfer by convection and conduction.

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  • Cost-effective. Fiberglass insulation is one of the most affordable insulation options available.
  • Non-combustible. The material does not ignite or burn.
  • Availability. Fiberglass insulation is widely available and easy to find. 
  • Moisture resistance. Fiberglass insulation can resist moisture and will not rot.
  • Longevity. When properly installed, fiberglass insulation can last for a long time.


  • Poor R-value per inch. Fiberglass insulation has a lower R-value than previously mentioned insulation types. This means more material is needed to achieve the same level of insulation.
  • Air leaks. Fiberglass insulation is more prone to air leaks than other insulation types. You need to ensure the walls are properly sealed with seal tapes. 
  • Irritation. Fiberglass can irritate the skin and lungs. This material is made of small pieces of glass fibers that can cause irritation when in contact with your skin.
  • Installation. Installing fiberglass insulation can be challenging without professional help. Hiring a professional is recommended because a proper installation is crucial for the fiberglass insulation to work effectively.

Loose Fill Insulation

Loose-fill insulation is a thermal insulation material composed of tiny fibers or particles. It is commonly made from cellulose, fiberglass, or mineral wool. Loose-fill or blown-in insulation is widely used to enhance energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs in attics and walls. 

One of the main benefits of loose-fill insulation is that it can be installed in hard-to-reach areas and spaces with irregular shapes. It is relatively easy to install by professionals using specialized equipment and can be blown or poured to fit tightly into any crevices or gaps.


  • Ease of installation. This type of insulation can be installed quickly and easily, making it a convenient solution. They can be installed in any ceiling or wall shape as the fibers can be blown into tight corners and fill spaces.
  • Cost. Due to quick installation, the upfront cost of loose-fill insulation is relatively cheaper.
  • Eco-friendly. Materials used in loose-fill insulation, such as cellulose, are largely composed of plant fibers and recycled materials. They are environmentally friendly and entirely biodegradable. 


  • Settling. Over time, loose-fill insulation can settle. This reduces the effectiveness and requires additional insulation to be added.
  • Moisture. Some types of loose-fill insulation can absorb moisture. This can potentially cause structural damage by mold growth.
  • Flammability. Some loose-fill insulation materials can be flammable. It is important to keep this in mind when choosing the appropriate material for the space.

How to Insulate Your Pole Barn Home

Choose a Material

The first step is deciding which material to use. The information provided earlier should give you a good idea of which material you can use. Consider all the pros and cons of each insulation material.

Seal Air Leaks

Make sure air leaks around the house are sealed. You can use seal tapes, caulk, or weatherstripping. Use spray foam to fill gaps around doors, windows, and electrical outlets.

Thermal Break

Consider using a thermal break on the sidings and roof of the barn. You can use foil-faced bubble wrap or foil-faced fan fold to obtain higher R-values for your walls and roof. This also helps with moisture and condensation control.

Installing a radiant barrier on the underside of the roof is also beneficial. The reflective material helps to block radiant heat entering the home. Additionally, ensure your roof has good ventilation by the use of vented ridges and eaves.

Install Insulation

Different insulation materials are installed differently. For fiberglass batts, you must cut the material to fit between the studs or rafters of the pole barn frame and secure it with staples or adhesive. Loose-fill insulation can be blown or poured into the wall cavity. The time it would take to install insulation materials will also depend on the floor plan of the building. It is important to keep this in mind.

For foam boards, you need to cut the foam boards and install them over the girts. Installing foam boards on top of the girts creates a dead air space between the insulation and the outer wall sheathing, which can be made of steel panels or plywood. This method not only simplifies the insulation process but also ensures that the dead airspace is properly sized. Additionally, there is sufficient space behind the insulating board to accommodate electrical, gas, or water lines. 

Tips When Insulating Your Pole Barn Home

Consider the Climate

Depending on where you live, you may need to use materials that offer maximum insulation. This factor will also affect how much insulation material you need to regulate the home’s temperature properly.

Foundation Insulation

A concrete slab is a good conductor of heat. Getting the slab insulated will have a significant improvement on the overall energy efficiency of the home. Make sure you discuss foundation insulation with your builder.

Consider Hiring Professionals

DIY insulation is possible. However, leaving this crucial step to a professional may be best. This will ensure that the job is done safely and effectively. They can provide expert advice on the best insulation types to use. Getting insulation done by a pro will help save you from potential issues in the long term.

You can join our Facebook Group, interact with other members, and get valuable tips on pole barn insulation.

Final Thoughts

Insulating a pole barn is crucial in ensuring energy efficiency and a comfortable living space. There are several insulation options to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. With proper consideration of this information, along with the tips mentioned, you can achieve a well-insulated pole barn that is both comfortable and cost-effective.

Along with pole barn homes, shipping container homes and prefab homes are getting more and more attention as alternative housing solutions; follow our Pinterest Page for content on these types of buildings. If you are decided on building a pole barn, you can look at our article where we compiled the top pole barn kit sellers.

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